Chefchaouen, the blue city – the 5th stop

One of the most Instagram worthy spot of Morocco was gloomy when we arrived. It was pouring. The rain that hadn’t fallen during a weirdly dry winter was falling then. And I kept trying not to be disappointed.

We got off the bus and ran through the thick rain to the van that would takes us to the hotel. That place was beautiful. And I immediately fell in love with the majestic peaks of the Rif mountains, and how Chefchaouen, the blue city, sat protected in its slope.

Chefchaouen was definitely a spot I didn’t want to miss in my first trip to Morocco and that was one of the main reasons why from all the tours provided by Intrepid, I chose the North Morocco one (sacrificing the Sahara).

Have you ever been to a place which reminded you from another place where you have never been? That happened to me in Chefchaouen. I kept thinking about – the shape of the mountains, the way the clouds covered its peaks, the colourful hats I saw so many locals using. Again, I’ve never been to Peru (yet) and I could be completely wrong. One day I’ll be able to see if there are indeed similarities or not.

Chefchaouen is indeed pretty and one of my favourite cities from all that I had the chance to visit. It’s not just that its buildings are all coloured in different tones of blue. The medina was a pleasure to explore – never too crowded, without the constant fear of being run over by a scooter (as in Marrakesh) or a donkey (as in Fez). The shops were cheap and you find beautiful restaurants serving traditional food at ridiculously cheap prices. And apart from the blue, everything is so colourful and bright, even in a rainy day.

An interesting fact about Morocco – Arabic is the official language of the country, but French is commonly spoken. Up to Chefchaouen, I had been using my limited French skills to communicate, but in Chefchaouen I had to switch to Spanish. The name of the streets are written in both Arabic and Spanish. This is due to the very strong influence of the spaniards in this province.

Don’t skip Chefchaouen if you can. It is truly magical. Despite being one of the main attractions of Morocco, it still feels so authentic, so real. And incredibly artistic. That was something that I found very interesting not only in Chefchaouen but across all cities I visited. Art is everywhere. Not only talking about pottery, ceramics or tailoring. There are small galleries everywhere exposing and selling paintings which portrait the history and the culture of the country in beautiful and artsy ways.

The city is in tones of blue but the colourful details were what really capture my attention. Really observe the place around you and don’t get too overwhelmed. In Chefchaouen you can actually walk the streets peacefully, as long as you take care not to disturb the locals. And you’ll see cats everywhere. Literally everywhere. It’s a cute kind of plague.

If you really want to get the best view of the place, you must go up to the Mosquée Bouzâafar. It is a very short hike and we did it while it rained. When we got there, the rainfall stopped. The view was grey, but still idyllic.

And this is also the best place for you to get a henna tattoo. Incredibly cheap (only paid 50 dirhams, which is nearly £5). It lasted for over 2 weeks, and everyone kept complimenting how nice it looked.

Now, I don’t usually speak much about the hotels I stay in – they are only places to sleep and have a shower. As long as I can rest decently and the place is clean, I’m not really very peaky. But this place was simply beautiful. The photos below are from there. The place name is Dar Echchaouen if you want to check it out.

Love, Nic

Come fly with me: @nic.in7

And don’t forget to check my other posts on Morocco!

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