Melilla has a very strong youth culture and it seems that cruising along the beach road on a Sunday night is a big part of that. Guys seem to love driving along the with their windows down, sound system blaring, waiting for girls to notice them. Ah...good old fashioned harmless fun!
See the border fence at close quarters
The Melilla-Morocco border is a crazy place: people everywhere, bribery, corruption, thinly disguised smuggling. We decided we wanted to see the infamous border fence, but not at the crossing point. We wanted to see the fence without all the fuss...so we headed North-Westwards out of town, past the Central Market right off the tourist map and turning right at the roundabout at the top of the hill towards the Spanish Legion headquarters and surrounding territory on the coast. Once you pass the Legion building, keep walking into a pine forest, and at the far end of that forest lies the border fence. Patrolled on both sides, although more obviously by the Moroccans, the fence itself is unmistakable as a border fence...three layers thick, which a meshwork of steel cable several feet off the ground which would prevent anyone who made it over the first fence from getting a firm footing on the concrete. A clever network of multiple height concrete ditches would prevent anyone from driving through if the fence were compromised. We walked for a way along the fence before the police drove up and told us we shouldn't be on this road and directed us to the viewing platform further into the forest. It was an unusual sight to behold. The Moroccan guards stare back at you bewildered if you get too close, so it's not advisable to push your luck...after all, they have guns! The view from the platform however is adequate and provides a good photo opportunity of the Moroccan coastline and the sea below.
General Villalba street
A plate dedicated to a person who did lots of thing for Melilla in the 1920’s. My grandfather and his sibbling live there during some years and at theat time there was no border with Morocco, but war sometimes happened.
Melilla - A little piece of Spain in Africa
I came to Melilla mainly because a friend of mine lives there. His description of the town as a Spanish enclave in the north of Africa, surrounded by a border fence to keep out Moroccan refugees enthralled me! Most people outside of Spain have little idea where Melilla is, or the second such enclave, Ceuta. And few really care! It's not possible to catch a direct flight there from the UK, so this alone would make it overlooked by many run of the mill British tourists. But this was the thing that spurred me on most! A town which is essentially Spanish in all senses of the word, but not on the Spanish mainland, awash with influences from neigbouring Morocco. A multicultural land where Catholics, Muslims, Jews and Hindus all have an identity...and barely an English voice to be heard! I had to discover this place for myself...
"A friendly welcome"
When we arrived in Melilla, we found little evidence of English being spoken, and found it hard to understand the local Spanish accent, but after a few days of "getting our ear in" we started to get the hang of it and found the town to be welcoming, friendly and only too happy to invite us into their lives. Rafael at the Taberna de Andaluza and his patrons gave us more than one night to remember! Even if our Spanish wasn't quite up to scratch, we made it through numerous conversations with a mixture of sign language, Spanglish and alcohol induced bravado!
The First VT page about Melilla!
Much will be added to this page! Don't be too critical yet !
There are 3 major routes to Melilla. One is by land from Nador, Morocco to the Moroccan border town of Beni Enzar (or Beni Anzar). It's also possible to fly to Melilla on Iberia/Air Nostrum from Malaga. There are a few flights from other cities including Madrid. Trasmediterranea ferries also sailes from Malaga and another city to Melilla. Transmediterranea has a website. The overnight ferries to Melilla have cabins but they may be fully booked. There are unassigned seats where you may get a bit of sleep.