I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco, and the moment I started researching for my trip, I ran onto this absolutely otherworldly city. I had never heard of Chefchaouen before, and I was immediately taken by its architecture and colour. I booked my flight almost immediately, and was surprised to find out that it’s relatively inexpensive too!
The nearest major airport, Tangier Ibn Battouta, is over two hours away from Chefchaouen. There is a closer one, but it receives hardly any international flights. So getting there was a bit cumbersome – a taxi and a bus ride. I was glad that I packed light.
I arrived at Casa Perleta pretty late, so I basically went straight to sleep. When I opened my eyes, the white walls, arching doorways, and rustic colours in my cozy room made me breathless. I ventured out into the city, where I had a piece of bread (they woodfire all of their baked goods…yum!) and a cup of coffee before meandering through some of the markets.
I met a couple there, on their second trip to Chefchaouen, who gave me some great advice for shopping in the marketplaces: negotiation is expected. Music to my ears, since I was expecting to burn some holes in my pockets during my stay. I also learned that the blue paint that blankets the city is a well-kept remnant of Chefchaouen’s rich history. Originally, the city was a Moorish fortress for exiles from Spain. As it grew, it accepted Jews and Christians from the surrounding areas into its community. The blue on the buildings is a nod to the purportedly blessed thread woven into Jewish prayer shawls. I noted how the colour mirrored the cloudless sky.
I spent the next five days winding through the dusty streets, looking for the best rooftop view, and wishing I didn’t have to go home again.
When shopping in the Chefchaouen marketplaces: ask the vendor how much he’s charging for an item, and quickly propose half the price. Negotiate until you have a mutually beneficial sale. : )