Nicknamed "The Blue Pearl of Morocco", Chefchaouen is nestled in the hills of Northern Morocco with streets and walls painted various shades of blue, it's really breathtaking. To give a brief history, Chefchaouen gained settlement as a safe haven for exiles from Spain during the time of the Moorish Empire back in the 1400's. The consistent painting and incorporation of the color blue actually comes from Jewish traditions of the use of an ancient natural dye and the symbolic meaning of the color blue... Here we are in 2016 and the tradition is still maintained.

If you're already in either Southern Spain or Morocco, I highly recommend making either a day trip or a 1-2 night stay to Chefchaouen, but you really don't need more than that. The city is fairly small and easy to cover in an afternoon, but be careful, it is very easy to get lost! There are lots of twists and turns that begin to all look the same, so just be sure to pay attention where you're going, though there is no harm that can come from getting lost - the central courtyard is pretty easy to find your way back to. I also found that the local people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming I have ever been exposed to, they all have smiles on their faces when they see someone exploring their city.

While in Chefchaouen, I recommend spending most of your time walking around and finding especially pretty doors or murals that catch your attention, but here are a few other things that you can do as well -

Check Out All The Shops and Vendors

The central Medina in the city is full of various shops filled with goods ranging from leather purses (which are actually quite nice, I use mine all the time), to hand-painted pottery or hand-woven rugs. There are also many spice shops that are great to enhance your spice collection once you return home!

If you're not well-versed in bargaining I recommend you practice before you go, because this is a great place to bargain down your price on any and all merchandise! Due to the location of Chefchaouen, nearly all of the vendors speak English, Spanish, French and of course Arabic - at least enough to bargain back and forth with a customer. I found that English was slightly less common and Spanish was most predomanate, and because I speak Spanish, that's what I chose to bargain in, but you could get by with English as well. The Moroccan currency is called the Dirham, which equals to about .10 USD or .092 Euro to 1 Dirham, so $5 equals around 50 Dirham... though most vendors accept both dollars and Euros as acceptable payment so don't be too worried about converting your currency.



Have a Lunch With a View

Moroccan food is quite tasty but it's even tastier with a view overlooking the surrounding hills. Find a lunch spot and spend your afternoon eating and sipping on some traditional Moroccan mint tea and indulging in a super buttery Moroccan cookie. You'll notice that Moroccan food is unique with its own style and flavors in comparison to other Middle Eastern foods. The bread is fluffier than traditional pita and the flavors are infused with spices unique to the region. 




Be Painted With Henna

Traditionally, henna is used for special occasions, such as a wedding or a celebration, but while in Chefchaouen, it's hard to resist not having a little bit done to your hand, arm or wherever you want. In the Medina, there will be multiple women waiting for you to say yes to their henna work, and I can assure you that they know what they're doing. A little henna art won't cost you more than a few euros or dollars - plus it's a great memento to take back with you that lasts for about a week! 


Enjoy The City!

Like I mentioned, I believe the best way to enjoy Chefchaouen is to walk through as many streets and alleyways as you can before leaving, no two corners ever look the same. You can't go wrong with exploring around in this beautiful city!


Be prepared to be blown away by the beauty of Chefchaouen and enjoy your time if you ever find yourself there! Have you been anywhere similar to Chefchaouen before? Let me know in the comments!

Post a Comment

Exploring Morocco: Chefchaouen الشاون


Nicknamed "The Blue Pearl of Morocco", Chefchaouen is nestled in the hills of Northern Morocco with streets and walls painted various shades of blue, it's really breathtaking. To give a brief history, Chefchaouen gained settlement as a safe haven for exiles from Spain during the time of the Moorish Empire back in the 1400's. The consistent painting and incorporation of the color blue actually comes from Jewish traditions of the use of an ancient natural dye and the symbolic meaning of the color blue... Here we are in 2016 and the tradition is still maintained.

If you're already in either Southern Spain or Morocco, I highly recommend making either a day trip or a 1-2 night stay to Chefchaouen, but you really don't need more than that. The city is fairly small and easy to cover in an afternoon, but be careful, it is very easy to get lost! There are lots of twists and turns that begin to all look the same, so just be sure to pay attention where you're going, though there is no harm that can come from getting lost - the central courtyard is pretty easy to find your way back to. I also found that the local people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming I have ever been exposed to, they all have smiles on their faces when they see someone exploring their city.

While in Chefchaouen, I recommend spending most of your time walking around and finding especially pretty doors or murals that catch your attention, but here are a few other things that you can do as well -

Check Out All The Shops and Vendors

The central Medina in the city is full of various shops filled with goods ranging from leather purses (which are actually quite nice, I use mine all the time), to hand-painted pottery or hand-woven rugs. There are also many spice shops that are great to enhance your spice collection once you return home!

If you're not well-versed in bargaining I recommend you practice before you go, because this is a great place to bargain down your price on any and all merchandise! Due to the location of Chefchaouen, nearly all of the vendors speak English, Spanish, French and of course Arabic - at least enough to bargain back and forth with a customer. I found that English was slightly less common and Spanish was most predomanate, and because I speak Spanish, that's what I chose to bargain in, but you could get by with English as well. The Moroccan currency is called the Dirham, which equals to about .10 USD or .092 Euro to 1 Dirham, so $5 equals around 50 Dirham... though most vendors accept both dollars and Euros as acceptable payment so don't be too worried about converting your currency.



Have a Lunch With a View

Moroccan food is quite tasty but it's even tastier with a view overlooking the surrounding hills. Find a lunch spot and spend your afternoon eating and sipping on some traditional Moroccan mint tea and indulging in a super buttery Moroccan cookie. You'll notice that Moroccan food is unique with its own style and flavors in comparison to other Middle Eastern foods. The bread is fluffier than traditional pita and the flavors are infused with spices unique to the region. 




Be Painted With Henna

Traditionally, henna is used for special occasions, such as a wedding or a celebration, but while in Chefchaouen, it's hard to resist not having a little bit done to your hand, arm or wherever you want. In the Medina, there will be multiple women waiting for you to say yes to their henna work, and I can assure you that they know what they're doing. A little henna art won't cost you more than a few euros or dollars - plus it's a great memento to take back with you that lasts for about a week! 


Enjoy The City!

Like I mentioned, I believe the best way to enjoy Chefchaouen is to walk through as many streets and alleyways as you can before leaving, no two corners ever look the same. You can't go wrong with exploring around in this beautiful city!


Be prepared to be blown away by the beauty of Chefchaouen and enjoy your time if you ever find yourself there! Have you been anywhere similar to Chefchaouen before? Let me know in the comments!

Powered by Blogger.

Follow Me On Instagram