I fell in love with Morocco before I even set foot there, and it all began when I saw photos of this beautiful blue city in the mountains.
When I was “planning” this trip, Morocco was thrown in casually, almost as an afterthought. I had never been to Africa, it looked like a beautiful country, and if you squint at a globe, Morocco is sort of on the way from Paris to Thailand. Sort of.
As far as I’m concerned, you don’t need a reason to travel (though Morocco has more than enough reasons to offer up, if you need one). So when I saw photos of Chefchaouen, I decided to add Morocco to the itinerary and looped a travel buddy in to seal the deal.
I arrived to Tangier late in the evening, wide-eyed and nearly tingling with excitement. My friend Joe and I had a midnight feast of the breads and cheeses I had packed from Paris, and the next morning we headed towards the Rif Mountains, where a little city in the foothills was waiting for us.
After the hustle of Tangier, Chefchaouen’s sleepy demeanor was a welcome surprise. We arrived to a sunny afternoon and discovered that our b&b was above a primary school, so the air was filled with the sounds of children laughing. Between that and the kaleidoscope of blue hues splashed across every wall, I was certain that we had somehow walked into a dream.
We were in the mood to wander and explore, and the medina was the perfect playground. Entire days were spent getting lost in the winding sidestreets and wandering through the art studios & market stalls. It was easy to slip into the relaxed vibe of the city, and made for an ideal respite before we headed off to Fes and our next adventure.
When you go
- Stay at the Casa Del Rio (book here). The proprieter, Mohamed Ali, is a delightful and welcoming host, and went out of his way to make our stay wonderful.
- Get out of town at least once to hike to Akchour, the local waterfall. Get a guide to take you, and plan to spend the day.
- Make plans to not make plans. My favorite days were the ones when we wandered the city without an agenda, and it’s small enough that you’ll get your bearings quickly. If you get lost, the locals are helpful and quick to point you in the right direction (or even show you personally, which happened more than a few times for us!).