Chefchaouen is blue with all of his heart. This charming mountain town with the blue-painted houses is like no other Moroccan city. There’s no noise, neither rush. And even though it can get crowded with tourists, it has a feel of serenity. Spending one day in Chefchaouen, although it doesn’t seem much, is a perfect amount of time to unwind and enjoy its enchanting beauty and laid back atmosphere.
What’s the best time to visit Chefchaouen?
Chefchaouen is like the rest of Morocco, a year round destination. Due to its mountain location, the temperatures never go too high in summer, but also rarely below 10°C in the winter, which makes it a great destination to travel in all seasons. Still, winter days can be rainy, so it’s better to stick to the warmer months.
Few facts about Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen, a city in northwest Morocco, was founded in 1471 as a small kasbah (fortress) by Moulay Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami. In medieval times, many Moorish and Jewish people settled here to escape the Reconquista of Spain. The story said the Jews painted their houses blue when they took refuge from the Hitler army. At the beginning of the 20th century the Spanish seized the town to form part of Spanish Morocco, but returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956. Nowadays, the city is a popular tourist destination, famous for its native handicrafts, such as wool garments, woven blankets and their goat cheese.
One Day in Chefchaouen Itinerary
Top things to do in Chefchaouen, Morocco
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Chefchaouen.
Start your day at Plaza Uta el-Hammam
In the very heart of Medina, you’ll find Plaza Uta el-Hammam. It’s a charming square lined with cafes and restaurants and the meeting point for locals and tourist. The square is a great place to
start your Chefchaouen tour since both Kasbah (fortress) and Grande Mosque are located along the square. Unfortunately the Mosque is open only to Muslims and the tourist tours are not allowed inside of the Mosque. However, you can still check its exterior and the beautiful octagonal shaped tower.
Visit Kasbah fortress
Located on the Plaza Uta el-Hammam, Kasbah is a perfect place to continue your tour. The fortress features a lovely garden, a small Ethnographic museum with a few artifacts, and a small art gallery. The best artifact is, however, restored Kasbah itself. Make sure to climb the Kasbah tower for the stunning 360° view over the Medina.
Stroll the Medina
Medina in Chefchaouen is surely one of the most picturesque places on Earth. Winding path, the fusion of Arab and Spanish influences in architecture, and all the shades of blue you can imagine make wandering this Moroccan old town a real delight. There are many great photo opportunities, and the more you explore, the more beautiful it gets.
Have some tasty lunch
There are many good restaurants in Medina, some of them offering dishes you can’t find anywhere in Morocco. Try chicken lemon tajine with olives in Assaada restaurant and order their Moroccan salad as a side dish. It’s really a good one. If you want to enjoy nice views of the majestic mountains in the background, have a lunch at the beautiful terrace of Aladin restaurant. They have an amazing Harira soup and the Greek salad.
Buy some traditional souvenirs
Souvenir shopping in Chefchaouen is much more relaxed than in other touristy cities like Marrakesh and Fes. The merchants are less pushy and they usually have fixed priced on products which is great if you don’t know how to haggle. If you’re into buying woven rugs or blankets, Chefchaouen is a place to shop.
Watch the sunset from the Spanish Mosque viewpoint
Hike up to the Spanish Mosque is a great way to unwind, breathe some fresh air and do some exercise activity. And once you’re there it’s all worth the climb since the view is breathtaking. Make sure to arrive slightly before the sunset to catch the perfect spot. Besides the view, visit the newly restored Spanish Mosque that dates back to 1920s. In case you find the climb exhausting, you don’t need to go all the way to the top since there are nice viewpoints along the way.
Have the best dinner in town
One in sure – Restaurant Beldi Bab Ssour is the most popular restaurant in the town, and also one of the cheapest. Enjoy your dinner in the traditional and cozy Moroccan ambient, at times super crowded. Don’t miss their Shrimp tajine – it’s a real delight. Also, make sure to book your table earlier in the day.
Where to stay in Chefchaouen?
Hôtel Koutoubia is a nicely decorated hotel in Moroccan style, located in the heart of the Medina of Chefchaouen. Rooms are decorated in blue tones and traditional Moroccan furnishing. Guests can relax on the top terrace lounge and enjoy stunning view of the city and mountains.
Hotel Tedar is newly open hotel, located only a short walk from the main square and Kasbah. The hotel features a terrace with a stunning city views. Rooms offer traditional furnishing and comfortable stay.
Extra tips for visiting Chefchaouen
– Weather in Chefchaouen is way cooler than Marrakesh and Fes weather, especially at night. Make sure to bring some warm wardrobe and some comfy shoes for the eventual hike.
– Due to the limited capacities, make sure to book your accommodation at least a few weeks in advance, otherwise you could be left without a bed to sleep.
– Make your trip to Chefchaouen even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Chefchaouen or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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