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Thursday, 24 September 2015 12:00 AM

Morocco Holiday Gems – Chefchaouen

The holiday market is becoming ever more focussed on Marrakech, which gives great opportunities to holiday makers to explore in greater peace elsewhere.

One such excellent destination is Chefchaouen, a sleepy yet stunning town nestled in the foothills of the Rif mountains.

Picture Perfect Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen is almost too perfect, an ancient medina town with cobbled streets and whitewashed houses with sharply contrasting blue doors, all overlooked by pristine mountains. Even I can’t fail to take some great photos here.

Yet, although it is almost unbelievably pretty, it is a working town where everyday life continues. The central main square is focussed towards the few tourists that make it to the town – cafes designed for holiday makers rather than tourists – but in the side streets Moroccan life continues with the ladies doing their washing and the local hammam offering its relaxing delights to anyone (including intrepid guests).

The Journey To Chefchaouen

The difficulty with visiting Chefchaouen is its location, which deters those seeking a quick and easy holiday but, conversely, keeping the town a secret from most.

Chefchaouen is around a 3 hours’ drive north from Fez (and Meknes) and the international airport there, and around 2 hours ‘ drive from Tangier on Morocco’s north coast – Tangier has an international airport but direct flights vary from different European destinations and currently there are none from the UK.

A Lazy Northern Tour

This makes Chefchaouen an interesting possibility for those with time on their hands, most obviously for those visiting Fez and/or Meknes. Although it is a fairly long car journey from there, the journey is through beautiful countryside. Equally there is little to do in Chefchaouen other than stroll and relax in the mountain air, so it is not for everyone but for those who enjoy peace, beauty and relaxation it is definitely worth considering.

Temperate Autumn

Like most places in Morocco, Spring and Autumn are wonderful times to take a holiday – the weather is warm or even hot but not too hot. Although Chefchaouen is in the northern part of Morocco and is in the foothills of the mountains, summer months can be hot and there is little shade to be had; in the winter months average temperatures are in the mid to later teens deg C but rain is likely at times.

Talk to our experts to discuss the possibilities.