Feeling Blue in Chefchaouen, Morocco

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It’s been several months since my trip to Morocco with Intrepid Travel, and in flipping through my pictures, I’ve realized some of the destinations have fused to become one in my mind. I can’t quite recall – was it in Fez or Marrakech where I saw that amazing leather bag in the medina? Where did we eat that camel burger? Did we even go to Rabat or did I imagine that stop?

I never have a problem remembering the specifics of Chefchaouen though. It’s a city with a look and feel all its own, and its distinctive vibe has stuck with me all these months.

Welcome to Chefchaouen

Welcome to Chefchaouen

Friendly and pleasant, Chefchaouen (chef – sh – ow – en) is an attractive introduction to the Morocco outside the hustle and bustle of Casablanca, Fez, Rabat and Marrakech. It’s a city of 40,000, but it feels intimate  and manageable inside the medina’s maze.

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Inland from Tangier and Tetouan and situated in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a photographer’s dream. It was founded in 1471 as a fortress to protect against Portuguese invasions. Of course those in power switched back and forth numerous times, so today’s Chefchaouen is a mix of Arabic, French and Spanish influences.

Today, you’ll hear more “hola” than “bonjour,” a contrast to many of the other cities we visited on our Morocco Experience.

Chefchaouen Morocco - Angie Away

Chefchaouen Morocco

So what makes Chefchaouen so memorable?

Painted blue by Jewish refugees in the 1930s, Chefchaouen must be the bluest city in the whole world. A sapphire city, if ever there was one.

Chefchaouen Morocco - AngieAway

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen

Windows and doors are rinsed in every shade of aqua, azure, cerulean, indigo and periwinkle.

I suspect if 10 people visited & photographed Chefchaouen, you’d probably see different doors in each set of pictures.

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen’s medina is really the main attraction for visitors to Chefchaouen. While it is busy during the day, it should be noted that it’s a much less hectic place to shop and wander than the medinas in Fez, Marrakech, etc. Prices are probably more negotiable in the larger cities, but Chefchaouen is just so much more pleasant overall.

And shop you must! If you’re a good haggler, you may find yourself loaded down with carpets, leather, wool, spices and jewelry.

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Snapping hundreds of pictures will likely seduce you into losing a sense of time and place, but don’t forget to stop for some mint tea or nos-nos (half milk/half coffee), a tajine and some harira for lunch.

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, don’t skip Chefchaouen. It’s altogether worth the trek. The people are lovely, the photos come out strikingly colorful and the handicrafts wooed even this non-shopper.

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

Chefchaouen Morocco

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20 thoughts on “Feeling Blue in Chefchaouen, Morocco

  1. john

    Envy :-)…

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    Reply
  2. Savannah Grace

    It’s really beautiful there. I remember walking up to see the view and all those giant aloe Vera plants or whatever they were!

    Reply
  3. Mike

    Chefchaouen was not only my favorite city in Morocco, but one of best I’ve ever visited. It’s a must-see in my mind. It’s a city in which its individual personality is palpable. I’ll be teaching English in southern Spain this next year and am hoping to visit Morocco and Chefchaouen again.

    Reply
    1. Angie Away Post author

      I’m jealous! Would love to spend more time in Chechaouen, though I think the world has probably seen enough of my blue door photography!

      Reply
  4. Morgan

    What a beautiful post! I’m obsessed with blue doors. My naivety once led me to believe they were all located in Greece, but after much research, I learned they are quite popular in northern African and some parts of Eastern Europe. If blue paint wards off evil spirits, I’m all for it. Plus, like you said, it sure is pretty!!

    I have to ask – was the trip to Morocco made from Europe or Africa? I don’t have any African travels planned, but if it’s easy to jump from Europe – I’d LOVE TO visit Chefchaouen!

    Reply
    1. Angie Away Post author

      Hey Morgan! I flew from Madrid to Casablanca to meet my Intrepid group, and then we made our way around Morocco where I ultimately ended up in Marrakech.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Capture of the Week: We’ve added a new stop!: Chefchaouen, Morocco | Rich Traveler

  6. Alex

    Angie! Once again you have added a new spot to my bucket list! These photographs are amazing, and you look so chic in the one you are in!

    Reply
  7. Jennifer

    I’ve had Morocco on my mind and really want to visit this year. These gorgeous photos are only spurring my wanderlust for Morocco even more!

    Reply
    1. Angie Away Post author

      Could not agree more. As challenging as the trip was in spots, Chefchaouen was a real oasis of rest. Even if our room was FREEEEEEZING!

      Reply

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