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Chechaouen is often referred to as Chaouen, Chefchaouen or Xauen. It's a wonderful little town with a refreshing climate in the Rif Mountains. Chechaouen was founded by Moulay Ali ben Rachid in 1471, as a base from which the Portuguese at Ceuta were attacked. With the arrival of Muslim refugees from Spain in the early 1600's, the town grew and prospered. The area remained quite isolated until the Spanish occupied it in 1920. Nowadays it's a very relaxed place, that can easily be explored on foot.

There is a market on Mondays and Thursdays, where all sorts of items are sold. The bus station is immediately next to it. There are many narrow, winding street in the old medina, but because it is quite small you won't get lost. The Place Outa el Hammam has numerous small cafés and is dominated by the ruins of the 15th century kasbah.

The camping ground is a 30 minutes walk from town. There are many hotels and restaurants in town. Chechaouen is 190 km northeast of Rabat.


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