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The Blue Pearl of Morocco | Chefchaouen

Updated: Jun 21, 2023


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 size of the town itself is quite compact, which means that even if you book a hotel located slightly outside the town center, you should not encounter any inconvenience. Everything is comfortably within walking distance. As for accommodation, you may not find grand, five-star hotels prevalent in the area. Instead, the local boutique hotels themselves to a more authentic cultural experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.

The main square of Chefchaouen, also known as the Medina, boasts an abundance of restaurants offering a diverse range of culinary delights. However, it's important to bear in mind that the consumption of alcohol is generally prohibited in Morocco, so you won't find traditional bars in the area. Instead, you can savor the local culture by unwinding in one of the numerous cafes, where you can enjoy traditional Moroccan tea accompanied by a selection of local 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 or you can take a ferry from Spain to Tangier, and take a bus from Tangier.

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. Traveling 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.

What to do in Chefchaoen?

Though Chefchaouen might not host a multitude of renowned tourist landmarks, it's the town's enchanting character that truly captivates visitors. As you explore the winding streets, you'll be delighted by the ubiquitous charming blue accents and delightful nooks perfect for relaxation and immersion in the town's inviting atmosphere. The picturesque backdrop of stunning mountainous scenery beautifully encapsulates the town, enhancing its allure.

Should your travel plans permit you to spend more than a few days in the area, I strongly recommend embarking on one of the hiking tours in the surrounding Rif Mountains. Although I didn't get the opportunity to participate in these tours during my stay, the prospect of returning to experience them is something I would eagerly consider. The most memorable hikes are usually those spanning two or three days, where you can savor the experience of camping under the stars in the heart of the mountains.

A few other places to check out when planning the trip:

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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