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.
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.