Morocco: The Blue City of Chaouen

Chefchaouen or simply Chaouen is Morocco’s stunning ‘Blue City’. Tucked away in Africa’s northernmost mountain range, the Rif Mountains, the otherworldly escape has the striking powder-blue buildings that mirror the usually cloudless Moroccan sky. The color choice was influenced by religious rather than artistic reasons. The Jews believed that by dyeing thread with an ancient natural blue dye and weaving it into prayer shawls, they would be reminded of God’s power. This tradition lives on in the regularly repainted blue buildings. Chaouen is currently a rich cultural combination of Berber tribes people, Jews and Muslims, together with descendants of the Moorish exiles from Spain who have lived there since the 1400s.

DSC_0089Chaouen is about three hours drive from Fez where we were based. We decided to spend a day tour in the “blue city” with a rented car and a hired driver based in Fez.

DSC_0091The three-hour journey took us back to the scenery of the medieval ages when camels were used as the main mode of transportation. A lone standing blue door along the main highway signaled us that we have finally entered the blue city.

DSC_0102A breathtaking view of the blue city suddenly emerged as we started to descend to the city center.

CHA2Oh yeah we definitely had to stop for that classic Chaouen shot!

CHA1Our driver was busy parking our car quite far from the lookout point as the parking rules were very strict so my wife and I took turns to have each of our photos taken.

CHA3Bienvenue a Bleuville!

DSC_0230Blue-colored cars, blue-painted buildings everywhere!


DSC_0233Almost all buildings were painted with a palette of blue.

DSC_0120Any striking color would come alive amidst the blue and white combination of the surroundings.

DSC_0218Our tour started from Chaouen’s main square.

DSC_0155We started traversing Chaouen’s maze-like, winding alleys.

DSC_0162Every corner at every turn enticed me to click my camera.

DSC_0198I could not stop taking photos of those blue doors and windows.

DSC_0196The hues of blue still followed us, naturally.

CHA5Here I am just so glad to be in the blue city.

CSC_0186Here are more photos of me and my wife showcasing the inner part of the blue city.






DSC_0133Those maze-like alleys were a challenge to our memories.

DSC_0163Next is the colorful scenery of Chaouen’s incredible street shops!

DSC_0219DSC_0220Leather and weaving workshops line Chaouen’s steep cobbled lanes.


DSC_0205DSC_0197DSC_0200DSC_0202DSC_0190DSC_0191Dyes anyone?

DSC_0192Metal crafts!

DSC_0164It was a different experience roaming around the street shops.

DSC_0178We finally stopped to have our late lunch at one of the street side restaurants near the square with a colorful background and cozy ambiance.

DSC_0180DSC_0181Dining in Chaouen is incredibly inexpensive and a sure treat to the taste buds.

CHEFThe incredible main dish of fried fresh fish, probably from the coastal cities of east Morocco, satisfied our hungry stomachs.  I am a certified fish lover so I have stamped this fishy experience as one of my best.

DSC_0207DSC_0215As we prepared to leave Chaouen, my wife and I both had our parting shots in the blue city.

DSC_0124Oh wait, there is a bit of red in the blue city.  In the shady main square of Uta el Hammam is the red-walled casbah, a 15th-century fortress and dungeon with ethnographic and art exhibits. Be sure to explore it.

If you have been to Morocco’s blue city, what are your fondest memories there?  If you have not been there, what makes you want to go there?

4 Responses to “Morocco: The Blue City of Chaouen”

  1. March 14, 2017 at 5:24 am

    This is so beautiful. When I was studying in Rabat, we visited the Old Medina which has this blue motif but certainly not to this extent. I would love to make it to Chefchaouen someday!

  2. March 14, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Love your pics, looks like you had a great time there.. It is my dream to visit Morocco someday as I love how they preserve their rich culture and history, and also for shopping.. 🙂

    xoxo, Ingrid – http://www.wanderwithmi.com

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