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Meet the Moroccan city that's got everyone talking

  • Published 11 March 2019

Marrakech was once a traveller’s dream, with images of weaving souks trickling out into the grand medina and refreshingly tranquil riads lined with traditional décor making the rounds on your social media feed. But no more. Enter Chefchaouen, or the Blue City, Morocco’s new kid on the block, where travelled novices and influencers alike are flocking in their thousands. Want to know why? Our experts are here to inspire you to travel to another new corner of the world. 

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Peacefully resting in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco, Chefchaouen was once a hidden treasure in the chest of this culturally rich and naturally diverse African country. Until the rest of the world found out about the blanket of blue-washed buildings that greets any visitor knocking on its, most-likely, blue gates. For those who are lured in by the patchwork of rainbow-coloured houses of the Clinque Terre cliffs, or the ribbon of bright tones plastered on the sea-front of Copenhagen, Chefchaouen is the place for you. Nicknamed “the blue pearl of Morocco” it’s hard to imagine why anyone would come here apart from immersing themselves in this stunning gem, with the regularly repainted powder-blue buildings nothing short of magical.

Peacefully resting in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco, Chefchaouen was once a hidden treasure in the chest of this culturally rich and naturally diverse African country. Until the rest of the world found out about the blanket of blue-washed buildings that greets any visitor knocking on its, most-likely, blue gates. For those who are lured in by the patchwork of rainbow-coloured houses of the Clinque Terre cliffs, or the ribbon of bright tones plastered on the sea-front of Copenhagen, Chefchaouen is the place for you. Nicknamed “the blue pearl of Morocco” it’s hard to imagine why anyone would come here apart from immersing themselves in this stunning gem, with the regularly repainted powder-blue buildings nothing short of magical.

50 Shades of Blue

Climbing through narrow cobbled streets, passing the quaint and inviting churches, houses and tiny shops all stacked up the hillside, adventure is rife here. If it’s not blue, it’s white, although there seems to be something a little more special about Chefchaouen than the jigsaw of these colours on the island of Santorini. The reason behind the 50 shades of blue is debated, though: some believe it was the Jews who painted it in their religion’s divine colour to reflect the cloudless sky and the sapphire seas, while many say it is simply a mosquito repellent as blue is known to turn them away. Whatever you believe, the hues change throughout the day depending on the positioning of the sun, so for you budding photographers the best time to head out with your camera is dawn, where deserted streets roll out the blue carpet just for you, and you alone. 

Climbing through narrow cobbled streets, passing the quaint and inviting churches, houses and tiny shops all stacked up the hillside, adventure is rife here. If it’s not blue, it’s white, although there seems to be something a little more special about Chefchaouen than the jigsaw of these colours on the island of Santorini. The reason behind the 50 shades of blue is debated, though: some believe it was the Jews who painted it in their religion’s divine colour to reflect the cloudless sky and the sapphire seas, while many say it is simply a mosquito repellent as blue is known to turn them away. Whatever you believe, the hues change throughout the day depending on the positioning of the sun, so for you budding photographers the best time to head out with your camera is dawn, where deserted streets roll out the blue carpet just for you, and you alone. 

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More than just a pretty face

It’s hard to imagine pulling your senses from the enchanting colour palette all around, but Chefchaouen has many more layers beneath the striking surface. First on the list has to be the orange juice. We know, it doesn’t seem like much reason to travel to northern Morocco, but the sweetest and juiciest oranges are produced in the Chefchaouen province, and the most stylish of riads serve exquisite Moroccan breakfast alongside your morning cup of OJ – the right way. The contrast of the acidic orange against a backdrop of powder-blue makes for a designer’s dream too. Exploration and exercise are also a given, with waterfall hikes only a short private transfer away, where climbing alongside lush vegetation to the climax of a crystalline turquoise pool is a pretty breath-taking fitness class.  

It’s hard to imagine pulling your senses from the enchanting colour palette all around, but Chefchaouen has many more layers beneath the striking surface. First on the list has to be the orange juice. We know, it doesn’t seem like much reason to travel to northern Morocco, but the sweetest and juiciest oranges are produced in the Chefchaouen province, and the most stylish of riads serve exquisite Moroccan breakfast alongside your morning cup of OJ – the right way. The contrast of the acidic orange against a backdrop of powder-blue makes for a designer’s dream too. Exploration and exercise are also a given, with waterfall hikes only a short private transfer away, where climbing alongside lush vegetation to the climax of a crystalline turquoise pool is a pretty breath-taking fitness class.  


While boasting undeniable beauty, Chefchaouen is a destination frequented by many for day trips, as opposed to staying overnight due to its limited accomodation options. A day trip from Fes is our recommendation which is a three and a half hour's journey, where the luxury riads and rich culture will welcome you home after a day exploring the blue city. Private transfers can also be arranged by our team of experts so you can ease the early morning by travelling in comfort and style.

The best time to visit this otherworldly haven is between August and October, so if you feel inspired to start pounding the blue pavements of this intimate city give one of our personal travel managers a call on 0203 816 0985 or enquire here

How do I get there?

While boasting undeniable beauty, Chefchaouen is a destination frequented by many for day trips, as opposed to staying overnight due to its limited accomodation options. A day trip from Fes is our recommendation which is a three and a half hour's journey, where the luxury riads and rich culture will welcome you home after a day exploring the blue city. Private transfers can also be arranged by our team of experts so you can ease the early morning by travelling in comfort and style.

The best time to visit this otherworldly haven is between August and October, so if you feel inspired to start pounding the blue pavements of this intimate city give one of our personal travel managers a call on 0203 816 0985 or enquire here

Tagged: Morocco
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