On our 4-week Morocco vanlife trip, one of our destinations was Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley is famous because of its waterfalls and natural pools and a great day-trip from busy beach city Agadir. Initially, the waterfalls of Immouzer were on my list.
Because we had to choose between the waterfalls and Paradise Valley because of time constraints, we did some research. We did not read much good about the waterfalls. Because of the stories about too many tourists, faux guides and pushy salespeople we decided to Paradise Valley instead!
We eventually arrived in the area of Paradise Valley and found orange juice stalls, blue skies, palmtrees and a stunning mountain scenery. In this blog I’d like to share with you some general things to know about your upcoming trip to Paradise Valley. You will read about how to get to Paradise Valley and where to stay in case you want to spend the night.
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About Paradise Valley, Agadir
Paradise Valley is a section of the Tamraght River located within the Moroccan High Atlas Mountains. It a beautiful mountainous area filled with beautiful waterfalls and rockpools and is perfect for swimming, relaxing and exploring!
When you enter the gorge by car, the fun already starts. The route is beautiful and there are several bars and restaurants with terraces in the water. You can sip your orange juice while having your feel cooling off in the water. There are little fish in the river that will nibble on your feet if you like 😉
Once you find the carpark and get ready for your walk things will get even better. You start walking from the car park and you soon enter an oasis type environment. A little river and lots of trees. Once you get further along the route, there are stalls selling fresh drinks and food, often with hammocks out the front too.
The valley is known to be a bit of a hippie location. In the past, travelers came here and lived in the caves. Nowadays it’s a fun and relaxing oasis. Paradise Valley is perfect if you want to cool off somewhere a bit different from the beach nearby.
The water flow slows down during Summer because it gets drier (this is Morocco after all!). We were there in May, and there was not enough water in the first few pools to swim. But if you visit before the peak of Summer then the valley will be filled with deep pools of water and streams. You can even jump from the cliffs into the pools if you dare!
Where to stay in Paradise Valley
Because we were traveling by campervan in Morocco, we looked for a place to wild park. We passed the official parking area and drove another 10 minutes up the road. Here we found a great parking spot via Park4Night. We were here during the week so there was no one else. But by the looks of the place (some trash and old fireplaces) on weekends, people would camp there. We settled in, had a late lunch and prepared for the hike down the valley.
Most people only visit Paradise valley on a day trip from Agadir, but if you want to stay overnight and close to Paradise Valley, Auberge Bab Imouzer seems like a good deal.
Getting to Paradise Valley
You can reach Paradise Valley both from Agadir and Taghazout. Taghazout hiking has some excellent maps on which routes to take.
Getting to Paradise Valley from Agadir
Paradise Valley is only about 20km away from the Moroccan city of Agadir. If you are visiting this port city then taking a day trip to Paradise Valley is perfectly doable! There are plenty of tours that you can book from Agadir, so if you are staying at a hostel you can easily organize one through them.
The tours can be pricy. If you’re adventurous, you can also take public transport if you don’t have your own vehicle. This means you would need to catch a bus from Agadir to Taghazout and from there either another bus or a taxi to the parking area at Paradise Valley. It seems complicated so if you have your own car and are more than 4 people it would be a lot easier.
You need to pay for parking before hiking down to Paradise Valley, it costs about 10 dirhams.
Getting to Paradise Valley from Taghazout by car
From our stay in Taghazout, we took an inland route that was on Google Maps. But, as we noticed later, it was not on our paper map. We should have checked better because the road we took was quite rough 😀 Even though it was 90% paved, it as a very small one lane road with rough edges.
We did manage to relax as the views were beautiful and the people on the way very friendly. There was hardly any traffic, which made us enjoy the scenery even more!
There is a normal route with a pretty new paved road from Taghazout to Paradise Valley, just follow the road signs 🙂
After 3 hours of driving, we hit the regular road. We had read that the road had been wiped away by rain a few months earlier and we were a bit anxious to see if we could pass. Even though a lot of construction work was going on, we could get through fairly easy. There was only one spot where we had to wait as only one lane was open for traffic at a time. Even though a bit bumpy, it was a beautiful way down the gorge and passing title restaurants and cafes with seats in the river!
The Hiking to Paradise Valley
From our parkingspot, we took a right turn which seemed to be going the right way to the valley below. That was until we arrived at a beekeepers workplace and he told us that we were going the wrong way 🙂 We did get to see how he works and promised to be back next morning to buy some honey from him.
Even with our new instructions we managed to get lost and we had to ask someone else 🙂 We finally found the track and headed down the valley. The scenery was stunning and there were plenty of great photo spots. After about 45 minutes we arrived at the bottom of the vallley and the first rock pool! Here we had an orange juice at one of the idyllic little juice bars and just stared at the pretty scenery. We decided to go have a look at the last rock pool too now we were there anyway 🙂 Another 10-15 minutes walk and we arrived at a rather busy area with people camping and cooking food. There were some people seemingly just there for the night while others appeared to have been there for ages!
After enjoying the place for a while we decided to hike the other way back (the route people regularly take) and were surprised by the amount of bars and restaurants in the valley. From the parking, we managed to hitchhike our way back up to the van (which would have been a terrible uphill walk).
Whichever way you decided to hike, you will need comfortable shoes as it takes at least 30 minutes to walk from the nearest parking area into the valley. It can also be quite slippery.
Tips for Visiting Paradise Valley
- Make sure you have cash on you, as there won’t be machines!
- If you are taking your own vehicle the petrol station in Aourir is the last one before Paradise Valley. So make sure you have enough petrol to at least get there and back!
- The road to the valley is not very difficult but it can be in bad condition in some parts. You will need to drive carefully. You don’t need a 4-wheel drive but make sure you give yourself at least an hour each way. Sometimes there can be roadworks and delays and you don’t want to drive too fast either.
- The valley is popular with locals and tourists, so try to go on a weekday instead of a weekend.
- You can get into the valley using a hiking trail or along the rockpools and stream. Either wear shoes good for hiking if you go the slightly longer route or ones which are ok to get wet if you go through the valley itself.