Chefchaouen is located in the Rif Mountains of Morocco on the Mediterranean Coast. It is an eclectic city with beauty around every corner. When in Morocco, a visitor has an array of activities at the fingertips, from hiking and trekking to biking or relaxing in the sun. Much of the country is unpopulated, largely uncharted, and vibrantly green, especially in the valleys and the mountans of the north,and a trip to Chefchaouen can be as active or as relaxing as you choose.

For adventurers who want to enjoy a traditional Moroccan town experience that is a little off the beaten track, the riads and alleys of Chefchaouen will give you that in excess.  Chefchaouen  is situated between two peaks of the Rif Mountains.  It is considered the most beautiful  – certainly the most instagrammable – town in all of Morocco by many who visit. It is an artsy place with blue  and white washed mountain homes, transporting you to another world. The town offers  a balance of the type of popular tourism found in Morocco and the historical culture found here. The hues of blues will mesmerize even the  most seasoned traveler.

Shopping in Chefchaouen, Morocco

Explore The Medina in Chefchaouen

The number one thing on our list to do in Chefchaouen is to explore the medina.  The medina is the old town of the city.  In Chefchaoue, there is a heavy Andalucian influence in the architecture of the medina with red tiled roofs littering the valley and bright blue buildings winking at you with every turn. The lanes are narrow making walking the best way to get around the streets. As this medina is one of the smaller ones in Morocco you will never feel lost.

In the heart of the medina is Plaza Uta El- Hammam. This square is lined with cafes and restaurants, and is the perfect place to watch the world go by as you sit eating one of the traditional dishes of Morocco. Many visitors spend the evening in the square watching others walk by, relaxing after a day of sightseeing.

The plaza is dominated by the Kasbah and Grande Mosque. The Mosque is well known for its octagonal shaped tower, and the history of the Mosque dates it to the 15th century.  It was built by the son of the town’s founder, Ali Ben Rachid.  Unfortunately tourists cannot tour inside the Mosque as it is not open to non- Muslims. All the same it is worthy of visiting the area to see the structure from the outside.

The architecture of this little mountainside town is something you will not forget.  While in the square you will have a chance to see the walled fortress of the Kasbah which hosts one of the most beautiful gardens in Chefchaouen and Morocco.  Near the garden is a small Ethnographic Museum. To learn about the culture of the Rif Mountains you will find no place better than the museum.  An art gallery is also located on the premises, with many of the paintings having been done by previouresidents, there are also works by local artists of today. This is also a great spot to see magnificent views of old Chefchaouen.

Relax in The Rif

Relaxing is part of a vacation, and a trip to Chefchaouen should be no exception. Treat yourself  to some relaxation and pampering at one of the spas in Chefchaouen, or go for a traditional scrub up in a local hammam. Several hotels will offer the more upmarket Spa experience offering everything from a massage to a pedicure – something you might need after a full day hiking in the surrounding mountains.

Trekking from Chefchaouen

The best place to go trekking in Chefchaouen when you are looking for a walking route beyond the medina, is the Talassemtane National Park which begins just outside of town. The small villages of Kalaa and Akchour are well known for the trekking experiences one can have there. The Bridge of God which is a natural stone arch leading to waterfalls constantly draws the attention of tourists. The magnificent waterfalls are something to behold, and any guide or tour operator will be more than happy to take you to the area.

Eating in Chefchaouen

Eating in Chefchaouen is a pleasure. Restaurants like La Lampe Magique provide a wonderful atmosphere while serving  top notch Moroccan cuisine. There is a lounge at the restaurant or a roof top terrace for a better view of the city.  Auberge Dardara Restaurant offers tajine and couscous as specialities. The restaurant is well known for having the freshest herbs and vegetables for their meals. Cafe Clock, famous for its camel burger, has also opened in Chefchaouen.

Chefchaouen is unlike any other Moroccan town or city to visit, and not just because of its photogenic blues. Casablanca is a big city for a quick stop, Rabat, the economic center, and Chefchaouen is the relaxation capitol – a place to chillax and unwind.Though Chefchaouen is painted over with a hue of blue, you’ll find nothing to keep you blue here.


Written by Sam Mitchell

Updated by Pauline de Villiers Brettell