Cultural Experience | Morocco

Chefchaouen, A Hidden Gem of Africa

5 Tips for the Blue City, Chefchaouen.

Although Greece is one of the biggest vacation destinations in the world, there is a mini Greece right at the Northern tip of Africa called Chefchaouen. Chefchaouen is located about an hour south of Tangier and it is a town within the Rif Mountains. What makes this place so magical is the fact that it is a blue city. The entire city is painted in various colors of blue to represent the ocean and the sky (also known to repel Mosquitos). It is an underrated magnificent sight to see so many shades of blue within a tiny town that practically looks like Greece due to its simplistic architecture. It’s a true marvel to walk the streets of the Medina and take pictures throughout the magnificent rows of houses.

There are other things to do besides post great instagrams.

1). The Kasbah A small fortress, which symbolizes the history of the Berber tribe. The fortress is now a museum in which shows you how historians preserved such an old monument. As you hike to the top you can see the amazing views of all the blue houses upon the hill and sing “rock the casbah” as you do so. Admission is about10 dirham, which is $1.

2). Cascades d’Akchour A decent hike from the Medina you can find an amazing oasis of the Rif Mountain waterfalls. Here you can find people hiking, swimming or even jumping off the cliffs to take away from the heat of the summer. Although bikinis aren’t as appreciated due to the culture you’re certainly welcome to jump right in fully clothed. Don’t forget to snap away, the scenery looks almost fake.

3). Café Aladdin In the center of the square is a four-floored restaurant that is perfectly decorated in what would be Aladdin’s castle. Go to the top Terrace around sunset to catch the sun setting right behind the mountains and enjoy the local mint tea! If you’re lucky on the weekends you may get to hear some live music.

4). The Medina Some people choose to do walking tours of the old city but there is nothing better than getting lost in the labyrinth of blue (no matter what you’ll find your way to the center). Unlike other Medina’s around Morocco, the shops tend to be a bit cheaper and they are less likely to heckle you. As you get lost through the streets you are bound to see the craftsmen at working making everything that you can find in the stores. Hand woven blankets are made almost every day and don’t forget to negotiate the price. Negotiation is a way of life here, which is completely different from the states. Its weird if you don’t try to heckle with the store owner. You wont experience anything like the mysticism of the city until you see it yourself. The city is painted annually so the paint is always fresh and beautiful for whenever you decide to visit!

5). Spanish Mosque    Upon the Rif Mountains, lies a 1920’s abandoned Mosque originally built by the Spanish. This may be the one of the only mosques in the north of Africa that non muslims can visit due to the fact that it is currently inactive. It is roughly a 45 minute semi steep hike from the east gate of the Chefchouen medina. Not only are the ruins of the mosque a sight to see but the view is incredible so don’t forget your camera! If you want to feel like a local pack up a little picnic and enjoy it at the top!


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Chefchaouen a Hidden Gem in Morroco

Haley Ryger

University of Massachusetts Amherst | 5 stories

My name is Haley Morgan Ryger and I am a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I am currently pursuing a dual degree in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science as well as a minor in Arabic. During the Fall 2015 semester, I am studying in Meknes, Morocco but plan to travel around Europe and other parts of Morocco as well! I love traveling around the world but I am especially intrigued with the Middle East. Besides traveling I enjoy eating but I do not plan on trying a camel burger anytime soon.

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