From its buzzing Marrakech city to the vibrant souks, charming blue Chefchouen, boho beach towns, and the ochre Sahara desert, Morocco is a land of pure adventure. It is normally praised for its rich culture where travelers get to see impressive architectures inspired by Moorish, Berbers, Arabs, and from neighboring countries. But besides its typical image, Morocco has much more to offer. There are also the verdant national parks, spellbinding waterfalls, turquoise waterholes, lush oases, and mud-clad cities. And if you’re thinking about visiting some eco-friendly places in Morocco then consider our list below:
Besides the ochre deserts and medinas, Morocco is also home to many of its spellbinding waterfalls hidden from the prying eyes of many. Just a 45-minute drive away from the Blue City-Chefchaouen lies the Akchour Waterfalls in the Rif Mountains. Take a day to explore this wonderful waterfall which you can access by taking either the one-hour or two-hour hiking trail that will lead you to many surprises. Meet the Barbary macaque monkeys and walk across a verdant marijuana field along your way. Listen to the soothing sound of the Akchour waterfalls as you get nearer, and refresh yourself by taking a plunge into the turquoise waterholes.
Paradise Valley Waterfalls
There’s a good reason why Paradise Valley Waterfalls is called a paradise. This hidden oasis is nestled smack in the middle of the Atlas Mountain close to Agadir. Surrounded by the swishy palm trees, turquoise natural pools, and rugged rocks-every little corner of this paradise beckons travelers to connect with nature. And if you wish to avoid the crowds then you would want to avoid going during the weekends. The perfect time to visit Paradise Valley Waterfalls is during the month of October when the waterholes are almost filled with fresh water.
You might have definitely seen the enigmatic Ait Benhaddou in popular TV series such as the Game of Thrones or movies like the ‘Lawrence of Arabia or Gladiator, and perhaps wondered whether it’s a real film set or not. Indeed, this surreal fortified mud city actually nestles in the southern part of Morocco in the picturesque Ouarzazate province. It has no doubt attracted many curious travelers for a good reason. Its mud-clad towering walls and earthen buildings (Ksar) are typical pre-Saharan architectures found in the rugged valleys of the southern part of the country, which dates back to the 17th century. It was once inhabited by more than 50 families but today there are only five families left. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Ait Benhaddou is composed of traditional living quarters, a mosque, a public square, two cemeteries and the Sanctuary of Saint Sidi Ali. if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture this is the place to be.
Among the many phantasmic attractions in Morocco, the Todgha Gorges is certainly some of the very few places where it has some kind of power to stir your soul. Its lofty gigantic canyons somehow will make you think of Petra. Though what makes it magical is the deserted landscape itself, there’s also the reddish and pinkish canyon walls that can reach up to 400 meters (1,312 ft) high. You can access this river canyon by heading to the eastern side of the High Atlas Mountains close to Tinerhir. One of the best ways to experience the pristine beauty of the area is by rock climbing. Otherwise, stroll along the 14 km sprawling palm grove that extends from Tinerhir to the gorges. Take one of the many hiking trails to meet the local indigenous people-the Berbers who are known for their warm hospitality. You can’t miss their refreshing mint tea for sure. Nearby must-visit attractions are the Dades Rivers and the desert town-Merzouga touted for the adventurous camel trips in the Sahara.
The Dunes of Merzouga
Are you dreaming of gazing thousands of twinkling stars right in the middle of a desert? Located in between the Moroccan and the Algerian border, the stunning Erg Chebbi (close to the Mezourga village) is a desert like no other. Whether you prefer to witness the most spectacular sunsets or even contemplate stars or make wishes at shooting stars, Erg Chebbi is the right place to be. The best time to visit the desert is during the fall (between September and November). But you have to make sure you got yourself well-equipped as the desert can be ruthless. From camping tent to light long-sleeve shirts, and water, of course, make a list of the necessary items before you head to this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Interestingly, there is another must-visit attraction which you can’t miss and it’s none other than the Dayet Srji Lake tucked away on the west of Merzouga. This little sanctuary can be accessed by walking about 45 minutes from the Mezourga village. If you’re visiting in winter chances are high to spot migratory birds and the gorgeous flamingos. Watch out for the neolithic carvings.
Souss Massa National Park
Souss Massa National park is Morocco’s ultimate bird-watching site especially of endangered species such as the Bald Ibis. The national park is sandwiched between Agadir to the north and Sidi Ifni to the south. Many nature aesthetes come here to connect with the dramatic landscapes composed of verdant forests, wetlands, rugged cliffs, sand dunes, and beaches. The national park is a haven for over 100 bird species including gulls, warblers, spoonbills, and the Barbary partridges to mention a few. If you want to witness a variety of bird species visit between March and April.
Al Hoceima National Park
Looking for an eco-friendly destination to get an up-close view of the coastal Mediterranean region? Then you can consider visiting Al Hoceima National Park teemed with a diverse flora and fauna of the region. Studded with majestic high cliffs, a mountainous interior, pristine coastal sites, and of course the azure Mediterranean sea, this park is best explored by either trekking or cycling. Get to see the endangered species like the fish eagles and the thuya forests but there are also the Aleppo pine, wild olive trees, and the Mediterranean dwarf palm. You can also spot dolphins swimming, seabirds, and monk seals. For a cultural tour head to the dotted Berber villages in the park.