If you picture palm trees and lush greenery and turquoise water when thinking of paradise, you are in luck! At paradise valley, you will find exactly that! Located near the famous city of Agadir, this perfect oasis is nestled into the high Atlas mountains. It truly is an unexpected treat in the otherwise vast and dry landscape. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the area and let you know whether or not Paradise Valley is worth visiting.
What Is Paradise Valley?
Paradise Valley is a beautiful area hidden in the high Atlas mountains with abundant palm trees. Natural pools are formed here which are perfect for swimming in. The whole area is a beloved hiking area for both locals and tourists. Scrambling through the area you will discover hidden areas such as interesting rock formations with pools below. As the name suggests, this is a valley so mountains surround you. This is a naturally beautiful area which is a brilliant place to immerse yourself in nature and relax. If hiking isn’t your thing, there is an abundance of cafes and restaurants in the area to visit.
In general Paradise valley is an incredible scenic area to hike, swim and eat at.
Where Is Paradise Valley?
Located in the High Atlas mountains, Paradise Valley is a section of the Tamraght River valley. This slice of paradise is surprisingly easy to reach. It is only a 50-minute drive from Agadir or the surfing haven Taghazout making it a perfect day trip destination. Although this attraction is a valley, it is still at a high altitude of 1600 metres above sea level. This means the air here is crisp and fresh. Based in southern Morocco, this area has great weather all year round meaning you can enjoy Paradise Valley all year.
How To Get To Paradise Valley?
The easiest way to get to paradise valley is by driving. We were travelling by campervan, but if you do not have a vehicle we would recommend hiring one. The trip into the High Altas mountains is incredibly scenic, a truly beautiful drive. As you approach the valley, you’ll notice the roads are lined with towering palm trees. The drive is less than an hour from the surrounding cities so hiring a car for 1 day is all you will need. There are a couple of different parking areas near the trail. It costs 10dh (€1) to park for the day. The parking attendants will guide you where to park and look after your vehicle whilst you are away. The walk to the valley is approximately 10 minutes downhill from the car park.
It is possible to get to paradise valley by taxi. We would advise that you confirm a price before getting into all taxis in Morocco as it is not uncommon to be scammed by taxi drivers asking tourists for a lot more money than the journey is worth. You should not pay more than 300dh for a trip from Agadir to paradise valley.
If you don’t have a vehicle, the easiest way to get to paradise valley is with a guided tour group. There are lots of different companies offering tours of paradise valley for reasonable prices. Pick up and drop off from your hotel are included in the price. Below are some guided options.
Do I Need A Tour Guide For Paradise Valley?
There are many companies offering guided tours and for good reason. These guides are incredibly familiar with the area and know all the best spots to show you, especially in the drier seasons when the main pools are not full of water. Do you need a tour guide?… No.
It is entirely possible to navigate the area yourself and spend as much or little time as you like in the area. We visited paradise valley without a guide and saw as much as we wanted. We visited Paradise Valley in March and were left a bit disappointed by the lack of turquoise pools in the main areas as we had seen in pictures. If we were to return to the area, we may opt for a guided tour to see some of the areas we will have undoubtedly missed, such as the hidden pools we have since been told exist by locals.
When Should I Visit Paradise Valley?
As mentioned previously the water levels in the area are not consistent from season to season. Summer is the driest season where there is little to no rainfall. This leaves a lot of the pools empty in June, July and August. This season is also the most popular with tourists visiting the country. If possible avoid visiting in the summer to avoid the crowds and disappointing pools.
Many people suggest late winter and early spring are the best times to visit. We visited in March and found that the area was surprisingly dry. After speaking to locals we found that it is always best to visit shortly after rainfall. If you plan on visiting at any time of the year we recommend asking around if there has been any rain in the valley over the past few days to find out whether or not Paradise Valley is worth visiting.
What Should I Expect At Paradise Valley?
Making your way into the valley you will notice that there are a lot of restaurants and cafes. Everyone will talk to you and try and convince you to grab a bite at their place. Many of these restaurants have their tables and chairs in ankle-deep water to cool you off. Paradise Valley can be immensely hot so it is vital to take breaks, rehydrate often and relax in the shade. If you plan on eating some traditional Moroccan tagine or cous cous here, order it on your way out as it takes approximately one hour to make. Then on your way back through the valley, you can sit down for a well-deserved meal.
Once you get past all of the dining areas, you will scramble across loose rocks to head in the direction of the pools. The direction to walk is pretty unclear. We found that there were red and blue paint marks on some of the rocks to follow. Following the paint ensures you are hiking in the right direction. The hiking trail is incredibly long but most people choose to hike until they reach the pools which are ever so inviting for a swim.
There are a series of different pools, during the rainy season the pools fill enough so that you can jump in from great heights. Cliff jumping is one of the fantastic activities to do here. Also during the rainy season, you will see little waterfalls and natural waterslides dotted along the valley.
What Should I Bring To Paradise Valley?
The most important thing to bring with you is a decent pair of shoes. Hiking the trail in sandals is possible but it is not comfortable. Leaping over stepping stones and scrambling across loose rocks is a recipe for disaster. A pair of trainers will make your hike a hell of a lot easier.
Next on your packing list should of course be swimwear and a towel. no trip to paradise valley is complete without taking a dip in the natural pools. Even if you don’t want to go in the water, paradise valley is a great place to lounge and enjoy the Moroccan sun.
Finally, it is important to stay hydrated whilst hiking in the valley so be sure to bring some water with you. if you don’t fancy carrying water with you there are plenty of stalls along the hiking route selling water and fresh juice. Convenient and delicious.
How Long Should I Spend At Paradise Valley?
It is very easy to spend a whole day in Paradise Valley. If the pools are full and you get a great spot to lounge, the day passes by very quickly. If, however, you are visiting during the dry season, a couple of hours would be more than enough time to spend in the valley. The answer to this question really depends on how far you intend on hiking. You could choose to spend the whole day walking along the valley trail exploring all the hidden areas. We chose to only spend a couple of hours in the area as the pools were pretty dry and the heat was pretty unbearable.
Is Paradise Valley Worth Visiting?
The answer to the question ‘Is Paradise Valley worth visiting?’ is not as simple as yes or no. There are many factors to consider.
Firstly, the water level. If you intend on visiting during the dry summer months, be sure to limit your expectations. There is a good chance you won’t find any decent pools to swim in. It can be especially disappointing getting to paradise valley and realising it looks nothing like all the pictures with wonderfully inviting turquoise pools. If you are planning on visiting Paradise Valley for its natural pools, it is certainly not worth visiting in the dry season. It is only really worth visiting for this purpose directly after rainfall.
Another thing to consider is the pretty lengthy and unstable walk to the pools. If you do not enjoy hiking or are not the most balanced on your feet, Paradise Valley is probably not for you. Alternatively, if you love hiking and immersing yourself in nature, Paradise Valley is incredibly beautiful. Walking along a trail surrounded by lush greenery and Palm trees is always a great way to spend your day.