Chefchaouen, a small town in northern Morocco, has a rich history, beautiful natural surroundings and wonderful architecture, but what it’s most famous for are the striking and vivid blue walls of many of the buildings in its “old town” sector, or medina.
The maze-like medina sector, like those of most of the other towns in the area, features white-washed buildings with a fusion of Spanish and Moorish architecture.
The brilliantly blue walls, however, seem to be unique to Chefchaouen. There are several theories as to why the walls were painted blue. One popular theory is that the blue keeps mosquitos away.
The blue is said to symbolize the sky and heaven, and serve as a reminder to lead a spiritual life.
However, according to some locals, the walls were mandated to be painted blue simply to attract tourists at some point in the 1970s.
The town is a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to Tangier and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. There are approximately two hundred hotels catering to the summer influx of European tourists.
Chefchaouen is also a popular shopping destination as well, as it offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. A nearby attraction is the Kef Toghobeit Cave, one of the deepest caves in Africa is also popular with tourists.