Cute Little Chefchaouen
In my opinion, a trip to Morocco is not complete without paying a visit to the country’s cutest town. Chefchaouen or Chaouen (as referred to locally), is situated in the Rif Mountains. Just few kilometers south east of Tangier and Tétouan. It takes about a 2h drive from Tangier and 1h hour drive from Tétouan.
ChefChaouen can be explored as a day trip from either cities. However planning more time to explore the blue city, can be a totally different and rewarding experience.
ChefChaouen was founded in the 15th century and was home to many of the Moorish and Jewish people, who fled the iberian peninsula after the Reconquista. Now, Some 50.000 people call the town Home. Although it is small in size, the city can be a great destination to spend a few days. Wandering in its narrow alleys and enjoying its colorful streets and its overall laid-back atmosphere.
The Most Beautiful Maze
Like many Moroccan cities ChefChaouen is divided into two parts : The Old Medina and The New City. The old medina is probably the city’s biggest and most interesting sight. A maze of blue washed alleys harboring every shade you can imagine of the color. From light to dark blue, you just let yourself taken away by the beautifully painted narrow alleys that seem to lead everywhere and nowhere.
It may seem that a town painted in the same color can be boring and uneventful. An assumption that will be quickly dropped once in the Blue Maze. After entering Bab el Ain, I was off to explore the city that was ranked very high on my bucket list. From alley to alley, the consistency of the color and how it matches the bright blue sky on a sunny day left me in awe.
With every turn i discovered something new. A new shade of blue, a beautifully decorated alley, or a mesmerizing smell of some Moroccan goodness being cooked in the houses nearby. I found that the best way to explore the medina is to put away the map, take out the camera and just take the next turn i find. Getting lost is actually a good thing here as i got the chance to be free and enjoy every sight i encountered.
Walking and glancing at the houses, and doors that vary in architecture is something i couldn’t help but do. Not because i wanted to feel like a tourist, but the beauty of what i was seeing is beyond all the photos i looked at before and better than anything my imagination was trying to put together before i got there.
Even though the medina is a real maze, one can’t be lost for long in its alleys. The walk will probably take you to one of two places. The Main Square Uta Hamam or the water stream Rass El Ma. The city itself doesn’t give you the awful and confusing feeling of being lost. The more unknown turns you take the more you’ll know it better. And the very friendly locals can gladly point you to the right direction if any help is needed.
You can’t get enough Blue.
Unlike the chaotic vibes that can usually be felt in most of Morocco’s medinas. The atmosphere in Chefchaouen is mostly calm and very relaxing. The overwhelming silence is casually broken by little children playing and enjoying their day out. Being so unique and photogenic. You can easily forget about time and hop from one spot to another, spending hour after hour enjoying blue goodness and taking a countless amount of pictures.
So you better have enough memory in your camera. The city also feels very safe and sound that visitors can take the walk by themselves without having to deal with faux-guides and touts trying to sell them their merchandise or lure them into their shops. Even though the city rose in popularity among tourists, its welcoming and friendly people make it almost a no hassle city.
There are so many reasons to visit the city and once you get the first glimpse of it. You’ll definitely find yourself wanting more and getting eager to come back which i will certainly do. If friends or family want to visit Chefchaouen i’ll be glad to tag along and enjoy the city some more.
Have you been to Chefchaouen ? Do you plan to go there ? Let’s me know what you think.
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