Thinking of visiting northern Morocco? Make sure to stop by this FAMILY-FRIENDLY and KID-APPROVED blue city of Chefchaouen deep in the heart of the Rif mountains (when the Covid-19 pandemic will have died down of course). If you are into shopping and looking for unique and cool stuff and souvenirs that you can buy in this charming and calming village for relatively much cheaper price, here they are… in pictures.
Did you know that the English language has 64 names for the different shades of blue? Several of them you can see as you roam the narrow, winding, cobblestoned alleyways of this village nestled deep in the Rif mountains.
This is the second post on Chefchaouen, where we stayed for a quiet New Year’s celebration during our first family trip to Morocco with kids. . . and Africa for that matter!
There’s simply too many good things, making great memories made in this blue village to capture in one post. So, this follow-up focuses on things to buy from the little shops, some of them produces one-of-a-kind artisan crafts and wares, in the narrow, winding streets of the medina (old city) area of the village.
After the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan Tangier and side trips to the northwesternmost point of Africa at Cape Spartel and the Caves of Hercules, the village of Chefchaoeun was quite a welcome change.
Azure, periwinkle, robbin’s egg, baby blue, sky blue, prussian blue, persian blue, turquoise blue, pale blue, Sapphire Blue. . . True Blue. . . Who wouldvethunk, there are 64 shades of blue? Several can be seen in this little blue village whose name means “Look at the Peaks” or “Watch the Horns”.
Find out more about it, including how to get to Chefchaouen, and see more pictures of our family visit to Chefchaouen–the blue city of Morocco… with kids!
Where to start?
Go to the main square (Plaza Outa El Hammam) flanked by restaurants, the main mosque and a Moorish castle-looking building with fortified walls and a tower (aka the Kasbah). First, head northwest along Casa Aladin and just get lost in the sidestreets. At some point you’ll have to turn right to get back into the main road. When in doubt, head towards the river to your right to get your bearing.
Before you shop, have lunch or the traditional mint tea in one of the outdoor restaurants and enjoy people-watching and one of the five calls to prayer from the mosque next door.
Moroccan mint tea (“Te Moruno” or Moorish tea) that can overload your sugar levels. Still, it’s a great way to pass the time and watch people passing by at Plaza Outa El Hammam, across from the Kasbah and listen, truly listen, to one of the five calls of prayer from the grand mosque at the main square.
After your lunch or tea, you can also visit the Kasbah. It is A FAMILY-FUN and KID-FRIENDLY, cultural and historical stop in this BLUE VILLAGE. It only cost 60 dirhams (about €6) for adults and 25 dirhams for a child.
If you are coming with young kids, like we did, there is a playground (a must and a sanity-of-parents’-savior) right along the medieval fortification of the Kasbah on the other side of the square/plaza. The gate has a padlock. But there is someone who lets visitors in for tips. This is a good place for your kids to interact with local kids.
In the end, we did not really buy much because our funds are limited and we’re also trying to limit accumulation of things. Besides we only had backpacks for this travel. And they are quite fully packed!
We did buy some little things that the boys liked, including stuffed camel toys that we bough from a little girl in front of the Kasbah and a couple of necessities, like a wonderfully blue blanket and a leather courier purse (or “murse“… for man purse, yup Tata’s got it…).
Chefchaouen has a reputation for being one of the safest cities in Morocco. In fact we did not feel at all threatened during our walks with 2 small kids, even at night. Of course, you should always be mindful, sensible and careful and ready and not push the boundaries of your safety.
The best time to visit Chefchaouen, as we confirmed during our visit, was over the Christian holidays. . . you know, Christmas, New Year’s, Holy Week or Semana Santa. . . when there’s not as many tourists in town.
Listen to a Call of Prayer from the Blue City of Morocco (Chefchaouen) 🤍🕊 Family Travel Video.
The video takes you from outside the mosque and the Kasbah on Plaza Outa El Hammam, then around the blue village of Chefchaouen from the rooftops with the surrounding Rif mountains.
You can hear the overlapping calls from all the other mosques.
Towards the end, you can see and hear the reverberating call to prayer from the Mosquée Bouzâafar on a nearby mountain side.
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😊 free electrons family 😄