We spent three months in Morocco, and while we were there, we had family come and visit. They decided that they wanted to do a tour of much of the country, which is hard to do - especially with two young children. Arriving in Tangier from Spain via ferry, we met them in Tangier and hired a van to transport us wherever we wanted to go. In terms of convenience, this a great way to travel - you can go wherever you want to go, take breaks whenever you need them (potty!), and change your plans as necessary. Anyone with little kids can see the value in that.
After spending one night in Tangier, we drove down to Chefchaouen, Morocco’s magical “blue city.” It’s really quite discovered at this point, so depending on the time of year, you may be contending with large tour groups trying to make their way through the narrow streets. You will likely have to take turns taking pictures at the most famous spots. If you can visit off season - not during school holidays - it’s ideal. Otherwise, it’s easier to avoid the crowds if you get a really early start.
Chefchaouen is a location to be experienced without feeling the need to see any particular sights. Cars and motor bikes are one of my main safety concerns in Morocco, and it’s important to keep a grip on your kids, especially when you are crossing the street. While they may technically have the right of way, pedestrians aren’t generally given that courtesy in Morocco. It can get stressful trying to cross busy streets with kids in tow.
Inside the old medina, the blue part of the city, there are fortunately no cars. If you get out early, you’ll likely see people heading out to work, opening up their shops, and sweeping the paths around their businesses. Take your time wandering around and soaking in the colors, smells and sounds of Chefchaouen. It’s truly one of Morocco’s most picturesque cities.
There are many cafes inside the medina, or on the main square, which is a particularly nice place to take a break and people watch. We especially enjoyed Chez Aziz at 13 Avenue Hassan II. Not so much for the views, but they have great breakfast and really delicious fruit salads and juice smoothies. We went more than once...
If you’re on or near the main square, head over to the Kasbah for a stroll around the gardens inside. Our little guys enjoyed exploring the gardens and climbing the tower, which provides some amazing views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Highly recommended!
If you want a delicious dinner, you have a lot of options. We decided to go to Lala Mesouda, deep in the medina, and had a delicious meal there. Order an assortment of salads, appetizers and main dishes to share - you really cannot go wrong.
As we were wandering around that evening, we happened upon a nicely kept playground - somewhat of a rarity in Morocco. It’s listed as a “community garden” on Google maps, and is located right across from Hotel Anaia, up against the medina walls. This is a good opportunity for the kids to burn off energy in a safe environment.