Chefchaouen, Morocco

Chefchaouen was initially a base for Riffian berber tribes from which attacks on Portuguese Ceuta were made. After the fall of Granada in 1492 there was a wave of Muslim and Jewish refugees that flooded into Morocco. Here they introduced a distinct Andalusian architectural style including tiled roofs, hanging balconies, and courtyards. The result is breathtaking. Narrow cobbled-stoned streets meander through a maze of blue. Thankfully dead end alleys are painted white which is incredibly helpful when getting around. The main square, the Plaza Uta el-Hammam, is the town social center with cafes and restaurants across from the Grand Mosque and newly restored Kasbah. This is the best and cheapest place to eat. It was our first taste of Morocco. Chefchaouen is also a great place to shop. Wood crafts and berber jewelery is prolific and made locally, but the the wool garments and rugs are the speciality here. Our accommodation was on a rooftop terrace with excellent views of the Plaza Uta -el Hammam and the Kasbah. After it cools a bit, heading out of the western gate to the falls makes for a pleasant walk. There are some great hikes into the Rif mountains from Chefchaouen, if you are a little less ambitious there is a trail up to the ruined Mosque that affords some great views of the town.

 

Tags: Chefchaouen, Morocco, Blue, Medina, Rif, Mountains, Plaza, uta, el, Hammam, kasbah, carpet, rug, tajine, couscous, Andalusian, architecture, family, travel, budget, Wanderlusts

 

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