MoonLook’s Dream Destination: Chefchaouen, Morocco

You may have seen images on the internet as well as on your social media feeds of a gorgeous blue city, where tourists frolic and pose amidst buildings of varying blue shades, which prompted you to ask yourself “Where is this absolutely magical place?”

That magical place is the city of Chefaouen – or Chaouen as Moroccans also call it, which is surrounded on all sides by epic mountain scenery and a 500-year-old fortress and is our pick for this month’s “Dream Destination”.

The name Chefaouen refers to the shape of the mountaintops above the town, which look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. “Chef Chaouen” derives from the Berber word for horns, Ichawen.

The city is a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to Tangier and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, and is slowly establishing itself as the new “it” place on Morocco’s tourist trail. Many have compared it’s dreamy scenery to that of Santorini in Greece, but only this time, this gorgeous blue city is, in our opinion, way better!

Get lost in blue. 24hours of #Chefchaouen on blog for #TravelThursday. #SimplyCynTravels #Morocco #Maroc

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A stroll through the city will have one notice that the beautiful blue rinse not only covers Chaouen’s houses but its mosques, government buildings, public squares and even its lampposts and trash cans, which adds just that much more beauty and undeniable charm to Chaouen.

With the colour being one of the main reasons tourists and travellers visit the city in droves, the city and its surroundings are also known for its mountains (Rif) and medieval architecture.

The custom of painting all its surroundings blue dates back to the 15th century, when Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition, settled in large numbers in Chaouen. They brought with them their tradition of painting everything blue, to mirror the sky and to remind them of God.

The ancient Jews may have long gone but the tradition still remains to this very day.

The inside of these houses look the same as the outside. It's almost like you're walking into a blue cave that's somewhat modernized. I heard cheery children's voices coming from most of these houses and smelled delicious herbs and spices coming from others while you could hear people talking over the sound of running water, sizzling oil and the clanging of pots, pans and cutlery. I saw kids coming back from school, some of them playing and running up and down the alleys, others grabbing a bench under a tree to keep them out of the sun while they were singing and beating on a bucket. The elders were sitting in front of their houses having conversations with random strangers. It was something idyllic. #chefchaouen #marocco #africa #travel #culture #architecture #people #human #earth #globetrotter #love #passion #art

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So if you’re looking to visit this photogenic Medina, filled with not only beautiful blue buildings but also by vibrant colours, scents and sounds stemming from delicious tagines, spice bags, luscious greenery, djellabas & people, we highly recommend visiting the electric allure that is Chaouen.

Traditional blue-painted doors and walls in Chefchaouen's old town.

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We don’t know about you but we’re off to check for any available tickets! Bye!

This post is also available in: Français (French)

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