42 Photos: Exploring Chefchaouen, the Blue City of Morocco

Located in Northwest of Morocco, Chefchaouen is an old town known for its blue-painted houses and structures, aesthetic medina, and the beautiful mountains that surround the little town. My wife and I arrived in the ‘blue pearl of Morocco’ after a 3-hour taxi ride from Fez. Here are some photos while exploring this place.

Passing through the Rif Mountains, the beauty of the blue town is already visible from there. Travelers can’t usually avoid staring at the breathtaking views before and on arrival to the town.

Disclaimer: Pardon the blurry photos as I was still adjusting to my borrowed camera according to the weather condition and the usage. Yes – this should not be an excuse. 

Camera Used: Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless camera
Lenses Used: XF 10-24mm f/4 (mostly) and XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7
Editing: Adobe Lightroom

chefchaouen in rif mountains morocco

view of Chefchaouen and the Rif mountains

chefchaouen blue taxi

taxis in Chefchaouen are also blue

blue door chaouen

Casa Perleta – where we stayed for 2 nights

Photowalk in Chefchaouen with Fujifilm X-T2 and XF 10-24mm Lens

We arrived on a Sunday, around 4pm. After settling in our hotel (Casa Perleta) we chose to explore the city while there was still time. We were glad to have done so because the next day, it rained the whole day.

Probably the only way to explore Chefchaouen is by foot. You have to climb steps and walk through alleys to get around. The houses are set up on hills and as you explore its blue-painted walls, you will find small shops selling souvenirs, groceries, carpets and other daily items.

If you ever get lost while strolling in the medina, you won’t be scared, you will love it instead. You will pass by these alleys and corners selling what-nots. merchandise. You can find souvenirs and local handicrafts, carpets, soaps and spices. You can even watch how the Moroccan artisans and craftsmen make those souvenirs right at the shops.

Unlike any other Medina in Morocco, Chefchaouen is not so complicated and is unique as its architecture offers a special taste of art. The sight of the two mountain peaks from the town is breathtaking.

chefchaouen photo moroccostarted walking and exploring the area

small store chefchaouen

bought some items from the nearby grocery shop

spices in grocery store chefchaouen

colorful spices

Why are the houses in Chefchaouen painted Blue?

Why are they painted blue? One of the locals in our hostel mentioned that it’s to ward off ants, another local said it was to repel mosquitoes. Those were some strange answers, but something we didn’t bother asking further as it seems to add to the town’s harm.

Based on websites after a few Google searches, the white-washed blue-painted houses were a tradition brought by Jews settled in Chefchaouen in late 1400s and has since become a tradition. But to be honest, not all houses are painted blue, and when you see it from afar, it will be evident. Or maybe they’re not yet finished.

alleys in chefchaouen morocco

passing through more alleys

handicraft bags on display

cat in chefchaouen

plenty of cats in Chefchaouen

wood merchandise in chefchaouen

wood tables, chest boxes, cabinets, shelves, Morocco makes beautiful art out of these crafts

Tourist Attractions in Chefchaouen

Plaza Uta El Hammam is a good stop. It’s the town’s main square where you’ll get a view of the Great Mosque and check out the Kasbah, an old fortress which is also a museum and an art gallery. If you’re a bit more adventurous, you might also want to consider hiking the Rif Mountains, about 800 meters altitude, near Marrakesh. These are the greenest mountains in Morocco. It has caves which used to be rivers and transformed through the ages of time.

Chefchaouen is prettier than what I can describe. If you consider this blue town of Morocco to be on your travel wish list, then there are lots of hotels or travel packages you can choose on the internet that can help you decide where to stay so as to enjoy the best out of your stay.

Below are the rest of the pictures during our 2-day stay in the city.

busy medina sunday in chefchaouen

carpets for salecarpets for sale morocco bought one of these – learn to haggle to get them at a bargain

hiking chefchaouen houses

but when you bargain, make sure you leave some for these sellers to profit

chefchaouen morocco photowalk

blue houses

colorful hats and beanies in morocco hats and beanies

fridge magnet chefchaouen morocco

fridge magnets in Morocco

handicraft bags morocco

leather bags

clothes, house stuff, all pieces of artwork

restaurant in chefchaouen morocco

restaurant where we stopped by to eat

busy medina sunday in chefchaouen

town square – medina

sunday family day morocco

it was a Sunday, a busy day to go out with family in the central area

view of the blue town chefchaouen

we went inside Al Kasbah – a walled fortress in the medina.

chefchaouen roof view from Al kasbah tower

climbed up and saw a view of the town

turning dark

walking in chefchaouen morocco

still passing through alleys, it was a cold winter season in Morocco

a shop selling pastries and Arabic sweets

baklava arabic pastry

Arabic sweets – baklava

soap shop chefchaouen

La Botica de la Abuela Aladdin – shop selling soaps, spices, etc. – will blog about this soon!

la botica de la abuela aladdin shop morocco

soaps!

handicraft shop in morocco

inside a shop selling souvenirs

Al Kasbah entrance

chefchaouen morocco picture

Chefchaouen townsquare at night

rooftop view chefchaouen morocco

the next day, it was raining the whole time!

rainy morning chefchaouen morocco

waking up with this view – a rainy morning

chefchaouen blue city morocco photo

I told these kids that I’d take their pictures and they became shy

blue city morocco

pass through steps and stairs

blue town morocco

raining in Chefchaouen

morocco blue town chefchaouen

this door leads to a small area where you can have a photo op for a small fee

narrow pathways chefchaouen

the rain made the wet houses even bluer

fruits for sale morocco

fruits for sale in the blue town

blue town chefchaouen morocco photo

better wear comfortable shoes as you will hike and climb stairs as you explore

kids in morocco umbrella

two kids under an umbrella

Tip: Make sure to check the weather (as with any trip). It was winter time so it was really cold during our visit.

Another Tip: We took a taxi from Fez to Chefchaouen as the public bus was already full. It’s advisable that if you include Chefchaouen in your list of places to visit in Morocco, you should go to the bus station and buy some bus tickets the day before so you can still reserve seats when heading to this town. The taxi, although it was more convenient, the fare cost more.

All in all, our 2 days in the city was already enough, even if it was raining the whole time during our second day. I think this would also be enough for you if you plan to visit this blue town of Morocco.

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