"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.
Walls all around Ifni are covered in brightly coloured graffiti and art murals. Most are just cartoons and fancy... more travel advice
Most restaurants in Ifni like you to order well in advance. If you're in a hurry a good place to go is the row of cafes... more travel advice
mafi_moya's Related Pages
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- "If Only..."
- "Sidi Ifni"
- "Sidi Ifni in January"
- "On the road to Sidi Ifni ..."
- "Sidi Ifni - Former Provincia de Ifni - A.O.E."
- "spanish influence by the sea"
- "Blue Ifni"
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