The mosque nearest to us was the first one to crackle into life, its microphone producing some static before the call to prayer began. A few seconds later, the other mosques joined in and soon the beautiful, melodic tones were echoing through the town. We’d arrived safely at our next destination on our Morocco family road trip and were excited to find out all there is to do in Chefchaouen with kids.
Many travellers only stop in the ancient town of Chefchaouen for a day or two to take pictures amongst its striking blue backdrop. But this beautiful town, set in a bowl surrounded by the Kif mountains, is the perfect place to unwind for more than a few days, and there is so much more to this city than its instagrammable alleyways. Indeed, we originally planned to stay only three nights and ended up staying six!
There are so many things to do in Chefchaouen with kids for all ages, and it was a definite highlight of our self-drive Morocco itinerary. Here are some of the things we recommend doing when visiting with kids.
Wander the blue alleyways
The medina of Chefchaouen provides the feeling of being lost, but somehow you always end up turning a corner and returning to a familiar landmark. Every day for us in Chefchaouen started by wandering the alleyways that winded up and down around the medina.
Due to all the steps, there are no cars and motorbikes. So our boys could bound up and leap down steps to their own content, often with no one else around when away from the main tourist routes.
We would sometimes stop to buy some Moroccan pancakes (msemen) or pick up a souvenir at a local stall. Haggling is a lot more relaxed in Chefchaouen compared to Marrakech.
Walking up to the Spanish Mosque
From most places in town, you will spot a white mosque nestled on the hill top. This is the Spanish Mosque (Mosquée Bouzâafar), and it’s one of the most famous attractions in Chefchaouen. Particularly at dusk, you’ll notice what at first appear to be rocks, but you’ll eventually realise they’re actually tourists, jostling for position to take the iconic sunset shot of the blue-tinted town below.
Kids love this walk as it’s not too taxing (about 1km return from the river) and offers lots of walls to climb along the way. We found that sunset was a little late for our two so we headed up a little earlier; late enough to miss the hottest part of the day but early enough to beat the photographers. Be sure to grab orange juice on the way up, take your own water and snacks, and wear some comfortable shoes. The walk starts here, on the bridge next to the orange juice stop mentioned below.
There is also another good walk the other side of the medina which affords equally striking views, but from a different perspective. Head up to the medina walls to the north of the city and follow Route de Tisemlale.
Splash in the river with your orange juice
Is the heat starting to get to you and the little ones? Are you finding the medina a little busy and fancy somewhere different to stop for a drink? Head down to the river at the north-eastern edge of town and find the friendly local families selling freshly squeezed orange juice.
And if that doesn’t sound refreshing enough, remember to slip off your shoes and wade out to the table and chairs perched on the edge of the mini waterfall! The water is cold (but insanely refreshing after walking around the medina) and the rocks can be slippery, so do take care. But aside from that, this was our favourite pitstop in town. Expect to pay about MAD10 per glass of delicious juice.
From here, you can walk along the other side of the river to the medina, and follow it down to the main road. If makes for an enjoyable afternoon stroll. You can try and get a taxi back to the medina, although we struggled to get a fair price and ended up walking.
Pancake in Place El Haouta
In the heart of the medina there is a little square (Place El Haouta) which we always seemed to stumble across, often when we least expected it. We found a little cafe which made the best chocolate crêpes, often perfectly timed as we’d finished for the day. The square was nice and quiet, safe enough for the boys to run around if they wanted whilst we surveyed the scene and sipped another glass of mint tea. The fact it was a short stroll back to our Airbnb made it even better.
Place Outa El Hamam
The traditional meeting place of Chefchaouen is the main square (Place Outa El Hamam) next to the Kasbah and Grande Mosque. Foreigners have to pay to enter the Kasbah and are not allowed to enter the mosque, but we found the boys loved walking around the square, checking out the live music and entertainment, enjoyed ice-cream pitstops, and generally soaking up the atmosphere.
There are also lots of kid-friendly restaurants here selling affordable Moroccan and Western foods and drink. There is even a Chinese restaurant if you fancy a change!
Where to stay in Chefchaouen with kids
Where we stayed: Dar Dunia 2
We found an absolutely gorgeous Airbnb situated in a quiet part of the medina, boasting incredible views over the city. I will go in as far to say it is perhaps the best Airbnb we’ve ever stayed. A lovely family downstairs are your hosts and they provide a fantastic breakfast each morning (included in the price).
There are two bedrooms (double beds) and small kitchen and a pretty bathroom with shower. But the best part is the outdoor seating area, which was large enough for the boys to play and make a den, with these views. Blues for days…
Disclaimer: Our visit to Chefchaouen was entirely funded ourselves. This post contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, although I receive a small commission.