Chefchaouen is becoming one of our most requested spring destinations!
Morocco isn’t Europe, that’s for sure. It’s a dusty, sandcastle-filled, mysterious country where you can catch glimpses of the Arab glory days of the exotic, important trading routes as well as the French colonial heyday. Despite its outward seemingly chaotic appearance, you’ll find extraordinary comfort and luxury. The Moroccan tradition of warm hospitality will charm you immediately.
Morocco is a country for everyone from families to young people. Clients looking for adventure or anyone who’d like to soak up the culture. Also, the year-round sunshine is a great reason to visit. One of our trending destinations is the blue gem of Chefchaouen!
Why Morocco and why Chefchaouen?
Morocco is destination that is easily combined with European countries, especially Portugal and Spain. From the southern tip of Spain you can see Morocco. It’s only a short ferry ride between the two. The newly-opened high-speed train line has dramatically shortened the distances between the north and the main cities of the west coast, so now it’s easier than ever to move around the country.
There is an enormous amount of variety in what there is to see and do in Morocco: the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Sahara desert, the Atlas mountains, the oases, and the amazing exotic cities.
Within our Moroccan destinations, we include well-known destinations such as Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains and laid-back beach towns like Oualidia and Essaouira. Along the way, many stop to explore the capital city of Rabat, the Roman ruins of Volubilis and the spectacular Imperial Cities dotted throughout the country.
Chefchaouen becoming a trending new destination
Recently, we’ve have more requests to visit one of the most unique cities in the country. Chefchaouen, known also as ‘The Blue City’ for obvious reasons!
Up until the past couple of years Chefchaouen (or simply ‘Chaouen’), was difficult to get to. This is due to its distance from the rest of the country’s more visited cities. With the completion of the high-speed train train line that connects Casablanca and Rabat with Tangier, visitors can reach Chefchaouen from Rabat in under an hour and a half. Tangier is a vibrant port town just across the Strait of Gibraltar, and worth a walk around, but the main advantage to arriving here so quickly is its proximity to Chefchaouen. From one city to the other, it’s less than a 2 and a half hour drive.
If you are combining Morocco with a trip to nearby Spain or Portugal, Chefchaouen is an easy addition to your itinerary. The two countries are so close that you can see them with the naked eye across the sea from Tangier.
Getting to know the city…
One very interesting thing about Chefchaouen is that most locals speak Spanish. During the inquisition, a lot of Andalusians from Spain migrated to the area. The town was settled by Spanish Jews. Spanish is not an official language in the city. However, it was passed down through the families as they spoke it at home.
The city is also famous for its blue walls. Apparently this is to keep the flies away as they see blue as water.
The city is set along a hillside. The Medina (or old town) is a jumble of pedestrian-only narrow streets, lined by blue-washed plastered buildings. Filled with small shops and colorful street vendors, every corner of the center of the city is picture-perfect.
On the way to one of our favourite hotels in the city, you can look down on the public stone basins alongside the river where the local ladies go to wash their clothes and carpets. There are also outside cafes and people wading in the river near the clothes washing tubs. It’s a fun scene in the summer time with the ladies chatting and the children playing in the water and alongside the banks of the river Oued el Kebir. Along the bridge which crosses the river you’ll also see artisans selling their pottery and baskets, two of the traditional arts of the city. This hotel, the Dar Echchaoeun, has fantastic views of the blue city, a pool, and a charming restaurant which serves traditional Moroccan dishes.
What to do and see…
It’s worth getting up early in Chefchaoen to catch the sunrise from the Spanish Mosque above the city. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the top of town in the Medina. For the late-risers, the sunset is also spectacular from this point.
There’s plenty to do and see in the city itself, but if you’d like to have a taste of local life, you can visit the Akchour river and waterfalls which are about an hour away from Chefchaouen. The river is popular with locals so you can see lots of families enjoying their Saturday swimming, barbecuing and shopping in the market stalls. For the more active visitors, there are plenty of gorgeous hikes above the river. We have amazing English-speaking local guides who will explain the nature and the history of the area. For the most adventurous, we can also arrange for multi-day hikes in the area. Accompanied by mules to carry your bags, you can sleep in mountain lodges and experience a side of Morocco that few are able to.
It’s not a surprise that Chefchaouen is gaining in popularity. The gorgeous natural setting, mesmerizing blue tint, history and culture make it a destination that will be hard to forget.
Morocco tailor made just for you
If Chefchaouen looks like the perfect addition to a Moroccan vacation, contact us to learn more. These are only a few of the many ideas we have organized for clients. Morocco and its famous blue city have been heavily requested this upcoming spring. After so long staying at home, vibrant Morocco is the perfect destination for your next tailor made holiday!