Top 10 things to see and do in Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen, the blue city of Morocco, is a truly magnificent city with appropriately blue walls and majestic mountains overlooking this city of character. Also known as Chaouen, it is as rich in history as it is in beauty. Chefchaouen was founded in 1471 when Moors and Jews fled there to escape the Reconquista from Spain. In this ancient and charming city there is much to see and do, so here is our guide to things to do in Chefchaouen.
In this city with so many little stories and hidden finds, tour guides can be a blessing, even for those who normally avoid them. Discover the majestic walls and gates of the city, admire the small signs of life of the early inhabitants through the flour mill and enjoy the beautiful natural water source of the medina of Chefchaouen. It is not normally advisable to take suggestions from local restaurants, as this usually involves an element of commission and you are likely to find yourself in a touristy or often very expensive place.
Book a guide now!
The old town and the medina
Shopping in this beautiful blue city is one of its biggest tourist attractions. It may not be as varied or grand as Morocco’s larger cities such as Marrakech or Casablanca, but Chefchaouen has its wonderful traditional souk. After exploring the streets and blue labyrinths, consider buying some traditional souvenirs. Tourists will appreciate the relaxed atmosphere, hard to find in the big cities, as it allows them to wander around as they please and enjoy the local leather products for which Chefchaouen is best known in the region.
Hiking in the Rif Mountains
To further appreciate nature, and even the city itself, take a hike in the Rif Mountains and admire the city from above with unbeatable panoramic views. Lesser known than the Atlas Mountains, but just as beautiful, these peaks rise 6,500 feet above the Mediterranean and are some of the best hiking routes in Africa. There are so many hiking options in the Rif. Try the 2-day trek to Talassemtane National Park, a spectacular site in itself.
And why not go and explore a beach near Chefchaouen – there are some lovely beaches on the Mediterranean coast that you can visit.
Waterfalls of Akchour
Beyond the blue streets, there is a surplus of breathtaking natural scenery surrounding the town. About 30 minutes by car or taxi from the city centre is an attractive tourist trail called Akchour. Which, after a beautiful walk, leads visitors to some amazing waterfalls. The crystal blue waters are in keeping with the city’s blue theme, and visitors can swim in the rock pools, or admire the majestic waterfalls. During your visit, be sure to check out the impressive Pont de Dieu, a rock arch that spans the river.
In the centre of the medina are the beautiful Andalusian gardens, which provide a tranquil oasis of greenery to complement the soothing blue of the city. Within these gardens is the Ethnographic Museum, known as the Kasbah Museum, which invites visitors to explore its unrivalled collection of artefacts that tell the story of the Chefchaouen region, with everything from pottery to musical instruments. In addition, the museum even houses a small art gallery. A visit to this place is a must to discover the history and culture of Chefchaouen.
Ras El Ma
Translated as “head of the water”, this is the point where the fresh water from the mountain flows into the city. It is also a popular gathering place for the inhabitants. These refreshing waterfalls are an alternative to the large and distant mountain waterfalls. The locals gather here to spend a convivial moment at the water fountain.
Riad and spa Lina
A day in Chefchaouen is not enough, with its mountains, waterfalls and enchanting medina, so why not combine a must-do in Morocco – a night in a riad, and a traditional Moroccan hammam – and head to the Lina Riad and Spa. Right in the heart of the medina, this riad offers spacious, light-filled rooms overlooking the surrounding mountains and the bustling medina. The on-site spa is an oasis of tranquillity, with a heated indoor pool, and a traditional hammam with spa and massage services. An excellent base for your trip to Chefchaouen.
Plaza Uta El Hammam
Every city has its place, and Chefchaouen is no exception. The atmosphere of Plaza Uta El Hammam is a fusion of Arab and Spanish influences, as evidenced by the fantastic food, both street food and restaurants.
As the focal point of the city, it can be ideal for simply relaxing and admiring the majestic mountains that overlook the city.
The Great Mosque
Often the focus of tourist visits, which is not surprising given the importance of mosques in Moroccan culture, the Great Mosque of Chefchaouen is popular with tourists, with its beautiful and unique octagonal minaret. The beautiful echoes of the call to prayer ringing out 5 times a day create a great atmosphere, and the superb architecture dating back to the 15th century is magnificent. The mosque is one of the most important buildings in the city, and an absolute must-see.
Eating at Aladdin Restaurant
After a long day of hiking or sightseeing, a good meal is a must. It is even more essential that visitors sample traditional Moroccan cuisine. One of the best restaurants in Chefchaouen is the Aladdin restaurant, where guests can choose from a menu of international dishes, including the Spanish omelette, but more importantly a wide range of Moroccan dishes, from kefta to all kinds of tagines and couscous, all at a very affordable price. As the name suggests, the restaurant has a romantic and enchanting atmosphere that really complements the delicious food.