Tangiers sits at the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar, a fascinating city of intrigue, colour and power at the very tip of North Africa. Formerly a Berber settlement founded in the 5th century BC, its strategic importance at the crossroads of Africa and Europe has dominated its rich history and seen it shuffled between the regional powers of the time. From the Phoenicians to the Romans, Portuguese to the British, each has left their mark on the city creating a cosmopolitan clutter of architecture and trade. For much of the 20th century, the city enjoyed the status of an International Zone, a move that provided fertile grounds for hustlers, gamblers, artists and spies and cemented Tangier’s seedy reputation. More recently, the city has received a fresh lease of life and invested hugely in restoring the architecture and improving the services. Hotels and restaurants have opened, and tourists are flocking back to visit the medieval medina and the famous “Grand” and “Petit” Socco squares.