5 Reasons Chefchaoen will capture your heart

by Nicole Farrell

Chefchaoen is a town in the Rif mountains in the northwest of Morocco. It's known as the blue city of Morocco as most of the buildings in the old city are painted blue. Of course you are wondering why they are painted blue? There are a couple of theories; maybe the Jewish population painted the houses blue as they believe blue represents the sky, which reminds them of God and Heaven. Others say it was to repel mosquitoes and keep cool. Lastly some people believe it was to represent water. 

Here are 5 reasons you should include Chefchaoen in your Morocco itinerary;

1. Chefchaoen has managed to retain a traditional Moroccan town vibe. The people are friendly and the alleys and lanes are safe to wander without fear of getting lost (if you've been to Fez or Marrakesh, this is a welcome change!)

   

2. The locals are friendly which makes wandering a joy. There are shops but there is not the pressure to buy like in larger cities such as Marrakesh. 

    

3. You could meet our lovely guide. Our tours include a morning walking tour with a local. We had the lovely Abdosalam show us the best of Chefchaoen and pass on some of the history and culture.

   

4. It's not as touristy as other places in Morocco. There is no airport in Chefchaoen and Morocco is a large country so lots of tourists don't allow the time to travel here. It's about 3 hours drive from Fez.

    

5. It's a photographer's dream destination with every shade of blue imaginable. There are some classic 'Instagram' spots to have your photo taken! Why not!

   

Both our Magical Morocco and Morocco Highlight tours include Chefchaoen in their itineraries. If you want to read more about why Morocco is a great country to visit, read my blog post Why visit Morocco?

The Ultimate Sunset Restaurant in Jodhpur, India

by Nicole Farrell

Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan and is known as the blue city. The spectacular Mehrangarh Fort, built in 1459, towers over the city and is the number one tourist attraction in Jodhpur. I highly recommend visiting the fort during the day. An audio guide is provided with the entry ticket and this is a fabulous bonus. It allows you to block out the noise of other tourists and learn about fascinating history of the fort. 

Did you know there is a restaurant within the fort that opens only for dinner. Dinner is served from 7 pm. However, you can arrive early to enjoy the spectacular sunset with a drink.

  

 

   

This is the stunning courtyard within in the restaurant. These stunning floral decorations are created daily to greet guests. The restaurant is upstairs.

  

   

Jodhpur is known as the blue city. There are a number of theories as to why. Legend has it that the colour blue is associated with Lord Shiva. Another belief is that it is associated with the caste system. According to locals, the Brahin community painted their houses blue to stand apart from lower caste communities. Some people also believe that blue deters termites so houses were painted with chemicals including copper sulphate. The final reason is that blue is considered a cooling colour and would help keep houses cool in the scorching summer heat. 

We were in Jodhpur in February so it was necessary to take a scarf. We'd bought several along the trip so that was not a problem!

  

The food was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the mushroom golauti and aloo gobhi adraki. The restaurant serves wine and beer too. 

This dining experience is one of the evening highlights on our Royal Rajasthan Tour. If you are in Jodhpur, I highly recommend booking a table. 

 

 

Modhera Sun Temple

by Nicole Farrell

Our Gujarat textile tour is more than textiles! We went on an open jeep safari and saw lots of wildlife, met locals in villages and visited palaces and stepwells. On our final day in Gujarat we went to the Modhera Sun Temple.

   

 

The Modhera sun temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya. It's located in the Modhera village, Gujarat, India. It was built in 1026 and has 3 components: assembly hall, shrine hall and surya kund. They are intricately carved and depicts  scenes from daily life.

 

 

 

  

 There are 52 pillars which depict the 52 weeks of the year.

    

    

    

 The temple is constructed so that during the equinox, the sun rays fall on a diamond placed on the sun God's head. This then illuminates the entire temple.

The sun temple is on our Gujarat Tour itinerary. Read more about the tour here (and download an itinerary)