Discovering Chefchaouen : The Blue City in Morocco

Heading for the blue city in Morocco. After Marrakech the red city and Casablanca the white, we embark for Chefchaouen, a small town in northern Morocco that is nicknamed the blue city.

On one side the Mediterranean, on the other the mountain peaks. Chefchaouen takes its name from “Chouf” meaning “look” and “Echaouen” which means “horns”, thus recalling the mountains that surround the city. Its steep streets, its narrow passages, its houses, its walls are all covered with superb shades of blue, thus earning Chefchaouen the magnificent nickname of “blue city”. It is the ideal city when you go on a trip to Morocco.

Less known than Casablanca and Marrakech, it is nevertheless worth visiting and admiring, if only for its unique blue tones. An air of Spain blows through its streets, reminiscent of those of Andalusia. The serenity of this small town, with its atmosphere so calm and so lively at the same time, makes photographers happy, happy to be able to captivate the blue so blue of Chefchaouen.

If its houses are adorned with this marvelous blue, it is said to repel mosquitoes. And it is said that these blue walls were brought to the city by Jewish refugees in 1930 to symbolize heaven and paradise. Since then, the inhabitants have perpetuated the tradition by coloring the Arab-Andalusian architecture in a powdery blue that catches the eye and offers a feeling of gentle relaxation.

But Chefchaouen is not just a city with blue walls. It is a city that cultivates the art of handcrafted carpets with various patterns. Made from sheep’s wool, woven by hand, they are used as decoration in homes, hotels and guest houses. There are also clothes, hats, plates and lamps, all from craftsmen, at very affordable prices, unlike Fez or Marrakech.

Finally, if you want to get out of the city a little, head for the small village of Akchour, towards the road to Oued Laou, about thirty kilometers from the city. There, a little piece of paradise awaits you. Waterfalls several tens of meters high flow into cool pools. Ideal for swimming and cooling off.

What to do in Chefchaouen, the blue city in Morocco?

Get lost in the medina

To best discover Chefchaouen, you have to get lost in the medina. It is quite small and has a plethora of peaceful alleys to walk around. Of course, it is adorned with different shades of blue, with a few touches of color here and there. An impressive picture enhanced by points of interest that should not be missed. Among them, the Uta el-Hammam square, located in the heart of the medina, and its many cafes, but also the great mosque and the famous Kasbah open to visitors.

Visit the souk

In Chefchaouen, as in Marrakech or Casablanca, you have to take a detour through the colorful souks. Colorful cushions, Berber rugs, tunics, slippers… you’ll find everything you need to bring back a little souvenir from the blue city.

Eat in a traditional restaurant

To visit Chefchaouen is also to discover Moroccan gastronomy. You will find restaurants and bouis-bouis on every street corner. Among our favorite addresses is Casa Hassan, located right in the center of the medina. In a peaceful and pleasant setting, the restaurant seduces with the great classics of Moroccan cuisine, namely the traditional harira, tajines, couscous, oriental pastries… An excellent address in Chefchaouen.

> Address: 22 Rue Targui, Chefchaouen 91004, Morocco


Chefchaouen can easily be visited in two days. To go further, you can try to connect the city of Akchour, located about thirty minutes by car. It is the perfect city for hiking, especially in the Talassemtane National Park. Ideal for admiring its magnificent mountain landscapes.

Blue city in Morocco: Where to sleep in Chefchaouen?

Where to sleep in the blue city in Morocco and which hotel to choose? Here is our small selection of riads and high-end establishments.

Riad Nila

Right in the heart of the blue city in Morocco, Riad Nila is a charming accommodation with a handful of beautifully decorated rooms. Local craftsmanship is omnipresent at Riad Nila: wicker baskets, moucharabieh, Moroccan chandeliers… We never tire of the traditional decoration sublimated with a few touches of modernity. Its roof terrace allows you to enjoy a unique view of the city.
> Address: El Haj El Mokhtar Quarter Street, 93000, Morocco

Dar Zambra

In the heart of the medina of Chefchaouen, Dar Zambra is a traditional Moroccan guest house offering only seven rooms for a most intimate moment. The rooms all have unobstructed views of the mountains, but to be truly amazed, you have to go up to the top floor of the riad. The hotel’s rooftop allows you to have lunch, dinner or simply have a drink, while enjoying a panoramic view of the city.
> Address: 15 Bin Souaki Street, Chefchaouene, Morocco

Dar Chefchaouen

This magnificent guest house located in the center of the city of Chefchaouen. Dressed in blue, white and orange, Dar Chefchaouen welcomes you to its suites and comfortable rooms decorated in a subtle and soft way. Local Moroccan craftsmanship is reflected in its Berber carpets, its zelliges or its traditional lamps.Its preserved jewel? The beautiful swimming pool surrounded by lush vegetation, for a quiet moment during your stay.
> Address: Road Ras El Ma El Onsar district, 19000 Chefchaouene, Morocc

The Hermitage of Akchour

Lost in the middle of the mountains and surrounded by green nature, L’Ermitage opens the doors of its charming establishment in the town of Akchour, only about thirty minutes from Chefchaouen. This ecolodge, located in the Talassemtane National Park, is the perfect place to live a unique experience of change of scenery and serenity. The establishment blends into the mountain, thanks to an architecture combining stone and wood, which gives character and charm, as well as softness and comfort to the place.
> Address: Road to Akchour Akchour – Municipality of Talambote, Chefchaouene 91000 Morocco

Blue city in Morocco: When to go?

When to go to the blue city in Morocco? To make the most of your stay, it is best to find out about the weather and temperatures in Chefchaouen in advance. If the blue city can be visited throughout the year, we advise you to avoid the winter season, i.e. the months of January and February. Indeed, Chefchaouen is located in the mountains; and due to its altitude, temperatures can drop quickly and therefore get quite cold, especially at night. We rather advise you to go to Chefchaouen the rest of the year, that is to say during the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December. If you are sensitive to heat, avoid the months of July and August when temperatures can easily reach 45 degrees during the day.


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