Chefchaouen, also called Chaouen, is often associated with its pretty blue streets, overlooked by two ridges that form gazelle horns. But from the souk to the weaving workshops, from the medina to the kasbah, the city is also full of activities to keep you busy (at least) for a day!
At an altitude of 600 meters in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, hides a blue pearl in a desert landscape, usually known for its brown and green hues: Chefchaouen. A city that is home to much more than just remarkable buildings in various shades of blue.
In the morning: a walk in the alleys of the medina
Far from the hectic medinas of Marrakech or Fez, the old town of
Chefchaouen, much quieter, allows you to stroll through the serene streets
where all the houses are painted in blue. Here, no need to dodge mopeds or
donkeys loaded with skins. Lose yourself in the alleys, go up and down in
the nooks and crannies of the old city and see life in blue in search of
the most beautiful house in the city. Don't miss the Outa El Hamam square,
a meeting point for locals and travelers alike.
Sit on a terrace in one of the many cafes that line the square for a sweet mint tea or coffee, before walking along the outer wall of the city's great mosque, located on the same square. Nearby, head to the Kasbah, the fortified district, to discover an explosion of color in its renowned gardens, where the green of the palm trees and plants contrasts with the beige of the walls. Blue is not the only color in Chefchaouen.
For lunch, enjoy the local flavors with a good Tagine or couscous in a very warm atmosphere at the Casa Hassan restaurant in the medina.
The Afternoon: discovering the weaving workshops
Morocco's blue city is known for its artisanal heritage, and especially for its weaving workshops. In Chefchaouen, weaving is a profession, or rather an art. To watch these weavers work and make colorful tablecloths and blankets, you must go to one of the workshops in the medina.
Don't hesitate to ask your local Evaneos agent to organize a visit. Behind a blue door is a traditional weaving center, also called Draz, where you can touch infinitely soft blankets, in classic colors (beige, white, blue) or more modern ones (parma, apple green, yellow, etc.). And, above all, discover the Foutah, a typical feminine garment of the region, often made of red and white striped cotton, which is tied around the waist.
Late afternoon: a sunset to admire from the heights of the city
Take the height to admire the lights of the end of the day delicately illuminate the houses of the medina of Chefchaouen. The walk, accessible to all, takes you along a path that runs alongside a river and the shepherds' huts towards the small Bouzafar mosque, which offers you an exceptional panorama of the entire medina and the surrounding desert.
Remember to go there when the sun is still high in the sky, as the viewpoint is very popular with many sunset lovers.
In the evening: the discovery of the city's souk
More confidential than Marrakech or Agadir, Chefchaouen's souk highlights the quality of local products twice a week: on Mondays and Thursdays. Stroll through the market's alleys in search of souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones.
Clothing, rugs, and cushions are the items that most often charm travelers. Stop at the Terrae store, where a young designer creates and sells original clutches and small furniture made from camel leather.
The treasures of the surroundings to explore if you stay longer
If you are lucky enough to spend more than 24 hours in Chefchaouen, explore the Talassemtane National Park, ideal for a hike through the green mountains of the Rif. Your local Evaneos agency can advise you on the hike that best suits your desires and your level of fitness.
Your efforts will be rewarded by two natural treasures: the Bridge of God, a fascinating arch formed in the rock, and the Akchour waterfall, where you can bathe in water almost as blue as the houses of Chefchaouen.