The day finally arrived when the mule stood there packed on the Akchour parking lot at the end of September. Three friends from Spain had said yes to coming on an adventure with me to go up in the Rif Mountains for a three day hike. We planned to stay in huts for the nights in the mountains. Below a photo of the map of the area.

Photo: Linda Riseborough

Photo: Linda Riseborough

Our PACKLIST for an autumn hike:

  • Hiking shoes. There will be wet passages so we recommend waterproof shoes. A pair of sandals for night.
  • Day pack
  • sunblock, hat, clothes, rain jacket
  • Trangia kitchen with ingredients bought on the local Chefchaouen market to cook fresh food for all lunches, snacks
  • Sleeping bags (not needed at night since bedding in the huts) in case of emergency
  • Durable bags to pack your belongings on mule.
  • Walking sticks – the tracks are slippery with loose rocks and save your knees/legs while going downhill.
  • First aid kit. Please take care of your feet at any sign of a blister and look after them well. *
  • Camera
  • Flashlight, compass, matches, knife

mohamed guide akchour rif mountains morocco

We recommend you take one of the local guides with you.

  • The national park has few sign posts and maybe a few markings on rocks.
  • Choose guide wisely if you plan to stay over night and for longer hikes. We will be happy to recommend people to you.
  • The guides know the mountain inside and out and can share stories of the vegetation, animals and the Berber people who live in the mountains.
  • If you want to meet the Rif monkeys chances will increase when you bring a guide
  • Safety should always come first and the guides can always find a solution
  • Get in touch for advice on rates


Abdul mule driver Akchour Rif mountains

We had decided to bring a mule with us to carry our load. Highly recommended for various reasons such as:

  • free yourself to enjoy the hike with only a light day pack
  • you can carry your camera with ease and document your journey well
  • safety – the mule will always know the way, if you get hurt, you will have transportation
  • support the local entrepreneur

Mules carry approx. 50 kg and you pay the mule driver at least 250 MAD/day.



Compared to all other mountains and forests I have explored around the globe, this is by far the toughest area to find a proper map, guidebook or description. The books and maps are printed but where to find copies, that is the question…? Any clues you let me know. We add this to our list of challenges.

Here a copy of the book you can to try to find, few copies so do not waste time. Only exists in French.

We shared photos of hikes on our Vilostrada album called Rif Mountains.

Linda Riseborough also shares lovely photos from our Rif hike on facebook

I know the latest version of Lonely planet briefly writes about the area in their guide and here is their article on the blue city.

This is the second story in my series on hiking in the Rif:
A dream of Eco tourism in Akchour

/ 😉 Victoria Ahlen

*) I learned a tough lesson this journey and had to go for a adventure of her own the last day. The story will come.


Click here for more images from the hike!