The best things to do in Al Hoceima
Al Hoceima, in the northern part of Morocco, is the place to mark when you’re looking for a beach holiday where you can get away from it all.
With breath taking beaches of white sand and its gentle light waves azure Mediterranean waters, Al Hoceima is ideal whether you’re after a relaxing break, something more active or a holiday of exploration.
The town of Al Hoceima, located in the bay of the same name, is a city of blue and white houses perched on cliffs facing the sea, on a slope leading down to the fishing port from the city centre.
This well-known tourist city has the perfect balance of stunning beaches and dramatic mountains. Being the capital of the Al Hoceima province, this Riffian city is a popular summer destination for Europeans wanting to escape to the ocean.
The influence of Spain is visible in this city, founded in 1920 during the years of the Rif War and which still preserves some of the architectural features of the colonial period.
In Mohamed VI Square, the city centre, located on Quemado Beach, is the Melchor de Jovellanos cultural centre, of Spanish ownership, in what used to be the former headquarters of the military command.
Nearby, is the Royal Palace and access to the port and beach, as well as Chiita Park.
To the south, the Plaza del Rif or Florido, the old city centre and Cala Bonita. To the west, the Cebadilla beach.
Al Hoceima is a city dedicated to tourism and fishing. In the summer season, its lively streets are filled with visitors attracted by the beaches and nature of the province.
Every evening, the boats arrive at the port with the daily catch from the sea which is distributed in the markets, restaurants and eating houses around the port and in the city.
What brings all the Europeans to Al Hoceima every summer are the beaches and beautiful places to stay while exploring the area.
You can take a boat out and go scuba diving, enjoy a meal at one of the top restaurants, just spend some ‘you time’ at a luxurious spa, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
But it’s not all man made development in the area; much of the area is unspoiled countryside and you should definitely consider visiting the nearby regions, as their are lots of treasures that adventure lovers come in droves to explore.
1. Wild beaches, nature and aquamarine waters
It’s hard to resist the allure of the Mediterranean coast, but when you throw in sunny skies and a small city vibe, Al Hoceima has some of the best beaches to visit in Morocco.
For you, holidays rhyme with relaxation on paradisaical beaches, Al Hoceima, isn’t nicknamed « the Mediterranean pearl » for nothing, thanks to the variety and beauty of its bays, it is the ideal place for you.
The beaches like quemado are considered as one of the most beautiful in the world, You’ll be able to bask in the sun , while admiring the beauty of the natural sites around you.
Admire the mountainous landscapes of the Tala Youssef beach, jump into the turquoise water of the Bades beach or lie down on the fine sand of the Armoud beach.
2. Al Hoceima National Park
Bordered by the waters of the Mediterranean, the natural park of Al Hoceima, cut by high cliffs, presents an outstanding relief that draws the massif of Bokkoyas.
The landscapes are wonderful : green in spring, more sparse during the summer, they bathe in the clear light of the Moroccan sun.
A footpath crosses them which allows you to discover the interior of the park by walk. It is lined with gites and, for several days, you can venture out to discover the local fauna and flora.
In the Moroccan Rif, the Taghzout valley is another amazing spot. Being a hundred kilometres away from Al Hoceima, the magnetic site will invite you to stay longer.
You would be missing out if you didn’t visit this stunning park. Take in the stunning landscapes and visit the 800 year old Mosque with its old Berber village in Adouz.
What better way to embrace the local history and explore the natural beauty of Morocco than here?
Al Hoceima National Park can be accessed from the east, from Izemouren, in the direction of Tafensa, or from Rouadi, 30 kilometres from the city of Al Hoceima, a town known for its souk or Sunday market, Had el Rouadi, and for the Rif folk crafts market based mainly on wicker, clay pottery and traditional wood carving.
Taoussart and Adouz are two douars, or villages, located within the Al Hoceima National Park.
From Rouadi, try to head towards Taoussart. One the way to this small douar one truly starts to get to know the National Park of Al Hoceima. The Bokkoya massif forms an environment with a great variety of native vegetation and animal fauna.
The coastline features a rugged rocky coastline. The limestone massif continues to the sea, forming cliffs that in some cases reach 700 metres high, creating a landscape of great visual richness.
The hiking trails, designed to promote ecotourism in the park, enable visitors to discover coves with crystalline waters hidden among the cliffs.
The 700 step beach, can be reached from Taoussart; a walk between small villages, whitewashed hamlets, fruit trees, forests of carob trees, fig trees, thyme, rosemary, lavender and araar, brings us closer to the cliffs and to the coast, to the Taydywine cove.
The cove of Bousekour is located to the east, closer to Al Hoceima. To the west, the coves of Topoz or Tikkit are not far from Adouz.
3. The beach of Tikkit
The beach of Tikkit, hidden at the foot of the mountain, is a small beach featuring round pebbles.
This is a good place to go diving or snorkelling and to enjoy the rich marine biodiversity of the Mediterranean coast. The marabout of Lala Tikkit or Lala Miomouna is highlighted.
This is only marabout in the area built in honour of a woman, supposedly a holy princess, born on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, who arrived alone to the Kabyle of the Bokkaya, fleeing from war, and who surrendered everything for spiritual life and prayer.
A path among almond trees, prickly pears and palm hearts separates Adouz from the douar of Taunil.
In its rural souk we can find a good sample of the characteristic craftsmanship of the area, including hats, djellabas, clay handicrafts and braided palm leaves. From Taounil, we continue to Torres.
The village is named after the five towers built by the Portuguese on the hilltop at the northern side of the village.
The closeness of the mountains and cliffs and the beaches that surround this small fishing village have made Torres a highly-valued destination for inland tourism in Morocco.
From Torres, it is possible to hike along the coast, following natural paths, until Bades, the second Islamic city built in Morocco, after Nekor. Nowadays, it is possible to visit the remaining ruins of its ancient walls and buildings.
Al Hoceima National Park Route5 Bades beach is a gravel cove facing the rock of Vélez de la Gomera.
Of Spanish sovereignty, this rock measures 260 meters long, between 15 and 100 meters wide and 87 meters high at its highest point.
Among outstanding scenery, the rock is located at one end of Cape Baba surrounded by mountains. Originally, the rock was a small island very close to the coast. An earthquake left the island permanently attached to the mainland in 1930.
The rope that separates Morocco from the Spanish islet is the smallest border in the world, measuring only 85 metres long.
Read more : 21 Best Places To Visit in Morocco in The Summer
4. Cala Iris
At the western end of the Al Hoceima National Park, no more than five kilometres from Torres, Cala Iris is located, a fishing village nestled in a horseshoe-shaped bay featuring one of the finest beaches on the northern coast of Morocco.
Surrounded by the mountains that conform the park and facing the islets that stand out in the bay, Cala Iris offers a striking landscape.
We reach the part where you can be sure that you had an image of the truly nature of the Al Hoceima region a splendid hinterland with magnificent landscapes in the middle of which is enjoyable to relax, and to challenge your limits There is nothing left but backpacking for your holiday we are waiting to see you soon for a unique lifetime experience.
Read also about Tetouan, one of the best destination in Mediterranean ocean near to El hociema.