Charmed in Chefchaouen
If you’ve ever noticed, some of our favorite social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have one thing in common: the color blue. Market studies revealed that if these apps were a different color, people would not spend as much time on them. The color blue is known to be rather soothing to the mind and captures ones attention for a long period of time. Drawing my attention like anyone else, I was determined to visit this beautiful city nestled above in the mountains of Morocco covered in blue.
About three hours north of Fes lies one of most picturesque cities I’ve ever visited. Where every corner and sharp turn is worthy of stopping for a photo op. This is Chefchaouen better known as “The Blue City”. Most people (including myself) tend to mistake the pronunciation of this city. It is pronounced CHEF-SHAH-WHEN. There are several ways to get to Chefchaouen. You can take a bus (CTM bus line is very reliable) from just about any major city (Fes, Marrakech, Casablanca, etc.) and there are also train routes. Trains do not stop directly in Chefchaouen, you would have to stop at Tangier and take a bus or a taxi. I chose to take a private tour from Fes using Fuma Tours Travel. My driver Aziz picked me up promptly from my riad (boutique hotel) in Fes at 8:30am for the journey to the iconic blue city.
Unlike the other cities I visited in Morocco, Chefchaouen has a bit of a charm to it. It wasn’t as busy as Fes or Marrakech. Surprisingly, I didn’t see as many tourists as I expected and it was rather quiet too. As someone who loves photos, I could not stop snapping my camera in this place. From the doors, to the buildings, to the stairs, to even the goods that were sold.
When walking around Chefchaouen, be prepared to get a little lost. It’s rather small so eventually you’ll find your way back. I became so enticed by the shades of blue, I unexpectedly lost my way for a short time. It was a rare time where I actually appreciated being forced to find my bearings.
There are plenty of reasons/myths floating around on why the Chefchaouen is painted blue. One reason I read is that it keeps bugs away. This could be true because I don’t recall seeing any while I was there. Another reason I read is that it keeps the homes cool. The third potential reason is that it used to be Jewish community and the color blue marked it as such. Whatever the reason is, I appreciate it because it’s just so pretty !
Aside from being fascinated by the shades of blue, there isn’t much to do here as far as activities go. You’ll find several shops to buy souvenirs (I racked up on argon oil and spices) and a few cafes to grab a bite to eat. Note: I found souvenirs here to be cheaper than in Marrakech. If you have the extra time in Morocco I highly recommend a visit to this enchanting and charming city.
My tour of Chefchaouen was hosted by Fuma Tour Travel but all opinions, words and photography are my own.