Chefchaouen, Morocco (one night)

September 10, 2019

– As soon as we arrived in Chefchaouen fromTangier, we knew we’d spend the night. It was calm, peaceful, clean and felt safe compared to Tangier. We had previously researched Hostel Souika and booked into a private room for three for 210 MAD (70 each) – much cheaper than if we had booked online. The beauty of not booking anything in advance was we had the flexibility to decide how long we wanted to stay in each place once we arrived and could have just spent a half day here before moving on if we didn’t want to spend the night.

– We spent the day in Chefchaouen eating tagines and taking photos of blue alleys and stray cats. There is one famous alley for photos which charges 5 MAD/person but ended up being worth it as the guy took about 100 photos for us. The sunset was spectacular- position yourself well for this. Our hostel had a beautiful terrace so we didn’t feel the need to climb up to the Spanish Mosque for sunset. If you stay longer, Chefchaouen is a great base for some local hikes and other cool sites around the area (since the town itself is quite small)

– When ordering food, the server made a note to serve the women first. He also took the time to show us how to pour mint tea properly from the pot (from high up so the tea leaves settle)

– We contemplated another day in Chefchaouen as we loved it so much but decided to get bus tickets to leave the next morning.

– Like Tangier, the medina really came to life at night with music, restaurants with lively patios, and of course, plenty of vendors selling their stuff. We would have missed this if we had only spent the day there and not stayed overnight.

– We walked down the hill to the Gare Routiere (bus terminal) to try and buy tickets in advance to go to Fes for the following day. The walk in about 15 minutes from the medina down a very steep hill. It was a good thing we did this as the CTM bus we wanted for the following day was sold out. The CTM agent tried to sell us inflated tickets (115 MAD) for a later bus (they were 75 MAD online) but next door was a booth for the Nejme Cham who happily sold us tickets for 60 MAD each and had availability on the morning buses (our preference). We did have to pay an additional 30 MAD each for our luggage. My best advice… buy the CTM ticket in advance. The Nejme Cham bus seemed too good to be true. It left at least half an hour late, took an hour longer than advertised and had no air conditioning, fighting women, and at one point, chickens (who did get denied boarding)

– The grand taxi stop is a different location than the Gare Routiere in Chefchaouen. We stopped by to inquire about a taxi to Fes and were told it would be 1000 MAD for the taxi although the price was dropping as we walked. I had read online that it should cost approximately 200 MAD/person in one of these shared taxis. This might be a better option than the bus if you’re able to bargain them down to a reasonable amount.

– We took a taxi up that steep hill from the bus terminal for 20 MAD (I had read it was 10 MAD but there was three of us and it was only day two so we were still working on our bartering skills)

– If you opt to only spend the day in Chefchaouen, there is luggage storage at the bus terminal however I’m not sure I’d leave anything there I actually want back.

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