When the Sky meets the Earth: The blue city of Chefchauoen, Morocco.

Where the sky meets the earth: The blue city of Chefchaouen in Morocco

What`s your favourite color? Mine is blue. All tones of blue. So when I found out about the blue city of Chefchaouen, in Morocco, I was obviously mesmerised. Who introduced me to Chefchaouen was my photography teacher, Enric de Santos. Himself a fan of the city who has been there many times, he talked about Chaouen with a shine in his experienced eyes. This was all it took to make me and my good friend and classmate Anapaola fall in love with the city.

I remember the first time I heard about Chefchaouen.  My photography teacher, Enric de Santos, is a fan of the city (he has been there many, many times) and showed us some pictures of it. Blue is my favourite colour so the idea of a whole city painted blue already appealed to my eyes. It took me one look at this pictures of Chefchaouen for a dream to be born: I had to visit it when I went to Morocco.
My friend and classmate Anapaola felt the same. We started to make plans of going to Morocco together, but there never seem to be a good time to do so…

The blue city of Chefchaouen, Morocco.Can you believe this is real? A whole city like this?

When, 4 years later, we finally managed to organise our much dreamed trip to Morocco (Anapaola had moved back to her country Guatemala after her studies; I remained in Spain), Chefchaouen was clearly on the top of our list of cities to see. We hired a guide to accompany on our trip; this was great because two girls traveling alone throughout the country is not always easy or the safer way, specially if you want to cross the country from north to south and outside the touristic path (you will need a car for that).

We wanted to unveil the mysteries of the blue jewel of Morocco...

We wanted to unveil the mysteries of the blue jewel of Morocco…

When deciding our itinerary, they suggested that we`d skip Chefchaouen because we only had a week and the places were far away from each other. We said NO. The dreamy blue city was a no deal. We had to see it.

One of the squares of the city.

One of the squares of the city.

Later on that trip I found out that every city in Morocco has a different color: Chaouen is blue, Fez is a creamy yellow, Marrakesh is terracota… I`ll tell you about it in future posts!

Blue walls, blue doors, blue skies...

I hardly never feel tall but so with so many small doors, I almost did! 😉

 

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Blue walls, blue doors, blue skies…

 

There are many theories about why is the city painted blue. One of them says it was introduced in the 1930`s by a group of jewish refugees that went to live in the city, and the blue represents heaven… I don`t know if that`s true, but for sure you can feel like you are walking on the sky when passing by all-blue streets. In some of them, even the ground is painted blue…

 

Even the streets are blue in some areas of the city.

Even the streets are blue in some areas of the city.

 

Paint used to paint the buildings.

The paint used on the buildings.

 

A painter drinking chai before starting the working day.

A painter drinking chai before starting the working day.

The doors of the city deserve a paragraph of it`s own. Every door is different, I could have published a book just on the Doors of Chefchaouen. An unique characteristic of an even more unique city…

 

Those are some of the doors that I`ve seen. So you can have an idea...

These are some of the doors that I`ve seen. So you can have an idea… And yes, there is a Barcelona there! 

I went in March and Chefchaouen is in the mountains (thats the reason of the name: Chaouen means “horn” because of the shape of the mountain where the city`s at). It was really cold, specially during the night and early in the morning. The next day we woke up before sunrise to walk up the hill and see the sunrise from the mountain. Brrr!!!

If somethings is not painted blue, is painted white with blue.

If a building is not painted blue, is painted white with blue.

 

I swear it wasn`t my intention to walk around matching the streets, chameleon style...

I swear it wasn`t my intention to walk around matching the streets, chameleon style…

As I almost slept-walked up the hill (I`m not a morning person…) I admit that I was coursing in my mind and dreaming about coming back to my warm bed at the hotel, but when we got there, those views were definitely worth it:

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The city and the mountains… 

 

"Sleepy eyes" me and the beautiful Chefchaouen in the back.

“Sleepy eyes” me and the beautiful Chefchaouen in the back.

Also being able to photograph the city when it was still sleeping, with all the streets still empty before the craziness of the day started…

I`m just glad I`m not the one being screamed at by the lady in the picture!

I`m just glad I`m not the one being screamed at by the lady in the picture!

What to see in Chaouen: Just wandering around the streets of the Medina is already amazing, but after that, the central square is a great place to have dinner. Surrounding the gates of the old fortress, it has a lot of life, really good and cute restaurants and the most to-die-for souvenirs and ceramic stores… I regretted not buying some pieces that I saw there, hoping I would find that later in the Souk of Marrakesh, and I never did. Chefchaouen it´s famous for it`s unique artesanal pieces and some things you can only find there. So if you like it, my advice is: Buy it.

The main square and it`s many cafés and restaurants.

The main square and it`s many cafés and restaurants.

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The Blue Jewel of Morocco: Chefchaouen - by Guiri Insider

The main square, where the fortress is.

The main square with the fortress and the mountain in the back. 

We only had one day in the city and to me, it was not enough. I wanted more time to explore the blue streets and alleys and do some shopping. And of course, take more pictures. But if you are not a photography-maniac like me, the Medina (the old town, where the blue are is) can be seen in one day, if you spend the night (I also had one of the best breakfast I`ve ever tried here, with local crepes, bread, homemade cheese and jams). This is the only blue city in Morocco so I suggest you definitely try to include it on your Moroccan trip! I loved it!

The mysterious and fascinating blue city of Chefchaouen, in Morocco

Showing 3 comments
  • Tasha
    Reply

    Stunning photos. I can’t get over the colour of the streets. It reminds me of a blue version of Mykonos!

    • Vick Fichtner
      Reply

      Thank you so much Tasha!

      I`ve traveled to quite a few cities of Morocco, from north to south, been there twice, but Chefchaouen is still my favourite city there! I`ve never seen any place like it, and in my favourite colour, blue! What`s not to love about it, right? 😉

      I haven`t been to Greece yet but it is on the top of my list! Which places would you recommend there?

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  • […] architectural details is windows and doors. They can tell a lot about a place, like the iconic blue doors of Chefchaouen. But everything can be a great photo subject, even a piece of […]

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