The Site of The Garden of the Hesperides – Larache, Morocco - Atlas Obscura

The Site of The Garden of the Hesperides

Larache, Morocco

A mythical garden that once grew the golden apples of wisdom is said to have existed in this ancient Moroccan city. 


One of the most magical places of antiquity is undoubtedly the Garden of the Hesperides where it is said that under the care of the nymphs of the evening, the golden apples that provided knowledge grew, the very same apples that were stolen by Hercules after killing the Ladon dragon that guarded the garden. 

No less magical is to think that this place can be visited today. Amidst other proposed locations, according to great Plinius, the Garden of the Hesperides was located in the Phoenician city of Lixus beside the river Lukos, 200 steps from the Atlantic Ocean. 

Today, the ruins of Lixus do not guard apples of wisdom any more, but certainly they are full of magic. Explorers to Lixus can see the layout of its streets, the temple of Hercules, the roman theater and the channels that provided running water to its inhabitants. The experience is also memorable for the beauty of the landscape. From the top of the city, one can sight the meandering river that winds as once did the Ladon dragon, guardian of the city. Many think that this dragon is still there turned into the river. 

In Roman times, Lixus became one of the main production centers of garum, a condiment based in fish guts fermented in large pools and whose formula still remains a mystery today. 

Lixus is located on a small hill just before reaching the town of Larache coming from Tanger. It is easy to get there but not so easy to leave if you fall under the spell of the nymphs.

Know Before You Go

Drive from Tangier to Larache. Find Lixus before enter in the city at your right. Easier to find if you drive the old road, not the A1 Highway to Rabat.

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