A Spanish enclave since the sixteenth century, CEUTA (Sebta in Arabic) is a curious political anomaly. Along with Melilla, east along the coast, it was retained by Spain after Moroccan independence in 1956 and today functions largely as a military base, its economy bolstered by a limited duty-free status. It has been an autonomous city, with a large measure of internal self-government for its 80,000 inhabitants, since 1995. The city makes for an attractive stop when en route either to or from Morocco with its relaxed European atmosphere, pristine squares, tapas bars, coastal walks and pleasant accommodation options.
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