Paradise Valley, Agadir Morocco - Day Trip
If you search online for things to do around Taghazout and Agadir it is very likely you will find Paradise Valley as a suggestion. Most of the hotels and surf camps in the area offer day trips here when the waves are flat.
Almost all of these tours will take you from the main road to the first pools of the valley which unfortunately has meant the area is now full of cheap plastic chairs and shabby huts offering tagines and plastic bottled drinks to visiting tourists. When I first came here it was relatively unspoiled so it is a shame that in a few years the valley has changed so much.
If you want a short and easy hike and can ignore the crowds then take this option, however, there are now really great local tour guides who have set up to take you on a longer hike to the ‘real’ Paradise Valley, I definitely recommend the extra cost to hire one. The experience is 100% better and you will see the true beauty of Morocco with someone who has a passion for the surrounding nature.
Even if you have hired a car for your trip I still recommend taking a tour. You can easily drive to Paradise Valley, it is well signposted and it mostly the same road through the mountains. I have had friends who have driven there then asked a local person hanging around to take them to the better spots, usually you can do this and pay them 200 dirham ($20 USD). But to find the best spots and avoid the spoiled areas you really should hire a proper guided company, it will cost you a little more but the experience is totally worth the extra price.
You can go from Agadir to Paradise valley as a day trip but if you’re following my itinerary for 2 weeks in Morocco you’ll be coming from Taghazout. Guides are happy to pick you up at your accommodation to start the from either of these locations.
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A Day Trip to Paradise Valley
The tour guide I recommend you take is Tawada Hiking, Moha is a true local from an Amazigh family, he grew up hiking the mountains and learning about the history of the Imazighen from his family. He then continued his education studying Amazigh culture at university, he truly has incredible educated knowledge of the surroundings in this part of Morocco.
Moha collects you from your accommodation and takes you to the ‘Hidden Paradise Valley’. You will start the trip through an old Amazigh village and across the mountainsides.
As you pass through the village you will see how the old locals live. Their houses are basic stone buildings and mostly do not have lots of windows, which considering the views in this area seems like a real shame! But living in this landscape is more about keeping the house cool and not so much about sitting inside staring out the window!
The views across the landscape are really incredible, rocky mountains scattered with palm trees and argan trees, and ruins of small old houses, there is not another soul to meet on the path.
As you hike you can take in the real beauty of the Anti Atlas mountains and the valley in between.
The hike itself is mostly easy going with a few rockier steep places, you will need to wear good trainers or hiking boots, definitely not suitable for flip flops and sandals.
I have hiked with people of varying fitness and once with a 7-month pregnant friend, she struggled a little more but that was mostly due to the balance on rockier parts rather than the difficulty of the hills! You may also encounter tiny scorpions hiding around rocks, I don’t know anyone who has been stung but you wouldn’t want to risk it. Branches fallen from the trees are also very spikey so please wear decent shoes!
As you hike through the mountains and down through the valley, Moha will tell you about the history of the area, he’ll show you the argan trees, explain the importance of them growing in this area and the process of how local women extract oil from the nuts that the trees produce.
Partway through the hike you will stop at a natural pool, here you can relax and swim in the clear blue water.
Depending on the season this water can be fresher than expected, many locals will take their surfing wetsuits to keep them warm against the cold water.
Either way, it is a fun way to cool down and freshen up during your hike, if you don’t want to swim the rocks are smooth and perfect for laying down to top up that Moroccan holiday tan.
For lunch, Moha takes you to the home of a local family for traditional food in a true Amazigh setting, you can also buy handmade products such as honey and amlou (a sweet delicious local delicacy) from the family.
Lunch will likely be a huge tagine of meat and vegetables served with crusty bread.
Tagine is the traditional dish of Morocco and is spiced to perfection, every family has their own way of preparing it. For many mountain families, these passing tourists joining them for lunch is a great way to generate income for the family.
Be respectful and they will show you incredible hospitality.
Amazigh people are excellent hosts and it is utterly wonderful to be welcomed like part of the family.
As you start to leave the valley and make your way back to your starting point you may be able to find seasonal fruit to pick from the trees. Here they grow pomegranates and the palm trees are seasonally heavy with dates. Moha will help you to pick the ripe fruit so you can enjoy a delicious mid-hike snack!
Winding your way back through the shade of palm trees you arrive back at your starting point, no doubt a little sunkissed and a little dusty but satisfied and ready for your waiting transport back to your accommodation.
Tawada Hiking also offers other tours in the area including a route behind Aourir, also known as Banana Village. Here you walk through agricultural land where bananas, dates, argan, olives, and many other delicious things grow. I have yet to do this hike with Moha but I hear it is amazing!
What was your favorite part of hiking Paradise Valley, Morocco? Let me know in the comments below or if you have any other guides to add to the list of recommended ones.
Written by Natalie Collins
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