Behind a chunky wooden door on the hill overlooking colourful Chefchaouen in northern Morocco is the magical Riad Dar Echchaouen.
Decorated with traditional rugs, bright cushions and a scattering of candles, your arrival along the winding path of the gardens is embellished by flowers and lanterns as you approach the blue building.
Inside, it is gorgeous. The rooms are cozy, dimly lit and attractive, the bathrooms are simple. By the entrance there is lounge with low tables to perch at as you write your diary and muse over life and outside you are treated to the magnificent view from the pool over Chefchaouen with only the mountains surrounding you.
The food was delicious – breakfasts of freshly squeezed orange juice, olive tapenade and flatbreads greet you out in the sunshine. It’s also simple enough to get to, but not so simple that it’s overrun with tourists. We took the CMT bus from Tangier that takes about 3 hours and then one of the cabs lined up at the drop off point in Chefchaouen to the riad. You can check the CTM timetable here to plan your journey, just get Google to translate the page. It’s best to avoid any length of time spent in Tangier if possible – not so pretty.
It is an utterly relaxing and peaceful place to be, and at only around £50 a night for a double room, it’s affordable too. In a short stroll you can be winding through the busy cobbled streets of Chefchaouen, but getting slightly outside the town to take it all in of an evening is a real luxury.