Chefchaouen: beyond the 50 shades of blue

Chefchaouen, aka Chaouen, aka the blue city. The most photographed medina of Morocco. A quiet place where people come to take a break from the otherwise frantic Moroccan cities.

And indeed, walking the medina feels like walking through a painting: there’s light blue, dark blue, violet blue and all shades in between! Every corner reveals an even more picturesque scene than the previous one and every house seems worth photographing! The narrow streets are lined with small shops selling rugs, leather goods and what seems like an awful amount of sweets!

It’s February, winter in Morocco, so there aren’t that many travellers around, but somehow, despite its undeniable beauty, the place doesn’t really grab me. It’s almost too perfect and I am struggling to find its soul.

things to do in Chefchaouen things to do in Chefchaouen

Looking for some scenes of everyday life, I walk towards the Ras El Maa, the place where local women gather to do their laundry. My stroll is interrupted only by a herd of passing sheep. It’s been raining quite a lot lately and the water is gushing down the mountain. A van is blasting out loud music, a group of young girls is taking endless pictures of the flowing water and I, I sit down and enjoy the magic and authenticity of it all! This is what I came to see!

But there are more things to do in Chefchaouen.  After a 30 minutes hike, up in the hills, I arrive at the Spanish mosque. Unfortunately the place is closed. There’s just a bunch of local guys hanging around, checking out the curious tourists who make their way up.  I watch local families doing laundry and enjoy the breath-taking views over Chefchaouen. That alone makes it worthwhile coming up here!

things to do in Chefchaouen things to do in Chefchaouen

I had a nice few days at Chefchaouen and before leaving for Tetouan, I have a last drink on the Plaza Uta-El-Hammam, a long square filled with cafés and restaurants and the beating heart of the medina. It’s an excellent place for people-watching! The Kasbah provides a mysterious backdrop and the minaret of the Grand Mosque is towering above it all. Not a bad place to be, not a bad place at all!

things to do in Chefchaouen things to do in Chefchaouen

Have you been to the blue city of Morocco? What were your impressions? What were, according to you, the best things to do in Chefchaouen?

7 Replies to “Chefchaouen: beyond the 50 shades of blue”

  1. Kate

    Morocco is now firmly on my list! I had no idea this place existed but it looks fantastic. I’d definitely do the hike to the mosque and take in those views. Spectacular photos and a great post Els. Thanks for the inspiration

    • Els Post author

      It’s not situated in the Atlas, Brianna. Chefchaouen is in the north, in the Rif mountains 🙂

  2. Jessica (Barcelona Blonde)

    I love your photos, you have some amazing shots! The one of Chefchaouen from above is cool, I’ve seen lots of photos from street level but to see the city from above is awesome. Not a bad place to unwind at all!

  3. Aileen

    You took some really wonderful photos! And I would absolutely love to have a view of those mountains. It looks amazing! And much like you said, it’s not a bad place at all indeed. I’ll take note of this on my travel list 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *