When you think about a trip to Morocco, you may first consider Marrakech, or Agadir, or Fez. Those are the tourist hotspots that come to mind.
What you may not have considered is Chefchaouen. This is the lesser known, small town in Morocco, but it has such a rich history, stunning architecture, and striking appearance, that it really should be on your bucket list.
Let’s take a look at what makes Chefchaouen special, and the ten reasons that you need to visit there on your next trip to Morocco.
You may not have heard about Chefchaouen, but it is one of the most beautiful places in Morocco. Also known as Chaouen, this city is found in the northwestern part of Morocco in the Rif Mountains.
What makes this place stand out is the striking blue washed buildings, cobbled lanes, and 15th century fortress.
Wandering through this city is a must-see due to its unique charm, and beautiful marketplace and stalls.
While there are no real attractions at Chefchaouen like you would find in Marrakech or Agadir, the real attraction here is the beauty of the city, tucked away in the mountains.
If you’re not already sold, and unsure if this place is for you, take a look at our 10 reasons to visit Chefchaouen below.
10 Reasons To Visit Chefchaouen
Its Rich History
Chefchaouen is one of the lesser known locations in Morocco, but it has been around for hundreds of years. Founded in 1471, this town has seen many changes, and many political turnarounds.
As a result, there are various languages spoken such as Arabic, French, and Spanish.
This place is bursting with culture and a rich history, so it is definitely worth visiting the Museum of Chefchaouen when you are there to learn all about its fascinating beginnings.
It Has A Calmer Vibe
If you’re not a fan of the hustle and bustle of city life, and Marrakech’s busy marketplaces (Also check out Things To Do In Marrakech), then you will prefer Chefchaouen .
This town has a much calmer atmosphere and chilled out vibe, and it will not be as busy as some of the other tourist hotspots in Morocco.
There is a smaller medina, and lots of street stalls and stores for you to browse the local wares and supplies. You’ll find stunning handmade baskets and goods that you can’t find anywhere else.
You’ll Feel Safe
Due to Chefchaouen’s small nature, you won’t feel out of place or out of your depth. This area is much safer, and you will be much more comfortable here.
This sleepy town is not so filled with people, and there won’t be anyone on the streets harassing you like you’d find elsewhere in Morocco.
It’s One Of The Most Colorful Cities In The World
You really have to see Chefchaouen to believe it. It is one of the most breathtaking views in Morocco. The blue painted buildings of this town is what has put it on the map.
You will have to visit, and watch the sun rise and fall over the mountains. We recommend hiking from the center of town up the hill to watch the sun go down over the whole of the town, with all of the blue architecture below.
It is interesting to note that this place was not always blue. It was built in the 15th century, but it was only in the 1900s that this town was painted blue.
This was due to the influx of jewish people who fled to Morocco at the beginning of the Second World War. To the Jews, the color blue represents heaven and God, so this place was a safe haven.
Morocco is known for its incredible cuisine, and the food of Chefchaouen does not disappoint.
There are local markets where you can sample the food, and many pastry shops if you want to try some Moroccan sweet treats.
As you can imagine, there are also lots of places where you can enjoy true Moroccan mint tea too. Be sure to find a rooftop restaurant such as Chez Aladdin for great food and even better views of the town.
One of the best things about Chefchaouen is the shopping. There are local markets running on most days, and the medina has so much to offer.
You will find authentic, traditional Moroccan products from hats to baskets, bags, to lanterns and blankets. It’s also a much more relaxed shopping experience, and the goods are often handmade. Be sure to check out the powdered paint that is used on the buildings.
It’s More Cost Effective
If you want to visit Morocco on a budget, then it is best to steer clear of the big tourist areas.
Chefchaouen is a much smaller area, and is much more cost efficient. Hotel stays, transport, food, and shopping is much cheaper, and you can easily haggle for the best prices.
You Can Walk Everywhere
As it is a small town, you can pretty much walk everywhere. You can head out to find restaurants, cafes, and even hike to the small waterfalls nearby.
You can go on your own adventures, find hidden squares, and make your way up the hill to the top of the town.
The Locals Make It
Finally, one of the best things about Chefchaouen is that the locals are absolutely wonderful.
They are so friendly, and welcoming, you can have a great time and have interesting conversations with many of the people there.
You can learn about their history, culture, and customs, while enjoying the stunning views of Chefchaouen.
The town is so close to the mountains, you can see them from pretty much anywhere.
There are plenty of rooftop restaurants and cafes, or you can hike to the waterfalls of Akchour for the best views. You have to watch the sunset drop down behind the mountains, and see the sky illuminated with so many colors.
How Many Days For Chefchaouen?
Chefchaouen is a great spot to visit in Morocco. However, it is a small town, so you will likely not want to spend your whole vacation there.
Most will say that two days in Chefchaouen is enough to see the sights and main attractions that this place has to offer, but you may want to spend a little more time if you want to go hiking, or if you want to relax with the views of the mountains and bright blue architecture.
If you are considering a trip to Morocco, be sure to add Chefchaouen to your itinerary. Even if you want to explore the bigger cities of Morocco, add a day trip or two for Chefchaouen, as this place is truly unmissable.