It’s all blue. In every direction, there’s just more blue. Dark blue, light blue. Vibrant blue, dull blue. Blue, blue, blue, blue.
It’s what draws visitors here to Chefchaouen in the first place. And once here, it draws you in further, until you feel like you’re in a magical frozen or underwater world.
The old medina of Chefchaouen is not large but it’s the kind of place where you’re happy to walk the same streets over and over again. As the light shifts throughout the day, the blue glow changes, and you can look at the alleys afresh. And with freshness. The colour makes everything feel so crisp and clean.
This is a welcome difference from the larger cities of Morocco like Fez or Marrakech. The streets aren’t large, they’re not full of shops, the crowds aren’t thick and there’s less mania to the atmosphere.
It’s another one of the reasons Chefchaouen has been a favourite stop along the Morocco tourist trail for decades. This is a relaxing break where the lack of sights is part of the charm. In the town itself, it’s easy to spend a day wandering and trying to find new angles of blue. Up and down stairs, along the main arteries, through the small winding passageways. The main square has open air cafes and restaurants where there’s no rush to move on. A slow lunch, a leisurely coffee, an hour or two catching up on emails from a cushioned lounge.
Surrounding Chefchaouen is a mountainous nature that’s also one of the draws. There are trails leading off to hikes for a day or even longer. It’s likely these will pass through local marijuana farms – another reason travellers have come here for years – but they are easily ignored.
Unfortunately it’s cold and wet for all of my time in Chefchaouen. The blue sky somewhere above is blocked by an almost constant blanket of grey. Although I had planned a hike to explore the mountains, I decide to spend my time in the medina instead.
Thankfully there’s still enough blue here not to need the sky to give it to me. Let me now share some more photos of this rich colourful urban environment, high in the green hills away from the oranges and browns that define much of Morocco’s landscapes.