Why Filipinos Should Travel Next to Chefchaouen in Morocco

You must have seen it on Instagram, or your default desktop wallpaper just might be it without you realizing what and where is it. For a town that's painted in all blue, it's not everyday and everywhere you could see such that you have to see it for yourself.
Chefchaouen is a small town tucked in northern tip of Morocco. A hidden gem of the African continent, it's highly popularized by the blue-shaded houses and buildings. It offers a very unique sight, making it one of the most visited towns in Morocco.

It’s just blue everywhere

Chefchaouen is fondly called the Blue Pearl. It obviously got the name for being a town with everything painted in blue. The color is so in harmony it's seen right away even when afar.

For the Jews who started this tradition in 15th century, the color blue represents heaven. They believe that painting their houses blue makes them closer to heaven.
Not known by all, however, the houses were originally painted white. The blue tradition only started during Spanish Inquisition in 1492, a point in the history where the Jews were hunted and persecuted. To survive from the inquisition, the Jews in Spain started to flee to the neighboring countries that include Morocco.

Rich in nature

Aside from being a bluish town, Chefchaouen is also a very relaxing place to visit. As it's wrapped by the Rif Mountain, the town offers a breathtaking mountainside experience. It's a popular destination among Europeans during summer that runs from June to August, a season when temperature goes extremely hot and humid especially in Andalucia (a region in southern Spain).
The Ras el’Ma River is also a good place to enjoy nature in Chefchaouen. It basically functions as a washing area for clothes by the locals, so most probably you'd bump into women with basins on their heads every morning.
Orange trees are abundant in Chefchaouen. Thanks to this town, Morocco is in the top 15 importers of oranges in the world. Freshly squeezed orange juice is a popular and cheap refreshment in this town. You can get it for as cheap as MAD 7 (less than USD 1).


There's also a hill in Chefchaouen where the Spanish Mosque is at the peak. It only takes around 45 minutes to trek to the top, which provides a picturesque bird's eye view of the town.

Rich in culture

Morocco is an Islamic country, and their culture is highly backed by religion. The resonating prayers from the mosque during mornings and afternoons are the usual sounds in Morocco, especially in Chefchaouen. As Muslims, they pray at least 5 times a day, practice Ramadan, and they don't eat pork.
The biggest mosque in Chefchaouen is called the Grand Mosque located at downtown. It sits beside an old castle called Al Kasaba and the town plaza called Place Outa Al Hammam.

Cat-friendly town

Any cat lover may find Chefchoauen a place like home. The cats can be seen lying everywhere on the cobblestone paths. What's good is that they're all tamed and very at ease with tourists.
The cats of Chefchaouen know how to blend well with the environment. Some have gone too far that they've camouflage well already!

When I asked around, I learned that a typical household owns around 3-4 cats. There’s no exact story as to how the cat tradition started, but one thing’s for sure: the people in Chefchaouen are truly cat lovers.

Bread and spices are the basic 

A big part of every Moroccan meal is bread. It's usually made up of durum wheat, a component that makes the texture of their bread harder and darker in color. In Chefchaouen, breakfasts rely much on bread accompanied by yogurt and Moroccan tea (loose green tea leaves with mint) or coffee.
Come lunch and dinner, though main dishes are already available such as couscous and tagine, bread is still on the side. The bread is usually eaten with olives and different spicy spreads in small portions.
Chefchaouen is the master of spices. The Moroccans incorporate a lot of spices in their cuisine, which make their food tastier and smell appetizing. You'd probably find more than 10 different spices of different colors, all of which are very eye-catching! In fact, next to Argan oil, spices in small bottles are a common take-home among tourists.

How to get there

Chefchaouen is located in the northern mountainside of Morocco. A common way to get there is by bus. To reach it from Casablanca, which is a common starting point when entering Morocco, it usually takes a 7-hour travel time by bus. Another jump point may be from Marrakech, the capital of Morocco, located further to the south. From Marrakech, it takes a 3-hour train to Casablanca, then a 6-7-hour bus to Chefchaouen. As of now, there's no direct public transportation from Marrakech to Chefchaouen.

Buses in Casablanca

The CTM Bus serves the daily bus trip to Chefchaouen in Casablanca. Ticket costs MAD 150 (USD 19). It's sold at the CTM Bus Station at Rue L’Africain, a 10-minute walk from Casa Port train station or a 3-minute walk from Central Market tram station.

Note: The Casablanca-Chefchaouen trip departs ONCE A DAY only (at 1:30PM), so it’s best to buy bus tickets in advance, or go to the bus station early.

Buses in Chefchaouen

The bus station in Chefchaouen is called the Gare Routière, which is 5 minutes away from downtown. It can be easily accessed by petit taxi for MAD 20 (USD 2).There's a bus to Casablanca is also once a day, but departs on an earlier schedule at 7:00AM.

How to enter Morocco from the Philippines

I truly recommend Morocco to Filipino travelers. For one, entering Morocco is visa free to Philippine passport holders. Filipinos can stay in Morocco for a maximum of 90 days. Just make sure to carry a passport valid for 6 months, proof of accommodation, and proof of financial capacity (e.g. cash, credit/debit card, etc.).
Middle East-based airlines usually have the route to Morocco. With my experience, for example, I found a Manila-Casablanca route (with Jeddah as the connecting flight) via Saudia Airlines. Other airlines with Manila-Casablanca route include Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines.

Casablanca is the cheaper entry to Morocco, though Marrakech is also another popular route. Qatar Airways has a Manila-Marrakech route.



Why Filipinos Should Travel Next to Chefchaouen in Morocco Why Filipinos Should Travel Next to Chefchaouen in Morocco Reviewed by Shelly Viajera Travel on 20.11.18 Rating: 5

No comments:

I want to hear from you! Please leave your comment! (:

Powered by Blogger.