Chefchaouen, Morocco

This beautiful town is a gem…more specifically a sapphire. Morocco’s blue city lies in the heart of the Rif Mountains, and while it was founded in 1471, it didn’t get its distinctive color until 1492, when Jews escaping the Spanish inquisition brought with them their tradition of painting buildings blue.

How to Get There

Getting to this little blue town in rural Africa is pretty much as difficult as it sounds. We flew into Tangier and then rented a car to get up there. It takes about four hours to get there and the roads keep getting smaller and less paved as you go.

woman with sticks

  1. Old City

This town is “not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis; it’s actually cerulean.” Miranda would be ashamed.

Take your time just walking around to explore the blue, maze-like streets and experience the unique soul of this place. It felt a bit like walking through the pages of a Dr. Seuss book—colorful and cartoon-like.

You’re sure to get a good photo…or two…or a few. This place is super photogenic.

blue alley

  1. Medina

Like any place with tourists, Chefchaouen has some good places to shop. There is much less hustle-and-bustle here than other Moroccan cities because of the size and location, so you can just take your time strolling through. Keep your eye out for local leather products, which is what Chefchaouen is best known for.

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  1. Bab Souk

This is the gate to the Medina, and it’s the doorway to where a lot of the action is. It’s also helpful to use as a landmark because it’s easier than you might think to lose your bearings in the sea of blue streets…you don’t want to get lost and da ba dee da ba die out there.

  1. Casa La Hiba

This little Airbnb was a perfect place to stay. It’s a blue building like all the rest right in the heart of the Old City, so getting around is easy. They also serve a delicious breakfast on their rooftop every morning that has a great view—it’s like looking into a maze from above.

They served two of my favorite Moroccan breakfast items: msemen, which is square and crepe-like, and harcha, a type of Moroccan bread made from semolina flour that has a slightly gritty texture and a buttery taste. Both breads are typically served with sides of honey, butter, and soft cheese for dipping.

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Enjoy this delightful town! And don’t forget, it’s cerulean.

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