Asilah is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco, about 50 km from Tangier. Its ramparts and gateworks remain fully intact.
Its history dates back to 1500 BC, when the Phoenicians used it as a base for trade. The Portuguese conquered the city during the 15th century, but John III later decided to abandon it because of an economic crisis in 1549.
In 1692, the town was taken by the Moroccans under the leadership of Moulay Ismail. From 1912-1956 it was part of Spanish Morocco. Asilah served as a base for pirates in the 19th and 20th centuries. A major plan to restore the town was undertaken in 1978.
It is now a popular seaside resort, with modern vacation apartment complexes on the coast road leading to the town from Tangier. It hosts annual music and arts festivals.