Chefchaouen, Morocco

Chefchaouen, “the Blue City”

I’ve been reading about Morocco for years, and visiting Chefchaouen was at the top of my list. It absolutely surpassed my expectations. The moment we checked into Riad Cherifa, we were greeted with an experience that was exotic yet incredibly welcoming. For anyone planning a trip to “The Blue City,” I can’t recommend this Riad enough. Chefchaouen is a paradise beautifully set against the Rif Mountains. Its medina, known for its enchanting shades of blue, is among the most picturesque in the country. The locals are exceptionally kind, and we loved the food. I highly recommend Restaurant Bab Ssour, buried deep in the medina of Chefchaouen. Cafe Clock was outstanding, and the vibe on the balcony gave me the feeling I was on a Hollywood set. 

Chefchaouen, An instagrammers dream

Chefchaouen is the ultimate photo destination, with stunning scenes everywhere, including our Riad’s entrance. We loved taking countless photos of ourselves, embarrassingly so!  The city’s signature blue color has various origin stories. The most widely believed is that the Jewish community, escaping WWII persecution, painted the city blue for religious reasons, symbolizing a connection to the divine. Only parts of the medina were originally blue until about 40 years ago when the entire city adopted the color, possibly for aesthetic or tourism reasons. Some also believe the blue helps deter mosquitoes or cools the city in summer. Today, the tradition of repainting the city, still done biannually, is likely driven by tourism. Whatever the reason for the “blue city”, we love it!

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan Mint Tea, more than a drink, is a cornerstone of Morocco’s culture, symbolizing the warmth and hospitality of its people. The practice of making and serving this tea reflects a deeply ingrained tradition.

The art of pouring the tea is crucial. It involves skillfully raising the teapot high while pouring to aerate the tea, creating a frothy top. This high pour not only enhances flavor but also represents the generosity and hospitality intrinsic to Moroccan values.

This tea is a daily staple, enjoyed multiple times throughout the day, transcending just a beverage to become a symbol of Moroccan life and culture.

every turn is a picture

Hamid and Mary

Travel isn’t just about stunning places and amazing food; it’s about the company you keep. I’m lucky to have Mary as my best friend and a fellow food enthusiast, with whom I share a perfect energy match. Our trip to Spain and Morocco marked our third adventure together, following explorations in Egypt and Mexico. We make an excellent travel duo.

On this trip, Mary brought along Hamid, who has been a staple at her restaurant, Arpeggio BYOB, for over 25 years. As an incredible chef and a fantastic person, Hamid added immensely to our experience. His Moroccan roots made him the ultimate negotiator and translator for us. Together, we reveled in exploring the country, endlessly discussing and enjoying food.

Lamb Tagine – prunes, apricots, almonds

Cafe Clock

Breakfast – Shakshouka, Msemen, Yogurt, Fruit

Riad Cherifa

Lentils, White Beans, chicken tajine

Bab Ssour

Pastella Chicken
Brick pastry, chicken and honey

Bab Ssour