If you’ve ever entertained any interest in making a trip to Morocco, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the name “Chefchaouen.” Whether you’ve seen pictures on travel blogs or your friend’s Instagram, this beautiful city proudly claims worldwide fame.
Known for its striking azure medina (old city) and cobbled streets, the Blue Pearl of Morocco definitely needs to be at the top of your travel bucket list.
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Chefchaouen is nestled in Morocco’s northern Rif Mountains. Its weather patterns are comparable to other popular Moroccan destinations, but the city may feel colder than average in the winter due to more frequent rain and cloudy skies.
You can reach Chefchaouen by bus, car, or taxi. The closest major cities are Tangier and Tetouan to the north and Fez to the south, so flying into one of these airports is a good option if the blue city is your first stop. If you’re doing a circuit of Morocco, plan to spend a day in Chefchaouen while traveling from Fez to Tetouan or Tangier.
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There are many theories that seek to explain the city’s remarkable blue buildings. One explanation is that the color keeps away mosquitos; another is that Jewish refugees painted the city in the 1930s to symbolize the sky, heaven, and spirituality. Another theory is that authorities commissioned locals to paint the city to attract tourists.
Regardless of the initial reason, the buildings receive regular touch-ups to preserve the Blue Pearl’s signature shade.
The blue city is full of guesthouses and hotels that can accommodate travelers. Most have beautiful decor and rich histories, especially those inside the medina.
Many travelers report fewer instances of harassment, scams, and theft in Chefchaouen than compared to other Moroccan cities. The blue city is quite safe and visitors should have no qualms about going out at night.
Despite being one of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations, Chefchaouen is considerably more calm than other hotspots such as Fez and Marrakech. Whether it be due to the soothing shades of blue or the crisp mountain air, you will feel at peace in Chefchaouen.
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