Travellers who spend a few days in Tangier often visit some fascinating places outside the city, and one of the most impressive tourist attractions is the Caves of Hercules.
The Caves of Hercules, located at sea level in beautiful caverns, are found about 20km from Tangier and take about 40 minutes to reach. Join us to discover the cave and the legend!
We recommend taking a Grand Taxi to visit the caves as the Petit Taxis in Morocco only take passengers around the city centre, while the Grand Taxis will happily take you to the surrounding areas. The views on route to the caves are a mix of impressive coastline and landscape of a wonderful country.
A unique aspect of the Caves of Hercules which were discovered at the end of the 19th century is that they have a sea window that’s shaped like a map of Africa in reverse. The caves are of important archaeological /significance and are estimated to be 7000 years old. They were also used as a quarry for centuries to carve millstones from the rock. After many years of being closed to the public, the caves were given a major renovation and fully adapted to tourism with a restaurant, toilets, souvenir shop and a craft shop carved into the rocks. Entrance to the caves costs 30 dirham, which is more than worth it to enter this emblematic spot and see with your own eyes one of the best-known photos of Morocco.
Legend has it that after a long journey to steal the golden apples from the Garden of Hesperides, Hercules arrived back in the area tired and hot and wanted to go for a swim in the Atlantic. When he was cooling off, Antaeus, the son of the sea god Poseidon, came along and told Hercules that this was his territory and he couldn’t be there. The two fought, but Hercules was much stronger and emerged victorious, locking Antaeus inside a grotto. After this, Hercules continued to enjoy his swim until he heard a woman crying. The women introduced herself as Tinge, the wife of Antaeus, and asked Hercules if he had seen her husband. Hercules said yes, that he had fought with him and won, and that he was now locked in a cave for eternity. Tinge was an extremely beautiful woman, and Hercules immediately fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. She said yes but first wanted him to prove his love for her. Hercules offered her the golden apples, which she refused. Tinge said she wanted to bring the warm water of the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and Hercules split the mountain joining Africa and Europe with one blow of his sword, giving rise to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the warm waters of the Mediterranean embrace the cold waters of the Atlantic.
The name of the city of Tangier comes from this legend, Tingis in Latin. Cape Spartel, at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, which is guarded by a
19th-century lighthouse is also worth a visit and is only 5km from the Caves of Hercules