Welcome to Chefchaouen, the blue city of Morocco. It’’ s popular for all the stores and homes painted various tones of blue. A wonderful location to obtain lost in with your electronic camera!
The sun beats down mercilessly, setting every color around me ablaze –– and considering that whatever is blue, I seem like I’’ m strolling above the clouds in a legendary sky kingdom.
But this is no misconception, it’’ s Chefchaouen . Found in Northern Morocco, the city’’ s signature color is a range of relaxing tones of blue that lower your high blood pressure in seconds.
Known as Morocco’’ s “ blue pearl ” or “ blue city ”, the structures in Chefchaouen are painted utilizing a talc or chalk-based paint that looks so seductive.
Exploring a maze of narrow blue alleys giving off spice, incense, flowers, and fresh oranges —– was among the highlights of my journey to Morocco. Plus it’’ s a professional photographer ’ s dream!
Here are some suggestions and ideas for things to do in Chefchaouen.
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.Why Is Chefchaouen Blue?
Some will inform you that it’’ s a sign of Jewish uniformity. In the 1930s, a considerable population of Jewish refugees gotten here in Chefchaouen, running away Nazi persecution and the growing risk of war.
The blue is suggested to represent peace, security and the power of paradise. In this variation of the story, blue walls quickly spread out external from the city’’ s Jewish quarter, till the whole city was aglow.
Kalam farigh! others would state (that’’ s Arabic for “ rubbish ”-RRB-.
They ’ ll state the custom of painting walls blue is Jewish, definitely, however returns to the time of the city’’ s establishing, in the 15th Century, when it was developed around a fortress utilized to protect occupants versus Portuguese intruders.
At this time, regional Moroccans lived along with Jews and Moriscos (previous Muslims who had actually transformed to Christianity) for a century or more.
.Checking Out The Blue City.
The narrow streets of Chefchaouen (or Chaouen, as the residents call it) make no effort to soften the effect of the hillside the city is developed on. In many cases, stone actions march directly the slope, providing your legs an excellent exercise.
But when the streets open into public squares, look above the city, to the close-by Riff mountains.
The mountains above the city offer the look of 2 horns –– and it’’ s thought that this is where the name Chefchaouen originates from (actually implying ““ enjoy the horns ” in a regional dialect).
But the remainder of the time, keep taking a look around you. This is a jaw-droppingly lovely city! It carries you into a various world.
.Things To Do In Chefchaouen
.Roam The Streets.
This is why most tourists look for Chefchaouen, to roam aimlessly through the narrow streets &&streets, painted in an unlimited range of blue —– blue-green, powder blue, celeste, robin’’ s-egg, indigo, cyan, periwinkle.
Go shopping for vibrant blankets or lights in the souks concealed throughout the medina. Admire the range of stunning entrances and in-depth tile work that embellish each house.
Sit down at a street coffee shop, order a steaming glass of mint tea, and enjoy residents worn djellaba bathrobes tackle their life. Soak all of it in —– the entire Moroccan experience.
.Go Cat Spotting.
If you’’ re a feline individual like me, you’’ re going to enjoy Chefchaouen’. It ’ s a feline city for sure– a bit like Istanbul. Residents feed them, nevertheless they typically live outdoors in the street as strays.
You’’ ll discover felines in streets, felines on the stairs, and felines in the souks. Felines will be strolling through dining establishments and on balconies. They’’ re hiding in bushes and trees, and extended on walkways.
If you wish to get a feline’’ s attention in Morocco, attempt hissing. It ’ s a fantastic method to obtain them to position for pictures! Meow.
. Kasbah Fortress Museum.
Make sure to check out the big 15th century Kasbah fortress and dungeon situated in Chefchaouen ’ s primary square– Place Outa el Hammam. It ’ s quite simple to discover this red-walled structure amongst all — the blue structures.
Built in 1471 by Mulay Ali Ben Mussa Ben Rached, the Kasbah includes a stunning garden and little ethnographic museum. Climb up the towers inside for some excellent views of the city and the Grand Mosque.
The Kasbah was integrated in the Andalusian-Maghrebian design to protect Chefchaouen from attacks by the Portuguese and Spanish. Entry just costs € 1 Euro! It ’ s completely worth a fast go to.
. Remain in A Riad.
“ Riad ” originates from the Arabic word for “ garden ”, and it ’ s describing the area in the centre of these conventional Moroccan guest-houses, available to the sky, generally with a water fountain.
Most spaces in a riad point inwards to this area, the symbolic heart of the house– when you open your door very first thing in the early morning to discover sunshine streaming down into the structure.
The far-off sounds of Morocco will filter down through the hole in the ceiling. You ’ ll hear motion, the clank of early morning tea being prepared, the Arabic call to’prayer, and the rhythms of life exterior. It ’ s all exceptionally peaceful.
. Spanish Mosque Hike.
There ’ s an old Spanish Mosque set down on a hill ignoring the blue’city, constructed by the Spanish in the 1920 ’ s. The mile-long walking goes by irritable pear and agave cacti– with terrific views of Chefchaouen at the top.
Because the — mosque is type of deserted, non-muslims are enabled to go within and have a look. Make certain to bring water though, since on a bright day it fumes up there.
The path to the mosque crosses the Ras el ’ Ma river, where you ’ ll see regional ladies doing laundry the conventional method cold mountain water. The raise takes about 45 minutes one-way.
. See A Hammam.
With a cleansing routine that hasn ’ t altered for centuries, a check out to the hammam will leave you steamed, sweated, mauled and scrubbed up until you seem like every inch of your skin has actually been updated.
The primary public hammam is throughout the square from the primary mosque, Jama ’ a Kabir, and there are various presence times for females and males.
You will likewise need to go shopping’initially for your very own plastic shoes, soap, shower scrub and towel. The hammam experience is an important part of life in Morocco!
. Kif Field-Trip.
The blue city of Chefchaouen has a long history of hippie-culture and the production of hashish– one of the most conventional and fundamental kind of cannabis THC concentrate. Morocco is the world ’ s leading provider .
You may be provided a farm trip, where they drive you outside the city to the cannabis fields and show how they produce hash from kif, THC crystals drawn out from the plant.
Just beware … it is prohibited to produce, trade, and smoke hash in Morocco, even in a location like Chefchaouen. Constantly keep in mind that if you ’ re spotted, you might get apprehended. Or blackmailed by the authorities for cash.
. Waterfalls d ’ Akchour Waterfalls.
Cascades d ’ Akchour is a path that results in a set of waterfalls in the Rif Mountains. You ’ ll require a taxi to obtain to the trailhead, and durableshoes for this 2-3 hour walking.
The path has plenty of lavish green greenery, a fascinating’natural stone bridge called “ God ’ s Bridge ”, and a gorgeous swimming hole with a waterfall as your benefit at the end.
You ’ ll discover makeshift’“ coffee shops ” along the method, which serve Moroccan food and tea throughout this long, and ratherhigh walking.’It ’ s” great, however a little touristy.
. Consume Moroccan Food.
One of the leading factors anybody need to take a trip to Morocco is the incredible food,and you can discover all your favorites in heaven City. Things yourself on kefta( lamb meatballs ), tajines (sluggish prepared stews in clay pots )and mountains of couscous.
Oranges and orange juice is a huge offer in Morocco– and extremely tasty. A newly squeezed glass will just set you back about 4 Dirhams ($ 0.40 USD — ). I couldn ’ t get enough!
Hot mint tea in Morocco signifies custom, hospitality and relationship. It ’ s among the most tasty treats you ’ ll discover in the entire nation, with an abundant taste you ’ ll battle to discover somewhere else.
. Getting To Chefchaouen.
Chefchaouen is developed on the edge of theRif range of mountains in the far north– and the only method there is by roadway, ending up a rocky landscape that ’ s green and remarkably lavish in the summertime.
. Rental Car.
RentalCars.com browses all the huge vehicle rental business and discovers the very best rate. This is most likely the simplest method to lease an automobile in Morocco.
Driving in Morocco can be a bit insane often, howeverit ’ s a reasonably simple journey of 115 km( about 2 hours’of driving) from Tangier. I suggest utilizing a parking lot, then check out the old-city on foot.
. By Bus.
The least expensive method to obtain to Chfchaouen is by bus. There are several buses each day from cities like Fez, Tetouan, Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier and Ceuta. The primary bus business for travelers is CTM .
From Tangier, see Gate Routiere( Place Al Jamia Al Arabia) and try to find the next bus– there ’ s normally a minimum of 2 running each day, with one leaving at twelve noon. The fare to Chefchaouen is 45 Dirham( $5 USD ).
. By Taxi.’
Morocco has lots of semi-legit or unapproved taxis driven by individuals who have one objective in life: to obtain as much loan from travelers as possible.
The market price of a one-way journey in a personal taxi from Tangier to Chefchaouen ought to remain in the series of 300– 500 Dirhams( $31– $52 USD).
Take the night train from Marrakesh to Tangier, then continue to Chefchaouen by bus or taxi. The train leaves Marrakesh at 9:00 – pm and gets here in Tangier at 7:25 am.There are sleeper cabins readily available.
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. Where To Stay In Chefchaouen.
There are lots of hotels in Chefchaouen, however you ’ re losing out if you put on ’ t remain in a conventional Moroccan riad.It ’ s like a mix in between a personal townhouse, a hotel, and a European “ bed &breakfast ”. We remained at Riad Assilah Chaouen — and enjoyed it.
If you ’ re questioning where to remain in Chefchaouen, Morocco, here are my suggestions:
Hotel Abi Khancha Great place, however little spaces. Cool roof location.
Check Prices / Read Reviews BUDGET Dar Antonio Cute hostel, excellent wifi, and terrific worth in the medina.
Check Prices / Read Reviews LUXURY
Riad Gharnata Classic looking Moroccan riad, really romantic location.
Check Prices / Read Reviews COUPON CODE! For an unique$ 30 off your next Booking.com hotel stay over$ 60, ensure to utilize my unique link .
Chefchaouen Travel Tips Spring( March to May )and fall( September to November) are the very best times to check out due to weather, however the crowds are big too. Summer season is typically so hot that even the residents wear ’ t stay. Morocco is a Muslim nation– so conservative clothes is suggested. Chefchauoen is a bit more liberal than other cities, however revealing excessive leg or mid-rift will draw in undesirable attention. It can get quite cold during the night in the Riff mountains, so bring something warm like a sweatshirt or light coat. Haggling over rate with regional store owners is anticipated– constantly aim to work out a much better offer for keepsakes. Other than when purchasing food, as this is currently incredibly inexpensive and no bargaining is essential. Lots of people just pop into Chefchauoen for a field trip, nevertheless I ’d suggest costs a minimum of 2-3 days here. It was among my preferred drop in Morocco. Lots of residents in Chefchaouen really speak Spanish, instead of the more typical Arabic &French discovered in the remainder of the nation.
This is a city created to stop you in your tracks &for all the ideal factors. Whatever is going on in your life, particularly if you ’ re sensation tired of travel, Chefchaouen desires you to put your feet up, beverage mint tea and take it delightfully simple.
Then, when you ’ re all set, you can choose a walk within the ancient city walls, and letthe medina work its relaxing magic upon you. In a nation understood for being a bit disorderly, the blue city of Chefchaouen is an enjoyable sanctuary. ★
EXTRA INFORMATION Location: Chefchaouen, Morocco Useful Notes: I believe Chefchaouen was my preferred city in Morocco. It ’ s far more easygoing than the remainder of the nation( most likely involves all the hash). It ’ s a little out of the method, however SO worth a check out. If you ’ re into photography, specifically. Suggested Guidebook: Lonely Planet’Morocco Suggested Reading: In Arabian Nights Pin This!
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