Morocco's Blue City has long graced social media feeds, giving us all major wanderlust.

That's because the city Chefchaouen is known for its eye-catching buildings and streets, all of which have been painted in a wide array of blue shades; we're talking everything from doors and archways to the streets, steps and walls, all painted in shades like turquoise, navy and azure.

Add in the colourful flower pots, the white-washed doors and the beautiful mountain views, and suddenly it's no surprise the city has been such a hit with the Instagram crowd.

The reason why the blue city in Morocco is blue remain a mystery, with various theories emerging over the decades including acting as a deterrent for mosquitoes, keeping the city cool during the warmer months, religious reasons or even that it was painted blue to become a tourist attraction.

(One city in Spain actually did the latter when it transformed itself into a real-life Smurf village).


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Tucked away in the Rif mountains in northwestern Morocco, Chefchaouen doesn't just offer pretty photo backdrops – there's plenty to explore while you're there.

Boasting a history dating back to 1471 when it was built as a fortress against Portuguese invasions, before it was seized by the Spanish in the 1920s, eventually being returned to Morocco.

Therefore the city is steeped in history, which can be found nestled throughout the streets.


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The Old Town and the Medina tend to be particularly popular with visitors thanks to its traditional souk and the bustling boutiques and restaurants to be found in the area.

Those after a spot of sightseeing may want to leave space on the itinerary for the likes of the Grand Mosque and the Kasbah Museum, while foodies won't want to miss Plaza Uta el-Hammam with its countless restaurants and cafés serving seriously delicious local fare.

You can easily explore the highlights in the space of two days but if you want to spend a little longer, it's could be worth dedicating some extra time to explore the Rif mountains' walking trails and hotspots including the ethereal Cascades d'Akchour waterfalls.

Although Chefchaouen was once a lesser known spot, thanks to its social media fame it's become somewhat of a visitor hotspot especially during the summer months.

That can make finding cheap accommodation a lot easier. For example, Booking.com has a round-up of the best 10 riads in the city, while TripAdvisor has a guide to the Chefchaouen's best cheap hotels.

However, it's worth noting that Chefchaouen still isn't the easiest place to reach, despite its popularity.

The nearest major airport is Tangier which is approximately a three-hour drive away, although there are day trips available if you're looking to include the Blue City as part of a wider itinerary.

You can find direct flights from the UK with prices from £48 on Skyscanner.

Marrakech to Chefchauoen is quite the distance if you were planning to drive, with a seven-hour trip, so most people opt to fly from Marrakech to Tangier which makes for a much more time-friendly journey of just over an hour.

A trip from Casablanca is similar – it's a five-hour drive, or a flight time of just over an hour.

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