"If Only..." Sidi Ifni by mafi_moya

Sidi Ifni Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 102 photos

If only I could have stayed longer in Ifni. This is without shadow of doubt, far and away my favourite town in Morocco. For natural beauty, Merzouga or the Atlas Mountains are far superior but as my Dad used to say, it's the people that make a place. And the people in Sidi Ifni have made their little fishing town on the Atlantic coast into the highlight of my trip and one of my favourite towns anywhere. It's completely unique and a real 'one in a million' town.

The locals are the friendliest I met in Morocco, always eager to drop what they're doing and help out a stranger. As soon as I stepped off the bus I was given a full guided tour - what a welcome change from Marrakech where I'd come from, where people expect paying simply for as much as a "hello". There's a likeable and understated arrogance about the people here, as if they know only too well that they live in a really great town. It's unbelievably quiet and laid back and it's impossible not to get in to the relaxed and happy frame of mind of everybody else. There are tourist shops and things to buy but there's no hard sell - it takes too much energy!

For a traditional town based on the fishing industry and the port it's a strangely eccentric and quirky place. It was in Spanish hands as late as 1969 (named Santa Cruz del Mar Pequena) and although independence is enthusiastically celebrated there remains an interesting Latin influence that sets it apart from other Moroccan towns. Much of the town was built in the 1930s and the Spanish art-deco style is clearly evident in many of the individually designed houses. Doors, windows, roofs and buildings are all distinctive and unique, yet most are painted a uniform blue and white giving the town its identity.

Many of the buildings on the seafront are crumbling and decaying but they remain fascinatingly appealing. The people are fashionably dressed and liberally religious - women walk side by side whether covered head-to-toe or dressed to party - and there are some very fashionable cafes and restaurants. There's great Cuban-style live music and the singers of Mali and Senegal and American blues are preferred to the Arabic pop found elsewhere. There's a noticeable artistic community as well, even down to the bright graffiti murals on walls around town.

There isn't really much to see or do here. The "must see activities" could be done in an hour or two and aren't exactly spectacular to start with. The slow pace of life leaves some visitors bored or frustrated, although the town does come alive a bit more at night. It's just the vibe and the atmosphere that make it so appealing and completely unique. It's difficult to stress just how much I liked this town and I could have quite happily spent weeks here, doing nothing but having a good time.

  • Last visit to Sidi Ifni: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated Feb 18, 2004
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Reviews (14)

Comments (9)

  • Jul 17, 2008 at 5:01 AM

    Having stayed at hotel ait baamrane for 9 days, I would not recommend it.Tv dodgey, rattley windows .Any appeal to have things fixed got the response : a demain.Then got attacked by 6 drunken Welsh gits...nothing!!! .The barman,Brahmin is cool tho'.ilias

  • Von_RIX's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Thanx for sharing your experience in Sidi Ifni. I am browsing Morocco's Atlantic coast for some quite non touristy town,just want to spend couple of weeks on my own. And looks like this is going to be my choice.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2007 at 1:36 AM

    Beautiful pics and writings about your love for and good time in a town i visited just once for a few hours 4 years ago - had great coffee and patisserie and sea views there! - lovely record for us to see!thanks.

  • geoveo's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2006 at 9:28 AM

    Many thanks for your reviews of Sidi Ifni. We are going to southern Morocco in November and were wondering whether to go there or not and if we'd find a hotel. Your comments are very helpful.

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2004 at 2:55 PM

    After reading your inviting page, I'm really looking forward to my visit to Sidi Ifni next month. Thanks for the useful information.

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2004 at 4:26 PM

    This sounds like a very pleasant place to relax for a bit, & Hotel Suerte Loca sounds like a great place to meet some locals!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2004 at 12:15 PM

    I went once to Sidi Ifni but mostly skipped the town and went north, along the shore, where there are magnificient cliffs and stone arches. I understand from your page that I have missed a wonderful town. Thanks ! I will visit it as soon as possible !

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2004 at 4:00 AM

    Looks like you found some of the real Morocco. Sounds idealic! A very interesting page, and "Yes", I saw you write that sentence too! (~_~)

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2004 at 10:39 AM

    Fascinating look at Morocco's Far South. And, yes, you did use both 'bowls' and 'lively' in the same sentence;-]

mafi_moya

“"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito" - African Proverb”

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