Located just outskirts of Tetouan on the Northern coast of Morocco is Martil, a small port town in the Mediterranean coast is a popular summer vacation destination for Moroccans. It is not a foreign tourists destination so it has the authentic mood of Moroccan holiday. It is worth visiting before it gets too crowded and touristic.
Martil is a small town, which itself doesn’t differ from other towns on the coast but it's advantages are that there is a very nice free beach just in the centre of the town. The beach boulevard is full of little boutiques, vendors and restaurants. The mood in Martil is very relaxed and light in general. In summer time most of its people consist of people from outside towns, so there is a lot of things going on all the time!
In summer time there are loads of activities happening until the late night. Big concerts take place on the beach, for example, in 2013 famous Arabic Rai singer ChebKhaled had a beach concert there. The mood was amazing and there were hundreds if not thousands of people watching his performance. There are also many street performers playing Moroccan traditional music every night. You can grab some roasted corn or a cotton candy and enjoy the music with fellow vacationers. Just like locals!
Mornings in Martil were perfect for sunbathing and swimming in the sea. After beachtime we picked a restaurant and had a lunch. The quality of restaurants in Martil varies a lot and you should be careful choosing where to eat if your tummy is sensitive, like mine. Suggestion is to avoid overpriced hamburger places just in front of the beach and go a little further to the centre to have a lunch. There is this special fruit juice called zaza served in many restaurants which is a great way to start off your day!
There are a lot of souks (bazaars) in Morocco and Martil is not an exception. I’ve visited quite a few in many cities and Martil’s souk was one of the top ones so far! The venue itself as well as the mood there was great. Not too crowded and the sellers let you browse by yourself. This souk is not really a place to buy souvenirs but you might find some very cheap second hand clothing or fabrics to bring home. In the other end of the boulevard there is an amusement park where you can try out those merry-go-rounds and other rides. We ended up facing our fears and try the craziest (defenitely not the safest) ride we found. Big crowd was filming us with their phones and encouraged us before the ride. It was nuts!
How to get there? - In our case we took the train to Tangier from Fes and then switched to an hour bus drive to Tetouan and then finally, took a local bus to Martil. There are good bus connections from Tetouan to Martil. It cost only 6DH and takes about 20-30 minutes. You could also take a grand taxi which costs about 150 DH. Martil is located near big cities and amazing beach resort called CaboNegro, so it’s easy to explore its surroundings as well. Also the famous blue city Chefchaouen is only 75km away.