Our Morocco trip began in the magical northern Moroccan town, Chefchaouen, also known as the blue city. We flew into the Tangier airport and we were welcomed by Youseff, the wonderful driver we hired for the week. The tour company we used for this trip was Morocco Desert Tours. We had a great experience. Our driver was so kind and knowledgable, we all loved talking to him. If we go back we will request him again. The drive from Tangier to Chefchaouen was about 2.5 hours and within the first 10 minutes of the drive we were already amazed with the landscape of Morocco. Sweeping green fields and beautiful rolling hills. I guess when I thought of Morocco, I figured desert but the north is lush, green, agricultural and gorgeous!
Pulling into Chefchaouen was like pulling into a fairytale. You see the 500 year old blue town from afar and as you roll in, you're engulfed by blue and it feels like you entered a different world. We checked into our quaint Riad, Riad Cherifa which I found through Shefari, a modern travel agency for women by women. It was the most charming spot on an absolutely beautiful cobblestone lane (see below).
We were welcomed to this old world charming guesthouse with mint tea and homemade Moroccan pastries which we learned was a customary welcome. After getting changed and settled we spent the day exploring the colorful, steep, winding lanes in the medina, admiring the local Spanish- Moroccan architecture and wandering in and out of local artisan and antique shops.
We asked around for dinner recommendations and decided on Bab Ssour, a local Moroccan spot not far from the main square. We were a little worried about getting lost in the dark because the streets are so narrow and there are streets branching from streets everywhere! But we asked 3 different shopkeepers for directions on the way and they were all so friendly and helpful so it really wasn't a problem. Bab Ssour is known for their tagines, so that's what we all ate, plus a variety of delicious moroccan salads and soup. Even at the end of the trip, this was one of our absolute favorite meals. It's all open air, so if you're there in the Winter like we were, dress warm!
We all had a great night's sleep after a long travel day and woke up to the most amazing breakfast in the "lobby" of Riad Cherifa. Most riads have breakfast included in your stay and this was no exception. The breakfast at Riad Cherifa was delicious and massive. Eggs, moroccan crepes, bread, jam, cheese, doughnuts, mint tea (of course) and more. I fell in love with Moroccan crepes on day one. Do not pass these up on your trip. My favorite way to eat them was with a touch of butter and lots of honey.
We spent a few more hours exploring this charming little town at the base of the Rif mountains before we were on to Fez. Not long after we left the riad, we stumbled into an artisan shop where we met Zakaria (pictured below) a Chefchaouen native. We ended up talking to him for about an hour and he showed us around the local parts of the town and told us lots of stories. We learned that he owns a tour company called Camel King Travel and we all want to go back to to do a desert tour with him! For lunch, Zakaria told us to go to Sofia's. He had two small local boys take us there so we didn't get lost. We ate the most delicious couscous and vegetables with mint tea, of course! We again sat outside and even though it was cold and rainy, the hot mint tea and UNREAL steaming hot couscous with seven vegetables made it absolutely delightful.
After lunch, it was time to pack up and start our journey to Fez! Guide to Fez coming up NEXT!