For the last few years, I’ve seen a fair amount of tourism agencies and travel bloggers promoting destinations as “instragrammable”. Unfortunately, not all these destinations live up to that expectations. When we were supposed to end our 7-day tour of Morocco in Chefchaouen, a city that many claims so instagrammable that it’s worth making a side-trip, I still have my doubt that it would end our trip on a nice note. What is so great about a city that is painted all blue and just how many blue doors one can enjoy and admire right?
This is one of the few times that I’m happy to be wrong.
Chefchaouen is indeed a nice place to visit. Let me share why and what changed my mind over my 30 odd hours’ time spent there.
Just like any other cities in Morocco, rooftops of Riyads are best place to kickstart a day. Nice cool air and just a sense of serenity as the Fajr prayer calls from the various mosques all the way to the minutes when the sun starts to rise.
Chefchaouen is a day-trip destination so many tourist buses will only arrive mid-morning. The decision to spent the night there was a great move as my wife and I had the opportunity to roam the endless small lanes and iconic blue houses in the early morning minus all the crowd.
There are few different versions on why Chefchaouen is all-blue. Jewish’s community way of protecting themselves against invaders, keeping mosquitos away, keeping it cool, representing the sky and water are some of it but at this modern era, I would say the reason could also be continuing the tradition started way back then and retaining its unique tourist niche.
There are other colors as well but main colors remain to be different shades of blue.
If in other cities of Morocco, getting lost within the confusing network of small alleys and streets could lead you into being tricked for “pay for directions” scam. However in Chefchaouen getting lost is a must and part of the fun.
Equipped with a traditional paper map, we roamed beyond the main lanes and even a few times accidentally walked into people’s private property in which the locals were polite in asking us to turn around.
Even the shop owners were polite in offering their products. I was also told that Chefchaouen might not be the cheapest place to buy souvenirs but it offers a much more pleasant experience in terms of no pushy salesman and intense bargaining required.
View from the main square.
The most famous spot for photos. Looks better on summer months but still a good place to pose for your Instagram feed 😛
I actually prefer the more hidden lanes. Less people = more time to snap a nice shot.
And if you are lucky, you get to spot some cute looking cats too.
While there are not many activities besides photo taking, wandering around the town and some hiking activities, Chefchaouen has its own unique identity. It was a totally opposite feeling from the busy streets of Marrakesh and Fes or the wilderness of Sahara Desert. It has this laidback chill and enjoy the sights kind of feel which in a way makes it the best way for us to end our Morocco adventure.
Click here to recap my other #MuchMorocco stories:
Part 3: Glamping in Sahara Desert
Part 4: Historical and Calm City of Fes