The Rif Mountains, pretty much, take in all of northern Morocco. They stretch from Cape Spartel in the west to Cape Tres Forcas in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Ouargha River in the south, and are part of the Gibraltar Arc chain. Beautiful with flower covered gorse filled ravines, and blooming pink oleander bordering fabulous sparkling streams, you will find vistas to take your breath away. It is an unspoiled, enchanted part of Morocco.
The Rif Mountains near Chefchaouen are a trekking paradise. You can sit and sip tea away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech or Fez; it’s a great little get-away from hustle and a dive into culture. Talk to your Moroccan tour operator to set up a tour where you can spend a day or two in this relaxing precinct of Morocco.
Some of the treasures around the Rif Mountains
Tetouan, a former colonial capital, with dramatic mountain scenery.
Grand Mosque or one of the fifty others.
Medina, very large.
Old city gate of Bab el Okla.
Chefchaouen, last bastion from European influence, a place most tourists havenâ€™t found, with:
Jebel El-Kelaa, standing 1616 meters high.
Kasbah with its museum.
Plaza Uta el-Hamman, center of medina.
Brilliant blue houses with red tiled roofs and mountain backdrops.
Only octagonal mosque in Morocco.
Talassemtane National Park near Chefchaouen:
Barbary Macaque and other wildlife.
Cedar and fir forests.
Access to Jebel Taloussisse and Jebel Lakraa.
Coastal city of Al Hoceima:
Wonderful natural scenery around the city.
Lack of crowds.
Nearby fishing and boating.
Taza, two separate cities built on two separate terraces. Originally built as a fortress to control the pass between the Rif and the Anti Atlas Mountains. Here you will see:
Medina with Barbican monuments.
Merdersa built in the 14th century.
Fossil bearing caves.
12th century mosques built in the Almohad reign.
You will find many other cities, some are not really tourist destinations.
Hidden in the countryside are turquoise colored lakes. So wonderful, you will think they have been painted into the unbelievable scenery. In amongst the ravines one finds prickly pear cacti and yellow marigolds, blooming. You will think you are in southern Spain instead of Morocco.
Another treasure, you will find in the Rif is the proud and friendly Berbers. Dressed in the traditional clothing, the women in highly colored dress, consisting of aprons, shawls around their shoulders and head clothes that are worn under wide brimmed hats adorned with ribbons. Women delight in wearing red or green socks. Men, on the contrary, seem to dress on the drab side wearing the common jellabas, the ankle length cloaks. Usually gray or brown in color with extra long pointed hoods.
While traveling or trekking through the Rif, you will find Berber hamlets nestled among the forests, usually whitewashed or see the copper colored tents shepard tents in the meadows or along side the picturesque lakes. It is common to see the Berber people working the land with donkeys or by hand. Transportation is usually by donkey trap or by mule. It is common to see the Berbers walking wherever they chose to travel.
Talk to your Moroccan tour Operator. They can best advise you where to go and what to expect. A word to the wise, the Rif is an area where hashish or kip is grown and sold. Unless, you are looking for it, it is rarely openly offered to travelers. Your Moroccan tour operator will be able to advise you on these issues.
Your guide will set up your itinerary and make all the arrangements be it in hotels in the bigger towns or cities or as guests of a Berber family. Transportation will be arranged. You will be taken to the most beautiful areas. If trekking is what you desire, your Moroccan vacation can be set up for you to trek to your hearts desire. The Rif is full surprises. Call your tour operator today.
Take a Moroccan adventure. Visit the beautiful craggy limestone peaks of the Rif Mountains. Take advantage of sensational scenery, blue skies and few tourists! Bring your camera and hiking boots. You will find everything you need to have a Morocco holiday you will never forget. Know before you go by reading the Morocco Travel Guide and Blog.
by Carole Morris