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Chefchaouen: the blue city of Morocco

Awake_vyse 3 de August del 2016 tourism
Hidden beneath the Rif Mountains, this small town in the north of Morocco is one of the main touristic spots in the country; no wonder why, given its beautiful natural surroundings, the rich culture, and the astonishing structures you can find there. Yet, it’s not the mountains what most people’s attention is drawn to see, but the incredibly striking bright-blue buildings in the medina, the “old-town” sector.

Chefchaouen the blue city of Morocco

This medina is a delight for the eyes, a fusion of the Moorish and Spanish architecture, and it consist of tons of old buildings, all washed-white and bright-blue, and narrow lanes, converging on the heart of the medina, Plaza Uta el-Hamman.

Chefchaouen was founded in the 15th century, in a small Berber town, as a fortress for the exiles from Spain; its name comes from the Berber word “shawen”, which means “horns”, and the town is called this way because it is said that the mountaintops resemble a goat’s horns, or “chaoua”, as they are known in Morocco. The literal meaning of Chefchaouen is “look at the horns”.

Chefchaouen’s most outstanding characteristic, its blue buildings, are this color to mirror the cloudless Moroccan sky – but this it’s due to religious rather than stylistic reasons. According to Jewish teachings, by dyeing threat with tekhelel (an ancient natual dye) and weaving prayer shawls with it, would remind people of the power of God, and the tradition lives on in the regularly repainted buildings. It is also believed that the color blue repels mosquitoes.

Besides from the medina, the town has so much more to offer. It is the perfect destination for backpackers, but the town guarantees different range of accommodations, from small hostels to luxury hotels, so it fits every visitor’s need and desires, which makes this place very welcoming and enjoyable to tourists.


For fitness fans and adventurers, the surroundings presents from peaks to gorges, where arid landscapes meet mountains streams; multi-day treks and day trips are available, offering unforgettable tours through wonderful sceneries. Whatever season it is, visitors are assured incredible views. Even though summer is a popular time of the years for trekkers, Chefchaouen during winter may be more appealing to hikers, since the town is prone to dustings of snow. Nevertheless, it is great for families who look for new experiences and photographers.

Now, for gastronomy lovers, this could be quite the experience. Chefchaouen offers the most exotic food your taste buds could ever try: dishes exemplary of a culture that’s very different from the Occidental culture. All your senses will be bombarded with the variety of textures and smells, and if you like the thrill of trying something new, the typical tagine is the definitive must-try. Restaurants with open plan kitchens are one of the main attractions, since they allow a sneak peek in to the preparation of the dishes, something that’s always interesting.  After a meal, as it is custom, visitors should at least once try the refreshing mint tea that’s so important in the Moroccan tradition.

It could be said that this small town offers lots to do and to speak of, and it is perfect if you’re looking for a quiet yet fascinating vacation spot. This is a great place to relax, and to come back from with tons of stories to tell


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