Chefchaouen, Morocco

See the world in blue


See the world in blue

Chefchaouen, also known as Morocco's blue village, lies wedged between the peaks of the rugged Rif mountains. A magical maze of narrow alleys, the striking historic centre is washed in every imaginable shade of blue.

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Blue pearl

The blue village of Chefchaouen is a peaceful oasis nestled in Morocco's Rif Mountains. Wander through the old medina, sample delicious tajines with fresh mint tea or go on a brisk hike in the mountains.

Chefchaouen lies at an elevation of 570 metres in the Rif mountain range in north-western Morocco. The village was founded in 1471 to defend against invading Portuguese and soon became a safe haven for Spanish Moors and Sephardic Jews. That may explain the intense blue colour of the city: according to the Old Testament, the mysterious blue colouring symbolizes ‘tekhelet’, the power of God. Perhaps the former residents of Chefchaouen may have believed that the blue paint would invoke divine protection. Today, the blue colour makes for some stunning images. 

The heart of Chefchaouen

The most beautiful medina in Morocco

The heart of Chefchaouen is the medina: perhaps the most beautiful one in all of Morocco. Stroll through alleyways, markets and squares. Plaza Uta el-Hammam is the central square, framed by the old kasbah (fortress) next to the Grande Mosquée, instantly recognizable by its octagonal tower. This is also the perfect place to sample the delicious cuisine of Chefchaouen. Grab a seat on a patio and taste fragrant stews, salads with goat’s cheese and harira soup, washed down with a glass of mint tea. Bargain hunters beware: Chefchaouen is a fun shopping destination. The city is famous for its exquisite leather goods, painted tiles and plates, hand-knotted cloths and other unique souvenirs.

The Ras el-Maa waterfall

Refreshing waterfall

The Ras el-Maa waterfall is located close to the medina. This refreshing spot serves as a meeting place and launderette for the local population. This is also a beautiful starting place for a hike through the mountains or a longer trek to Talassemtane National Park. If you have time, climb the hill next to the Hotel Atlas for a gorgeous view of the blue city.

Chefchaouen, Morocco