There is nowhere in
such proximity to Europe that so profoundly opens a window
onto another world. The mountain town of Chefchaouen, Morocco,
just two hours drive from the straits of Gibraltar is that
place – a perfect window of North Africa -living
vibrant proof that even a long stones throw from the homogenized
western world an ancient and exotic magic abides.
Leave your car or taxi outside the city walls and enter the
lime washed blue medina on foot via the gateway called Bab
Souk. Three minutes walk past spices, Argan oils and cosmetics,
baskets, fruit and sweet stalls and you arrive at Dar Gabriel.
Superficially you might be on a film set, but Chaouen goes
much deeper. Give it time and it will open your heart and move
Explore the labyrinthine
medina, the cupboard stalls of its artisans looming rugs
and blankets, wood working cedar into furniture. Take mint
tea in the central square of Chaouen – nowhere
combines grandeur and intimacy quite like the Place Ouda el
Hammam – a long row of verandah covered cafes facing
a fortified Kasbah and a pristine Mosque across a plaza of
Chefchaouen is home
to a unique Berber culture. It’s
people are welcoming. Open to them and you will make friends.
Among other things they offer:
The Medina – shop
the most fun way possible in a 16th century maze of blue.
Explore gorgeous carpets, leather work, jewellery and carpentry.
Lime pigments and mysterious plant and mineral beauty products.
Bargain at will.
Hammams - near
naked immersion in Berber bath time.
Music and drumming - this is an everyday activity but especially during the big
July Festival and the ‘Moussem’ in
Mountain Trekking - from three hours to three days, our guide Mohammed can take
you there. Gershwin the mule will carry your bags. Beautiful
swimming holes in summer at Akshur.