Tetouan is located in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco, just over 60 km east of Tangier
and 225 km northwest of Rabat
. The area has been inhabited at least since the Roman era, as evidenced by the ruins of the Roman city of Tamuda located nearby. The medina of Tetouan is approximately 10 km from the Mediterranean Coast. Fortification have existed in the area since the 8th century onwards. The town as it exists today rose to prominence with the arrival of Andalusian refugees expelled by the Spanish in the 11th century.