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7 Reasons To Visit The Famous Chefchaouen Medina

This is a guide to exploring the Chefchaouen Medina in Morocco, and the main reasons as to why you should visit. It is one of the best places and experiences to have when in Morocco.

Chefchaouen Medina is a popular destination for tourists seeking a unique and visually appealing experience in Morocco. The combination of blue-washed buildings, traditional craftsmanship, and the surrounding natural beauty makes it a memorable destination.


Exploring Chefchaouen Medina

Chefchaouen Medina is a historic and picturesque district located in the city of Chefchaouen, also known as Chaouen, in northwestern Morocco. The term “Medina” refers to the old, walled part of an Arab city.

What makes Chefchaouen Medina distinctive is the predominant use of blue paint on the buildings, giving the entire area a unique and charming appearance.

This is what it is like inside the medina and the main reasons for you to visit.


Blue Buildings

The most notable characteristic of Chefchaouen Medina is the blue-painted buildings. The tradition of painting buildings blue is said to have originated with Jewish refugees who settled in Chefchaouen during the 1930s.

The blue colour is believed by some to symbolize the sky and heaven, while others suggest it is intended to repel mosquitoes.


Cobbled Streets

Children playing a game at night.

The narrow, winding streets of the Medina are paved with cobblestones, adding to the area’s old-world charm.

Exploring these streets is a delightful experience, with surprises around every corner.


Craftsmanship

Chefchaouen Medina - man walks in the medina.

Chefchaouen is known for its skilled artisans who produce traditional Moroccan handicrafts. Visitors to Medina can find a variety of handmade goods, including woven blankets, carpets, pottery, and traditional clothing.


Historical Sites

A local mosque.

Within the Medina, you’ll find historic sites such as the Kasbah (a fortress), the Plaza Uta el-Hammam (the main square), and the Grand Mosque.

The Kasbah houses a museum that provides insight into the history and culture of the region.


Views of the Rif Mountains

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, and the Medina offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

chefchaouen

The mountains provide a beautiful backdrop to the blue-and-white buildings.

Chefchaouen at sunset in Morocco.
Overlooking Chefchaouen from near the mountains.


Relaxed Atmosphere

chefchaouen
My hotel balcony with great views and a relaxed atmosphere.

Chefchaouen is known for its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Many visitors appreciate the peaceful environment and the opportunity to unwind in this charming blue city.

The central area of the medina 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.

Men in the market.
Meeting up for a chat in the central area of the medina.

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?”

That’s because the nearby Rif Mountains are one of the prime marijuana-growing spots in Morocco. Just ignore it though and they will leave you alone without trouble.

You will love Chefchaouen Medina if taking things slow is what you like, especially after leaving behind other hectic cities such as Fez and Marrakech.


The Market

chefchaouen
Local market.

Chefchaouen is a street photographer’s paradise for the colourful buildings and the surrounding mountains, but also for the many traditionally dressed people, especially during the local market.

Traditional woman Chefchaouen
At the market.

One of the absolute best places to get a taste of local life is down at the market. It’s also where you can get yourself some fresh tasty fruits, the best of which are the oranges.

Chefchaouen women in traditional dress.
Market scene.


Travel To Chefchaouen

chefchaouen

It’s quite easy to get there, especially if going from Fez to Chefchaouen as many buses pass through.

Chefchaouen gets a lot of rave reviews from tourists you meet in Morocco, and for many, it’s just simply the stunning location and the blue medina.

I can highly recommend stopping there for a few days.

If you do plan to go to Chefchaouen then be sure to book a place before going. You can find places to stay in Chefchaouen here.

Chefchaouen is one of the best Moroccan cities to visit.

A good guidebook for your travels there is Lonely Planet Morocco. It’s the guidebook I used for travelling in Morocco and they have a good section about Chefchaouen.

Be sure to pay a visit to nearby Fez when in Morocco.

I recommend using SafetyWing Travel Insurance for your trip, just in case, it’s best to be prepared.


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11 thoughts on “7 Reasons To Visit The Famous Chefchaouen Medina”

  1. Katie Featherstone

    I meant to stay for 3 days and didn’t leave for about 10… Such a gorgeous little town! I love your photos of the people. It’s difficult to get those kind of shots.

  2. Cool! Yeah I only stayed 2 days myself as had a flight shortly after to England. Would have liked to stayed lobger, like you know it’s a really chilled out place!

  3. Simply stunning! Some of the best travel photos I’ve seen in a while… the one with the flower pots is perfect! I have only been to Marrakech in Morocco but it looks like Chefchaouen would be my kind of place (NOT for the smoking!).

  4. Thanks Camille 🙂 Yes Chefchaouen is very photogenic and chilled out, much more laidback than hectic Marrakech. I’m sure you will get there someday.

  5. Great pictures!I can totally relate to the laid-back atmosphere in Morocco (parts of it at least), experienced a similar vibe when visiting the city of Essaouira. Definitely visiting Chefchaouen on my next trip there, thanks for the nice post!

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