The Mediterranean coastline of Morocco is from Ceuta to Melilla, which includes the red and rocky Rif Mountains. The Rif Mountains are a vibrant green juxtaposed agaisnt the red earth of the land.  They present some easy day treks or longer over night treks into the forests where cascades and wildlife reside. Many consider the coastline to look wildly savage.  The waters of the Mediterranean tend to be rough and difficult for swimming. Chefchauen is the main city in the Rif Mountains, known as one of the main starting points for most Morocco treks this far north.

Cap Malabata is an interesting location for tourists to trek around.  From Cap Malabata a person is 8 kilometers north of Tangier.  From this area it is possible to watch the sunrise while looking at the Chateau Malabata and a lighthouse.  The Chateau Malabata is a gothic construction.  It is not open to the public, but one can see it from afar looking at the outside architecture.  If spending the day in Cap Malabata, it is a cinch to drive to Cap Spartal which is just a few miles away.  The Cap allows tourists to see the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean–scenes to remember and never forget.

Oued Laou is another popular destination for tourists who want to travel Morocco.  This trip will take you to the Rif Mountains outside of Chechauen towards Tetouen.  Oued Laou is the biggest town in the area, but it leads to several trekking Rif Mountains adventures.  There is a sandy beach on one side of the city, and on the others the mountains rise above it.  It is possible to take treks up the mountains to look down over the city below.

While in the city, tourists can drive along the cliff road looking below at the Mediterranean waters.  It is a picturesque opportunity that should not be missed.  From this city it is possible to travel to the ZegZel Gorge.  It is actually a series of gorges just northeast of Taforalt.  There is a road which follows the gorges with orchards and wild roses lining the road.  There is an abrupt stop at the end of the road.  It is here tourists can get out for walks and picture opportunities along the mountains.

Trekking in the Rif Mountains on a Morocco holiday differs from that of the High Atlas Mountains.  The High Atlas Mountains are in many areas uncharted.  The only inhabitants are the Berber people.  Many of them live in villages without power, living off the land, at least up at the higher elevations.

In the Rifs, however, the cities are larger, with fewer villages dotting the outskirts.  A great deal of the area is actually forested natural parks.  Morocco has tried to preserve their forested land to ensure a future for the land and wildlife. There are several bio reserves and parks for hikers to explore.  There are also the cascades to see along the route.  The cascades of the Rifs are tall waterfalls running down the mountains and eventually either emptying or bypassing Chefchauen.

by Sam Mitchell