The only thing that makes me overcome this sadness of being back to Finland from Morocco is salmiakki (salty liquorice that Finns love, and rest of the world hates) and the fact that summer holiday starts in few months and then I'm free to go again. (I can do this!)
Spending most time in Fes was relaxing and great once again but it was great to pack backpacks and head to the Rif mountains in the Northern Morocco where the famous blue city, Chefchaouen is. We didn't plan, we booked a hotel a night before but eventually ditched it when we arrived as we found an affordable apartment with a good location in the old medina.
Bus from Fes to Chefchaouen - How to get there?
The bus ride from Fes took around 3-4 hours with CTM bus company and cost 75DH per person. I recommend using CTM when traveling by bus because the quality of it is highest in the whole country and the prices indeed are affordable. When taking a bus in Morocco please consider of possible delays and incidents such as flat tires as the terrain is challenging throughout the country. I've been very lucky and never had any problem traveling with CTM or other public transportation in general.
The bus stopped once somewhere in the middle of the journey to a gas station /cafe where we had a nice 15-minute break. The only stop between Fes and Chefchaouen was in Ouazzane, which is known as a spiritual city of Sufism.
The views were indeed gorgeous. Mountains, creeks, villages and fields. It's crazy how the time has stopped in the countryside villages and people there leave as they have been living for several hundred years with just a little adjustments. It was interesting to see how the mountains got steeper and higher the closer we came to Chefchaouen.
Arriving at Chaouen (that's how locals call the town) the view of the blue and white houses welcomed us with the shining sun. The bus left us to the new center's bus station and continued its trip to Tetouan. After a long bus trip, nature called and we had to use the most disgusting toilet full of flies and who knows what - naturally it wasn't free. I'd love to erase that memory if I could. So just so you know, if you can, hold it.
Accommodation in Chefchaouen - Where to stay?
Chefchaouen is a rather small town and it was surprising how many hotels there are. The total number of hotels is somewhat 200 which means you have a lot to choose from. Though Chaouen is popular destination especially during European holidays such as Santa Semana, it is recommended to book your stay in well advance.
The most common way to lodge in the city is to stay in a guest house which can be called either riad or dar. Usually, the riads are more luxurious and dars (lit: home) more classic places to stay both decorated with colorful Moroccan interior. The prices start from 20€ and the average is around 50-70€ (one night for two.) The best location for the hotel would be in the old town, where everything is walking distance away.
My boyfriend's relative knew someone from the town so he was there to guide us to our accommodation and we ended up getting a discount of our stay. In Morocco connections for the locals are crucial, meaning if you know people, you'll have no problem. I was there to witness it once again.
The accommodation was a 4-person apartment room (French; maison) which included a small kitchen, bathroom, big living room, open bedroom and one closed bedroom. The best thing about the guest house was its big roof terrace and its location.
We originally went there to stay two days but we stayed a total of 6 days. Does that give you a clue how we liked the town? - Stay tuned for part 2 !