Chefchaouen must be one of your travel dreams! It offers many things to do, see and know. Thus, the city was founded in 1941 as a small castle to fight the Portuguese invasions. During medieval times, many Moorish and Jews people settled in this city to escape the Spanish Reconquista. That is to say, Chefchoauen offers Andalusian and Moroccan architecture and culture. It is also one of the popular tourist destinations in Morocco. Its fascinating blue Medina, surrounded by mountains, gives a relaxing atmosphere. If you are starting your tours from Fes, it will be easy for you to visit Chefchaouen.
How did Chefchaouen become blue?
There are many theories that explain the reason behind the blue colour. But, we would like to shed light on a few of them in things to do in Chefchaouen.
Jewish Belief and Culture:
The blue colour presents the sky according to Jew beliefs. This means that it reminds people of heaven and God. The Jewish communities have a strong tradition of painting things blue as they use blue-coloured fabrics, especially prayer mats. However, locals believe that when Jews settled in Chefchaouen, they spread the blue colour in Medina. This practice of painting walls in blue signifies the strong connection of the Jews to their religion and traditions. Locals also believe that the blue walls of the city were only in the Mellah, Jewish parts.
Avoiding the Mosquitoes:
According to locals, the blue colour helps keep mosquitoes and insects away. Usually, mosquitoes and insects live beside the water and not in the water. Therefore, painting the whole Medina blue would look like a sea or flowing water. This could keep the mosquitoes as they can’t be in the water. Maybe locals thought that there were few mosquitoes in Jewish parts. And then they tried to make their home blue like Jews.
Chefchaouen was previously an unremarkable tourist site. Yet, it has become a popular tourist destination now. The most reason that makes it famous and attractive is just the blue walls. The city takes its benefits of visibility and welcomes curious tourists who come to discover its beauty. Therefore, they visit it and shot wonderful photos for social media that make it famous all over the world.
Common Things to Do in Chefchaouen
Wander in the Medina
Chefchaouen is quieter and calmer than other cities. Thus, it is funny to get lost in the narrow street of Medina and discover local life. It is also an excellent chance to shoot pictures for Instagram with architectural doors and blue walls. However, make sure to be respectful when you want to take photos of locals. Not all people can accept taking pictures of them, especially women. It is better to ask before taking pictures of anyone during their daily rituals. Wandering through the narrow streets, lined with native traditional items is one of the best things to do in Chefchaouen.
Plaza Uta El-Hammam
It is the main square time in the heart of Medina. It is lined with cafes, Kasbah, restaurants, shops and the Grand Mosque. Try Moroccan traditional dishes, relax and admire the local life while enjoying the food. Many tourists spend the evening in the square after a day of sightseeing and watching people walking around.
The Grand Mosque
The mosque dates back to the 15th century. It offers an octagonal-shaped tower and wonderful architecture. Unfortunately, non-Muslim tourists can enter it, but you can enjoy its design and the beautiful praying calls five times a day.
Chefchaouen Panoramic View
If you have enough time in Chefchaouen, don’t miss the whole panoramic view of the blue city. I suggest going to the top of the city where the wall enclosing Chefchaouen. On this top, you will admire beautiful views and the mountains that surround the town.
The Kasbah Museum
The walled fortress Kasbah hosts a beautiful garden. Near the garden, there is an ethnographic museum and art gallery. Here, you will learn more about the history of this town through old artefacts, clothing, and instruments. You can also climb the fort tower to experience the whole view of the mountains and the Medina. Besides, you will learn about the culture of the Rif Mountains and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Hence, you should not miss things to do in Chefchaouen.
Ras El-Maa Waterfall
It is a point by which a freshwater mountain trickles into the town. Discover another daily ritual of locals and escape the heat. People gather there to wash their clothes and have cool moments. Put your feet in the cool water and relax and watch things around.
The Spanish Mosque
The Spanish Mosque was built in the 1920s. It sits isolated above the hill overlooking Chefchaouen to the east. So, it is easy to hike up the hill and enjoy the fantastic views of the whole Medina and the mountains. In addition to that, it is the best place to catch the stunning sunset view. If you are interested in a tour that includes imperial cities and Chefchaouen, check out 12 days tour from Casablanca.
When is the best time to visit Chefchaouen?
The months of March to May and September to November are perfect for travelling to Chefchauen. The climate is pleasant and moderate during these periods, with average temperatures between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius. A breathtaking environment for exploration and photography is created when the city awakens with vibrant flowers and lush plants.
Chefchaouen can get very hot during the summer (June to August). The temperatures can exceed 30 degrees Celsius. The daytime hours are longer during these months. However, they are perfect for exploring the Medina atmosphere and connecting with the local people. Also, you can enjoy cool mint tea at one of the many rooftop cafes.
In winter months from December to February, Shafshawn is relatively mild. But it may be cold, especially in the evening. The city’s quiet atmosphere and fewer tourists during this period create an ideal place for those seeking isolation and deeper contact with the local community.
Where to sleep in Chefchaouen?
Chefchaouen provides a variety of affordable lodging options, including hostels and guesthouses. These choices are excellent for those on a limited budget or seeking a more pleasant environment. Stunning views of the city and the Rif Mountains are one of Chefchaouen’s highlights. Thus, think about booking a hotel with a rooftop terrace where to relax in the evenings while enjoying the beauty of the city. Check out booking.com for different accommodations and locations.
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