Chefchaouen: A Blue Travel Guide

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Chefchaouen is in so many ways the perfect introduction to Morocco and all of it’s intense potential for extremity. The city itself is placed right in the middle of the beautiful Rif Mountains and is famous for its beautiful blue buildings that wind the city upwards into a shimmering maze of sapphire. The streets climb up and up and up, and if you are lucky you can find a view that overlooks the entire area.

The wonderful thing about this city is that you do not have to do anything in particular in order to properly experience it. The only thing you need to do is to explore, to get lost and to get nice legs walking hills and steps in the perpetually uphill place that is Chefchaouen. Shop, eat and glide through the streets of the Medina to your hearts’ content. Watch the locals go about their trades at the local markets. Feast on the mini mandarins, so small yet so so so delicous. Drink a boiling hot and sweet cup of mint tea. Be in the city, breathe it and then depart having seen scenes you shall never forget.

 

ARRIVE

This city was one of the first places that I truly explored when traveling through Morocco. After a wild ride through the south of Spain we made the perfect entrance into North Africa by ferry heading into Tangier. The next (very early) morning we made our backpack-lugging way to the bus station to catch the first bus into Chef! This bus ride, costing us around $5 per ticket, lead us through an intense path of winding roads along steep hills overlooking SO much green. We bypassed many a man leading a pack of silly goats, and arrived in under three hours to the very edge of town.

If coming from Fez, expect a trip of around 4 hours. Many fly into either Marrakesh, Fez or Casablanca and all of these cities have reasonable bus trips into Chefchaouen. And if you ask me, the bus trips in this country have to be a highlight. Landscape. Uhhhhhhh!

The bus stop is located right at the edge and bottom of the city. If you would like to stay right in the center of the city and the center of the blue, then you must walk up a serious hill. This hill will take you into the heart of the Medina, and not only will your butt be thanking you for the workout of its life but your eyes will too. Buy a big bag of olives, throw down your bags and get ready for some serious Morocco.

The Barbershop 2

The Barbershop 2. Location: Tangier

Our pit stop at Tangier

Our pit stop at Tangier was brief yet satisfying

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What to buy in Morocco

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Morocco is one of the best places to travel for markets, bargaining and exquisite locally made goods of all kinds. Shopping in Morocco is an entire adventure in itself and not only requires knowing what you like and want, but also your ability to fight for the price. The price that is right.

The souqs of Marrakech and Fez are famous for their incredible markets that wind you into a spell of leather goods, shining lamps and scrumptious bites. These two cities are where I found the most intense and incredible experiences of shopping in my lifetime. Dramatic, but true. I do not consider shopping a religious experience, however in Morocco you can’t do this without your heart and soul. You spend hours wandering through the souq to find one of a kind items, dodging monkey’s, snakes in baskets and the delightful man with a tooth collection.

Morocco is a hub for the hidden treasure.

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