To discover one of Morocco’s hidden gems, you must head to the North and visit the village of El Jebha in the Chefchaouen province.
Morocco’s little paradise city, El Jebha, is the perfect summer travel destination for any tourist or local, either for a peaceful getaway or a fun adventure.
Traveling to Morocco comes with many secrets that you unravel each day of your journey. It is definitely full of surprises.
Moroccan cities and landscapes are iconic feasts to the eyes. Ancient towns are rich with history, culture, and heritage. Diverse vistas stretch from the glistening Sahara desert to the high Atlas mountains to the North Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
When planning a visit to Morocco, the first thing that crosses a tourist’s mind is often traveling to the red, bustling city of Marrakech or trekking down the golden dunes of the Sahara desert. Morocco’s most famous attractions are definitely as good as expected.
However, they also divert attention from less known attractions that are also worth a visit.
Northern Morocco is the summer escape destination for many Moroccans. Besides its major tourist attractions and historic monuments, its diverse beaches are a major draw for those seeking relief on hot summer days.
Some of the most beautiful sites in the northern region of the country remain secret gems. One of these sites is a small, gorgeous village called El Jebha.
A little paradise city
Located in the province of Chefchaouen, and halfway between Tetouan and Al Hoceima, is the small port town of El Jebha. It is a little paradise city that few people visit, despite the wonderful opportunities it presents to relax and enjoy beautiful beaches.
The small village on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast is unique, with a small mountain range meeting the exceptional stretch of beach to the east of town.
The name El Jebha came from “Puerto Capaz,” as the Spanish called the town during their occupation of northern Morocco between 1911 and 1956. It roughly translates to “forehead,” which reflects how it looks in front of the surrounding Rif Mountains.
In order to reach the coastal town, you can embark on a long walk from Stehat (another small coastal village with beautiful beaches), which is 55 kilometers from El Jebha. You can also drive for two hours or take a private taxi from Chefchaouen, where you will also get to explore the fantastic Rif Mountains that surround both El Jebha and Morocco’s “blue pearl.”
Where to stay, go, and eat
When you reach the town, you can either stay at a campsite near the beach or rent a room or apartment in the village. The prices are inexpensive, varying from MAD 100 to MAD 300 ($11 to $33) per night. The hospitality is warm and welcoming and connecting with a local host is a good opportunity to integrate into a Moroccan lifestyle.
You can also stay in one of the few hotels in town, such as At Hotel El Mamoun. However, it is important to remember that most stores and accommodations in the village opt for cash instead of credit cards.
At the beachfront, there are vendors that offer grilled seafood. You even get to choose the most appealing seafood before they cook it. Delicious Moroccan vegetable tajines are available for vegetarians.
If you are in town on Tuesday, you will get to visit El Jebha’s lively and large weekly souk, or market. Locals from around the Chefchaouen province travel to El Jebha for their weekly shopping, making the souk crowded and busy. The streets are filled with vans and trucks bringing the markets’ new products to customers.
The best time to visit El Jebha will be summer. You can enjoy beautiful beaches and crystal clear water while you relish the town’s breathtaking landscapes and wild nature in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
El Jebha’s beaches
To reach El Jebha’s special and unique beaches, Maresdar and Playa Monica, you will have to hike through Morocco’s Rif mountains, where you will have a perfect view of the village, mountains, and ocean from up high. If you want a different type of adventure, you can take a boat to discover secret spots and caves.
The caves hold a significant historical background. The great political and military figure Abdelkrim El Khattabi hid in one of them to escape the Spanish incursion during the battle of 1920. He was leading a rebellion with his brother to unite the local tribes and dismantle the French and Spanish colonization in the Rif.
Round, smooth, fairly uniform rocks dot the shores of the El Hwad and Monica beaches instead of sand. The clearest waters differentiate these beaches from any other Moroccan beach along the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea. Monica beach has two small, distinctive mountains surrounding its waters, giving the beach its beautiful, unique scene.
Maresdar beach is the little paradise city’s very own secret gem for its hidden location in the mountains, with fine sands and blue waters. Most tourists, and even some Moroccans, do not know about this place. You can only reach it by hiking through the mountains or by small boat from the town, which usually costs MAD 100 ($11).
Because of its difficulty to reach and lesser popularity, the coastline remains one of the most peaceful, quietest, and cleanest beaches. It is the perfect place to enjoy your summer days in solitude while sunbathing and swimming in warm, clear waters.
Activities to do in El Jebha
You can either swim in El Jebha’s clear blue waters, sunbathe on its beautiful, rocky beaches, or hike the mountains where you will have outstanding views everywhere you go. You can also indulge in some fishing as a slow, relaxing activity.
El Jebha is also known for being home to wild dolphins that swim along its shores most of the year—besides their mating season. A visit to El Jehba can be a great opportunity to approach, observe, or photograph the sea creatures without much difficulty, giving you a fun and memorable experience while traveling in Morocco.
To enjoy the beaches and waters in an even more relaxing atmosphere, a ride in a traditional boat will allow you to admire the natural beauty of the site while the calm waters lull you, for however long you want.
If you are staying at hotel El Mamoun, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the beach harbor from a terrace, savor traditional Moroccan delicacies, and enjoy entertaining activities that the hotel organizes in the evening.
While you are in town, make sure to visit El Jebha’s harbor. It is a hub for all the fishing boats in the area and a welcoming stop for many European Mediterranean Sea tour boats that pass through the area.
Morocco is a favorite and well-known travel destination for many, and a wanderlust adventure for tourists that have visited its famous attractions and historic cities. However, Morocco’s small villages and hidden sites such as El Jebha are must-visit locations that not only add to the country’s unique and diverse beauty, but add to any traveler’s enjoyment.