"Chaouen" Top 5 Page for this destination Chefchaouene by maykal

Chefchaouene Travel Guide: 91 reviews and 326 photos

"Hello my friend, hola, bonjour, Francais, Espanol, Engleesh? You want hotel, I show you cheap hotel, very good price, follow me, this way. You want smoke something mister? Hashish? Kif? Good quality, you buy? You buy Moroccan tea, just 20 dirhams, good price, not much for you, much for me. Hotel this way, come! You need guide, I show you mosque, I show you kasbah, I show you shop you buy handbag. Why you no talk to me, my friend, where you go, which hotel you stay, is burn down, is full, I show you better hotel, you ignore me? You give me dirhams, I show you good timeWhy you no talk? You are paranoia, my friend, paranoia. You are racist man, you no talk with Moroccan, you racist, you like Nazi, you are Jew?"

That was my introduction to Chefchaouen. Walking uphill from the bus station towards the famous medina of blue houses, we were attacked from all sides by touts and kif sellers. Some we managed to brush off with a "laa shukran" or two, but others were persistant, sticking to us like glue and becoming more and more aggressive the faster we walked away.

I came to Morocco expecting some hassle, and I got some hassle in Fes, a little bit in Casablanca and Marrakesh, but Chefchaouen really took it to a new level. Pretty as the town is, I don't think I'll be hurrying back, as it was impossible to go anywhere without someone pestering us.

It wasn't all bad. The town itself is pretty, once you can either shake off the touts or learn to ignore them completely. Chefchaouen is famous for being the little blue town, and it is true, a lot of the walls, pavements and steps are painted a deep shade of blue, but quite a lot of the houses are white and Spanish-looking, not that surprising as this used to be part of the Spanish zone, and you'll see signs for Calle and Plaza instead of Rue and Place.

It's a hilly place too, and it is very easy to get lost in the maze of alleyways, especially as many of the mosques are built in exactly the same style with plain square minarets. Just when you think you've found your way, you realise that actually that isn't the mosque next to your hotel and you've stumbled into a completely different quarter!

A lot of tourists come to Chefchaouen, and most limit themselves to a day exploring the town, which is a shame, as the Rif Mountains rise up behind the town. Just above the town walls, you enter the Talassemtane National Park along a path through a forest up to a viewpoint overlooking Chefchaouen. We kept going, and spent a day hiking in the surrounding hills, a great way to escape the touts, although even there they pop up in the unlikeliest of places.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Pretty town, beautiful mountain scenery
  • Cons:Hassle, hassle, hassle, hassle...and hassle
  • In a nutshell:Pretty blue and pretty hard work
  • Last visit to Chefchaouene: Mar 2011
  • Intro Updated Jul 18, 2011
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Reviews (8)

Comments (3)

  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Nice page and photos! Especially love the blue streets. Sorry to hear about the hassles. We had some in Marrakesh, but less than you.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Thanks for your interesting story!~

  • Doctor38's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    I loved the picture. It will get my vote 4 the best on photo on VT. It evokes intrigue and emotions in me. I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.If I have NOT been already to Chauen I would have gone just to see the place for this photo.

maykal

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