Although it may not be known worldwide as the Sahara desert, nor has the fame of cities like Marrakech or Fez, This beautiful Moroccan town is undoubtedly the most photogenic in the north of the country due to its maze of houses whitewashed in blue ranging from indigo to Indian to cobalt. A very special city that you cannot miss during your visit to Morocco or during a stay in Ceuta since this city is very close to the Spanish border, about 100 km.
Known by the name of Chaouen, Xauen or Chefchaouen, this town is located at the foot of the Tisouka and Megou mountains, in the Rif Mountain Range. Interestingly, the name Chefchaouen in Berber means "look at the horns", referring to the original shape of both landforms.
Origin of the city
Founded by a mullah in the XNUMXth century, Chaouen was expanded by Jews and Muslims who gave it the air of an Andalusian town and access to this place was not allowed to non-Muslims until the XNUMXth century. Since then, many tourists have set out for this Moroccan city to marvel at the fascinating blue color that permeates from the walls of the medina to the ground and the steps of its streets.
Light blue mixed with white results in a very special shade almost like the color of the sky. In fact, its inhabitants use this tone to purify the place, bring freshness to the environment and sanitize it.
What to see in Chaouen?
Once in Chaouen, it is worth walking to get to know the historic center. To access the medina, it is best to enter through the main door and then go up the alley that leads to the nerve center of the town, the Uta el-Hamman square.
This space is a veritable souk full of souvenir, clothing and craft shops, very frequented by visitors and locals who browse or have coffee in one of its cafes. From here another souk-like alley starts to the right, which leads to the back of the citadel located in the square.
This citadel is an old fortress that, after being restored, houses a small ethnographic museum, to learn more about the history and customs of this place.
You can also visit the Great Mosque from the XNUMXth century, which shows an octagonal tower that is a very unusual configuration in the mosques of Morocco.
From the communal washhouses of Ras el Ma to the last of its stairs and slopes, if you are a photography fan, you will not tire of discovering these corners.
In the city the monuments are interesting but the surroundings of Chefchaouen are also worth a visit. Such is the case of the Akchour Chefchaouen natural park, which has waterfalls, gorges and pine forests of great beauty. To make an excursion to this place, the starting point can be known as Puente de Dios, a natural arch that stands 35 meters high.