Description

A square centimeter of blue is not as blue as a square meter of the same blue.

Henri Matisse

Blue and its countless shades will be the theme of this unconventional tour that will let you get to know towns and villages, more or less known, but all characterized by the same color of their houses and narrow streets.

In addition to Chefchaouen, known as the “Blue City” and the Kasbah of the Udayas in the heart of the capital, Rabat, we’ll visit Asilah with its murals and Larache, one of the many Spanish corners in the African land, we’ll stop by Azemmour for a brief visit to its small and unique medina to continue along the coastline until we reach Essaouira, where even the sidewalks, the boats, the taxis, and the gas cylinders are blue!

We are suggesting a 5-day tour that can equally start from Marrakech, Fez, Rabat, Casablanca or Tangeri, but that can also be longer with the addition of other stops along the route. The itinerary will be chosen together based on the city of start and the one of finish (which can be different ones).

CHEFCHAOUEN

Perched on the Rif mountainsides, Chefchaouen (lit. Look at the Summits) owes its Andalusian architectural style to the Arabs and Jews who fled Spain in the 15th century. For centuries considered as a holy city, until the mid-50s only the believers were allowed inside the city. More recently, the town is visited by hundreds of tourists fascinated by its medina, the old town, a maze of completely blue-painted long and narrow streets.

You’ll have the chance to “get lost” in its narrow streets (all uphill!!!), look around its numerous shops and eat in one of its countless restaurants.

But why is everything blue? Some people believe that the color blue was used by the Jews to give the town the color of Heaven, others, instead, simply believe that the color blue was used to keep away the mosquitos!

ASILAH

Also in Asilah, a small walled fishing town on the Atlantic coast, we’ll find a small medina with blue and white walls but with an additional characteristic: the walls are decorated with many graffiti by artists from all over the world. Since the late 70s, every summer the town holds the Asilah Arts Festival, one of the most important cultural events of North Africa; a festival that draws thousands of visitors.

For 3 weeks, artists from all over the world use the medina’s walls as a canvas for their artworks; the following year, the murals are covered with lime to leave space for new ones. The artwork that wins the festival does not get covered and it stays for 7 years!

LARACHE

Larache, a small town on the Atlantic coast, characterized by an Arab-Andalusian architecture, is surely quieter than the nearby Asilah; it seems as if time had almost stopped: since the day of its independence in 1956 almost nothing has changed here.

Nonetheless, Larache has an enjoyable medina, a bit messy but absolutely alive, inhabited by locals only; the shops are traditional and tourist services are almost non-existent. A few colonial-style bars in the new part of the town and basic small restaurants at the port where you can eat delicious fish dishes.

A few kilometers from Larache, the Lixus Archeological site deserves a visit: from the top of the hill, it overlooks the Lukus river mouth’s lagoon. In this historical site, the signs of the various civilizations that have occupied it over the centuries are quite visible. The ruins of the city that are better preserved are the ones of the Roman town.

RABAT’S KASBAH

The Kasbah of the Udayas is one of the most characteristic and charming areas of Rabat. Built on a rocky spur of the Moroccan capital, it’s a proper fortified district, almost a city within the city, in a perfect scenic position: it’s enough to climb the city wall to have a wonderful view of the ocean and the close by city of Salé. Passed the monumental door that provides access to it, you’ll wander through the narrow streets with the wall evenly covered with lime –the color blue is almost everywhere – paved streets and beautiful courtyards until you’ll reach the Andalusian Gardens.

AZEMMOUR

Moving down along the Atlantic coast, a roughly 2-hour-drive South of Casablanca, you’ll find this small town, founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century on the river Oum Er-Rbia’s banks. Simple and traditional, with a delicious blue and white medina with a bit of a decadent vibe, but full of charm that, as opposed to other towns, has kept its original features.

Strolling inside the ancient city wall, you will able to admire some graffiti painted by local artists, to dive into the life of its inhabitants, visit small craft workshops and reach, in the Northern area, the old Jewish neighborhood with the synagogue painted blue and white as well.

ESSAOUIRA

Along the Atlantic coast, roughly 190 km from Marrakech, Essaouira (called Mogador in the past, i.e. small fortress) has always been an important port that connects the rest of the African continent with Europe. With a delicious blue and white medina (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001), the port with its unmistakable blue boats and the fish market, the town is basically a must-see when traveling to Morocco.

Its story was a sequence of splendor and richness, but also of desolation and decline. It was the favorite destination of the 70s hippie generation, for a few years now it has been hosting the Gnawa World Music Festival, an event originally dedicated to music born out of the slaves from Sub-Saharan Africa – in particular from Sudan, Mali and Guinea – and now widened to contemporary funk, blues, jazz and soul music, that for 3 days transforms Essaouira into a beating center of music, art and culture.

The Tour Includes

  • Private transportation by 4WD or minivan

  • Pick up at the hotel, riad, airport, or as agreed upon

  • Italian speaking driver

  • 4 nights in a hotel or riad

  • Possible dinners to agree upon before

The Tour Does Not Include

  • Arrival and Departure flights

  • Lunches

  • Monuments’ Entry Tickets

  • Tips and personal expenses

Write and tell us what you have in mind, we will suggest the perfect itinerary for you based on the dates of your trip!