Hiking the Rif Mountains Morocco came highly recommended. As I’m not one to shy away from a good old hike on my travels, an afternoon exploring the area by foot seemed like a great idea. The area is very popular with hikers and backpackers, and having suitably explored Chefchaouen, we were ready for some greenery.
However, the day was a bit of a challenge from start to finish and I didn’t feel the reward even remotely warranted the effort we made.
It wasn’t all that green – actually, rather arid.
We had it to ourselves for the most part, but actually felt a little unsafe. It felt deserted with most cafes and food stops empty. This was mid-April, so we were very confused.
The end waterfall was.. just another waterfall.
We also seemed to go through every weather system possible, including rain which actually made us really cold!
That being said, it is an interesting mountain range to explore but perhaps as a group or with a guide.
We religiously followed our Rough Guide book’s instructions on how to get to the village of Akchour. We’d heard here was a wonderful hike starting here to some waterfalls, and another to ‘God’s Bridge’.
We asked around for information on a taxi in Chefchaouen, but people seemed reluctant to advise. We were told to wait for a grand taxi but after 40 minutes of waiting for other guests to join us, we decided – in the interest of time – to jump in a private taxi.
This cost us 150 dirham, but would have been 25 dirham had we managed to get in a grand taxi.
Driving from the town centre of Chefchaouen to Akchour took around 40 minutes along steep, winding roads with some amazing dramatic scenery.
The weather changed drastically as we climbed higher, from blue skies and sunny in Chefchaouen, to cooler and windy. There was even lashing rain at times!
So I do like exploring and wandering, but I hate walking in the wrong direction for an hour. Which is exactly what we did. Why? Because there were no signs… and no-one to ask. Only after meeting other hikers did we find this out.
We turned back and realised the best way to find the right direction was to bother the food stands that are dotted along the way.
To get to the waterfall, once you’ve arrived at the river area from Akchour (the first part is obvious, at least), take the left split at the small bridge. Keep the river to your right and pass behind a series of cafes and a hotel to your right. It takes about 1.5 hours from there to the waterfall, where you’ll find numerous tiny cafes and stalls to buy water, snacks or meals from.
The waterfall itself was slightly underwhelming. Not one to swim on and interestingly, the vantage point is about half way up the waterfall.
We found the actual walk a little dull, with few animals, birds or insects to spot and a disappointing amount of grafitti on the rocks and wall faces.
For next time..
If I were to do this day trip again, I would consider a guide. Without any signage, signal, information or even anyone to ask, you really can get totally lost here.
Personally, I wouldn’t bother bringing any food or water as there are so many small stands along the way selling these, but definitely more layers. I found the weather changed frequently – we even got rained on – so some spare dry clothes would have been good!
I hope this post has been useful for anyone hiking the Rif Mountains Morocco. Feel free to ask any further questions in the comments section below!
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