Dream places to visit in Morocco
Dream places to visit in Morocco: This summer, once we’re out of the confines of our homes, we’ll definitely be traveling to Morocco. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover or rediscover some of the most beautiful places our country has to offer. Best of all, off the beaten track and away from the hustle and bustle of the cities…
Dragon Island owes its name to its shape, which evokes the head of a crocodile, or a dragon for those who prefer to think of it as a mythological creature. Otherwise known as Herné Island, it lies in the Dakhla lagoon. The island, which appears like a mirage, is accessible on foot at low tide. To be admired on-site, the sublime shells that adorn the sandbank and the pink flamingos that populate the lagoon.
This beach, 450 meters long, is located 50 km from the town of Al Hoceima. At the foot of the cliffs of the Bokkoyas massif, it gives access to a series of beautiful bays and coves. Ideal for sea excursions or diving.
Hidden deep in the mountains, Paradise Valley deserves its name. Located not far from Agadir, you’ll need to be patient to get there. After taking a maze of small roads in the heights, you have to go a little further into the heart of one of the last foothills of the Atlas Mountains and follow a stream until you reach your destination.
There, as far as the eye can see, palm groves lie beneath your feet… Then it’s downhill on foot, up small rock-cut staircases, over wooden bridges, and through dense vegetation to the natural rock pools. The polished stone serves as a slide, and the water temperature is ideal for a dip.
Dream places to visit in Morocco: Akchour
After passing through the pretty village of Akchour, not far from Chefchaouen and Oued Laou, head for the gorges, where you can cool off in the springs and swim in the translucent rivers.
You can’t visit this region, a trekking paradise, without stopping off at the Pont de Dieu, a 25-meter-high natural arch in the rock that connects to a gorge, and the Akchour waterfall, which offers a natural pool in which to cool off.
This beach, not far from Sidi Ifni, takes its name from the small rocky island just off the beach and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spots in Morocco.
Here, there’s no room for artifice or superficiality: nature does all the work, with the ocean as far as the eye can see and, emerging from the mountain, an arch made of earth and stones that spans the beach to plunge into the ocean. A place out of time and away from it all, ideal for the Robinson Crusoe at heart.
This is truly one of Morocco’s most beautiful beaches. Located some 60km south of Dakhla, “Porto Rico” stretches as far as the eye can see, to the point where this long strip of white sand seems endless.
Moulay Bousselham is a traditional fishing village, as pretty as it is typical, with its small white and blue houses bordering the Atlantic and the Merja Zerga lagoon, one of Morocco’s most beautiful natural parks.
Located in northern Morocco between the sea and the Rif mountains, this magnificent site is famous for its lagoon, home to thousands of birds, including colonies of pink flamingos, and its beach, which stretches as far as the eye can see and is a delight for water sports enthusiasts.
Bin El Ouidane
Situated in the heart of the Azilal province between the Oued El Abid and the Assif Ahansal, the small town of Bin El Ouidane lies on the banks of a dam bearing the same name. The Bin El Ouidane Lake is a real natural wonder with its crystal-blue waters. Fishing enthusiasts are regulars here, in the heart of the Atlas Mountains, where pike, black bass, carp, and pike-perch abound. Water sports enthusiasts are just as enthusiastic about the area, enjoying boat trips, kayaking, jet skiing, and water skiing.
Cala Blanca beach
This beach, so difficult to get to, has to be earned. It lies to the southeast of Cap des Trois Fourches, a vast mountain promontory overlooking the Mediterranean and renowned for its sublime scenery and heavenly beaches. The crystal-clear waters are ideal for scuba diving.
This wild beach on the outskirts of the town of Assilah, in northern Morocco, is a little paradise whose secret is carefully guarded by the few regulars. And if this desert island-like beach manages to remain unspoilt, it’s thanks to the miles of tracks you have to travel to get there. The scenery is well worth the detour.
The Ouzoud waterfalls are undoubtedly the most beautiful waterfalls in Morocco. Located some 150 kilometers northeast of Marrakech, they rise to a height of over 110 meters and spill over in three stages. The surrounding landscape is as rocky as it is lush, and the valley is home to birds and monkeys, almonds, olive, and fig trees.
Tucked away on the threshold of the Anti-Atlas, 12 kilometers from Ouarzazate, the Fint Oasis, which means “hidden oasis” in Amazigh, is made up of four small villages with adobe houses bordering a verdant palm grove and the Oued Fint.
To reach these villages, you have to get on a donkey and let yourself be led through the plateaus and the palm grove. Here, the green of the palm trees and the turquoise blue of the water contrast with the blackness of the surrounding volcanic rocks and the colors of the orange and lemon trees, as well as the almond, date, and oleander trees that grow in this natural paradise.
The gorges of the Todgha Valley
The impressive gorges of the Todgha Valley offer one of the most beautiful landscapes in Morocco. Here, the color of the rock changes with the light, turning golden, orange, and red. On the outskirts of Tinghir, the Todgha Gorge, where palm trees grow on the ramparts, is an ideal place for hiking.
In the heart of the gorge, spring water flows freely, and an overnight stop can be improvised in one of the few hotels there. Then, a little further on, the hiking and climbing circuit begins, where you can spend a few hours, or even several days for the more adventurous.
At the foot of the majestic Toubkal, in the High Atlas Mountains, lies one of Morocco’s prettiest villages. Perched at an altitude of 1,740 metres and located 64 km from Marrakech, the village of Imlil is the starting point for hikers who set out to conquer Toubkal, as well as for the less athletic, who can enjoy the beauty of the Imlil valley just as much. One of the most beautiful walks here is undoubtedly the one up to Sidi Chamharouch.
Kasbah Aït ben Haddou
For lovers of culture and history, this incredible kasbah is the place to be. Located in the Ouarzazate region, in the Ounila valley, the Kasbah Aït ben Haddou is not only a symbol of southern Moroccan architecture with its earthen houses but also a cinema Mecca. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, the Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou has played host to the film crews behind Lawrence of Arabia, Babel, and season 3 of Game of Thrones.
Morocco in 10 natural parks of breathtaking beauty
It’s a well-known fact that Morocco’s rich and diverse natural environment makes it one of the most beautiful places on earth. The proof is in 10 nature reserves that deserve to be known and preserved!
From deserts and mountain ranges to endless coastlines and lagoons… Morocco’s nature reserves stand out for the beauty of their flora and fauna.
1- Eastern High Atlas National Park
Location: Midelt province (Meknès-Tafilalet region), near Imilchil Surface: 49,000 ha
2- Talassemtane National Park
Location: Central-Western Rif in the Chefchaouen region specific features: mountains, cliffs, and gorges. Akchour and its famous Pont de Dieu (Bridge of God), an arched rock suspended 25 metres in the air.
3- Al Hoceima National Park
Location: on the Mediterranean coast, not far from the town of Al Hoceima Area: 300 km2 Special features: numerous species of seabirds.
4- Iriqui National Park
Location: between the Oued Drâa and the southern edge of the Anti-Atlas, in the provinces of Zagora and Tata Surface area: 123,000 haSpecificity: a rich fauna represented by the Dorcas gazelle, the cuffed mouflon, the hyena, and the houbara bustard. Reptiles include lizards, monitor lizards, chameleons, geckos, and various snakes.
5- Khénifra National Park
Location: Meknès-Tafilalet region, between the provinces of Khénifra and IfraneSpecificity: highly varied vegetation, with Morocco’s largest cedar grove, Ajdir Izayane, and incredible wildlife, with endangered species such as panthers, striped hyenas, golden eagles, and monkeys.
6- Khenifiss National Park
Location: between the towns of Tan Tan and TarfayaSpecificity: classified as a site of biological and ecological interest (SIBE).
This park is famous for the beauty of its lagoon, called Naïla, which is formed by an arm of the sea 20 km long and a few hundred meters wide. The park’s Saharan ecosystem alternates between sand dunes on one side and cliffs overlooking the sea on the other.
7- Sous Massa National Park
Location: near AgadirSpecificity: incredible wildlife, with over 200 species of birds living here, including the world’s largest colony of bald ibis.Surface area: 300 km2
8- Ifrane National Park
Location: Middle Atlas, province of Ifrane Special features: a wilderness of lakes, streams, and mountains… An ideal setting for fishing and hiking in Morocco’s largest cedar forest Area: 500 km².
9- Tazekka National Park
Location: near the town of Taza, in the northern part of the Middle Atlas mountains Area: 120 km²Features: waterfalls, chasms, and caves to delight hikers. A must-see is the Friatou Chasm, one of the deepest caves in the world at over 3.5 km.
10. Toubkal National Park
Dream places to visit in Morocco: Location: in the heart of the High Atlas mountains, 70 km from Marrakech Special features: an incredible view of North Africa’s highest peak (Toubkal 4167 m). Discover cliffs, deep gorges, lakes, and streams.
Ecology: 12 innovative Moroccan projects to save the planet
When it comes to the environment, sustainable development, and saving the planet, Morocco is brimming with new ideas and projects. Here’s an overview…
1. fog harvest
Launched in 2011 by the Dar Si Ahmad association in the Guelmim-Oued Nous region, this initiative received the UN Encouragement Award in 2016. The primary aim of this globally acclaimed project is to provide households with drinking water that meets WHO and Moroccan standards.
It also aims to support women’s ancestral role as guardians of water and create opportunities for their economic autonomy, while encouraging families to send their daughters to school. Thanks to this project, fog has been recognized as an alternative resource to water in Morocco’s arid regions. The human impact has been considerable. Thanks to the fog harvest, many households have returned to previously deserted douars.
2. Adding value to ragpickers
Launched in April 2014 by the Bahri Association, this novel and original initiative aims to improve solid waste collection and set up selective sorting for better recycling.
Resold to a recycling company, the waste is thus traceable. It’s also a way of integrating the ragpickers into society by giving them status and lifting them out of poverty while raising awareness of environmental protection among the residents of Casablanca. Another aim is to replace donkeys and mules with electric bicycles.
3. The eco-tourist village
This totally new eco-tourism project was launched 20 minutes from Marrakech, in the Agafay desert. The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness among local and foreign populations of the need to respect the environment so that everyone becomes both an actor and an eco-responsible citizen.
Here, buildings, green spaces such as the vegetable garden and aloe vera field, and interior fittings are designed with total respect for the environment, using natural local materials to ensure maximum harmony between each element.
4. The eco hammam
An essential part of Moroccan daily life, hammams consume large quantities of wood and water, while producing wastewater and greenhouse gases. The sheer number of hammams increases the environmental impact. The eco hammam project was launched in the Nouaceur region to help local authorities develop a clear vision and action plans for sustainable development in the region. In addition to a new administrative model, innovative new technology has been implemented to treat wastewater with heat recovery, increase energy efficiency, save energy, and use renewable energy sources. Wastewater can thus be treated by compact systems for reuse, leading to closed cycles of resources such as watering green spaces.
5. Ecological art
Raising women’s awareness of art is an initiative developed by a number of associations in Morocco. Its aim is to contribute to sustainable development efforts in Morocco. Its aims are ecological, economic, and socio-cultural. In December 2013, around an innovative paper recycling technique, the Au Grain de Sésame association thus launched ecological art and design workshops with the vision of empowering women through ecological art. An innovative, replicable art education program that helps empower women to become effective agents of sustainable development and the environment.
6. The squares of dignity
Dream places to visit in Morocco: The concept of squares of dignity was launched in the commune of Dar El Jamaâ (Amizmiz) by the Arngh Association for Rural and sustainable development, created in 2002.
The squares of dignity are plots of land allocated to each village family to grow their own fruit and vegetables, using a drip irrigation system. The objectives pursued are both ecological and societal: heads of household are sensitized and trained, children receive schooling, and the local craft heritage is highlighted.
7. Nano irrigation
Launched by the NGO Les éco-technologies, the nano-irrigation project relies on a technology based on a tube providing irrigation 24 hours a day at a pressure of 0.25 to 0.5 bar.
Each meter of pipe releases between 3 and 5 liters of water per 24 hours, with water savings of up to 80%. Irrigation of green spaces and public gardens is one of the most eagerly-awaited applications, with virtually no human intervention and the integration of clean energies (solar and wind) in the system’s operation.
8. Solar wells
Dream places to visit in Morocco: Because the oasis region is made vulnerable by climate change, this project aims to secure drinking water for the local population, by improving access on a sustainable basis and the proper management of the population’s water needs. The initiative also aims to reduce the rate of rural exodus, which is jeopardizing the region’s development.
9. A pilot organic farm
The ValBioMaroc association has set itself the challenge of training farmers in organic production on a pilot farm. The activities proposed in this innovative space are the technical upgrading of the farm, the design of the training program, and the organization of training sessions for farmers. By developing organic farming, this project will help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This construction, invented by Iranian-American architect Nader Khalili, has existed since 1984 under the name “superadobe”. This project has been taken up in Morocco by Enactus students from the Hassania School of Public Works (EHTP), in collaboration with the Orange Bleue Maroc association, in the Casablanca district of Sidi Moumen. The construction costs of this house of the future are ultra-low, thanks to the use of recyclable and natural materials such as clay. The result is a virtually zero ecological footprint.
11. Ecological mosques
Dream places to visit in Morocco: The Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs and the Société d’investissements énergétiques (SIE) has launched a project to rehabilitate 64 mosques in six Moroccan cities. The aim is to reduce energy consumption in mosques by 12% by 2020 and 15% by 2030. The use of low-energy light bulbs, solar water heaters, and photovoltaic panels will optimize energy consumption. With this in mind, a training program for imams has also been launched to raise their awareness of renewable energies.
12. The blue belt
The goal of this project, a collaborative platform, is to implement novel approaches for ocean and climate resilience as well as for adjusting the fishing and aquaculture sectors to climate change. Acidification, ocean pollution, overexploitation of stocks, destruction of habitats, limits to fisheries resources, or extreme phenomena… are just some of the challenges that the Blue Belt aims to counter. Based on best practices, the proposed solutions will be enriched by research, innovation, exchange of expertise, and feedback from all regions of the world.