Chefchaouen- My Bucket List ‘Blue City’

Everyone has a bucket list don’t they?! Or at least a list in their head of travels they would love see and tick off. I first thought about this at the start of the year whilst writing a post about my travels for 2018, I have been fortunate and have seen a lot of the world due to a very early introduction to travel as a child through my parents who were travel lovers (and still are…).

So my list includes, Bora Bora, South Africa, Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, Brazil, Japan, Vietnam and Necker Island (Mr Branson I would be happy to do a review for you). And… Chefchaouen in Morocco, of which this blog post is about.

Chefchaouen also called Chaouen by Moroccans, is fondly nicknamed the ‘Blue Pearl’ of Morocco. This beautiful blue city was founded in 1471 by Moulay Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami. The reason behind it’s blue coloured walls has a few different theories. My favourite is that the colour blue keeps the mosquitos away and that blue is meant to symbolise the sky and heaven, so it sets a reminder to lead a more spiritual life. Chefchaouen has a population of just under 43,000 people and is located in North West Morocco in the Rif Mountains.

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My main reason for wanting to visit the blue city was due to seeing so many gorgeous pictures over the years of it and because most importantly my favourite colour is, yes you’ve guessed it, blue! Majorelle blue is a real favourite of mine and my bedroom is inspired by that shade and Morocco itself. So when we landed in Fes and arrived at our riad we were talking to the manager Merieme, who brought up some ideas of other places we could see out of the city, this included Chefchaouen. To my delight, yes I wanted to squeal, I was already planning in my head the day trip to see it. After convincing Adam it was the ‘perfect’ opportunity we booked a driver for the Friday, which was a good idea as all of Fes medina was closed on Fridays so there wouldn’t have been a lot to do around the city.

Friday arrived and Omar picked us up. Can I just say we had the best driver ever, he was so friendly and had the best tunes playing on our adventure to Chefchaouen. We all got along so well and had many a singsong en route, as well as a few coffee stops. He was our kinda guy. The journey took 4 hours, the taxi was a luxury people carrier with plush leather seats, air con and lots of space. The cost was 1400 dirhams for the day. On the way we just had to say if we wanted to stop for the bathroom or a photo opportunity, to which there was many. Morocco has the most stunning countryside, many would not believe. En route we stopped for panoramic views overlooking Barrage Sidi Chahed lake, it was hard to believe this beautiful site was man made, the dam was built to supply the city of Meknes and the local farming communities with water.  As we approached Chefchaouen we stopped to take pictures from afar and at the ‘door’ entrance. We were then driven into the older part of the city to explore, which includes all the iconic spots, the Kasbah and the square. Omar asked how many hours we wanted to stay, we decided on three and to meet him back where we were dropped off. Off we want to wander the blue city…

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Adam and I walked up some steps and followed the blue streets to the very top. Met by local children who loved a picture taken and lots of cute cats along the way. I was mesmerised by the colour and loved the relaxed feel to Chefchaouen. It was busy but not overcrowded with tourists to which I was so pleased. You definitely get a good workout here too, with the steps and winding streets. We had a little shop for our obligatory fridge magnet and postcards for friends, then we headed to see the Kasbah, which is a 15th century fortress with a dungeon and the main square called Place Outa el Hammam. A refreshment was in order and I spotted a cafe called Hamsa with a rooftop, we went up the stairs and as we entered the roof terrace I could have gasped the setting behind us was unreal. Blue for days as they say, wow what a view. We stayed for awhile resting and enjoying our surroundings, then we headed to explore more of the centre and grabbed lunch too. After eating we thought we would walk back to our favourite part of Chefchaouen, the famous steps as pictured below and there wasn’t a soul. Picture time! As Adam took a picture a little kitten appeared to copy my pose on the step above me, you couldn’t have asked for more. The main thing I loved about the blue city was the idea of wandering but never getting lost, my favourite quote is “those who wander are not always lost” it rang so true here.

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Three hours was perfect timing to explore and visit Chefchaouen, as we made our way back to Omar our driver I had a very happy heart! With lots more sing alongs and some sunset chasing our day ended so well. I really mean it when I say a trip to the blue city is a necessity if you are coming to Morocco and are staying in Fes, Tangier or there abouts. My bucketlist blue city had certainly impressed and lived up so well to it’s famous hype.

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I am also thrilled to announce this is my 100 th blog post for Sostraveluk and what better a place to write about… Now onto my next 100 adventures, where will they take me!