Chefchaouen – The Blue City in Morocco
In the summer of 2016, the best summer of my life, I have visited Morocco. I did not visit everything that I would have wanted to, but I did not miss the Blue Pearl here, which is the best tiny city I’ve seen so far: Chefchaouen.
I made this trip with a group of amazing people, that became very good friends of mine, but I also made new friends on the way. In this article, I will tell you all about the blue city in Morocco, my very first hostel experience, the seach for the food as a vegetarian, the paradise on Earth named Akchour, which is very close to the blue city and how can you prepare for it.
Magic All Over the Place
Chefchaouen is a small city with a big history, which was established in 1471. The reason for its foundation was to fight against the Portuguese invasions. In 1920, it became part of Spanish Morocco but it was returned in 1956, after the independence of Morocco.
The Blue Pearl, as the people call it, is situated in the northwest of Morocco, very close to Tangier and Tétouan and became a very popular destination for tourists. And for a good reason! Everything is painted blue, the buildings, the streets! There are several stories explaining the whole blue thing, such as:
- It keeps the mosquitoes away – I didn’t see any, to be fair
- The Jews introduced the blue in 1930
- It symbolizes the sky and heaven
- It is a reminder to having a spiritual life
To be honest, whatever the reason is, it came out extremely beautiful and I definitely recommend a visit there. There is small hill, just next to it and if you go there, you’ll witness a breath taking view!
The First Hostel Experience
I think we all have been though this. The first hostel experience is scary, right? No, when you are with good people. We stayed in the old city, or medina, how the locals call it. First, we were supposed to sleep on the roof. Yes, they had this option! But on that unfortunate night, it was almost raining so we slept downstairs. I am actually very sad that I didn’t have the chance, but the next time, I will definitely do it.
We had a bonding evening and we even made new friends. One of the people I’ve met was an amazing guy that was traveling around for work, which became my goal in life. I had so much to learn from him and we are still very good friends now.
What I am trying to say is that hostels are awesome! If you did not try one before, take the first chance you have to do it. You will not regret it. It is basically a meeting point for wanderers, where they tell their stories. Tell me your hostel stories in the comment section, I would like to hear them!
Back then, I was a vegetarian. Now I am a pescatarian, meaning that I also eat fish, but not meat. My luck was that one of my friends was on the same diet and we were able to search for food together. Let me tell you, it is pretty hard, especially if you want to try local cuisine.
Their dishes include: tajine, couscous or pastilla – all of them usually made with meat or chicken. Eventually, I did find the vegetarian option for all of them and they were amazing. It was a tough job to find them, but it was worth it. They also have harira, which is soup made of lentils and now it’s on my favourite dishes list. You shouldn’t miss the traditional green tea with mint. The way they prepare and serve it here is unique.
Have you ever eaten Moroccan food? What is your favourite dish? Let me know in the comment section!
Akchour or Paradise on Earth
Less than one hour drive from the Blue Pearl, is the Akchour waterfall, or the Lost Paradise. There are organized trips to Akchour from Chefchaouen medina and you can easily get there.
When you arrive, you have two options: hike to the small or big waterfall. The small one takes about one hour and the big one takes almost three hours. We chose the small one, because we didn’t have too much time. Both of them are astonishing, but I will tell you about the one we’ve been to.
What you’ll need for the trip:
- Plenty of water, as you’ll walk in the sun.
- Hiking equipment or whatever you feel comfortable in for a hike.
- Swimsuit! Do not forget this at home, trust me! When you see the beauty of the waterfall, you will definitely want to swim there. Some of my friends even jumped down the waterfall.
- Towels, for obvious reasons.
If you decide to go to either of them, the small or the big waterfall, you must remember to enjoy every second here. Some people even go camping here, so it’s an experience that is worth it.
A Paradise Trip
Even though Chefchaouen becomes more and more popular, it is not crowded, like you’d imagine. It is a mesmerizing and relaxing trip. You’ll enjoy the calming blue all over the city, the food, the friends and the paradise waterfalls.
Have you been here? How was your experience? I would love to hear about it in the comment section!