I booked tickets to Morocco to visit Chefchaouen, the city of blue. Nestled in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier, the city is painted a thousand different shades of cobalt and indigo, making it a photographer’s dream. The region—its relaxing vibe and lively centers—proved to be way more than scenery alone.
The winding streets lead you through a city far more at ease than more traditional Moroccan destinations. The main square of the medina provides a restful spot to people watch, but as soon as you require more action, you can wander through the shops selling locally crafted woven rugs, blankets, and clothing. It’s a city that begs to be included on any Moroccan itinerary.
The journey to Chefchaouen began in Fez, a city whose buzzy atmosphere complements the quieter city of blue. My husband and I often travel off the beaten path, but to navigate the maze-like streets of Fez we turned to a local guide. Because of religious, cultural, and language barriers, we benefited from having someone who could reveal the history and the traditions that would be otherwise difficult to spot.
The sights and smells of the medina seem timeless: bread and spices from the markets, donkeys transporting goods on their backs through the narrow alleyways, and sheep skins lying in the streets as a reminder of the recent Eid al Adha religious festival. Even harder to forget is the sound of the call to prayer.
Together, Chefchaouen and Fez made for a satisfying dive into Moroccan sights and culture. Travelers to these cities should prepare to have their senses flooded; it’s not an experience soon forgotten.