The Balcony of the Atlantic is a popular spot for the locals for either enjoying the café’s and restaurants along the foreshore or for gathering in the evenings to enjoy the sun setting over the Atlantic. There are also some lovely Spanish styled homes along here. In part of the promenade is a pretty garden with columns.
If you follow through Avenue Mohamed V through the Place de la Liberation, you will find yourself on the foreshore promenade called the Balcony of the Atlantic. This stretches along the seafront and one of the more picturesque spots in Larache.
The entrance to the Medina is also in the Plaza which separates the old from the new in Larache. The style of the gate is typical Arabic whereas a lot of the buildings surrounding it are in the Andalusian style or at least a mix of both styles.
In the middle of this elliptical plaza is a small garden which has a fountain and the whole centerpiece is surrounded by palm trees. White buildings supporting café’s, restaurants and hotels are on the outer edge of the plaza. The Hotel Aberg Andalusia was actually the first to be built in this square.
The centre of Larache is a Spanish styled plaza called Place de la Liberation. In the early days it was called Plaza de Espana when the Spanish were in occupation. There are eight roads which feed into the plaza, one leading down to the promenade and the foreshore.
Larache’s ancient medina was built during the 15th century and is very much the old part of the city with the condensed housing and narrow lanes and steps. There are quite a few souks within the medina such as the Socco de la Alcaiceria or the cloth market. The more traditional handcrafts of Morocco are found in the medina. The main gate is Bab al-Kehmis but there are several other gates as well off the old ramparts. The medina is quite near to the port and you can obtain the best views from the northern side.
Larache is known for its beaches There are two beaches close to the town. One on one side of the rocky pier near the mouth of the river and the other on the other side. One is better for swimming because its calmer and the other with its waves is better for body boarders. There id another further away north of the Loukkos Estuary is which probably the best beach.
Obviously a town which has been a little run down, things seem to be picking up all over with major road, pavement rebuilding going on. It looks like this is the start of trying to bring tourism into Larache and also to provide better information centres on local attractions.
The ruins of the old Guebibat Fort are found near the entrance to the Loukos River. It was built on the cliffs as a fortress during the 16th century by M.Ahmed Al Mansour, a Saadian ruler. Also known as the Fort of Small Domes, the fort was also used by the Spanish as a hospital after they remodeled it.
Sitting up on the hill on behind the Spanish Cemetery is the Point Nador lighthouse which was built in 1919. It stands at 144 feet and its beacon can be seen from around 26 miles away. The lighthouse style is really quite like a mosque in its architecture. Below the lighthouse is a maritime academy which was built as a combined effort between the fisheries ministry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). There is also an old Spanish jail which has been turned into a museum.
The Spanish Cemetery is a Christian cemetery and it sits high on the hill overlooking the ocean. White stone graves are scattered across the cliff top, some in danger of the cliff eroding beneath them. The most famous grave belongs to Jean Genet a French writer who lived the last 10 years of his life in Larache and wanted to be buried here. It was in this area that Genets gathered his thoughts for many of his poems, books and plays. He developed throat cancer and was found dead in Paris in 1986 possibly from an accident. Apparently there is a caretaker at the cemetery who can help you find Genet’s tomb.
This building is known as the Comandancia General and was originally a palace which was built by Moulay Ismail. During 1911, when the Spanish occupied Larache it became the home to the Spanish governor and a military headquarters. That all changed when Morocco achieved independence in 1956. Today the building is a music conservatory.
Bab al-Khemis is the entrance gate to the Medina. You can find it on the Place de la Liberation. The gate is built of brick with glazed tiles for the roof. On one side is the modern Larache and on the other is the old city of narrow alleys and wall to wall riads
Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Pilar or Church of the Virgin of the Pillar . Not something you would expect to see in Morocco but this church remains from the influence of the Spanish. It combines architecture of both the Christian and Muslim world.
As you walk down Ave Mohamed V, you cannot miss it. (Mass is held Saturdays at 7.00pm and Sundays at 11.00am.
Larache is located on cliffed Atlantic Ocean coast. The wildest cliffs are found just down from the town center/downtown. It's very beautiful place but unfortunatelly very polluted. It seems that locals take away their garbages just to the cliffs. Very sad :-(((.
Walk along the cliffs southwards to get to the old Spanish cemetery. It is quite interesting place although nothing fancy.