Discover the Best Morocco Outdoor Activities: From Skiing to Camel Treks and More
Morocco, with its ancient architecture, colorful mosaics, bustling spice markets, friendly locals, and spectacular landscapes, is an untapped hidden gem.
Outdoor activities range from beachfront horseback rides and skiing down snow-covered alpine peaks in Anti Atlas and High Atlas areas to trekking through the desert on a camel ride and seeing the Milky Way from the comfort of a campfire-lit Bedouin tent.
So, if you want to discover Morocco’s best kept secrets and best adventure activities – read on!
With such a wide array of outstanding Morocco outdoor activities, visitors are spoilt for choice. In fact, where else can you ride on a camel in the desert, take a hot air balloon ride, surf on monster waves, mountain bike and ski down a sacred mountain – on the same day?
Strap On Your Skis On Top Of The Jebel Azourki Mountain
Looking for an unusual skiing adventure? Head to Morocco and ski down the sacred Jebel Azourki mountain.
Even though Morocco is mainly equated with hot deserts, it’s surprisingly a prime ski destination if you prefer mule trains over ski lifts and tajines instead of bubbling fondues!
While the Oukaimeden ski resort in Toubkal is more well-known, the 12 106ft Jebel Azourki mountain is one of the top skiing locations in the world where views stretch for miles around.
Jebel Azourki is typically covered in crisp white snow due to the Atlantic Ocean’s precipitation that blankets the broad mountain face.
This mountain peak is considered sacred by local tribes, who would compete to summit the mount first and make offerings for peace, prosperity, and rain during droughts.
While there aren’t any typical resort services, the spectacular landscape, and warm Berber hospitality make up for the lack of creature comforts.
See The Atlas Mountains In A Hot Air Balloon
Experience a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains like never before.
A sunrise hot air balloon ride is the best way to see the spectacular Atlas Mountains foothills with breathtaking views of the Moroccan desert at its finest.
Most leading hot air balloon operators provide pickups in Marrakech and 4×4 rides to the launching site.
Enjoy panoramic bird’s eye views of the Moroccan desert and alpine peaks at dawn, transformed in a spectacular array of gold, pink, and orange sunrise hues.
A hot air balloon ride is a unique and unforgettable way to experience the beauty of Morocco and the Atlas Mountains, and a great opportunity to take stunning photos and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Surf Monster Waves In Taghazout
Looking for an exciting surfing adventure? Head to Taghazout, Morocco and catch some of the biggest waves in the world.
Although Taghazout, with its raging Atlantic waves and stunning coastline, was a hippie colony in the ’60s, it is now a prime international surfing destination.
The best time to enjoy Taghazout’s icy cold 16-foot monster waves is at Anchor Point from October to April.
And with 15 world-class breaks ranging from Boilers’ speed walls and vertical lips and Draculars’ rocks and rips to Imsouane’s lengthy and leisurely rides in the well-protected bay, it’s no wonder that Taghazout is a best-kept secret.
Morocco’s southern and northwest coastlines cater to seasoned surfers and families. In fact, Oualidia, a more tranquil lagoon towards the north, is where Moroccan royalty learn how to surf.
Take A Boat Ride To The Breathtaking Ouzoud Waterfalls
Escape the hustle and bustle of Marrakech and take a boat ride to one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the world.
Leave the bustling Marrakech behind with a boat ride to the spectacular Ouzoud Waterfalls and scenic views of the ancient olive groves and alpine landscapes along the way to the refreshing Middle Atlas Mountain cascades.
The Ouzoud Waterfalls are located in the refreshing Middle Atlas Mountains and are surrounded by stunning alpine landscapes and ancient olive groves.
Then strap on your hiking boots and explore the pristine Ouzoud Waterfalls, and stop over to chill for a well-deserved lunch at the scenic river-front café with breathtaking views of the falls and the opportunity to try local cuisine like tagine and mint tea.
Explore Palmeraie On A Quad Bike
Nothing gets your adrenaline pumping like navigating steep sand dunes on quad bikes!
So, head to the Palmeraie oasis, located on the outskirts of Marrakech, to travel through its rugged, dusty trails, challenging dunes, and palm-lined flowing rivers.
Then chill in Berber villages for a well-deserved break to enjoy the incredible views with a refreshing mint tea and soak up the local culture.
While you can opt for a solo quad drive, sharing a 2-seater bike is great fun, especially if your partner is an experienced driver.
Experience The Thrill of Sandboarding In The Agadir Desert
Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush in Morocco’s Agadir desert with the exciting sport of sandboarding.
For the uninitiated, sandboarding is a cross between snowboarding and surfing with adapted boards used to whiz down sand dunes.
And there’s no better place to sandboard than on the Tamri coastal dunes, situated on the outskirts of Agadir (in Southern Morocco), followed by a delicious lunch in a local villager’s home.
So, book a round trip to go sandboarding, as it’s hand on heart one the most fun outdoor activities in Morocco.
Go Mountain Biking In The Challenging Jebel Saghro
If you are looking for a mountain biking trail with white-knuckle hairpin bends and exhilarating descents – look no further that a mountain bike tour in Morocco!
Jebel Saghro, or “dry mountain,” is located on the edge of the rugged Saharan desert. It is only accessible via mules or on foot as it features a rough terrain with rugged volcanic peaks.
While this trail is not for the faint-hearted, it’s thrilling for seasoned bikers. And the mountain is steeped in history as the Jebel Saghro is home to the seminomadic Ait Atta tribe.
With only 100 men, the local tribe courageously fought off a French force with 83,000 men in 1933. And the spent cartridges are still strewn all over their Bou Gafer-tented fortress today.
From the incredible scenery to the rich history, a mountain biking tour of Jebel Saghro is an unforgettable adventure that offers a unique glimpse into the local culture and landscape of Morocco.
Trek On A Camel In The Erg Chigaga Desert
Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the stunning Erg Chigaga Desert in Morocco with a camel trek tour!
Exploring the desert on the back of a swaying camel is strangely relaxing and a great way to explore the monumental dunes at their finest.
Although, the desert truly comes to life when the sun sets and casts its wide array of purple, gold, and pink hues over the glistening sand dunes.
While a guided camel trek tour to Erg Chigaga will take several hours, the prospect of seeing the Milky Way and sleeping in a traditional Bedouin tent is a once-in-a-lifetime, magical experience.
Camel rides are absolutely incredible, and going camel riding is a great way to see the stunning scenery. If you can get a private tour expect an even more intimate and personalized experience.
Private camel tours can be arranged through tour operators or through your hotel. With a private tour, you can take your time and explore the desert and the natural world at your own pace, and even customize your itinerary to suit your preferences.
Enjoy Horseback Riding On The Stunning Essaouira Coastline
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Essaouira coastline in Morocco like never before – on horseback!
Although, you can explore this stunning part of the world without being a seasoned horseback rider, horse riding tours are available quite widely and most tour operators have a wide range of horses suited to all riding experience levels.
And you can even go for your first horseback riding lesson if that has always been on your bucket list.
Go Hiking On The Rif Mountain Trail
Discover the beauty of Morocco’s Talassemtane National Park on a hiking adventure through the stunning Rif Mountain Trail.
While most avid hikers opt for High Atlas trails, the Rif Mountains in the scenic Talassemtane National Park are far more diverse and offer panoramic views of the breathtaking Mediterranean.
These unique mountain trails include Berber mule routes that meander through the dense cedar forests, with incredible views of the lush Moroccan mountain slopes covered in Mediterranean herbs and “kif”(cannabis) crops.
The Rif Mountain trailhead kicks off in the blue-hued Chefchaouen mountain village and wanders through stone villages and limestone crags.
While you can expect a shambolic mix of “lived-in” villages with roaming chickens, draped laundry, and playing kids, the friendly locals and sundrenched hills are incredible and should not be missed!
Kayak In The High Atlas Ahansal Valley
For an exciting and unforgettable adventure, kayak through the stunning High Atlas Ahansal Valley and experience Morocco’s natural beauty up close.
Sandwiched between the central High Atlas mountain fissures, the nearly 6000 ft long Ahansal Valley, with its narrow canyons, lush green valleys, and majestic granite cliffs, is an exciting kayaking destination.
The peak time to kayak in the Ahansal Valley is during late spring. Several tour operators offer multi-day trips with thrilling eddies and grade 2/3, including 3/4 rapids from the Bin El Ouidane Dam.
Although, expect company on your exhilarating ride as monkeys frequent the tree-lined riverbanks as keen spectators, and local village kids typically hitchhike on river boats.
And enjoy being lulled to sleep at night by the peaceful sound of the flowing river, with the warm orange glow of the flickering campfire light.
Go Rock Climbing In The Majestic Todra Gorge
For a challenge and breathtaking views, embark on a rock climbing adventure in Morocco’s majestic Todra Gorge.
The challenging Tondra Gorge, with its 980 feet deep limestone ditch that divides the High Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert with a river dotted with palm trees, has been a popular climbing spot since 1977.
On route, you will experience the sights and sounds of the sun-kissed red, and orange streaked rockfaces, interspersed with the sounds of playing children and mountainous goat herds.
Although May to June is the peak climbing season, you may have to compete for space on the bolted and unbolted climbing routes.
The French grades five-eight Tondra Gorge routes, including the Pillar du Couchant and the Can Güllich walls, are more challenging, so you must be an experienced climber to navigate them.
Although the Kilimanjaro and Petit Gorge climbing routes are suited to inexperienced climbers.
Some other options:
Visit the Blue City of Chefchaouen: This picturesque town in the Rif Mountains is known for its blue-washed buildings and vibrant souks. Take a stroll through the narrow streets and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Explore the Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah: This UNESCO World Heritage site is a fortified village made of mud brick and located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. It has been used as a backdrop for many famous movies, including Gladiator and Game of Thrones.
Relax in the coastal town of Essaouira: This laid-back fishing town on the Atlantic coast is known for its charming medina, delicious seafood, and stunning beaches. Take a walk along the ramparts and enjoy the views of the ocean.
Visit the Roman ruins of Volubilis: These ancient ruins located near Meknes are some of the best-preserved in North Africa. Explore the well-preserved mosaics, columns, and arches and imagine what life was like during the Roman Empire on a spectacular and interesting day trip.
Wander the medina in Fes: The ancient medina in Fes is one of the largest and most well-preserved in the world. Get lost in the maze-like streets and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of this vibrant city.
FAQS on Outdoor Activities in Morocco
What are the best outdoor activities to do in Morocco?
Morocco offers a wide range of outdoor activities to suit all interests and fitness levels. Some of the most popular activities include skiing, hot air balloon rides, surfing, hiking, kayaking, camel treks, horseback riding, and rock climbing.
Is it safe to participate in outdoor activities in Morocco?
Yes, it is generally safe to participate in outdoor activities in Morocco. However, it is always important to take the necessary precautions and follow the advice of local guides and tour operators. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas, and be cautious when traveling alone or at night.
What is the best time of year to participate in outdoor activities in Morocco?
The best time to participate in outdoor activities in Morocco depends on the activity and the region. For example, skiing is best in the winter months, while surfing is best in the fall and winter. The spring and fall months are ideal for hiking and camel treks, while hot air balloon rides are best in the early morning. Be sure to check the weather and plan accordingly.
Do I need to be in good physical condition to participate in outdoor activities in Morocco?
The physical requirements for outdoor activities in Morocco vary depending on the activity. Some activities, like skiing and rock climbing, require a certain level of fitness and experience, while others, like hot air balloon rides and horseback riding, are suitable for most people. Be sure to check with the tour operator or guide to determine if the activity is suitable for your fitness level.
What should I bring for outdoor activities in Morocco?
The necessary items for outdoor activities in Morocco will depend on the activity and the region. Generally, it is important to bring comfortable clothing and footwear, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a camera, and plenty of water. Be sure to check with the tour operator or guide to determine any specific items or clothing required for the activity.
Do I need to speak Arabic or French to participate in outdoor activities in Morocco?
While Arabic and French are the official languages of Morocco, many tour operators and guides speak English or other languages. It is always helpful to learn a few basic phrases in Arabic or French, but it is not necessary to speak the language fluently to participate in outdoor activities.