CHEFCHAOUEN, MOROCCO

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Sep 11th, 2013, 01:56 PM
  #1
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CHEFCHAOUEN, MOROCCO

Is this destination truly worth a visit or has it become an overblown tourist trap? If it IS a desirable town, how many days should one spend to do it justice, considering that one is not interested in hiking? ZZ
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Sep 11th, 2013, 03:17 PM
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It is a small town only worth a day.
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Sep 11th, 2013, 06:50 PM
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Yes it is a small city but beautiful with whitewashed walls , you can enjoy fresh and delicious food , panoramic view from the top of mountains, there is also lake and waterfalls a bit out from chefchouen
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Sep 12th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Chefchaouen is somehow similar to Essaouira to me in terms of laidbackness, colors...etc depending on your time, I would personally spend 2 night there.. stroll into the citys old medina,sip a sweet mint tea at Uta el Hmmam square, the 15th century Grand Mosque with its unique octagonal minaret, there is also a museum displaying the local handcrafts, photographs, and furniture.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 12:00 AM
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It IS small and it does have a lot of tourist influence, but we found that if we climbed higher in the town, it is still very locally focused. :aundry day at the creek isn't done as a show, for instance. And it's quite unique in appearance compared to most places on the Moroccan circuit, being so influenced by Andalusian history. One fast day or two relaxed days (which we did)
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Sep 14th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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It's been at least a decade since I was there. Tourist trap. Not worth the effort.
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Sep 15th, 2013, 10:34 AM
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Thank all of you for your responses to my query. From them, I figure about a 3.5 to 1.5 wager on the desirability of visiting Chefchaouen. I hope that more people will express their opinions. ZZ
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Sep 15th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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Whats really meant by Chafchaouen being a tourist trap?? I understand the town get flooded by European--esp Spaniards--seeking an easy way to get weed, though it will be unfair to over-generalize.
the down side of Chefchouen I reckon is, maybe for the better of the town is being out of the tourist circuit, Anyhow everybody is entitled to their opinion, I can tell you that never any of our customers spoke negative of Chefchouen.
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Sep 15th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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I understand the town get flooded by European--esp Spaniards--seeking an easy way to get weed ... Precisely why I would not return.
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Sep 15th, 2013, 06:13 PM
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I think some places and some tourists are like that. It's almost inevitable that if some small place has something to recommend it, that people will mention it and the word gets around. Just as inevitably, some buildings along the main avenues turn into B&Bs, trinket shops and tour company offices. It only stands to reason - people who live in an area without many economic choices would of course choose to cater to their new asset as a tourist destination.

In my opinion, it's asking a lot for locals to simply keep at their toils and ignore the potential and that they haven't doesn't make a place less interesting. It's still the same old town and same people living there (and thus, not really a "trap", in the classic "built to suck people into spending money" way it was coined as. (see "World's Largest Ball of Twine" things as the original version") ust having to share with others like yourself which means wishing the locals a somewhat better life as well, IMO. But I will agree that Chefchaouen doesn't play to the expectation some may have that they'll roll into an exotic little town and be immersed in nothing but foreignness, but also with interesting architecture that's been well preserved, a place to stay and eat... It has those things, but in most places that fit the bill, you do have to share.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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Good points CC. My impression was that a fair number of locals had progressed from hosting tourists for profit, to treating them with disdain and hostility.

It's true I don't enjoy crowded destinations full of my fellow tourists, but I've been in these situations in other destinations and been treated a lot better than I felt I was in Chefchaouen.

Morocco was one of my least favourite destinations overall, but Chefchaouen was the worst of the cities I visited in that country.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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Femi - I guess that's the inevitable downside. Some profiteering, some just wish we'd all go away because they liked it better the old way. And some are happy for the opportunity.

We did ok with Chefchaouen. We got up towards the "top" of town and it was pretty quiet. People nodding as they passed. A couple said hello. Actually, one was closer to "Hello! How do you like our town!". Was probably leading to commerce somewhere down the line, you know how that goes in Morocco... but cordial. Enjoyed watching the laundry going on.

Funny that. Morocco was just behind Cambodia on my favourite list while it became the new number 1 for my wife. Good that we all see things in different ways. Our favourite place of all was one with not much to see - Azrou. What lovely people in the middle Atlas up there.

Took some snaps here and there, of Xaouen and Azrou and such, if anyone is still planning stuff and interested. If we take a pic of a person, it's usually because it's someone we've gotten to know along the way (at least a bit of chatter anyway). Xaouen starts at the end of the first page and goes on to the second.

http://www.travelisfatal.com/gallery...=show&gazgal=5
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Sep 18th, 2013, 09:13 AM
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I like your shot of the Ait Ben Haddou girl
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Sep 18th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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She was a sweetheart. Expressive eyes. Big sister of the little boy in the previous shot. She was busy chatting to my wife - I like pics better when people aren't posing.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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CounterClifton: I've just looked at those photographs and I am surprised that the little boy and, next, the little girl have such definite black African features. Is that common in Moroccan towns? ZZ
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Sep 18th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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Zambezi, no, not really. Not that I recall. I think moreso in the more southern cities like Marrakesh and Essaouira. But most small towns seem to be composed fairly homogeneously of native Berber population. I'm not sure this family's history and how they came to be in (the near ruins of) Ait Benhaddou
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Sep 18th, 2013, 04:00 PM
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I am grateful to each of you who has responded to my question and I have studied answers for nuances and unspoken messages. Being disposed to taking non-life threatening risks, I have decided to spend two nights in Chefchaouen. A visit there fits in well with a general itinerary of travel between Tangier and Fez. I leave for Morocco tomorrow and I shall give a report when I return home. ZZ
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Sep 18th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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Speaking of travel between Tangier and Fez - just an fyi that the bus services aren't of bad quality in Morocco. We were on a CTM bus from Fez to Chefchaouen. Supratours (which isn't really tours) I think also runs the route and we rode them elsewhere in Morocco. Either had clean buses that weren't oversold.. so you got your seat and weren't scrunched in there. I understand both go on to Tangier (we went by taxi though, north to Cueta instead)

No toilet on board, so a stop at a mid point (plus usually it's setup as a store/snack/lunch spot) and the toilets THERE are horrendous. But that'd be true no matter how you traveled. Anyway, point being is that the buses are a decent and economical way to go with no drama, if you wish. Supratour maybe a tad nicer.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 05:05 PM
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Thank you, CounterClifton, for that information. I do plan to use buses between Tangier, Chefchaouen, Fez, and Marrakesh. From years of travel in India and Southeast Asia, I've learned that women, in particular, must steel themselves to face local conditions and that holding out is the best policy. ZZ
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Sep 18th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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LOL - that may be the most elegant way to describe the developing world's roadside facilities that I've yet read. Well done.
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