Chefchaouen (try pronouncing that) in Morocco is one of those places that upon first arrival makes you go WOW!
Inside the old medina everything is blue, I mean everything.
Blue cats, you got it (ok maybe not…), but it’s so vibrant and chilled out, with most travellers you meet being of the more laid back kind.
And there’s partly a reason for the more chilled out vibe in Chefchaouen, and that’s the hashish, also known as ‘kif’ in Morocco.
Chefchaouen is located in the Rif Mountains in the north of Morocco, an area famous for its hashish.
1000’s of people are employed in the marijuana business in the region and they are generally allowed to go about it.
Many backpackers seem to go there just for the smoking aspect of the place, but the main reason should be the beautiful blue painted medina (city), with the towering Rif Mountains looking down.
Waking up in the morning you can head up the stairs of your hotel to the roof for views across the city, and maybe enjoy some sun while talking with some rather other ‘relaxed’ guests.
You would really love this place if taking things slow is what you like, especially after leaving behind other hectic cities such as Fes and Marrakech.
Unlike some other places in Morocco there is almost no hassle in Chefchaouen, and the little that you do get is just some brief whispered voices of “You want some hashish”?
The places to eat on the main square in the centre of the medina are overpriced and not very good, except for a few fresh juice places.
But is is a great place to hang out and people watch, as many of the older residents seem to do.
So just grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy.
Chefchaouen is a photographers dream for the colourful buildings and the surrounding mountains, but also for the many traditionally dressed people, especially during the local market.
As has been stated many times before, one of the absolute best places to get a taste for local life is down at the market.
It’s also naturally where you can get yourself some fresh tasty fruits, the best being oranges in Chefchaouen (IMO).
The weather was gloriously sunny when there at the end of April, but being located at the foot of the Rif Mountains it can get very cold and rainy. You have been warned!
Speaking of that you can do lots of multi-day hikes in the Rif Mountains. I can’t tell you how good those hikes are as I didn’t do any (other places to go), but heard there’s some great walks to be done.
It’s quite easy to get there, especially if going from Fes to Chefchaouen as many buses pass through. So there is no excuse not to pop in for the night if in northern Morocco.
Chefchaouen gets a lot of rave reviews from travellers you meet in Morocco. Some of that may be from the ones who went there to smoke hashish, but for many it’s just simply the stunning location and that blue medina.
I can highly recommend stopping there for a few days.
Just remember that what you may think will just be a short visit could turn into a week of ‘chilling’.
Be sure to pay a visit to nearby Fes when in Morocco
Useful links for Chefchaouen
You can find a place to stay in Chefchaouen here:
A good guidebook for your travels in Morocco is the Lonely Planet Morocco
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