Nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the backbone of the Rif Mountains, Tangier, and the surrounding Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region hold all the Arabian Nights allure that many people associate with the country—as well as an energy unparalleled in the rest of Morocco.
The ancient cities of Tangier and Tetouan offer a glimpse of evolving urban Morocco with their Arab-inspired sophistication, European dress and languages, palm-lined boulevards, and extensive infrastructure for travelers. Here the vast majority of the population is under 25, and the streets are full of children until late in the evening, especially in the summer months. Tangier is in sharp contrast to the villages and small towns along the Rif Mountains routes, where regional dress and a traditional, agricultural way of life persist. As you travel farther east, the language shifts from Arabic to Rifi Berber (Tarifit), spotted with Spanish and French.