Chefchaouen Morocco

September 04, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA view of one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

A few years ago we were trying to decide where to take a family vacation over Christmastime.  We canvased a number of friends who tend to visit fun and interesting places and a few of them mentioned Morocco.  I like Moroccan food (if you have met me you will know that I like pretty much any food) and it sounded a little exotic so we decided to go.  We hired a driver and did a grand tour of the country, visiting Rabat, Fez, Marrakesh, and Essaouira.  One of our favorite stops was the mountain city of Chefchaouen.

 

Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA view of one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

Chefchaouen, sometimes called just Chaouen, is a picturesque town in the northern part of the country best known for its many blue-painted houses.  It also has a reputation for its touts offering locally-grown marijuana to tourists, though I didn't encounter any those salesmen.  Maybe they took some time off over Christmas or maybe I wasn't their target demographic.

 

Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA rests while walking up one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

While the town caters to tourists, it had a laid-back feel while we were there and we saw many more locals than other tourists.  The woman in the photo above was walking up the stairs when she decided to sit down and take a break.  Almost everyone who walked up or down the stairs stopped to chat or at least exchange a few words with her. 

 

Door Lock DetailDoor Lock DetailA close-up view of the inside of a hotel room door at the Casa Hasan riad hotel in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

We stayed at Casa Hassan in the center of the Medina (market area) and very much enjoyed it.  It was rustic and full of character and the staff were extremely polite and helpful. 

 

Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA view of one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

There is a great deal of information available on the internet about Chefchaouen, including Wikitravel and Tripadvisor.  Trey Radcliff has some awesome photos of Chefchaouen on his Stuck in Customs web site.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it.  You can see other photos of Chefchaouen in my Morocco gallery

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.

 


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