Minutes from Tangier is the jutting Cap Spartel, the African continent's extreme northwest corner. Known to Romans as Ampelusium ("cape of the vines"), this fertile area sits high above the rocky coast. A shady, tree-lined road leads up to the summit, where a large lighthouse has wonderful sweeping views out over the Mediterranean at the very point where it meets the Atlantic; ask the kindly gatekeeper to show you around.
Cap Spartel's beaches vary widely from wide inlets to long stretches of sand. Ashakar is a public beach with three parts: the first is level with the road while the following two, more highly recommended, are accessed by descending steep steps down cliffs and sometimes flowering dunes. It becomes the currently abandoned Robinson Beach, still on the strait, and then turns the corner at the Mirage Hotel onto the long Atlantic coast. There are lifeguards on duty and straw umbrellas for rent.