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The city known as the Blue City in Morocco, Chaouen

This piece serves as a helpful travel guide to Chefchaouen, often known as the Blue City in Morocco. The following is an outline of our planned activities in and around Chefchaouen, as well as information on how to get there, where to stay, and when to go. It also comes with a tourist map, so you can get your bearings before you go.

Everyone want to go to Chefchaouen, known as the “blue jewel” of Morocco. Especially after seeing mesmerizing photographs on Instagram that demonstrate the beautiful qualities and unique character of this city. One of Morocco’s most famous cities is Chefchaouen. We are willing to assert that it is the most attractive city in all of Morocco. Not just for the unending sky that is mirrored in the walls that have been bathed in blue, but also for the calm and peaceful vibe that permeates every nook and cranny of the space.

City of Chefchaouen, site of the founding of the blue pearl

In the year 1471, when the Jews and Moors were both seeking refuge from the Spanish Inquisition, the city of Chefchaouen was established as a refuge for both groups. It’s possible that this is why there is a distinctly Andalusian vibe here, one that’s most obvious in the building but also palpable in the local populace. The way of life is calmer and less chaotic here, and tourists are not harassed as much by proprietors of shops and workshops. One of the most popular spots to get away from the hustle and bustle of the large Moroccan towns and find relief from the unrelenting heat of the African sun is Chefchaouen.

Why is the city of Chefchaouen blue?

The blue tint that is used on the walls of the homes in Chefchaouen is the city’s primary selling point. But why were they painted this hue in the first place?

There is not one single cause that can be shown.

The version that is most widely accepted is that shortly after the city was founded in the 15th century, a number of Sephardic Jews moved there, and being a Jewish tradition, they brought with them the practice of circumcision. This occurred during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. They painted the region they resided in blue because the color blue is associated with the sky, and the sky is associated with the holy. When we take the time to think about it, blue is a hue that is used rather often in Judaism; for examples, we may look at the flag of Israel and the city of Safed.

In addition, during that historical period, the area was plagued by mosquitoes. The local Arabs saw that the Jewish section of the city was free of insects, so they decided to imitate this success by painting the remainder of the blue city in morocco. The reason behind this is because mosquitoes link the hue with water, and most insects prefer to be near water rather than in it. This portion doesn’t make a lot of sense to me since I know for a fact that mosquitoes are capable of seeing color.

The jewel in Morocco’s crown, Chaouen is known as the blue pearl.
It is not known if the hue keeps mosquitoes away or not, but it is obvious that the blue city in morocco draws another form of swarm – visitors – who make it possible for the tradition to continue, as they assure movement in the local economy.

The peace and serenity of Chefchaouen, often known as the Blue City of Morocco

In contrast to the majority of tourist destinations in Morocco, Chefchaouen is a fairly peaceful town in which visitors are free to roam at will, take photographs, and get a feel for how people live without feeling unduly threatened.

The reason I say this is not because Morocco is a dangerous country—quite the opposite, in fact—but rather because people often harass travelers in the country’s most popular tourist areas. Due to the maze-like nature of the Moroccan medinas, the locals sometimes work as guides in the city streets in order to make a living. Because the individuals that approach you are so persistent and persistent, and because there are so many “no”s that you will have to say along the road, what might be a walk may turn into a nightmare.

This, on the other hand, does not take place in Chefchaouen. In contrast to Marrakesh and Fes, the atmosphere in the blue city in Morocco is quite tranquil. The residents did not bother the visitors in any way as they strolled down the streets in their own time. In addition, Chefchaouen is a lot more manageable destination for tourists since it is a considerably more compact city that is (still) not often visited.

How does one go to the blue city in Morocco?

How to get to Chefchaouen is one of the most common concerns voiced by tourists who are considering a trip to the city. Sadly, there is neither a simple nor a fast remedy. However, Chefchaouen has a certain allure that is deserving of the effort, and the beauty of the surrounding landscape will serve as a soothing salve for the many hours that the journey will take.

The blue city in morocco is only accessible by land from the majority of Morocco’s main cities. Due to the lack of an airport, the only ways to get to Chefchaouen are via bus, grand taxi, or private vehicle. Tangier and Fes are the cities that are home to the closest airports. You will need to make use of other modes of transportation in order to get at your destination of Chefchaouen.

Taking your own vehicle or renting one is a great option since it’s convenient and comfy. Because you won’t be restricted in any way in your ability to pull over whenever you see anything that catches your eye.

Booking a trip in Morocco is yet another respectable option. This is the choice that is most highly suggested due to the fact that the travel agency will take care of everything for you, including meals, where to sleep, and the finest sites to visit in the city, therefore enabling you to explore the city in the most efficient manner possible.

It is not possible to go directly from Marrakech to Chefchaouen by either the bus or the train due to the distance between the two cities. The most common mode of transportation for tourists is the overnight train to Fes, followed by bus travel to Chefchaouen. You may also reach Chefchaouen by taking a domestic flight to Tangier (national flights in Morocco are really pretty affordable), and then transferring to a bus in that city.

When is the best time to go to Chefchaouen, often known as the blue city in Morocco?

The months of March through May are ideal for a trip to Chefchaouen since this is the time of year when Morocco is at its lushest and most flowering. Or in the autumn, between the months of September and November, when the sweltering heat of summer finally starts to abate. If you go to Chefchaouen during the shoulder season, from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring, you will be able to escape the masses of tourists who are there in quest of the ideal picture op. Because of its mountainous location, the city of Chefchaouen has a reputation for having rainy and chilly winters.

Suggestions for lodging in Chefchaouen and places to stay in the city

Those who are interested in staying in luxury at the cost of a European three-star hotel will find that Morocco is an excellent tourist location to consider. Chefchaouen is evidence that the rule holds true due to the city’s extensive supply of goods, which results in reasonable costs. Inside the Medina is where you should make your lodging reservations since it has the finest location. Riads and hotels of a high standard are starting to crop up in the areas around the medina. Additionally, this makes it much simpler to handle your things.

One of those experiences in life that you will never forget is sitting on the balcony of a riad in Chefchaouen and watching the dawn while taking in the breathtaking panorama of the Medina below. Simply magical! This was our experience when staying at the Lina Ryad & Spa. Our expectations were well surpassed by this Riad in terms of comfort, quality, and cleanliness. Include a session at the riad’s spa that is performed in the traditional Moroccan hammam if you want to take your companion by surprise. We were treated like royalty throughout our stay at Lyna Riad & Spa, and we cannot say enough good things about it.

You may always reserve a room in one of the numerous hotels that provide wonderful value for money if you appreciate having your own space, having access to all the facilities that are necessary for a nice stay, and having excellent and attentive service. We would suggest staying at the Usha Guesthouse, the Sandra Hotel, or the riad known as Dar Elrio. Make sure you book in early since they fill up fast.

If you are interested in a more opulent experience during your time in Chefchaouen, we recommend that you make your reservations at either Casa La Palma or La Petite Chefchaouen. You may anticipate a high level of refinement, excellent service, and comfort, all at costs that are still within your budget. Both of these hotels are stunning and of the highest quality.

In the Blue City in Morocco, Chefchaouen, these are the top 9 things to do and see

You must be curious about the things you can do in Chefchaouen other… looking at the city’s blue walls. I think it’s safe to say there isn’t much else to do in that area. However, I have divided some ideas below due to the fact that no visitor is content with only visiting the city to take photographs of its residences.

We highlight the following activities on our list of things to do in Chefchaouen, the blue city of Morocco:

  1. Make your way through the Medina (old town)
    One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling to a tourist location in Morocco is having the opportunity to become disoriented in the winding alleyways of the Medina, which is the oldest portion of the city. When compared to other medinas in the nation, the medina of Chefchaouen stands out due to the fact that almost every home and street has been painted blue. This makes each and every passageway an ideal location for taking photographs.

When choosing how to frame your photographs, it is important to go more than the shade of blue that has been applied to the walls of the homes. At the time of the city’s founding in the 15th century, the Medina of Chefchaouen was being constructed. The majority of its architecture from that historical period has been maintained.

A stroll around the Medina provides an excellent opportunity to see the routine activities of the residents, including as the baking of bread, the purchasing and selling of fish, and the recitation of prayers.

The Medina of today caters mostly to tourists, so you may anticipate seeing numerous kiosks offering Moroccan leather items, apparel, lamps, and dyes. The neighborhood is surrounded by a number of eateries, however keep in mind that many of them shut very early. If you are a female tourist, you should not wander too far from your hotel after dark since the local ladies do not go out on the streets after it gets dark, and only males may be seen on the streets.

  1. Uta El-Hammam Square
    The historic Kasbah of the city may be found in the Uta El-Hammam plaza, which serves as the beating heart of the Medina of Chefchaouen. The ambience of the area is really relaxing since it is bordered by trees. As a result of the high volume of visitors, the prices at the restaurants here are often higher than those in the Medina’s more intimate streets and alleyways. The Medina is teeming with dining options.

The town plaza is an excellent location for unwinding and people-watching. There is a cluster of stalls at one end of the area, and this is the part of the square where the merchants are the most eager to approach visitors. They go inside restaurants in an effort to make a sale of their trinkets to anyone may be present.

  1. Kasbah Museum
    The Kasbah Museum is a museum that is housed in the old palace of the sultan who founded the city. The sultan is known as the founder of the city. After the British were kicked out of the area in the 18th century, locals turned to the construction of the fortress as a means of defending themselves against Portuguese and Spanish invaders.

The architecture of the Kasbahs, which literally translates to “citadel” in Arabic, is already astounding in and of itself since these palaces are made completely of clay and have stood the test of time for hundreds of years. From the top of one of the towers of the Kasbah, you can get a breathtaking view over the city, and you can also explore the Kasbah’s interior courtyards and its historic jail.

The Kasbah of Chefchaouen that we’re talking about here is the one that sticks out since it has such a remarkable collection of historical relics. Among them are artifacts that were used by people living in that area in prehistoric periods. Greek and Roman antiques dating back to the time when northern Morocco was held by the Roman Empire, relics from the Roman city of Volubilis, as well as pieces of local jewelry dating back to the 16th century.

The Kasbah is one of the few sites in the city that charges admission, but considering all of the Moroccan history that is condensed inside the building, it could be worth it to pay the fee to see it. Make use of the ticket, and while you’re there, take a walk around the picturesque courtyards.

  1. Grand Mosque
    The city’s Grand Mosque is situated in Uta El-Hammam Square, right adjacent to the Kasbah Museum, and it is quite simple to find. There are other more, however it may be difficult to identify them amid the many unlabeled structures that are placed within the Medina.

It was constructed in the 15th century at the request of the son of the man who founded the city, and its octagonal-shaped minaret sets it apart from other mosques around the nation. Its design was heavily influenced by the architecture of southern Spain, namely Andalusia.

Those who are not Muslims are restricted to see the mosque from the outside only.

  1. Bab El-Sor Square
    In Chefchaouen, there is a charming tiny plaza known as Bab El-Sor that is not very crowded but is still worth a visit. People come here to drink water and wash their clothes in the distinctive blue-tiled fountain that sits in the middle of the building.

In addition to the fountain, the buildings that surround its perimeter are inhabited by eateries that have a more reasonable price point than those in Uta El-Hamman Square. Consequently, it is an excellent choice for those who are interested in reducing the amount of money they spend on their meals.

It is the finest way to experience a true location in the city, without the tourist draw, and without the harassment of the inhabitants who live there. mostly due to the fact that the visitor is allowed to go around and select where to sit and dine there.

  1. Ras El-Maa Waterfall
    The Spanish Mosque is located high in the Rif Mountains, and on the way there is a little waterfall. The waterfall itself is not very attractive, it does not have a significant amount of water volume (at least not when we were there), and its base is concreted over.

The description isn’t the greatest, but coming there is intriguing since you can see the natives wash their clothes and cool off on really hot days in the water. This is a unique experience.

In any case, you will be traveling through this area on your route to the Spanish Mosque, thus it is highly recommended that you stop here. You should make every effort to go there early so that you may see the ladies as they wash their clothes on the banks and hang them to dry on the shrubs that surround them.

  1. The Mosque of Spain and the Rif Mountains
    The Rife Mountains, which run through various cities and villages in northern Morocco, encircle the valley in which Chefchaouen is located. Incredible is the view one gets of the city when they are high above.

The Spanish Mosque, also known as the Mosqueé Bouzaafar, is the best place to go if you want to see the city from this vantage point. It is a walk of around forty minutes from the main street of Chefchaouen. Because it is a steep walk with some slopes and on somewhat hilly land, it is best to go with comfortable shoes and at a time when the sun is less intense.

During their conquest of Morocco in the 1920s, the Spanish constructed the Mosque as a means of endearing themselves to the native population there. But nobody ever really bought into it. It went out of usage over the course of time, and now it is in ruins. It is still standing, but there is nothing inside.

However, from the perspective of tourists, the Mosque is still important since it offers a view of the whole city from its vantage position. Some of the locals make it a point to visit the location early in the day so that they may sit on the wall and watch the world go by. Since there is also a route from other cities to Chefchaouen that goes through there, the location is always bustling with activity.

Going there during the sunset is also a fantastic idea, as the scenery will not let you down at all.

  1. The Waterfalls of Akchour
    One of the city of Chefchaouen’s undiscovered treasures is the series of waterfalls known as Akchour. They are a half hour’s drive from the city and, maybe as a result of this distance, travelers do not often visit these areas. There are two stunning waterfalls in the heart of the forest that are emerald green in color.

After you have arrived at the location, you will have to navigate your way through the forest via a path that is very well marked in order to reach the waterfalls. For those who forgot to pack any food for the journey, there are a few eateries located along the route.

To get there quickly and easily, using a taxi or renting a vehicle is your best bet. The drivers of the taxis are familiar with the area and are able to transport visitors there in either private or shared vehicles. It will be less expensive for you if you can find more individuals to ride with you at the same time. Asking your hotel to make the reservation for you is the safest option, but you can expect to pay extra for this service.

  1. Travel to the Rif 10
    The Talassemtane National Park is a little natural wonderland that is much sought after for hiking adventures due to its green surroundings. Hiking enthusiasts will have a great time in this area since the Rif Mountains feature a variety of paths that may keep them busy for many days. At a height in the Rif Mountains in Morocco, you may take in one of the most breathtaking panoramas of the country’s varied topography.

Questions and answers on the “blue pearl” of Morocco :

When exactly did Chefchaouen get its blue paint job?

Chefchaouen was established in the year 1471; nevertheless, the practice of painting did not begin until about 1492, when a large number of Jews fled Spain to avoid the inquisition.

Why is the city of Chefchaouen blue?

There are two distinct tales that may be told on the origin of Chefchaouen’s signature blue hue. To begin, there is the theory that the Jews painted it blue because, in their minds, the color blue represents the heavens and the sky. Some people think that it is to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there.

What is the best way to go to Chefchaouen?

The blue city is only accessible by land from the majority of Morocco’s main cities. Because Chefchaouen does not have an airport, the only way to get there is to take a bus, a big taxi, a private vehicle, or to plan a trip across Morocco.

Who was it that gave Chefchaouen its blue color?

The majority of people think that the Jews were responsible for painting Chaouen blue because the Jews consider the color blue to be symbolic of the heavens and the sky.

What should a visitor do while in Chefchaouen, often known as “The blue city”?

After arriving at Chefchaouen, you may go for a walk around the city and check out some of the prominent sights, such as the Grand Mosque, Utat-Lhmam, and The Kasbah Museum.

Where can I get the best deals in Chefchaouen?

On the surface, Chefchaouen seems to be a popular tourist destination; hence, one can find souvenir shops almost wherever inside the city. You may purchase a wide variety of goods, including carpets, lamps, jellabas, caftans, and Berber jewelry, amongst other things.

Where in Morocco might one find the city known as the Blue City?

The city of Chefchaouen, sometimes known as the “Blue City of Morocco,” may be found in the Rif mountains in the northwest of Morocco.

Is a trip to Chefchaouen a good idea?

I say this not because Morocco is a dangerous country, quite the opposite, but because of the harassment of tourists to buy products, which is very common in Morocco’s more touristy destinations but not in Chefchaouen. Chefchaouen is one of the safest cities in Morocco, and I say this not because Morocco is a dangerous country.