Chefchaouen: Why you should visit the blue pearl of Morocco

Nestled in the Rif Mountains of Morocco is a magical blue city that offers travelers a tranquil respite that can’t be found in other busy medinas. An easy day trip from Fez and Tangier, this popular city is a must-visit destination for travelers wanting to explore a truly unique corner of the world. Although it is not on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I couldn’t resist the draw to come here and photograph Morocco’s blue pearl for myself. The main reason you should visit Chefchaouen, Morocco is simply because it is too beautiful to miss.

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Why you should visit Chefchaouen

Allowing yourself to wander in the blue-washed medina of Chefchaouen releases a sensation of fresh discovery that you haven’t felt since childhood.  Honestly. Even though this location has been a viral Instagram post for many travel bloggers, it still feels unique and special as you walk among the blue walls. Maybe it’s the pop of color in a yellow flower pot that you appreciate more or how especially cute the orange kitten looks sitting on the steps.  The mystery of what visual treat lies around the next corner urges you to keep the exploration going. The reward of experiencing this city for yourself and the beautiful photographs you will make are greater than any souvenir you could take home.  

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Why is everything painted blue? 

There are differing accounts as to why the city is painted blue. One theory dates back to the 1930s and is said to come from the Jews that occupied the city after being expelled from Spain.  They moved to Chefchaouen and painted everything blue to replace the green of Islam.  Other, more practical, rationales are that the blue keeps mosquitos away or it’s to just keep things cooler. Some say it comes from a spiritual place and that the blue symbolizes the sky and heavens. Perhaps the most disappointing theory is that the walls were painted that way sometime in the 1970s simply to attract tourists. 

Chefchaouen, Morocco

How can I get the best views of Chefchaouen?

For the best views of Chefchaouen head to the Spanish Mosque. Perched atop a hill, it’s about a 45 minute walk to get there. The trail starts at Ras el-Ma on the east end of the town. The mosque is closed now and most visitors are there for the views anyway.

Chefchaouen, Morocco

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