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The Blue Pearl of Morocco | Chefchaouen

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about Chefchaouen aka the Blue Pearl of Morocco.

Chefchaoune, more known as 'The Blue City' or 'The Blue Pearl' is a lovely town located in Northern Morocco between the Rif Mountains. The whole town is blue, including streets, shops, and local houses.

  1. Why the whole city is blue?

  2. Where to stay and eat in Chefchaouen?

  3. How to get to Chefchaouen?

  4. What to do in Chefchaoen?

  5. Video

Why the whole city is blue?

There are several theories as to why there are such azure features of the town. One popular theory is that the blue keeps mosquitos away, another is that Jews introduced the blue when they took refuge from Hitler in the 1930s. The blue is also said to symbolize the sky, heaven, and serve as a reminder to lead a spiritual life. However, according to some locals, the walls were mandated to be painted blue simply to attract tourists at some point in the 1970s.

Where to stay and eat in Chefchaouen?

The town itself is not that big, so when booking the hotel do not worry about booking a bit outside the town centre, everything is within walking distance. I don't think you will find major 5* hotels in the area, it is more about the local cultural experience.

There are plenty of restaurants around the main square of Chefchaouen (also called the Medina) with different food choices but please be reminded that alcohol in Morocco, in general, is not allowed, so there aren't typical bars. You can, however, chill in one of the cafes with typical Moroccan tea and sweets.

How to get to Chefchaouen?

If you want to visit this place then you either will need to fly into any big city in Morocco and take a bus from it to this beautiful place or you can take a ferry from Spain to Tangier, Morrocco and take a bus from there.

The two best places to take the bus from to Chefchaoen are Tangier and Fes. Tangier because it is the closest metropolitan and the bus ride will take approximately 4-hours. From Fes, it will be around 6-hours.

Funny thing is that taxis are vital in Morocco. Travelling to far places in a taxi is a normal thing, because it doesn't cost much more, and your arrival time is cut in half. In the end, we took the taxi to Chefchaoen just because we didn't want to endure a 6-hour wait for the bus to arrive and it cost us just a little bit more (like around 10 Euros more). Essentially, you share the taxi with 3 other people and you all pay the total price together so for each person it is not that expensive. That time we shared the taxi with a lovely young Moroccan family and had a pleasant, fast 2-hour ride.

When planning the trip please do check the bus timetables in advance as there are only 2-3 buses per day. You can always rent a car too and go yourself, I believe it is easy enough to get there by navigating yourself.

What to do in Chefchaoen?

Although there aren't many major tourist attractions in this town, however, I would say the whole town has a sense of wonder in itself. Everywhere you go are little, beautiful blue accents, cute spots to chill and enjoy the charming vibe of the city surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery that encompasses the town. The fresh air and quaintness are exactly what is needed for people living in the hectic rush of the cities.

If you decide to stay in the area for a bit longer than just a few days, I highly suggest doing the hiking tours in the Rif Mountains around the city, of course, if you are into that kind of stuff. I didn't do it myself as my stay in Chefchaouen came to an end, but I would wholeheartedly return to do them. The best hikes are for 2 or 3 days where you can stay in tents in the mountains.

Few places to check out when planning the trip:

  • Akchour Waterfalls

  • God’s Bridge

  • Jeb al-Kalaa

  • Rif Mountains

  • Talassemtane National Park

I enjoyed my time there as people are extremely welcoming. I would say more inviting than in other parts of Morroco where I have been. You can shop in the local shops that have cute unique things for the house and kitchen, as well as clothes and accessories.

I would surely return to this Blue Pearl of Morocco for a relaxing long weekend, as the atmosphere of the city is so carefree and fresh. I definitely want to do some trekking through the Rif Mountains, but for now, check out the city from my perspective in this video:

Here are some of my other trips in Morocco:

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