Chefchaouen, A Beautiful Blue Town

Chefchaouen, a beautiful blue town

Come with us on a trip to the wonderful and beautiful blue town of Chefchaouen. A unique place that is located in Morocco and that is such a unique enclave that, despite its limited size, it has become one of the greatest tourist attractions in this country.

Where is Chefchaouen located?

As we said, Chefchaouen is a population of just 40,000 inhabitants that is located in Morocco. Specifically, it is the capital of a province of the same name that is located in the northeast of the kingdom, very close to such famous towns as Tangier or Tetouan, on the edge of the mountain range known as Rif.

History of Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen is a town with more than 500 years of history. Its foundation is due to Mulay Alí Ben Rachid, who transformed it in 1471 into a fortress capable of fighting against the invading forces of Portugal in the north of the country. Due to its complex access, it slowed down arrivals through Ceuta, at the same time that it became an access point for the commercial routes that ran from Fez to Tetouan.

Chefchaouen street
Chefchaouen Street – Zzvet

However, what was once a fortress, became a prosperous town that evolved thanks to the exiles of al-Andalus, who were Sephardic and Moorish expelled from Spain by the different kings throughout the 15th and 16th centuries especially .

Over time, Chefchaouen was considered a sacred city, so foreigners had their entry banned  until the arrival of invading Spanish forces, who settled there in 1920. However, the population returned to Morocco in 1956.

What makes Chefchaouen special?

Within the traditional tourism that approaches Morocco, Chefchaouen has a series of peculiarities that makes it really attractive. In fact, the blue tones of its architecture and the tranquility of the place make it a beautiful location in the Rif, which stands out for its magic and special charm.

View of Chefchauoen
Chefchaouen – Mikhail Markovskiy

In addition, Chefchaouen maintains a large part of its culture intact. Its people, the Ghomara, maintain the town with their touch of ancestral appeal. The women dress in their classic shades, dressed in white and red stripes and shovel hats. The streets are always lively and the visitor finds himself in a place that, from the first minute, appears special and different.

What to see in Chefchaouen?

Chefchaouen street
Chefchaouen Street – Sergey Pesterev

Chefchaouen has a lot of wonderful places to visit. Next, we will see some of the most attractive and striking of this fantastic and magical town in the north of Morocco.

The medina

The medina or Old Town is fantastic in Chefchaouen. Formed by a select group of neighborhoods, it has a beautiful mosque, a Hamman or public bath, narrow and steep alleys painted blue and all kinds of artisan shops in the purest classic style, many of which are located in the classic souk.

Medina of Chefchaouen
Medina of Chefchaouen – Mikadun

Uta el-Hamman Square

Continuing through the medina, we find the beautiful Plaza Uta el-Hamman, which shows the center and heart of the city. There we will see the Great Mosque, the Alcazaba or Kasbah, beautiful shops and restaurants and an endless number of wonderful sensations.

Kasbah of Chefchaouen

As we said, Chefchaouen was originally a defensive fortress against the Portuguese invasions. The wall that defended the Kasbah, which houses wonderful and beautiful gardens, is still preserved in good condition.

Activities in Chefchaouen

In addition, in Chefchaouen there are a series of fantastic activities for the visitor. For example, in hiking. Since it is located in the heart of the Rif mountain range, its natural environment is fascinating. In the area we also find the Talassemtane National Park, excellent for practicing outdoor sports.

Rif Mountains near Chefchaouen
Rif Mountains – Lukasz Janyst

A green area full of forests full of olive and cedar trees that will delight all lovers of wild nature in its purest form awaits in the lands adjacent to nearby towns such as Kalaa or Akchour, from whose natural manifestations you can see the rivers and waterfalls in the area.

When we talk about Morocco, everyone thinks of Casablanca, Tangier, the Atlas, Rabat or Tetouan. However, this unique North African country hides among its lands fantastic places such as the town of Chefchaouen, a small blue town that still preserves the wonderful history of its ancestors in a privileged and beautiful natural environment.

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