Day Hikes in Talassemtane National Park, Morocco

Wanting to spend some time in the gorgeous hills around Chefchaouen and not finding much specific information in the guidebooks, we hired a guide for the day to hike in Talassemtane National Park, in the Rif mountains, about a 45 minute drive from Chefchaouen. It turns out that if you have your own transportation and know the way to the park entrance you can easily do the hikes described below on your own.

To drive to the park, take the road out of Chefchaouen towards Tetoun. Just after the double bridge, about 15 kilometers outside of town, there is a poorly marked road to the right (the sign is obscured by a large bush) that leads to Akchour. It’s a beautiful drive through the rugged canyon and green valleys.

At Akchour the road ends at the far end of town at a parking lot for the park (10 dirham).

The trails start a short distance further up the road at the hydroelectric plant. On both sides of the bridge there are maps showing the trails.

Trail to Waterfall

On the left side of the bridge the trail goes up the gorge leading first to a small waterfall and then to the big waterfall. On the right is the trail that leads up the canyon wall to God’s Bridge, a natural bridge.

We first started towards the big waterfall, but about an hour and a half into the hike discovered that the water was too high and the current too strong for me to make the necessary 10 river crossings to reach the waterfall. Don and our guide most likely could have made it.

Trail to God’s Bridge

The hike up to God’s Bridge has stunning views of the rushing river below, thankfully with no river crossings. Our guide, Abel, mentioned that in summer when the water is low there is another trail along the river bank. Camping is also popular along the banks.

The best views are before the bridge. From the natural bridge itself, the views of the canyon and river below are mostly obscured by trees and darkness.

On the way back to town we took an alternate route over the hill and through the cultivated fields.

This trail is not as clearly defined as the others but as you can see Akchour in the distance, it would be difficult to get lost.  This easy loop to God’s Bridge and back takes about an hour and half, depending on how much you stop.

Lunch in Akchour

Lunch at Sarda café in Akchour was reasonably good and cheap. The favorite item seems to be the small fried fish. Don loved them.

I never did see a menu and I’m not sure how much English they speak, but they have a pleasant terrace overlooking the river and the view alone would be worth a few linguistic hurdles.


The guide we used was named Abel at Ecotourisme & Rondonnées Chefchaouen. Although we hired him just for the day hike, we were very pleased with his manner and his professionalism and wouldn’t hesitate to hire him for a more extensive trek.

400 dirham for the day using our car to drive to Akchour.

April 8, 2013

For links to all the posts in this series see the Morocco page.

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