If you are planning to visit Melilla, don't hesitate, because your trip to this Spanish city in African territory will be unforgettable. An authentic, historic military fortress, modernist architecture and cuisine with a fusion of flavours await you. It also has direct links by sea and air with the cities of Malaga, Granada, Motril and Almeria (Andalusia), and Madrid. Although there are many reasons to visit Melilla, these four will be enough to make you fall in love with it:
Visit a walled city
There is no better way to learn about its history than to walk around the Citadel, also known as Melilla la Vieja (old Melilla) or "El Pueblo” (the village). The city walls were initially built on rock in the 15th century and different cultures have left their mark over time.It is a monumental complex made up of four enclosures separated by a moat or cut, three of them built on a rocky crag that juts out into the Mediterranean, and the fourth on the mainland, in an area known as the height of the old Cerro del Cubo, where the Parador de Turismo now stands.You will learn about the history of Melilla, enjoying small, charming neighbourhoods, incredible panoramic views, watchtowers and buildings of great beauty, such as the Baluarte de la Concepción or the Hospital del Rey, among other things.
Discover modernist buildings
Melilla is the city in Spain with the second highest number of modernist buildings after Barcelona, thanks in large part to Enrique Nieto, Gaudi's apprentice who lived in Melilla from 1909. Melilla's modernism can be clearly seen in its curved buildings, full of movement and natural motifs or women's faces, which contrast with the geometric forms of its classical buildings.The so-called Golden Triangle, where some of the city's most renowned modernist works are located, such as the Palacio de la Asamblea, the Casa Melul, the Reconquista building and the Plaza de Menéndez Pelayo, is a must-see.
Enjoy its gastronomy
Melilla is worth a visit not only for its architectural heritage but also for its varied gastronomy; a mixture of flavours and smells, inspired by Mediterranean, European and African cuisine, the result of the fusion of the four cultures that have coexisted in the city over the years: Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu. Sample delicious tapas at an affordable price, made mainly with seafood, such as squid, fried fish or prawns. The lamb kebabs, which are usually accompanied by couscous, are another of the city's culinary delights.Some of its traditional dishes are pastela, a kind of meat pie made with chicken, icing sugar and cinnamon; fish pie with monkfish, marlin, prawns and langoustines; tortilla de colores, a mix of vegetables and egg, and sweet couscous. All this accompanied by a delicious green tea with mint, a traditional Berber beverage with an exquisite flavour.
Proximity to Malaga, with boats sailing daily
Finally, another reason to visit Melilla is its proximity to cities such as Malaga, which is only seven hours away by ferry, with boats sailing daily to the Andalusian city, offering a comfortable crossing of the Mediterranean. They are so close to each other that we recommend you reserve a few days to walk the streets of Picasso's hometown and enjoy its historic monuments, such as the Cathedral, the Alcazaba or the Roman Theatre.