As much as we loved our relaxed days in Chefchaouen’s city center, we leapt at the opportunity to hike to the God’s Bridge of Akchour, a stunning natural arch and river in the nearby mountains.
Zayd, a local Moroccan, was kind enough to act as our guide for the day. Along with two Australians, our group of five set off in a taxi to the trailhead, about 30 minutes outside of town.
Upon arriving, we set off on the hike. It’s almost entirely uphill, but it’s mostly through a river so it makes for fun going. What’s more, the water is an unreal shade of blue and is crystalline clear down to the bottom.
The water was bone-chillingly cold because it was late in the year, but we still took the chance to catapult off of a cliff when we found a deep spot. After sweating through the semi-treacherous hike, we were more than ready to get in the water, despite the chill.
And after about an hour and a half of hiking, we reached our destination: the red-toned natural arch that the locals call God’s Bridge.
You almost don’t notice the arch until you’re beneath it, because the trail climbs and climbs and then descends at the very last minute to the pool at the base.
We spent a while playing in the water near the arch, but the cold of the water and our hunger pangs eventually got the best of us. With that, we headed back down the trail to indulge in an afternoon tajine and tea break.
Tons of tiny little pop-up kitchens have sprung up on the hillside to cater to the hiking crowd, so we picked the one with the best view and settled in to enjoy.
The best part of these restaurants is how unbelievably fresh everything is. The mint in our tea had been picked minutes earlier from the plants growing next to the table, and our tajine was roasted over a fire just steps from where we were sitting.
By the end of the day, we were happy but tired, and all too glad to settle in to the taxi for another 30 minute ride back to the city. If you happen to visit Chefchaouen, make sure you take an extra day to do this hike – if not for the scenery, then for the food. Enjoy!
Shop the Made by Dawn swimsuit top I’m wearing here.
When you go
- Get a local guide to take you. It’s about 30 minutes by car out of town, and the path through the river isn’t always apparent.
- Wear sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. We all wore sneakers, and by the end of the day had each put a foot in the water. I would have preferred to have Tevas!
- Go hungry! There are tons of pop-up restaurants along the route that are more than happy to whip up a tajine for you (and serve you fresh mint tea while you wait).
- If you want to swim through the arch on to the waterfalls beyond (about an hour and a half of swimming), you’ll need a wetsuit. The water is far too cold to go unaided, especially later in the year.