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Chefchaouen: Blue Pearl Of Morocco
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The Top 7 Things To Do In Chefchaouen Blue City of Morocco Highlight:
Nestled in the Rif Mountain, Chefchaouen (pronounced “shef-SHAU-wun”) is one city in Morocco that you simply must not and SHOULD not miss! This cute little city in the north-western part of Morocco is painted in different shades of blue—hence be prepared to get lost with your camera in this magical place! This tradition of blue buildings, legend says, can be traced to the 15th century when a group of Jews fled the Spanish Inquisition and settled here. In Jewish culture, the colour blue reminds the people of the sky, and therefore, God.
You can roam around in this blue walled city on your own, or you can opt for tour guides if you are into learning the history and culture of this quintessential Moroccan town. Visit the blue Medina, hike to Rif Mountains, and shop at the hassle-free boutique shops for hand-spun pottery and artisanal soaps which are made right in the city. Break away from the hustle bustle of city life and experience authentic Morocco in this humble town of Chefchaouen .
Tourist attractions include Ras El Maa, a beautiful waterfall and the Outa el Hammam square which has exquisite architecture. You can leisurely take a hike or go swimming in the countryside if you’re looking for something to do.
Places to visit in Chefchaouen:
Ras El Ma
don’t expect huge waterfalls but the whole setting of this area is fascinating. Ras El Maa is located in the east side of the Medina. It is key location for locals who go there to cool down in front of the fresh waters, they even use these waters to do their laundry on sunny days, so nice to watch or even give them a hand! There is a nice café where I felt like the water is flowing down my feet. I even suggest to follow the waters all the way to the Portuguese Bridge
Hike to Spanish Mosque
For nature lovers, this is heaven. Because the hillside on which the city is built on will give your legs a nice workout. I am not kidding, in some cases; you have to climb the stone steps that march straight up the slope.
This mosque sits alone and ruined on a hill overlooking Chefchaouen to the east and is a pleasant morning’s hike from the medina. The trail begins from Bab al Ansar, the medina’s eastern gate, and passes the Ras el’Ma river, where you’ll often find the local Riffian women going about their daily laundry chores. The trail then meanders past fences of prickly pear and agave cacti up to the ruin. This is one of the main paths coming into Chefchaouen from the villages higher up, and there’s usually a nice trickle of locals and their livestock walking by. The mosque was built by the Spanish for the local population, but it never gained favor and was simply abandoned and fell into disrepair. It’s still standing, however, and gives you some idea of the interior of a mosque. The hilltop view is essentially what you come up here for, and on a clear day the limestone peaks of the Rif range seem shiny white against the green fields and blue sky. It’s a slow 45-minute walk one-way.
Explore the Medina
The lovely Medina will give you a sweet balance between Moroccan and Andalusian influence. You’ll find uncrowded, clean streets with perfect combinations of twisty and dense paths. Go wander aimlessly through the narrow whitewashed streets and alleys of Medina. Shop for souvenirs at the leather and weaving workshops that Chefchauen is so known for.
Red-walled Kasbah is a heavily preserved and stored 15th-century wall fortress that now contains the beautiful Andalusian Gardens and a small ethnographic museum. It is located in the main square of Plaza Uta El Hammam. Have a look at the city and the octagonal minaret that rises nearby.
Plaza Uta El Hammam
Boasting an ambience amalgamated with Arab and Spanish influences, Plaza Uta el-Hammam is situated at the heart of the Medina. A great central point of the town, you can simply relax while admiring the majestic mountains which overlook the city.
Enjoy another example of Chefchauen’s mind-blowing natural scenery is a hike to these stunning waterfalls where you will also get to see a natural rock bridge spanning the river.: Bridge of God. Take a dip in the rocky pools.