If you want your Instagram followers to be jealous about your travel photos, then Chefchaouen is the place to be. The blue rinsed houses and buildings of this “Blue City” nestled among the Rif Mountains creates a hypnotic pull to all shutterbugs around the world. Pack your bags and head to Chefchaouen on your trip to Morocco. Founded in 14th century as a small fortress by Moulay Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami, this northwest inland city of Morocco has seen the Portuguese, Moriscos, Jews and Spanish invasions before gaining freedom in 1956.
Literally meaning “blue pearl” you will adore Chefchaouen for its Lego like stacked structures and narrow cobbled streets. Varied shades of blue makes this Moroccan city a photographer’s paradise.
- Medina de Chefchaouen
The most lively and loveliest part of Chefchaouen is its medina. Compared to the medinas of other Moroccan cities, this one is small, compact and less crowded. The blue and white buildings in the vicinity gives a visual retreat with terracotta tiles on top. The alleyways of medina is flooded with the most delightful aromas. It is a feast for the senses as the smell of fresh bread being baked in ovens or on firewood greets. Experience the local life while taking a stroll along the medina on your Morocco vacation to Chefchaouen.
- Chefchaouen Kasbah
Chefchaouen Kasbah is a national historic fortress and monument built in 14th century by Moulay Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami. This restored piece of history was once a refuge to some Muslims and Jewish, and played a powerful influence during that time. This Kasbah has an interesting small ethnographic museum, jail, lush green garden and an art gallery which encourages the work of the local artists. From here you can enjoy various fascinating views of the old Chefchaouen. At 10 dirham entrance fee you can experience a slice of Moroccan history. Don’t forget to include this Kasbah in your itinerary of Morocco tours.
- Oued Ras El Maa
Nature lovers find the waterfall of Ras El Maa fascinating on their visit to this Blue City. The waterfall is just beyond the far north eastern gate of Chefchaouen medina. It’s here, where the water comes gushing out of the mountain, local women are seen to wash their clothes at this spot. The sound of the water and the verdant hills just beyond the medina wall provides an amazing view.
- Talassemtane Eco-Museum
At 12 km from Chefchaouen, in Zaouiya Habteene village is the Talassemtane National Park where this museum is situated at the entrance. It provides details of the park, various trek maps and an extensive display of the flora and fauna found in the park. Registration here is must if you intend to camp during your trek. Make a point to visit this museum on your Morocco vacation.
- Spanish Mosque
Built in 1920s, this mosque sits alone and ruined on a hill overlooking Chefchaouen to the east and is a pleasant morning’s hike from the medina. You might cross some prickly pear and agave cacti vegetation on your way up the hill. Not much in use, this mosque still forms a prominent landmark of the city.
- Plaza Uta El Hammam
The place where you can relax after a long day of city exploration. Located right at the heart of medina, this shady, cobbled Plaza Uta El Hammam is lined up with cafes and restaurants, all serving similar fare. Locals use this place as a meeting point while tourists can enjoy a cup of Moroccan mint tea at ease.
- Ethnographic Museum
Located in an old castle by the Square, this museum was created in 1985. This archaeological building that houses this museum has two halls surrounding the main lobby and enlarged with side spaces. Traditional costumes and artefacts, wood art, historic weapons, musical instruments are on display across six spaces of the museum. At 10 dirhams you can explore the museum on your trip to Morocco.
- Grande Mosque
This place of worship sits right at the heart of the central square, Uta el Hammam. Entry is restricted for non-Muslims, but you can view it from outside. The unusual octagonal tower of this mosque forms a prominent landmark of Chefchaouen.