An unusual blue town in the Rif mountains of Morocco.

Founded in 1471 as a fortress which still exists to this day by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco.

It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco, astonished to find the Jewish population still speaking a medieval Castillian dialect.

The town's distinctive blue colour is derived from its Jewish inhabitants, who chose that colour to replace the green used in Muslim towns.

Ok, so you do have to get up just after dawn if you want the place to yourself, but it's a beautiful little town to try out for a night or two.
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