The Rif Ramble - Walking in Northern Morocco

Off the beaten track walking holiday in the beautiful Rif Mountains




From $1,140 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Time to explore the romantic powder-blue town of Chefchaouen
  • The hidden gems of Talassemtane and Al Hoceima National Parks
  • UNESCO Tetouan, berber fishing villages and bijou town of Asilah
  • Soak up the fascinating colour and atmosphere of friendly Tangier

From the lively port of Tangier, to the Rif Mountain town of Chefchaouen, this 8-day walking holiday discovers the delights of Northern Morocco. Heading East out of Tangier, we follow the Mediterranean coastline, exploring ancient Roman ports and the Hispanic-Moorish architecture of Tetouan. With daily walks we discover quiet beaches, traditional village life and the scented cedar forests of the Rif. Heading inland, we drive over the Tidihigne Rif Mountain Pass at 2445m which leads us to the Talassemente National Park. The ‘Blue Jewel' in the crown of our Rif Ramble is the charming mountain town of Chefchaouen. Founded in the 15th century, Chefchaouen's colourful history makes for a wonderful afternoon of discovery. Continuing Eastwards we drive onwards to the Atlantic Fortress town of Asilah and explore the old-world fusion of Spanish, Portugese and Moorish cultures which has given Northern Morocco it's distinct, diverse identity. Returning to Tangier for our final night, this is an amazingly different discovery of Morocco.


explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?

The maximum altitude attained on this holiday is 2445 metres when we drive over the Tidihine Rif Mountain Pass. This means that no-one should have any difficulty with acclimatisation to the altitude. During the course of the week, we walk on average 3-4 hours a day with around 300m-400m of ascent and descent. Whilst most of the walks are mostly around coastal areas, we also walk in the Rif Mountains. Most of our routes follow coastal paths and well-established routes between valleys and through villages. The paths can be uneven with some rocky terrain. Each day we spend several hours travelling in a private vehicle, which is necessary to cover the itinerary as described. This is a great trip to discover a different side to Morocco on foot and by vehicle.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Tangier. Complimentary transfers from Marrakech Airport are provided.
  • Explore the pretty port of Ksar Sghir and UNESCO listed medina of Hispano-Moorish Tetouan.
  • Walk through the natural park of Talassemtane to the Grand Arch. Time to relax and swim.
  • A day of walking in the Al Hoceima National Park and time to explore fishing the village of Taoussarte.
  • Walk to the coastal village of Torres de Alcala. Transfer to Talassemtane National Park.
  • Time to explore the beautiful powder blue mountain town of Chefchaouen. Transfer to Tayenza.
  • Transfer along the coast before wandering the pretty streets of Asilah. Transfer to Tangier.
  • Departure Day. Complimentary transfers to Tangier Airport are provided.
Sat 21 May - Sat 28 May Code RAC /01/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 18 Jun - Sat 25 Jun Code RAC /02/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 10 Sep - Sat 17 Sep Code RAC /03/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 08 Oct - Sat 15 Oct Code RAC /04/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 20 May - Sat 27 May Code RAC /01/17/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
The dates above are for the LAND ONLY itinerary, joining at the group hotel inTangier. The most convenient airport for transfers to the group hotel is Tangier airport. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' and 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK, Royal Air Maroc fly from London Heathrow. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Tangier. Complimentary transfers from Marrakech Airport are provided.

    KE group package services begin with a short transfer from Tangier airport to the group hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have an opportunity to explore the vibrant port of Tangier and acquaint yourself with the art of sipping delicious Moroccan mint tea! The evening meal (at own expense), will be hosted at your hotel or in a restaurant close-by. Over dinner, your tour leader will provide you with a trip briefing to prepare you for the week ahead.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Explore the pretty port of Ksar Sghir and UNESCO listed medina of Hispano-Moorish Tetouan.

    With an early morning departure, we head East across the bay of Tangier following the coastal road out to the sheltered port of Ksar Sghir. Originally an old salting post in Roman Times the town has an unusual circular design and was protected by three momumental gates, including The Bab al-Bahr (the door of the sea) which still stands today. Heading out of Ksar Sghir on foot, we follow a valley, brimming with oak, citrus and fern trees and eventually leads us to the Mediterranean. With time to relax, take a mint tea and even possibly a swim, we are met by our private transport and head for the UNESCO listed medina of Tetouan. With it’s unique Hispano-Moorish atmosphere, Tetouan’s simple whitewashed buildings sit against the lush backdrop of the Rif Mountains to create a picture postcard shot! Here you will have time to explore the ancient medina before driving onto spend the night in a small family run gite.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hours

  • Walk through the natural park of Talassemtane to the Grand Arch. Time to relax and swim.

    Today we walk from our gite through the natural park of Talassemtane, where we head for the high spot of the ‘Grand Arch’. Over looking rugged canyons and lush green valleys, our high point of today provides wonderful panoramic views of the pine forests and cultivated fields below. Strolling back to meet our transfer we drive through the Oued Lau gorge, arriving at the coast. Taking a relaxing lunch on the beach and taking advantage of a possible swimming opportunity, we leave the coastline for the interior, heading towards the village of Jnanate, located within the Al-Hoceima National Park where we will spend two nights at our simple gite accommodation.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hours

  • A day of walking in the Al Hoceima National Park and time to explore fishing the village of Taoussarte.

    From the rocky canyons and pine forests to the small coastal fishing villages, Al Hoceima National Park is a real hidden gem of North Morocco. Leaving from our gite on foot, we navigate our way through a steep sided gorge which eventually leads us to the small village of Taoussarte. If we’re lucky, we may have the opportunity to see the buzz of the Berber fisherman going about their daily business, or if you prefer, you may choose to cool off with a well-earned swim. Continuing our walk onto the Berber settlement of Hadi Rouadi, we will be greeted by the local women’s co-operative who produce the authentic handicrafts products, unique to the region. Returning to the beach for a long lunch, we hope to spot playful dolphins out at sea or even a fish eagle on the hunt for prey before we take the short drive back to our gite at Jnante.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hours

  • Walk to the coastal village of Torres de Alcala. Transfer to Talassemtane National Park.

    Famed for its windmills and ancient towers, our walk today takes us to the historic coastal village of Torres de Alcala. Of significant importance, Alcala was an incredibly important port for many of the Moroccan dynasties and you can still see the original camel caravan trail which leads directly to Fes. From here our walk takes us through a cedar forest, as we explore this rich and wild environment. Upon finishing our walk today we take a change of direction and head west and enjoy a superb drive over the highest pass in the Rif Mountains, the breathtaking Tidighine Rif Mountain Pass (2445m). Descending through iconic cedar forests of the Rif, we nestle down for the evening at our simple accommodation on the fringes of Talassemtane National Park.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hours

  • Time to explore the beautiful powder blue mountain town of Chefchaouen. Transfer to Tayenza.

    Following a lesser known path, this morning, we enjoy a splendid walk through the Rif Mountains, pausing from time to time to enjoy Berber tea in one of the many villages we pass through. As we continue our journey through cultivate terraces and forests of cedar and pine, we arrive at the Berber community of Rasse Elma to be greeted with our views across the iconic blue mountain town of Chefchaouen. Known for its many shades of blue, Chefchaouen derives from the Berber word for horns of a goat and it is nigh on impossible to resist the charm of this laid back town. With free time explore the picturesque streets or relax in Berber café, Chefchaouen’s medina, with it’s narrow alleyways and makes for a pleasant afternoon of exploration and relaxation. On departure from Chefchaouen we drive down to the village of Tayenza and settle into our gite for the night.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hours

  • Transfer along the coast before wandering the pretty streets of Asilah. Transfer to Tangier.

    Heading for the Atlantic coast we drive due West to the fortified town of Asilah. En-route we will stop for a forest exploration, searching for the cheeky Magot Monkeys in amongst cork and oak trees. The bijou town of Asilah blends sophistication and simplicity where the traditional old-world charm of Morocco meets with a fusion of modern-day Spain. The rich and turbulent history of this ancient port has given Asilah a strong arts and musical identity and with many artists free to display their artwork on many of the medina walls. Whilst in Asilah your guide will advise you on the best places to seek out during your free-time. Only a very short drive from Tangier, we head up the coast, into the cosmopolitan town of Tangier for our farewell dinner (at own expense).

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

    • Time 2 hours

  • Departure Day. Complimentary transfers to Tangier Airport are provided.

    KE land only services end after breakfast. Complementary airport transfers are provided for clients departing this day.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Included An experienced professional local leader
  • Tangier Airport transfers (on first and last day of itinerary)
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the holiday
  • except dinners in Tangier on days 1 & 7 All land transport involved in the itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Airport taxes
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Extra activities and excursions
  • Tips for local staff
  • Dinners on days 1 & 7 in Tangier Miscellaneous personal expenditure

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

All clients travelling to Tangier Day 1 of the holiday itinerary will be met at the airport by a local KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights and should let us know if Tangier Airport transfers are not required. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

During this trip the group will spend 2 nights in a tourist class hotel Tangier. While there are many more expensive hotels in Tangier, we try to strike the right balance of a comfortable and conveniently located hotel while maintaining a really good value holiday. There are 5 nights in simple, family run gite-accommodation. All accommodation is based on twin sharing. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. For the hotel nights in Tangier, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional nights in Tangier are available either at the group hotel or in a range of different hotels and riads. Please see the page on hotels at the end of this dossier for more details. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the holiday on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

On trek, the food is a mixture of local and international, all purchased locally and cooked for us by our trek cooks. Breakfasts are continental style, with tea and coffee, orange juice, porridge and cereals including muesli, bread, jam, honey and cheese. .A morning snack is also provided and this usually consists of Moroccan 'trail mix' of dried figs and dates, peanuts, sugar coated peanuts and other nuts. Lunch usually starts with the Berber speciality of mint tea, followed by a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas, rice, pasta or cous cous added. Hard and soft cheeses, tinned fish, olives, biscuits and bread are also on the lunchtime menu. Dinner starts off with soup and bread. The main course is usually rice, pasta, cous-cous, spaghetti or chips, with a vegetable stew (or tagine) consisting of some of the following - onion, potato, carrot, green pepper, zucchini, turnip, parsnip, green beans and peas. There will be some meat (usually chicken, lamb or beef). All dishes come with traditional sauces which are rarely (spicy) hot. Desserts usually consist of fruit, some fresh but more likely tinned, including pineapple, apricot, pears, peaches or mixed. To round off dinner, there is the usual range of hot drinks.

All meals except dinner on day 1 and dinner on day 7 of the itinerary are included.

Approximately £100 (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. This amount will cover tips for the local crew, soft drinks, snacks, and also possibly a lunch in Tangier if you should happen to arrive early on Day 1, as well as a final lunch in Tangier on Day 8 if needed. It is not possible to obtain or exchange Moroccan currency (dirhams) outside the country. You can withdraw money in local currency from ATM’s in Tangier or your travel money can be carried in the form of cash or travellers cheques. (Sterling, US dollars and Euros are easily exchanged, but note that it can be difficult to exchange traveller’s cheques at banks in Morocco). Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking professional leader throughout the holiday.

It is important to remember tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. For your trek crew we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We recommend that you give tips as a group rather than from individual group members and suggest you decide together on a level of tips that suits everyone. As a rough guide we suggest a contribution of around £40 (in local currency) per group member to a 'pool' should provide an appropriate level of tips.

Your baggage on trek transfers by vehicle. The packed weight of your main bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kg, but we recommend you take too much on trek with you. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

No visa is required for travel to Morocco by the holders of the following passports: United Kingdom, United States of America or Australia. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of entry to Morocco and that this entitles you to stay in the country for up to three months. Holders of passports not on the above list should contact the Kingdom of Morocco visa information service to see if a visa is required. (Most people will find that no visa is required).

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Walking boots or shoes
  • Lightweight gloves (not required for Jul & Aug)
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts (short sleeve & long sleeve)
  • Shirts or T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat (not required for Jul & Aug)
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 1 quart (x2)
  • Sleeping bag rated to 5ºC*
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Small towel
  • Daypack c.25 litres
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries

    Basic personal first aid kit, including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band aids) and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE kit bag)

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Trainers / sneakers or sandals for camp
  • Spare laces
  • Shorts
  • Toilet roll
  • Swimwear
  • Sarong and/or lightweight Beach towel
  • Wetwipes
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Travel clothes


  • *Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel.
  • Remember that KE clients are entitled to a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

It will generally be very warm during the day. Spring and Autumn temperatures can range between 15C / 25C in the day but can drop as low as 5C in the night. Evenings are coolers and you are likely to want a fleece jacket. However temperatures even at night are unlikely to be lower than 5C / 40F. It is likely to be dry during your visit but as in all mountain regions, short lived storms do occur and you should be prepared for some rain and even the odd downpour. Read more:

Lonely Planet Guide to Morocco Rough Guide to Morocco Footprint Travel Guide Morocco Morocco, From Empire to Independence; C R Pennell

Morocco 1:1000,000

Publisher: Reise Know How Vertag. Double sided map dividing North and South Morocco

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