Chefchaouen – The Blue Pearl of Morocco

chefchaouen morocco

Chefchaouen, the blue pearl, is one of the most visually stunning places we have visited to date! The vibrant blue colour of the city was incredible, making it a must visit place on your Moroccan itinerary! We had seen photos and read blogs about this town before, and had it as a must visit destination for our Moroccan adventures. We travelled through Morocco with an Intrepid Tour, an experience will with delve into in later posts. Our tour stopped in Chefchaouen for 2 days, allowing us a lot of time to explore this small but beautiful north Moroccan town.

What we loved in Chefchaouen!

Wandering the iconic blue streets

It’s not 1 house, it’s not only the main square, or even the first few blocks of the town. The blue painted buildings make up the entire town of Chefchaouen, providing a stunning backdrop for your wander through the streets. The origin of the blue paint has varied thoughts. Some think the blue represents the Mediterranean Sea, or the local Ras el-Maa waterfall where locals get drinking water. There is also a common thought is that the blue paint was expanded across the city was in the early 1900s by the Jewish. For them, the blue colour represents the sky, reminding them of heaven and God. Regardless of the origin and meaning, wandering the streets will likely be one of the highlights of your stay!

Our accomodation in Chefchaouen – see below

We loved our stay at Dar Echchaouen Maison d’Hôtes & Riad. Have a read about our stay, or take a look a booking it here.

Dar Echchaouen chefchaouen morocco
Eating the local food – see below

Have you noticed a trend yet? The local food is often a highlight of our travels! The food in Morocco was excellent, and Chefchaouen was no exception. We enjoyed some of the restaurants and have listed our favourites below.

sofia restaurantchefchaouen morocco
Watching the sunset at the Spanish Mosque overlooking the city

Watching the sun cast a golden glow over the town, then slip below the mountains, was a wonderous experience. The 20-30minute climb up to the Spanish Mosque from the town is worth it for the incredible views. Arrive a little early, watch the town in ‘golden hour’ and take a few photos. Note that the hike up is relatively steep, but it is a concreted path with many scenic rest points along the way.

Google Maps: see here

Want to take some epic pictures in Chefchaouen?

The iconic blue streets of Chefchaouen are stunning, and wandering through them seems like something out of a fairytale. During the day, restaurants, market stalls and vendors line the streets hawking their goods (rather timidly compared to the street merchants of Fez). There are also tourists and locals that wander the streets. This means that capturing that ‘insta-worthy’ shot is a little bit tougher.

The solution? Get up early! Hit the streets around 7-7.30am and have the town to yourself! We got to the main Chefchaouen town around 7am and apart from a few stray dogs and cats, we were mostly alone. Pack a tripod and take photos to your hearts desire.

Key note: some of the ‘instagram locations’ you may have seen online will ask you to pay a small fee to take shots. Depending on your goals and desires for that “shot” it may or may not be worth it.

A few restaurants we enjoyed in Chefchaouen

The food in Morocco is excellent, and we enjoyed a lot of restaurants in the towns and cities we visited. However, in the ‘touristy’ towns, it is easy to get caught in the “tourist trap” restaurants. These are guaranteed to have higher prices and often much poorer quality food. We have listed two places below that we thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend you eat at when you visit Chefchaouen!

Sofia Restaurant in Chefchaouen:

This little restaurant is unassuming, and easy to miss if you’re not looking for it! Sofia is the only female run restaurant in Chefchaouen, and the food is awesome! Run by a local Moroccan lady, she named the restaurant after her daughter, ‘Sofia’. A short 3-5 minute stroll from the main square, this restaurant doesn’t boast impressive views, but the food makes up for it. Additionally, the cost is very reasonable, with meals often costing between $3-15 (Australia dollars) (10-100 MAD). We visited multiple times, and strongly recommend the traditional soup (only 10 MAD!), the beef and couscous, and the vegetable tagine. Check it out!

Hamsa in main Chefchaouen square:

We read some excellent reviews of Hamsa, and we were glad we followed the advice and checked it out! Located upstairs off the main square in Chefchaouen, this restaurant boasts a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the iconic blue houses. The food was excellent, offering some great vegetarian options. The price was a little higher than Sofia, but the views were worth it. We sampled the falafels and hummus, with some mint tea. Definitely worth a visit.

Where to stay in Chefchaouen?

We stayed at Dar Echchaouen Maison d’Hôtes & Riad and the accommodation in Chefchaouen was incredible! This was booked through the intrepid tour of Morocco that we completed, and after a number of ‘okay’ hotels, this one was seriously impressive.

Why so good? This Riad and Hotel was located a short 5-10minute walk away from the heart of the town, and this distance allowed it to have excellent views of the hilltop town. The outdoor tables, gardens, doorways and villas were lined with bougainvillea, providing a stunningly vibrant walkway and background.

We stayed in one of the villas at the back of the accommodation which was large, comfortable, and had a rooftop terrace with wonderful views. If you can, try and book the rooms in the villa number “1” as this terrace had easily the best views of the Chefchaouen town. All rooms had accommodation, access the the pool, and the breakfast provided in the morning was one of the better ones we had in Morocco. Don’t believe us? Take a look below! We would highly recommend this if you want to visit Chefchaouen.

Accommodation Link: TAKE A LOOK HERE

Want to look at other accommodation in Chefchaouen?


Keep reading about our time in Morocco! Take a look here!

Take a look at a gallery showing some of the stunning doors of Morocco which caught our eye during our trip! Have a look!

Check out the highlights and recommendations from our time in Spain (a great addition to a Moroccan trip)! Check it out!

Want to add another great stop the your Morocco trip? Consider Portugal! See our Portugal highlights here!

Keen to take a look at further travel memories and advice? Take a look here!

Note: this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase or book anything using these links, we get a small percentage of the sale, at not extra expense to you. This helps us to run the site.

Comments (3):

  1. 621

    December 10, 2022 at 10:18 am

    This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  2. Tye

    January 16, 2024 at 2:23 am

    Great blog post. Thanks Again. Will read on…


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