Chefchaouen, also known as the Blue Pearl of Morocco, is nestled in the Rif Mountains…
Chefchaouen, in the Rif Mountains of Morocco’s North, is a popular destination for visitors. Nestling in a valley beneath the “horns” of the mountains to which its name alludes (Ichawen means goat’s horns in the local Berber dialect), Chefchaouen is famous for the blue-painted houses in the steep and winding alleyways of the medina. This northern area of Morocco was once a Spanish Protectorate and there are many elements of Spanish culture and language still in evidence.
The French designer Yves Saint Laurent remarked of Marrakech that “This city leads me to color.” Morocco has fascinated many designers with its wealth of color and diversity of islamic design for the last century. The color in Morocco’s bright zellij tiles, woodwork, silver jewelry and cedar hand-crafted ceilings blend effortlessly with modern interior design. Morocco’s winding medina street scenes, colorful souks, majestic gardens and palaces provide the perfect inspiration to adorn a home.
Chefchaouen is a small charming relaxed city of about 40,000 inhabitants located in northeastern Morocco close to Tangiers and Tetouan and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. It can also be reached from Fes. Chefchaouen is unlike any other town in Morocco and has a laid back charm with buildings painted in many shades of blue in the 1930’s by Jewish refugees. Surrounded by mountains and towered over by twin peaks which give it is name, it is also called Chaouen by locals.
Isolated in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is one of Morocco’s hidden treasures. Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier and Tetouan making it the perfect Rif Mountain holiday adventure. The city was founded in 1471, as a small fortress which still exists to this day, by Moorish exiles from Spain ed by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Radhed El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. Chefchaouen was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times.