To get far from the noise in the cities and if you’re looking for some stunning landscapes where you can just chill and spend a quality time here is what you must read while preparing your trip to Morocco, in the countryside there is multiple options that can be discovered. Here is a list of our favourite spots and landscapes to visit in the beautiful Morocco.
Sand dunes of Merzouga
Located in the southeastern Morocco nearby the border of Algeria, Merzouga is a smallest village where tourism is main activity. you can enjoy there a camel ride to Erg Chebbi which is the tallest sand dune about 160 Meters Height, and if you go the Top of the dune you will see this stunning large beach of sand which is about 100 square Km of reddish golden sand dunes, delimited by mountains.
M’hamid the wild desert
a small village also located in the southeastern of morocco, the heart of the Nomadic culture a main station for caravans of the silk road back in the past, the village is still wild and nearby the largest desert area about 60Km away from Erg Chigaga, M’hamid el ghizlane is less crowded than merzouga which is a good option if you want to enjoy a more quit landscape, the color of the sand dunes is more Red turning into pink during the sunset or sunrise light.
Tafraout painted Rocks
A strange granite rocks formations in the middle of a dry desert area, in 1984 a belgian artist Jean Verame made this stunning art installation he painted in blue pink and green some big stone formations, what bring a strong contrast with the red granite landscape. the place is reachable by car, by bicycle or walking it’s less than 4 Km away from Tafraout the Village. you can also reach Ait Mansour valley which is also a large canyon all filled with the tallest palm trees in all the country
the berber village of Amtoudi is a small town populated by less than 300 families with traditional farming as the main activity, the village is known by an old granary build in the highest summit overlooking all the valley it was a grain storage unit for all the village back in the past it’s the most preserved granaries in all of morocco. the valley of Amtoudi is very large you can enjoy a hike cross the river where you will find stunning wild naturally formed pools and Jacuzzi, you can swim even naked because generally no one is around.
you have probably saw those beautiful pictures of the reddish archways collapses on to the ocean, that’s Legzira Beach, those arches are formed naturally after decades of erosion and they are accessible during the low tide, this beach counted 4 arches and one of them, the thinner, has collapsed in august 2016. this beach is labelled “a Jewel of Northwest africa” and it was ranked the 29th among the best 40 Beaches on the planet. beside it’s natural sea-worm cliff archays, Legzira is known for being such a great location for a quiet escape. still not so much visited by tourists, you find just the minimum of hotels and restaurants beside the beach providing a very friendly and welcoming service. Legzira is located just between Mirleft and Sidi Ifni two great small town known well by surfers wild adventurous travellers and fish lovers …
Toubkal the highest Mountain
The highest peak in the atlas mountains of Morocco and also in north africa, about 4167m above the sea level, it’s a non technical ascension, it requires only a reasonable degree of fitness, determination and of course motivation. Toubkal is easily reached from marrakech through the berber village of Imlil, where you can hire qualified guides as well as porters if you need to carry your equipement food supplies and extra weight … But for experienced mountaineers, it’s a moderate hike and the orientation is realy easy. you will need two days to do the summit it’s an average of 4h walk from the Imlil Village to the stone traditionally built refuges which are used as a base camp at 3207m hight you can spend the night there (booking in advance recommended) and also buy some food or you can just pitch your tent near by the camp for a small fee. Then the second day is the summit day, highly recommended 2 to 3h before sunrise to reach the peak and enjoy the spectacular view of the sun rise from the far sahara desert … hoping for you that it will be a clear day !!
Obviously during the summer (from may) it’s an easy walk you’ll just need a windbreaker and some good comfy mountain shoes, but during the spring time or if you are a big adventurous mountain climber during the winter it’s required to have ice-breakers and crampons and all your snow equipments Kit.
Once you hit the toubkal summit, the Ifni Lake or “Lake d’Ifni’ is about 6h walk, you go up from the refuge 3207m to tizi nouanems 3664m where you can enjoy a view of the Toubkal massif and the Ifni Dome, and then you go down to the lake 2312m. This blue water lake is situated between the mountains and it has no trees or plants around only rocks and huge mountains such a wonderful landscape where you can swim and have a refreshing layover. the real highlight of this spot is getting far away from the crowds and get deep into the wild atlas mountains.
Situated in the north in the Rif mountains chain, such a hidden paradise, where the main attractions are the lower waterfall, and a much taller waterfall and cascades sharing the same water stream from the main water falls and also the God’s Bridge, to reach all those natural spots in one day it’s recommended to start very early in the morning and do the semi-triangular trail from the akchour village to the bridge then hitting to the the main waterfall trail before going up to the lower falls and then finally reach the upper falls and back to the village and estimation of 10 to 12h walking with breaks . A good thing to know, this hike is suitable for mid-intermediate to advanced level if you want to do all the circuit in one day it involves an extensive river walking, as well as few tricky steep scrambles and slippery wooden bridges crossing. however wat you will get to see is something worth sweating for !!
If you like cliff jumping combined with an average hike through a refreshing river that should be you favorite spot, paradise valley is a deep palm-lined gorge with a river crossing along the base, forming deep fresh natural blue water pools, a breathtaking landscapes perfect for relaxing sunbathing and also if you dare camping … it’s not far away from agadir about 20 Km north.
Ait bouguemez Valley
Also labelled internationally the Happy valley, it’s actually one of our favourites places in all over the country, it’s a fairytale landscape of farmers fields. Tabant is the main village in the valley and it’s located literally in the middle you can walk to many small villages, people there are very friendly and welcoming, and if you can match your trip to get there in sunday, you will the weekly market where you can buy very fresh vegetables and fruits and other supplies for your trek. from the summit of mount Azourki you can enjoy a stunning view of all the valley and you can also hike to M’goun the second highest peak of the country 4071m. in all across the valley you will find great guesthouses options and small hostels and a bunch of activities and hikes to do, it’s in the middle of atlas mountains and it’s well known for their trekking tours to exceptional hidden local experiences.
The Cathedral Rock Imsfran
The name is inspired from it’s shape, that huge rock of 1872 m height is one of the most beautiful landscapes to visit on your trail to the atlas mountains, you can walk around and enjoy the shades and the green scenery of the forest or if you’re adventurous enough you can hike to the top en enjoy the view, this location is also appreciated for whitewater kayaking and also Rafting … there’s also a small hostel (traditional berber guest house) near by where you can spend the night and enjoy a great berber meal for dinner in very special quiet place.
Zaouiet Ahansal to Taghia the berber pathway
This small village in the high atlas mountains has such an old story to tell, it was founded by an islamic scholar traveller “Sidi Said Ahansan” since the 13th century, he established an islamic school there and had a lot influence and disciples and as the legend says, he built his religious schools wherever his cat jumped off his mule, and of course the cat saw that beautiful river crossing the mountains and making green life wherever it passed by … as a result and since that small village was frequented by some powerful tribes of nomads the region prospered materially and intellectually, libraries, schools, and collective granaries known also as one the oldest kind of bank institution, because not only it was used for warehousing but also for trading.
From zaouiat Ahansal, you can reach also the beautiful berber village of taghia, about 2h walking you will pass by the famous berber pathway (not recommended if you fear narrow pathways in the height) but if you’re a fan of climbing that’s a must, more than a 100 routes to explore and well known by the local guides.
The land of crazy shapes and strange sedimentary rocks, eventually the movement of earth’s crust caused the region to rise above the sea, forming such a breathtaking reddish colored rocks formations, contrasted by fig trees and farmers fields all across the valley, here you can discover so many old rusty buildings called Kasbah like the “The Kasbah of Ait Arbi” each on of them has its own story. you can drive all the way to Amsemrir passing by the famous road (Picture bellow) where they filmed a lot of car commercials like landrover, Chevrolet, Volvo … and a lot of movies are filmed also in this road.
it has been a unesco world heritage site since 1987, this fortified village called Ksar in Arabic was built in purpose to be one of the main stops of the caravans between the sahara desert and Marrakech, this village is a great example of moroccan earthen clay architecture and it been preserved since the 16th century. Ait benhaddou is located nearby Ouarzazate the hollywood of morocco known by the giants film studios where a lot of movies production took place there, like gladiator, kingdom of heaven, prince of persia, the message … it will surely look very familiar to you.
Imi-n-Ifri the natural bridge
it’s a stone structure created by the water that flows underneath, its a slow but persistent nature forced conditions that formed this fully functional limestone bridge which pretty high about 60m from the river to the edge of the arch, while hiking under the magnificent bridge you will notice that microclimate what make it a home for travelling birds, rare species of birds take some rest here before continuing their journey, and also if you look west to shape of the the opening its an astonishing resemblance of the map shape of africa and the east opening is a little bit in the map shape of south america. a round trip down and back should take 1h the stairway is quite obvious so no need for a guide there … once you reach the west opening “africa side” the river formed great natural stone pools where you can enjoy you super cold natural energizing bath.
at 110m height the water is falling through 3 drops, and at the bottom there is a bunch of great traditional restaurants and cafés, where all the material is beautifully handcrafted and naturally designed, the bottom is accessible via a shaded path of olives trees. it’s a place not very famous for tourists but well known by locals so it will be better to avoid it during summer or spring holidays. all the way across the river and about 700m walking in a narrow and a bit difficult track leading to the caves where water mills are used to grind wheat grain into flour.
a small surf and fishing village between essaouira and Agadir, just wonderful beach and surf spots, here the conditions are almost everyday perfect all around the year, you have the Bay one of the 3 main spots in the village you have this very long right wave that last more than 1Km during the low tide conducting you to the edge of the mountain where you can just grab you board and walk back to the peak. people running the surf shops are very friendly where you can find boards and swimsuits of any size. The food is just awesome, in the fishing port you have the boats arriving every day with their fresh catch of the day you can buy directly from them and grab that to you favorite local restaurant and they will prepare it for you the way you want grilled, fried on in a tagine … you can leave you personal backpack there and go enjoy your surf session and then come back when the food is ready !! and for accomodation there are a bunch of options a lot of guest houses and rental apartments or villas …
What literally means in local Arabic “between the rivers”, this huge lake is one the biggest in all the kingdom of morocco, it’s a dam that provides the majority of power to the region, but more importantly it’s the location more known for water sports activity like kayaking, rafting, fishing, wakeboarding, paddle-boarding …