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Chefchaouen

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__TOC__ <div> </div> __TOC__ <div> </div> [[Image:Chefchaouen overview.jpg|thumb|350px|An overview of Chefchaouen]]
'''Chefchaouen''' (شفشاون, also ''Chaouen'', ''Chawen'' or ''Xaouen'') is a gorgeous mountain city in northeastern [[Morocco]]. It's no wonder that tourists flock here &mdash; this humble town is the embodiment of almost every Moroccan cliché. The picturesque medina, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Rif Mountains, is filled with white-washed homes with distinctive, powder-blue accents, and the call to prayer rings out of several mosques around the town in chorus. If you've got a few days to relax from the rigors of travel, this is a good place to do it.
==Get in==
[[Image:Chefchaouen_map_with_listings.png|thumb|350px|osm_url=http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/map?bbox=-5.2750897,35.1657747,-5.259854799999999,35.171300099999996|is_in=Chefchaouen|size=150x120|map of Chefchaouen]]
* By '''bus''' - There are frequent buses from [[Fez]] and [[Tetouan]] and also from [[Casablanca]], [[Rabat]], [[Meknes]], [[Tangier]] and [[Ceuta]]. Local buses plying the route from Fez to Tetouan/ Tangier stop at Derdara (8 km away), where you can get into one of the frequent grand taxis for 5 Dh. This avoids the long uphill walk from the bus station.
Local buses plying the route from Fez to Tetouan/ Tangier stop at Derdara (8 km away), where you can get into one of the frequent grand taxis for 5 Dh. This avoids the long uphill walk from the bus station. The '''main bus station''' (<listing name="gare routière"></listing>) is a fifteen minute walk from the ''medina'' (which is uphill), trough Av. Mohamed V. There are usually a couple of ''petit taxis'' waiting for a customer at the entry. Don't pay more than Dh 10 to get to the ''medina''. If it is hot, or, as is very likely, you have just endured a long coach drive to the town, you should seriously consider climbing into one of these taxis. Likewise, coming to Chefchaouen in the middle of the cold season can only make the ascending walkways as punishing as in the summer. With a heavy backpack, the walk up to the hotels of the town can be fairly strenuous!
On arriving in Chefchaouen, you may be met by touts at the bus station. These will probably try to take you to some cheap and low-quality hostel in the medina - but it is advisable to find the place by yourself, because if you arrive with touts, you'll be charged extra so they can get their commission. Touts will then insist that you follow them to their house in the medina, and there try to sell you a stash of dope for 300-500 Dh. Refusing to buy is not contemplated, nor safe, if you end up in such a situation, so just say no from the beginning and don't sympathise nor accept help.
Recently, the Souika/Mauretania hostel has many touts which quite aggressively try to get people there. They will claim the hotel you’re looking for is closed or on restauration. Don't trust these at all and insist on going to your originally planned destination.
==Get around==
* The ruins of an old '''mosque''' (''Jemaa Bouzafar''), on a hill behind the waterfall, overlook the ''medina'' and its crumbling tower offers great views of the town.
*The <see name="The Kasbah" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="20 MAD" lat="" long="">Looks quite interesting from the outside, but there isn't much to see inside. The place is well preserved. There's the tower and the prison amongst others that's worth a visit, and the courtyard is green and almost alien amdist the mountain setting. Should only be an option if you're either bored or want to get away from the bustle outside.</see>
* The '''hill of the Hotel Atlas''' is a good viewpoint on the town and the valley, especially on sunsets. It can be reached from the south gate of the medina (''Bab el-Ain'') by climbing the road coasting the medina on the west side until the east gate (''Bab Souk''), and then uphill, crossing the old cemetery on a rocky path.
* A strenuous hike up '''Jebel al-Kalaa''' (the peak immediately overlooking the town) is fun, but can take up to 9 hours round trip and goes by (and if you're lucky/unlucky, through) big marijuana plantations. The route is not well marked (with white and yellow), and you might have to trail blaze for parts of it if you lose the trail. Start by following the road up the southeastern valley, from where you'll get a good view of town, and look for the markings up the mountain. Bring plenty of water, and some snacks.
 
* A '''two-day hike''' in the '''Talasemtane national park''' via Asilane (Gite, 200 Dh per person incl. meals) to Akchour (Double rooms from 150 Dh) also starts up the big mountain on a 4WD track which goes of in the north of Chefchaouen just after the camping site. At the peak at about 1800m is a camping site. Be advised though that there maybe snow even until April, so be prepared for cold temperatures. There are at least two water sources on the way up, so you'll not need to carry too much water. It's about 14km until the gite in Asilane. The 4WD track continues until the next village from where one has to cross over a small valley, continue straight after passing a tomb-house and climb down the small path to the village of Inezgane. From there, a mule treck follows the river more or less closely and the gorgeous mountains, cliffs and breathtaking views. After a while the path goes down to the river over an ancient bridge and continues north, passing a source (although this one might dry up in summer) and eventually leads to the village of Akchour which has another Gite, but also cheaper accommodation. See below for getting back to Chaouen. There are more tracks and gites in the area. It is possible to even hike to [[Oued Laou]] at the mediterranean.
 
* Take a grand taxi to '''Akchour''' and do a 1.5h hike in the mountains towards the '''Pond de Dieu'''. After the dam, the path lies on the right side of the river and goes up the hill quite steep. The bridge was formed by the river floating underground and carving its way over millenia. There seems also be a way down at the river, so one can see the bridge from below. Don't try this in spring though, as after snow-melt or rain the river may be unpassable. To left over the river starts a path towards the cascades. Getting back may be a bit of a hassle, as the grand taxi (120Dh per taxi) only runs rarely. On weekends in the afternoon, you may be able to hitch with locals who went there for a weekend trip and will the head back to Tanger. They can drop you at Dar Akouba from where it is easy to get transport back to Chefchoauen.
==Buy==
* <eat name="Granada" alt="" address="" directions="2 blocks up from the main square" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Mains ~ 25 Dh">Great fish tajine, great couscous. </eat>
* <eat name="Chez ChouenFuad" alt="" address="" directions="opposite Granada" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="">Also do a great fish tajine, and a shrimp tajine that's more Spanish than Moroccan, but great nonethelesssalad and cous-cous are also very good. Great relation quality/price.</eat>
* For a sandwich break, head for the local sandwich dealer on the left of Bab el-Ain gate. Chicken, beef or shrimps sandwiches, with olives, salad and sauces, for 25Dh
*<eat name="Snack Aya" alt="" address="" directions="Walking towards the central square from Ras El Maa (waterfall gate), take the 5th stairs down to your left." phone="" url="" hours="noonish 'til late" price="10Dh" lat="" long="">This place opened in March 2012 and the owner Miloud has yet to decide on a name or get a sign for his sandwich shop. It's next to Hostal VallParadis, near Ras El Maa. He makes sandwiches. For 10Dh you get half a baguette packed with ham, tuna, olives, rice, cheese, salad and an omelette! That's less than half the price and more than twice the volume of similar vendors in the Medina. You can also order tagine, couscous and various other dishes at least an hour or two in advance and you'll get some real home cooking for a reasonable price. Expect to wait 30 minutes to an hour longer than the time you ask for. Very different from anything from local restaurants, but the prices aren't fixed. The chicken tagine is fantastic, the meat couscous OK.</eat>
==Drink==
Alcohol is not readily available but can be found. Mint tea is prevalent (5 10 Dh the cup).
As for the whole of Morocco, avoid tap water for safety concerns, and drink bottled water (6 Dh for a cold 1 lt bottle) or drinks (8 Dh for 1/2 lt coke). Never pay more than 10 Dh for a bottle, even in restaurants.
*'''Hotel Ourzazate''' ''(room Dh 60 per person)'' in the medina is a decent choice with a good location.
*<sleep name="Hotel Andaluz" alt="" address="1 Rue Sidi Salem" directions="in the medina" phone="+212 39-986034" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="120 double" lat="" long="">A popular little budget hotel with a nice rooftop terrace and cool (occasionally damp if on the ground floor) rooms. It's not far from the main road in the medina, most locals can point the way. There is a shared kitchen and guests can use the washing machine upon request.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Hostal Gernika" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+212539987434" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="150 DH/200 DH (Without bathroom/ With bathroom)" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Inside the medina, very clean, luminous rooms. Has shared showers, with lots of hot water. Some rooms ensuite. Some rooms have heating ( 250 DH) that is a very nice thing to have during rather humid winter. There is a lovely common room with fireplace and small library. Free wifi. Breakfast costs 30 DH and is worth it. Spanish and French spoken.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Hotel Madrid" alt="" address="" directions="right behind the Kasbah, just before Hotel Parador if you're coming from the bus station" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="200-400 MAD/night for a single depending on the season" lat="" long="">Great service staff, always willing to help. They have maps and can give information on the town. The rooms aren't special, and have the "cheap hotel" feel. They have hot water - and one cannot stress enough the importance of hot water during the cold months! Ask the desk for your TV remote. The lobby is quaint, and enjoying breakfast while listening to the hotel canary sing (it's a real bird - not a euphemism for a lounge singer) or watching English channels on the lobby TV is a great way to start the day.</sleep>
Definitely avoid Hostel Bab el-Ain, at the entrance of the Medina. It is a dirty place, with cold shower, overvalued (50 Dh/person/night) and a primary destination for touts taking advantage of smoke tourists.
*<sleep name="Darlbakal" alt="Darlbakal Guesthouse" address="Derb Mfarej Qu. Onssar " directions="" phone="+212539989494 " url="www.darlbakal.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Gusethouse with a unique interior , a charming and artistic furniture and an amazing sceneray that you can enjoy while relaxing in the terrace</sleep>
*<sleep name="Gite Talassemtane" alt="850" address="Zoauiya Habteene" directions="Comme Bab Taza, Chefchaouen" phone="00212672743347" url="www.gitetalassemtane.com" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="350 dh40 euro" lat="" long="">At only 12km from Chefchaouen, in Zaouiya Habteene village, in Talassemtane National Pak, our the guesthouse is located. It offers a new vision of traveling to the North of Morocco to encounter Jbala people…Our the guesthouse permits the discovery of the natural and cultural resources de Jbala region, in their authenticity through a supporting and responsible travel. The guests will live the authenticity of Jbala people who willingly will transmit and share their traditions with the guests. Additionally, the guests will explore the enormous richness of Talassemtane Natural Park.Thanks to the Park richness, hiking tours are suggested by our guesthouse to explore the area. Our the guesthouse is an essential element for ecotourism and rural tourism promotion in Zaouiya Habteene village. Walks and hikes are the best way to encounter the people and to perceive the inhabitant ordinary life…
By choosing rural tourism, you support local economy, through generating incomes for the inhabitants.
Our the guesthouse is also a halt for the Rif grand crossingWelcome </sleep>*<sleep name="Pension Cordoba" alt="" address="" directions="north-east of the main medina square" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="noon" price="70Dh per person" lat="35.169401" long="-5.261427">very friendly staff, nice welcoming rooms and a big and comfy roof terrace</sleep>*<sleep name="Hotel Parador"></sleep>*<sleep name="Dar El Moualim" alt="Apartments" address="Rue Hassan I, Derb Sidi Bouchuka" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.darelmoualim.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="from 125 Dh per person" lat="" long="">Three apartments in a restored house inside the ancient medina.</sleep>*<sleep name="Pension Souika" alt="" address="Drb Kadi alami" directions="100 m from the main square. From the bank and the post office up the hill about 200 m, very near to Al Kasbah (castle)." phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="12:00" price="Dh 120" lat="" long="">Very cold and very noisy, and very over-priced. It is possible to stay in a beautiful place in Chaouen for Dh200 per night - this place is not worth Dh50. Shared bathroom is filthy, and the hostal is a magnet for touts, who hang around the corners outside and pester you. If you want to our meet those who are here for a hashish-holiday then this is the place for you. Otherwise avoid at all costs! </sleep>*<sleep name="Riad Baraka" alt="" address="12 Derb Ben Yakoub" directions="" phone="0614682480" url="" checkin="12:00" checkout="11:00" price="280" lat="" long="">A cramped guesthouse, Gite Talassemtanerun by a couple of rude and ignorant British ex-pats. Avoid it at all costs.</sleep>*<sleep name="Dar Dadicilef" alt="" address="Derb Hadri - Quartier Souika - Chefchaouen " directions="" phone="+212 (0) 539 882 893 " url="http://www.dadicilef.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="DH250-DH800" lat="" long="">Centrally located riad with clean and tastefully decorated rooms. Very friendly staff. Excellent breakfast. Nice roof terrace. WIFI signal throughout.</sleep>
* [[Fez]] - four buses (CTM): 10:00, 13:15, 15:15, 18:00; Dh 75 for CTM, 4 hours.
* [[Berbered]] and [[Ketama]] - daily buses at 08:00; Dh 20, 3 hours.
* [[Oued Laou]] may have one daily bus
'''''Grand taxis''''' to [[Tetouan]] and [[Tangier]] depart from a street just off Plaza Mohammed V.
* <listing name="grand taxi Tetouan"></listing>
There will also be rare taxis to Akchour from a taxi stand nearby:
* <listing name="grand taxis Akchour, Oued Laou, Dar Akouba"></listing>
The connection to [[Oued Laou]] is probematic, you may need to pay a full taxi (150-200Dh) or go via [[Tetouan]] first.
Get to [[Ceuta]] by taking the bus through Tetouan to Fnideq and then taking a cab to the border. Ignore touts trying to sell you documents at the border, since they are free at the passport window. No CTM buses go to Ceuta, so you'll have to rely on regional ones. Don't pay more than 5Dh for a piece of luggage, and don't hand anybody big bills: they'll just walk away with them.
[[fr:Chefchaouen]]
[[wts:Category:Chefchaouen]]
[[Wikipedia:Chefchaouen]]

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