Chefchaouen, Morocco’s famous blue city, also called the Blue Pearl, is a truly beautiful town with appropriately blue walls and majestic mountains overlooking the characterful town I wanted to visit for a very long time. A town as rich in history as it is beautiful, Chefchaaouen was established in 1471 when Moorish and Jewish people fled here to escape the Reconquista of Spain.
Plan Your Trip
How Do I Get there
Getting There. By Bus – This is the easiest and cheapest way to get there. Either Supertours or CTM will be able to take you straight to Chefchaouen and is well serviced by buses originating in Fes (4+ hr.; 75dh-100dh; 1 US$ = 9.xx dh) about 123 miles (198 km) and Tangier (3 hr.; 40dh-50dh) about 68 miles (110 km). Buses from Tangier will often pass through Tetouan, where there are also buses traveling directly to Chefchaouen (1 1/2 hr.; 20dh-35dh).
By Air – The closest airport is in Tetouan about 42 miles (68 km) north, only 1.5 hours driving distance from Chefchaouen. Another option is by taking a flight from Casablanca to Tangier then transfer to CTM bus.
How To Get Around
Chefchaouen is quite a small town so, tourists will spend most of their time wondering the streets inside the Medina on foot and get lost in the maze. Most likely the only time you will be needed a taxi when getting to one of the main entrances to the Medina El Makhzen or Bab El Ain from the bus station.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Chefchaouen is around spring between MMarch-May and autumn between September – November. In fact, year-round weather in Chefchaouen is relatively better than other parts of the country since it’s located in the mountains. The climate is good since it’s located in the mountains. In summer, people from the very hot part in Morocco will go on a vacation in this area because of the pleasant temperature.
Where To Stay
Dar Zman Guest House, Avenue Hassan II, Chefchaouen
There are many riads within the Medina and all have exceptional service. Riad Dar Zman would be a great choice. The hotel is situated in the heart of the medina and is an easy walk from the gates where the taxi will drop you off from the bus station. They also serve continental breakfast on the rooftop with an assortment of different breads and spreads to give you the perfect energy you need to start your day of exploring.
Abi khancha, Rue Assaida Alhorra Kharrazin, El Kharrazine, Chefchaouene
Abi khancha is located in Chefchaouene, just 29 miles from Tétouan. El Kharrazine area is a great choice for travelers interested in atmosphere, photography and old-town exploration.
A few things to note:
- The only way to get to the medina from the bus stop is up a long and cobbly hill which is not easy with luggage. My best recommendation is to hop in a cab (there are tons waiting at the bus stop) but do not pay more than 50 Dirhams for the ride.
- Make sure to buy your bus tickets in advance. Most of the time the tickets are sold out because of the limited amount of seating.
- Do not fall trap to any of the restaurants located in the city square at Uta el Hammam. It is better to eat at restaurants located within the walls of the medina as they will not be overpriced and will be more authentic.
- Don’t fee shy to say ‘No Thank You’ as the haggling can be frustrating or time times feel unbelievable.
- Don’t be afraid of getting lost in the narrow streets of Medina instead if lost enjoy the surrounding eventually you will get there for sure.
- Taxis are not metered so settle the fare with the driver before jumping in a taxi.
- I would take toilet paper, moist wipes and hand sanitizer everywhere I go.
Top Things To Do In Chefchaouen
If you can get a chance to eat a meal at Aladdin and sit on their rooftop overlooking the entire blue city, you will not be disappointed. I had an amazing eggplant dish called Moroccan Zaalouk which is cooked eggplant with spiced tomatos. It is best to eat this delicious meal with pita bread or kesra bread.
Enjoy the Sunset from the rooftop
Watching the sunset from the hotel rooftop is pretty breathtaking. Have a cup of mint tea and enjoy the blue city from the top, it’s an absolutely beautiful scene of colorful sky, blue city, sunset, and mountains in the background
Shopping inside the Medina
The medina is filled with colorful shops and stores lined with textiles, handcrafts, clothing and food. If you aren’t good at haggling then Chef would be the place to be. Most shopowners are not aggressive and will leave you at peace while you peruse their store.
On the way to the grand mosque, there are many restaurants on both side of the street.
Get a henna tattoo from a local
The henna lasts about 1-2 weeks and the detail they put on your hand will be mesmerizing
Treat yourself to a Hammam Spa
These spas will have your scrubbed from head to toe and make you feel like a brand new person. They spas usually will charge 100-200 Dirhams depending on the services you request.
Visit the Grand Mosque
The call to prayer can be heard throughout the day in Chefchaouen and the 15th century mosque has some stunning architecture. Keep in mind you must be a Muslim to enter.
Hike the Rif Mountains
These peaks rise to 6500 feet above the Mediterrean and boast some of the best panoramic views in Africa. Chefchaouen is the perfect access point for a trek in the mountains ideal for both short and long trek.
Traditional Food and Drinks
Have you been to Chefchaouen, Morocco? Any additional tips to share?
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
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