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A Journey through Time: Volubilis and Chefchaouen

Second stop in Northern Morocco: Volubilis & Chefchaouen 

Haven’t heard of Volubilis? Good, me neither (until a few days ago) but I’m glad I do now. 😊 Leaving Fez we stopped to tour Volubilis, a 2,000-year-old Roman city which was occupied for 400 years with a population of 20,000. Surprisingly, Volubilis has well-preserved ruins of buildings, public baths, homes, promenades, and even floor mosaics with the colors still visible! It was a really cool and scenic stop. However, trying to explain to a preschooler how this used to be a functioning city 2,000 years ago was a whole new parenting challenge… 

After Volubilis, a long drive through the gorgeous Rif Mountains brought us to our second stop, Chefchaouen, also known as the Blue City. 

We stayed at Dar Jasmine @darjasmine_chefchaouen, up 100 steps with the best views of the city, especially at sunset. The hotel is beautifully decorated and so peaceful. We savored the daily breakfast of fresh baked Moroccan breads/pastries, eggs, goat yogurt, and more which kept us full all day. Though we had incredible weather for this trip in mid-March, it was a bit too chilly to use the pool, but otherwise this would be a terrific place to hang with kids on the property. 

In Chefchaouen we started off with a walking tour with a local guide to learn more about the history and culture of this unique, picturesque, small city dating from the 15th century. It’s famous/Instagrammable due to the shades of blue on many buildings, but despite the various stories floating around as to its origin, our guide told us the blue paint phenomenon only dates to 1970s: during difficult times, reminding people that they come from the sky, according to Islamic beliefs. 

We really enjoyed these two days/nights in Chefchaouen. Though like Fez it’s not geared to little kids, there are still things to do like short hikes, especially as a nature break from the many shopping/haggling opportunities. But it’s a beautiful place to visit, so long as your kids aren’t complaining too much about all the steps and you can get by without a stroller.