Our private tour of Chefchaoen was a mixed bag. I was probably blinded by the prospect of visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so I didn’t prepare myself well enough and made a few rookie errors.
First of all, Chefchaoen is over three hours from Fez. Bring something to do in the car because it’s just a lot of countryside otherwise. Our tour guide was an hour late, and we were picked up only because I called enquiringly where he was.
Second of all, clarify with your tour guide before hand that you’ll be given a tour of the city. I was under the impression that we would be given a private tour of the Blue Pearl, but we had a guy who said he ‘didn’t have a tourist permit’ so he ‘wasn’t able to actually escort’ us through the streets. This didn’t seem very legitimate, nor did it instil much confidence in us. I appreciate free time to explore, but we were told to meet him at the Kazbah at 5pm, and that we should try and get to a few of his recommended landmarks, such as the Spanish mosque. He didn’t give us directions or a map, and we couldn’t speak Moroccan, and there are no street signs. So we were left in a maze for 3 hours. We got lost.
Chefchaoen is a labyrinth. Winding streets and alleyways. There’s a tourist belt with typical wares and crafts, and there’s the residential side. Somehow we made it to the residential side, in the sweltering heat. We nearly melted. Bring water, buy water, stay hydrated.
Lastly, the tour guide took us to a local restaurant and recommended we try the fish Tagine- a delicacy. Beware the fish tagine. My partner and I were violently ill, night of a thousand deaths style, for three days and nights afterwards. We had to cancel the Casablanca leg of our trip and spent a week recuperating. Beware the fish tagine.
Look, I think there are other ways to get to Chefchaoen. It’s a magical city, but I didn’t really get a chance to love it between all the palava that happened on my tour.
Disclaimer: This review was also posted by me on TripAdvisor. This blog has no affiliation with TripAdvisor. I just share my experiences to spread the love to fellow travelers.