10

Exploring Morocco’s Blue City of Chefchaouen

chefchaouen

Chefchaouen was by far the most intriguing place during my Morocco trip. The town has grabbed the attention of many travellers and travel publications, calling it “fascinating”, “a dream” and “the blue pearl of Morocco”.

I arrived in Chefchaouen mid-day after an exhausting four hour drive from Fez (save yourself money and mental energy by booking a bus ticket in advance). As I first walked through the main passageway to La Medina, I was transported to a blue paradise. The walls, floors, flower pots and even benches. Everything was blue. It felt as though I was discovering a secret only few knew of, exotic and hidden away.

The language

Common Arabic phrases:

Hello – As-Salam alaykom

Thank you ~ Shukran

Sorry ~ Ismahli

Bye ~ Ma-as-salama


How to get to Chefchaouen

If you’re travelling from Tangier, take the bus to Tetouan and then to Chefchaouen. If you’re travelling from Fez, book the bus in advance from CTM bus station.

Otherwise you may end up getting forced into a “Grand Taxi” with no seatbelts, and having to run in the opposite direction like I did! Even after I managed to flag down a taxi with seatbelts, it cost me 200DH (€20).

Conned by Mustafa. Learn from my Mistake.

I wonder if Mustafa only saw dollar signs in his eyes as my group got out of the taxi in Chefchaouen.

Que suerte tienes(how lucky you are) he told us over and over again. Apparently all of the riads and hostels were full, but he had a private house for us.

I felt suspicious right away. But we were all exhausted and the rest of my group were chatting away to him.

Once we arrived at Mustafa’s house, we paid 160DH (€16) each and he was off. Then we realised that the beds were slabs of rock, the shower was broken and Wi-Fi was non-existent.

Lesson learnt.

It’s simple, don’t openly trust someone if it involves money. Morocco is notorious for conning tourists and yet, they still get us. Use your initiative.

Things to do in Chefchaouen

Explore La Medina

I didn’t get bored once by simply walking around the blue streets. Everything I came across was mesmerising; the street art, the bakeries ran by children from their own homes, even the chickens being killed on the shop counter.

Immersing myself in Moroccan culture felt so surreal, and really opened my eyes to other ways of life.


Plaza Uta el-Hammam

The plaza is beautiful, with a grand 14th year fortress and a view of the spectacular Rif Mountains. Nonetheless, it was a complete tourist trap. One tagine later and I was crippled by a horrible stomach bug.

Tip: Buy tablets to protect your stomach before the trip. They will save you a lot of unnecessary pain.

Restaurant Granada

Mustafa (yes, the con man) had actually recommended this restaurant to my group. It didn’t actually turn out to be so bad.

The chef of Restaurant Granada was an absolute mad hatter, and chatted away to us (and himself) while preparing our food. Although it was the blandest food I had eaten in Morocco, it was cheap and didn’t make me violently ill.



Shopping

Even if I hadn’t intended to buy anything, I wouldn’t have been able to resist.

There was a wide variety of spices, bread, deserts, perfumes, oils, jewellery, hand painted portraits and ashtrays, blankets and slippers.

Tip: Always ask for half of the asking price and barter from there.

Hiking

There were endless hillsides to discover with streams to cool down in and hash farms to visit.

There was also day trips to other villages or the Talasemtane National Park.

 

Although I had to endure a horrific stomach bug during the 5-hour bus journey back to Fez over pot-holed roads in a rusty stuffy old bus, it was totally worth experiencing Chaouen.

Shares 0

You Might Also Like

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Becky
    April 1, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I really want to go back to Morocco to go here, it’s looks so cool. Totally agree with the trusting Moroccan’s with money, luckily I booked my hostels in advance so it was just the challenge of finding them through the little streets!! But hey these things are there to teach us lessons for the future!!

  • Reply
    Ingrid
    April 1, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    The worst thing that could happen on a holiday is catching a stomach bug from the local food, that’s why I always avoid eating in local markets or wherever I don;t trust the hygiene. The pictures with the buildings look amazing though and it must be a unique place.

    Ingrid

  • Reply
    Reena
    April 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Great post! I’ve never heard of this town but I’m adding it to my wishlist!

  • Reply
    C-Ludik
    April 1, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    The blue colored homes can be seen from afar as you approach the town of Chefchaouen ! You may think “I will see some blue in Chefchaouen, maybe a few cute blue alleyways, a couple of blue buildings, but no. EVERYTHING inside the Chefchaouen medina was blue, from the public square and government buildings, to flower pots and benches :-). It’s just amazing !!

  • Reply
    Kat
    April 2, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Sounds like you had a very exciting time and made some great friends! I’ve never shown up somewhere without booking a place to stay first so I think you’re really brave!

    Chefchaouen looks so dreamy! I love all the moon and stars painted on that house.

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      April 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      I do that all the time haha, it always seems to work out! Apart from one time on Koh Tao in Thailand, but that was to be expected with such a high number of tourists!

  • Reply
    Alice Chen
    April 2, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I’m sorry you were conned! Glad that taxi driver didn’t try to hard you or anything though. Other than that, Chefchaouen looks so gorgeous! I love the colors of the walls everywhere!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      April 3, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Me too, I guess it’s just what happens in lower income countries!

  • Reply
    Irina
    April 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Wow, the photos look amazing! I didn’t get to visit Chefchaouen on my trip to Morocco, but it’s on my wishlist 🙂 Tablets for stomach aches are surely a must to have in such trips, we were lucky not to need them, but others from the group did 🙁 Morocco is such a beautiful country, it’s a shame visiting it sometimes involves stories such as yours 🙁

  • Reply
    Lindz
    April 5, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I didn’t know a place so blue existed!! Sounds like my dream world – blue is my favourite colour! If I do make it there, I’ll be sure to plan ahead with a hotel 🙂 Thanks for sharing & I’m sorry to hear you got conned! People suck sometimes!

  • Leave a Reply

    Skip to toolbar