Chefchaouen, Morocco in Photos

In my last post about Morocco, I wrote about a vivid moment from my week in Chefchaouen, one that has stuck with me ever since. I also wanted to share more of the photos. As always, each of them tells their own story, though less elaborately (for me) as with prose. I’m a writer first and foremost, but as I’ve travelled I’ve tried to improve my photography as much as possible. Chefchaouen is such a photogenic place that it was a pleasure to spend my days wandering and writing and taking photos.

As I said in the prior piece, the town isn’t all awash in blue, regardless of what this photoessay would suggest. Outside the medina the town is like many others, with neon signs and banks and straight roads. I spent most of my time inside the medina, however, lost in a reverie of colour and texture.

Here are some of my favourite photos from my time in Chefchaouen.

Cobblestones.

 

One of the first things that stood out in Chefchaouen: the grey cobblestones against the bright walls.
One of the first things that stood out in Chefchaouen: the grey cobblestones against the bright walls.
Chefchaouen, Morocco
So much so that I wanted to see what the city looked like in monochrome
Chefchaouen, Morocco in Black and White
Blotting out the colour, the cobblestones that stand out.
Chefchaouen, Morocco in Colour
In colour, the walls are the first thing you notice, shadows of a mosque reflected upon them in the sun.
Little girl in Chefchaouen, Morocco
But stepping back a few steps pushes the cobblestones and the walls back to the forefront.
Eid al-Adha in Chefchaouen
Even when sheep skins are involved.

Cats.

 

Cat, Chefchaouen
Not all of the cats were healthy. Many fought for food in the twisted alleyways, hoping for leftovers from Eid.
Cat vs. Boy
Cat vs. boy in a toy-off.
Cat sleeping the day away
Cat sleeping the day away.
Cat sleeping the day away in Chefchaouen
Until I woke him up, that is….
Cats begging for food
Cats begging for food, the norm at any of the town’s restaurants.
A kitten outside the furn in Chefchaouen
A kitten outside the furn (the community bakery) in Chefchaouen

Doorways and alleyways.

 

Chefchaouen, Morocco plants
One of the many doorways that beckoned.
Shades of blue in chefchaouen
Shades of blue.
Shades of blue
Every corner led to a new alley or courtyard to discover.
Brass detailing on the doors
Brass detailing on the doors.
Detailing on the doors, Morocco
Another, less brassy but just as beautiful.
Tiny hotels tucked into alleys
Tiny hotels tucked into alleys.
Domesticating blue.
Loved the green against the blue.
Quiet alleys
Quiet alleys.
Only jalabas and cobblestones
Only jalabas and cobblestones to be seen.
One of my favourite doors in Morocco
One of my favourite doors in Morocco.

Errant goat.

 

Goat
Errant goat came meandering into the alleyways, only to be chased out by a frantic boy about 5 minutes later.

Colours.

 

Pigment
The pigment is what makes these buildings as memorable as they are; sold at many of the shops along the main streets.
Pigment blues
Pigment for painting.
Olives in Morocco
The downside to visiting Morocco? People keep offering you olives. Yuck.
Markets and movement in one of the main intersections.
Markets and movement in one of the main intersections.
Moroccan tiles
Moroccan tiles in one of the many colourful doorways.
Running through the alleys of Chefchaouen's medina
Running through the alleys of Chefchaouen’s medina
Dried peppers
Dried peppers.
Black pepper
Black pepper.
Musk, used as perfume in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa
Scented musk tablets, used as perfume in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

A wider city outside the Medina’s gates.

 

Chefchaouen in miniature
Chefchaouen in miniature.
Chefchaouen as seen from "The Source", a waterfall above the city.
A clear blue sky.
Chefchaouen as seen from The Source
Chefchaouen as seen from “The Source”, a waterfall above the city.

A final sunset.

 

Sky over Chefchaouen
Sky over Chefchaouen, a promising start to my last night in town.
Sunset from Riad Baraka
Sunset from Riad Baraka’s rooftop.
A perfect end to my week.
A perfect end to my week.

57 thoughts on “Chefchaouen, Morocco in Photos”

  1. Superb! This is a town I’ve never been to in Morocco, and this reportage is truly tempting (the olives contributed). I won’t miss this place next time – thanks for these wonderful images!

  2. As much as I love Spain’s whitewashed towns, the pops of blue are just beautiful. And the kitties!

    No olives for you, huh? I used to feel that way and then one day, it just changed and I tried them again and have loved them ever since. That’s why I keep trying things I dislike, I never know when the feeling might change. Except for lima beans. I don’t think I’ll ever like those.

    1. You know, I felt that way about tomatoes for many years, and then on my 31st birthday – magic! – I liked them. I’m all for an olive-revolution in my tastebuds, but thus far I’m in the same place as before: that they are, in my view, disgusting :) Hope things will change! (I do love lima beans though.)

  3. I love that shade of blue that’s all over town as well as the photos of the tiles and spices… how beautiful. And just out of curiosity, how did you take that shot of the town in miniature? What a cool effect!

  4. I’m not sure why you’re so modest about your photography, Jodi. These photos are spectacular! Especially the olive one. :) But my other favourite shots include the cityscape ones, and the blue buildings (they remind me of a similar preponderance of that colour in the medina in Rabat).

  5. i’m wondering why they chose the color blue to paint their houses…
    your photos are amazing Jodi. it’s as if I was travelling with you by looking at those photos. really charming town!

    1. Thanks Doi! I’ve been told by numerous people in Morocco that it had to do with ancient Jewish tradition. From –> “One of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations, Chefchaouen is most known for its blue-rinsed buildings and alleys, an old tradition leftover from the city’s Jewish population… After the Spanish Reconquista, the small mountain town became one of the largest Jewish refugee sites, and during their stay they managed to leave their mark on it, one that makes the modern city so special.”

  6. Beautiful set. You photographed some of the very same alleys and doorways I did :)

    I find myself unsurprised to know we loved it equally. However, I am envious of your entire week there. 1 day and 2 nights was not even close to enough for me. I will have to go back, hopefully in 2013.

    The blue, the other colors, the shopping, the quiet way of the people (in comparison to towns like Casablanca and Marrakech that is) makes me long for Chefchaouen all over again. And I’ve only been away since this morning.

  7. Really nice photos, love how you made an effort to capture certain themes, but also to create a cultural portrait of the place. I’m going to be leading a photo tour to Morocco in April 2013 and Chefchaouen is on our itinerary, so I’m looking forward to shooting in this amazing place.

  8. Jodi, I’m browsing these in my grad school cafe, in the middle of a grey New England winter. It makes me want to pack a bag and a camera and ingest all the color in the world… Thank you for this stunning photo-essay!

    1. Thank you Roxanne! I’ve enjoyed your Instagram feed as a compliment to your terrific writing. Good luck with school and here’s to meeting somewhere, sometime soon where colour and soup abounds!

  9. Love the colors Jodi! Stunning!

    It made me thinking of visiting the country instead of Algeria, what do you think?

  10. I’m deciding between Portugal and Spain or Portugal and Morocco for this summer. I think this post and your spectacular photographs helped the decision.

  11. Really nice group of photos. You have successfully given me a very clear image of the town. I will include Chefchaouen in my future tour itinerary as well.

  12. Never found ‘blue’ to be so beautiful, it looks gorgeous and mesmerizing. An interesting ‘color heritage’ left by their ancestors and so beautifully captured by you Jodi!

  13. wow, really awesome shots here Jodi! I’ve never been to Morocco but it’s certainly on my “must visit” list. Chefchaouen reminds me so much of Bundi, India. Have you ever been there? Nearly identical alleys, doorways, and that very same blue. It’s a bit uncanny how similar the towns are. Anyway, you have a cool blog that I’ll be checking out on a regular basis.

  14. What beautiful photos. I’d usually comment on my favs, but I can’t choose.

    Even though there are better photos in the set, there is something I like about the boy with the cat. It is a genuine moment captured on camera.

  15. Great. I need to ban myself from your site – everytime I look at another page, I find another place that goes up on my bucket list of places I want to visit!!!! gorgeous colors/photos – inspirational!

  16. Gorgeous pictures, Jodi!

    Have to say though that Riad Baraka is the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in. I’ve lived in Morocco for over a month in 2012 and owners of Baraka are the most rudest I have ever met.
    Let there always be a road.

    love & light

    el

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  21. Wonderful photos Jodi, well done.
    I’m a photographer based in Sydney who has also taught thousands photography over the years and your pix demonstrate a real skill…from looking at detail to capturing little moments and using perspective in interesting ways.
    (I also went to Chefchaouen but back in the 70’s, well before I became a photographer, and still recall the magic streetscapes, which your photos capture so well.)

  22. Morocco seems like a photographers paradise! Makes me want to go there so much more! I’ll have to look back at more of your posts about Morocco. I hadn’t been following you travels in 2012 yet :)

  23. I just browsed through these photos and I like really want to sit down and go through each of them again and in more detail! Amazing stuff! I am now wondering how these homes would have looked from inside? Ever had the chance to visit a local’s home? :)

  24. Hi Jodi, I love anything to do with Morocco, & am planning on retiring there, eventually. Do you have any interesting photo’s of the inside of cafes, restaurants & guest house/ hotel’s?

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