Arzila - a fortified town on the coast was Ghailan's favourite retreat.
As soon as you arrive at the town you see why he sought safety in this place whenever he was threatened.
The town is entirely enclosed by a strong high wall, built by the Portuguese, with only two land gates.
It is built on a rocky ledge on a coastline exposed to Atlantic storms – making an attack from the sea difficult.
The walls and bastions still stand.
Arzila from above showing the sea wall and two of the land bastions.
The course of much of the town wall is discernable in this recent photo. One land bastion is shown halfway up the left hand edge of the picture; you can follow the road - shown by the gap between the houses - diagonally to the right; just past the middle of the photo is the SE Bastion. From there the wall comes down to meet the section projecting into the sea.
At one end of the town lies a small beach area, convenient for landing supplies, but easily covered by defenders with all these cannon.
The Medina must be much as it always was – no cars negotiate the narrow streets – shops, inns, and houses with internal courtyards compete for space within the protective embrace of the walls; a few beggars inhabit the gateways, beyond which horse-drawn carriages patiently await those seeking a leisurely tour.
There is even a house named after Ghailan!
Arzila is a great place to visit with traditional guest houses in the Medina for an authentic taste of Morocco. It is a short train journey from Tangier. It seems to be popular with Moroccans - there are several restaurants, plenty of alleyways to explore and a choice of beaches.