A medieval pilgrimage center with numerous mosques and religious sanctuaries overlooked by Morocco’s Rif mountains, Chefchaouen is a paradise for travelers of all shades. Traditional Moroccan and Andalusian flavors rise from the kitchens of this pretty highland village with dreamy turquoise walls and red-tiled roofs. Think shady alleyways, blue-washed rough-hewn stone walls hung with potted plants, and wrought iron windows that offer a peek into steep hilly lanes – Chefchaouen is all this and more. Walk in its beautiful medina and bustling bazaars selling traditional textures and colors, visit the Bab el-Ansar, or take a stroll by the Ras el-Maa. A medieval fortress and ethnographic museum are also tucked by the kasbah. The Seat of Sebbanin and the 15th-century mosque with its soaring minarets are worth a visit too.

Chefchaouen nestles in the hollow of two mountains – ech-Chaoua (The Horns) – from which it takes its name. It was founded in 1471 by Idrissid shorfa (descendants of the Prophet Mohammed) as a stronghold against the Portuguese. Steep narrow streets with bright blue build- ings, small squares, ornate fountains, decorative door- ways and red-tiled roofs make this a delightful town.