Morocco · Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen, Morocco’s blue city, is a truly beautiful town with appropriately blue walls and majestic mountains overlooking the characterful town. Yet it is not the mountains or the “Game of Thrones” architecture that travelers come in their thousands to see. It is the color — a gorgeous blue rinse that covers not only Chaouen’s houses but its mosques, government buildings, public squares and even its lampposts and bins.
The custom 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 things blue to mirror the sky and remind them of God.
As well as its distinctive palette of blue and white buildings, a striking contrast with the arid setting, this popular tourist town has plenty to offer. Embark on strenuous hillside hikes or idle strolls; bathe in mountain streams; or embrace the culinary scene and excellent shopping.
The shopping in this beautiful blue town is one of its biggest tourist attractions. It might not be as varied or grand as in the larger cities of Fes, Marrakech and Casablanca, but Chefchaouen boasts a mesmorising traditional souk. After you have explored the blue, maze like streets, think about buying some traditional souvenirs. Tourists will love the relaxed ambiance which is hard to find in the bigger cities, as it means they can stroll at leisure and appreciate the local leather products for which Chefchaouen is best known.
Beyond the blue streets, there’s a surplus of mind blowing natural scenery which surrounds the town. Approximately 30 minutes by taxi from the town centre lies a tempting tourist trail which, after a beautiful walk, leads visitors to stunning waterfalls. The crystal blue waters are in keeping with the town’s blue theme, and visitors can take a dip in the rock pools, or admire the majestic waterfalls. While in the area, make sure to look out for the awe-inspiring Bridge of God, a rock arch spanning the river.