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There were two places I eagerly anticipated visiting on my 16-day Moroccan adventure this past summer. One was glamping in the Sahara Desert and the other was exploring Chefchaouen. While most everyone has heard of the Sahara, Chefchaouen isn’t as familiar. In fact, it wasn’t until Instagram made it famous that this beautiful city became a popular tourist destination. It far exceeded my expectations so I’m sharing my recommendations for things to do in Chefchaouen in hopes that it exceeds yours too. Go get lost in the Insta-famous “Blue Pearl“!
The Blue Pearl
Founded in 1471 and located in the Rif Mountains in Morocco, Chefchaouen is nicknamed “The Blue Pearl” because so much of the city is painted blue. There are different theories as to why it’s painted blue.
One is that the blue color keeps mosquitos away. Another is that the Jews introduced the blue when they fled from Hitler in the 1930s. The blue is thought to represent both the sky and heaven and reminds the people to be spiritual in life. I’m not sure if any of that is true.
What I am sure about is that Chefchaouen is beautiful and I want to share it with you!
So as you can probably see, Chefchaouen (or Chaouen as the locals call it), is a dream place for photography. For me, it’s all about the bright color literally everywhere I looked. Also, all the different blues make the city glow. In the daylight kind of glow. I know that might not make sense, but it’s the best way I can try to convey that these aren’t just ordinary painted blue walls. They come alive.
These guys are what’s responsible for this “glow”. These are the pigments they use to paint the walls. You can find them lined up along various shops as you meander through the medina.
This is the famous Instagram Alley and what blew the cover off the well-kept secret of Chefchaouen. I’m guessing it needs no explanation as to why or how the secret got out!
Location: In between Boutique LAASRI and Dar Aldea
The Steps of Chefchaouen
If you’re looking for the famous Blue Steps you have seen on Instagram, here they are. I have seen photos without all the marketplace items that are its decor, but I was glad to find that the steps were well-decorated when we arrived!
Location: Just below the Dar Lbakal Chefchaouen
How fun are these Rainbow Steps?
Location: Right outside the Restaurant Bab Ssour
Best Blue Views
There are a couple of places you can get good views of the city. One is from the Spanish Mosque which is also a great place to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, I was sick the evening we were supposed to go, but you can see the view in my friend KevinandAmanda’s post.
The other is from the rooftop of the store L’art Maroc. The owner of the shop was really nice and took us to the top to see the view!
Location: Next to this green door in the main square near the Kasbah.
The Doors of Chefchaouen
As with the rest of Morocco, there were gorgeous doors everywhere we turned in Chefchaouen. Finding all the cool doors became a favorite thing of mine to do each time we arrived in a new city!
Location: Various places along the green dotted lines throughout the medina.
The Color and The Blue
After you locate the spots listed above, just get lost wandering around the medina and see what you can find such as all the color…
and all the blue!
Location: Various places along the green dotted lines throughout the medina
Where To Stay
Our cute room at Riad Rifandalus
We stayed at the Riad Rifandalus which is located close to Instagram Alley. It’s got a fabulous free breakfast included and the wifi is fast. The downsides are that the hot water runs out quickly and it is a bit of a walk from the taxi drop-off, but I would definitely choose to stay there again!
Location: Click here for Riad Rifandalus
Chefchaouen is beautiful, isn’t it? All the different shades of blue put me in the best mood and I thoroughly enjoyed the Spanish influence and being able to use my Spanish there. In fact, I wound up having to give our taxi driver directions (using Google Maps) in Spanish to get to our hotel in Asilah, the next town we visited! 😱
Photo by Amanda from Kevin & Amanda
If you’ve been, which beautiful blue part of Chefchaouen did you like most? If you haven’t been, which would you most like to see?
‘Til next time…