Beautifully perched beneath the raw peaks of the Rif, Chefchaouen is one of the prettiest towns in Morocco, an artsy, blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world. While tourism has definitely taken hold, the balance between ease and authenticity is just right. The old medina is a delight of Moroccan and Andalucian influence with red-tiled roofs, bright-blue buildings and narrow lanes converging on busy Plaza Uta el-Hammam and its restored kasbah. Long known to backpackers for the easy availability of kif (cannabis), the town has rapidly gentrified and offers a range of quality accommodation, good food, lots to do and no hassles to speak of, making it a strong alternative to a hectic multicity tour. This is a great place to relax, explore and take day trips to the cool green hills.
Sights in Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen’s medina is one of the loveliest in Morocco. Small and uncrowded, it’s easy to explore, with enough winding paths to keep you diverted, but compact enough that you’ll never get too lost.
The kasbah is a heavily restored walled fortress that now contains a lovely garden, a small ethnographic Museum, and an even smaller art gallery. The ethnographic museum contains some fascinating views of old Chefch…
The mosque was built by the Spanish in the 1920s, but never used. It fell into disrepair, but has been newly restored (by the Spanish, again) and there are plans for it to open as a cultural centre.
The waterfall of Ras el-Maa is just beyond the far northeastern gate of Chefchaouen medina. It’s here, where the water comes gushing out of the mountain, that local women come to do their washing. The sound of the w…
The Eco-Museum at the entrance to the Talassemtane National Park is well worth a visit. It has info on the park, maps of treks and an extensive display of the flora and fauna found in the park.
Plaza Uta el-Hammam
The heart of the medina is the shady, cobbled Plaza Uta el-Hammam, which is lined with cafes and restaurants, all serving similar fare. This is a peaceful place to relax and watch the world go by.
Noteworthy for its unusual octagonal tower, the Grande Mosquée was built in the 15th century by the son of the town’s founder, Ali ben Rachid, and is closed to non-Muslims.
Small ethnographic museum, with traditional costumes and artifacts. Inside a beautifully restored building inside the kasbah.
Offering superb views and 7km northwest of the centre, the hilltop kasbah is a rare survivor of the 1960 earthquake. Built in 1541 and restored in the 1740s, the area once housed 300 people.