Chefchaouen, also known as the famous “blue pearl”, is a city of spectacular beauty located by the Rif mountains in Morocco. The name “Chefchaouen” derives from the Berber words “chef” (to see) and “chaouen” (two goat horns). This name is a reference to the two large mountain peaks which resembles large goat horns in the backdrop of this town.
The Old Medina of Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen a popular tourist destination that attracts thousands of tourists every year to experience the beauty and tranquility of this town. The picturesque old medina (city) is a labyrinth of whitewashed alleyways and buildings painted in various shades of blue that will capture your senses. This town is painted in blue to reflect heat as a method of cooling down the temperatures during summer months, and also to repel mosquitoes.
It takes about 20 minutes to walk from one end of the old medina (city) to the other end, but you might find yourself walking at a slower pace to take in the mesmerizing beauty of your surroundings. You might also find yourself wandering through alleyways and exploring the surprises that you might discover around each corner, which might actually make getting lost in the medina to be an enjoyable and memorable experience.
What to See in Chefchaouen
While taking a stroll through this quaint medina, there are several interesting spots that we would recommend visiting.
- The waterfall (Ras el Maa) is located on the eastern side of the medina. There is a nice walking path that follows the streams from the waterfall. This is also a popular meeting point for locals. During the cooler parts of the day, you might even see a group of women doing their laundry by the waterfall.
- Several community ovens are located throughout the medina. Locals would kneed their dough at home and then bring the dough to these community ovens for baking.
- The Kasbah is well preserved and worth seeing from the outside. You can also pay a small price to enter the Kasbah to see its tower, prison and courtyard area.
- The town square is a popular meeting place among locals. You will also find many restaurants and shops selling carpets, local handicrafts, antiques, and artworks in this area.
Hiking the Rif Mountains
You may also take a hike through the scenic Rif mountains. You might also want to take a hike up the hill to visit a Spanish Mosque that was built by the Spanish in the 1920’s, but was never actually used. If you’re in for an adventure, you can head north to go to the city walls outside of the medina for a panoramic view of the city.
Want to Visit Chefchaouen?
If you are interested in visiting Chefchaouen, our travel experts are happy to assist you to plan an unforgettable Morocco tour.