Chefchaouen, a small town in northern Morocco, has a rich history, beautiful natural surroundings, and wonderful architecture. But what it’s most famous for are the vivid blue walls of many of the buildings. Founded in 1471, Chefchaouen began as a small Moorish fortress for exiles from Spain, gradually welcoming Jews and Christian converts as well.
How It All Started?
It is thought that the tradition to cover most of its walls in blue was introduced by the Jewish community who settled there in the 15th century after being expelled from Spain. The Jews painted all in blue to symbolize the sky and heaven and to be reminded of the power of God.
After WWII, most of the Jewish families left for Israel, but Moroccan Berbers continue the blue tradition despite the blue washing off the walls quite easily. The local government supplies special paint brushes to assist in efforts to keep Chefchaouen’s history alive.
The first thing you’ll notice when arriving in Chefchaouen is the relative peace and quiet. This paradisiacal place comes with a spellbinding sense of calm.
50 Shades Of Blue
Chefchaouen, like many old cities, is split into two parts: the old town with its charming red-tiled roofed and blue homes, and the new city. The eastern and western halves of Chefchaouen meet at the Plaza Uta el-Hammam, a city center where you can enjoy a meal or pick-me-up at one of the many lovely cafes or restaurants.
Blue Doors of Chefchaouen
Many of the medina’s doors remain the same for years or get just slightly changed. They have one thing in common: all of them are blue!.
Inspiring views during twilight. Most people only for a half-day before getting bored and going elsewhere, but we highly recommend you to spend there at least one night. There’s even one nightclub in the city.
Cats Are Everywhere
Chefchaouen is without a doubt a cat city. There are cats in the alleyways, cats in the markets. Cats are found in restaurants and on terraces. They’re in trees and bushes and stretched out on sidewalks.
Chefchaouen is a popular shopping destination as you can find lots of native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco.
Just So You Know…
- Just outside Chefchaouen you’ll find the Talassemtane National Park, a wonderful place considered the best destination for trekking in Morocco.
Get Some Culture:
- Visit the Kasbah Museum and see a giant collection of regional artifacts including pottery, instruments, and paintings.
- On the corner of Plaza Uta el-Hammam you’ll also notice the big mosque. A beautiful building with a high minaret that calls for prayer five times a day.
Grab A Bite:
- For breakfast, perhaps the best thing you can do is go to a chic riad (house with a central garden courtyard) with a rooftop terrace that offers amazing views.
- Alladin Restaurant – It’s the best spot to watch the sunset from one of their terraces.