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48 hours in Chefchaouen, the blue city

Chefchaouen, or Chaouen, is a city located in the Rif Mountains, in northwest Morocco, at an altitude of about 600m. Renowned for its remarkable buildings of different shades of faded blue in its old town, it is a popular destination for international tourists seeking a haven of peace.

There are many day trips from Fez or Casablanca to Chefchaouen. But the city is so beautiful, and its atmosphere so special, that we cannot help recommending that you extend your stay there a little longer to soak up as much of it as possible, and take the time to meet the inhabitants.

Day 1: A walk in the medina

The cobbled alleys of the city are full of merchants of all kinds: spices, leather goods, fabrics, there is no shortage of local specialties (From the Rif and Berbers’ region both). As you stroll around, find yourself in Uta el-Hammam Square, the true heart of the city, with its many cafés. It is also where the city’s great mosque, El-Masjid El-Aadam, built in the 15th century, is located. With its octagonal minaret, inspired by the Golden Tower of Seville, its interior fountain, and its large prayer room, it offers a very interesting architecture for lovers. Adjacent to it is the Kasbah, not to be missed. This citadel overlooking the square conceals within its walls a real haven of peace, where it is pleasant to take refuge, especially in case of extreme heat. It also houses an ethnographic museum to familiarize yourself with the region, as well as accessible towers, the highest of which offers a magnificent view of the medina.

Day 2: Nature getaway

After having absorbed the atmosphere of the city, having walked its streets, and connected with the inhabitants, it is time to take the small path that leads to the heights, for one (or more) small excursion (s). Within walking distance, the wolf spring (Ras el maa) and the Tissemlal spring, which supply the city’s hammams, and the local river, emerge directly from the river, in a very popular place of the locals, either to wash their clothes or simply to stroll. Further away, and rather accessible by car, Talassemtane National Park is ideal for a half-day or even a full-day trek. To the north of it, don’t miss the Akchour waterfall, as well as the God’s Bridge, two iconic natural points of interest of the place.