"Chefchaouen" by Franx via Flickr Creative Commons

Nature is never far away in Morocco. Desert, mountains, valleys and sea - the country has plenty to offer fans of the outdoors.

Hikers of all levels will love walking the Moroccan mountains. Among the temperate peaks of the northern Rif mountain range, its cliffs jutting out into the Mediterranean make this under-explored region magical. Stretching from Cape Spartel and Tangier in the west to Ras Kebdana and the Melwiyya River, the region is cloaked in rich forests and home to a number of endangered primates. The base for exploring is called Chefchaouen, a hilly bohemian town, which simply translates to "Peaks." August through October are ideal for a visit as it's not too hot or too cold.

Photo Credit: Nssaw Tawahd

The lakes are packed with trout waiting for amateur fishermen. The more sporty will want to tackle the challenges of the Middle and Upper Atlas mountains on foot, by mountain bike or in a paraglider, or to practice mountain climbing, canyoning or pot-holing. Its summits can reach 4000m high. Ifrane, the little Moroccan Switzerland, may come as a pleasant surprise with its summer coolness, winter snow and traditional "mule-ski" trails. Remarkably European, if you didn't know Morocco had a ski resort, it does and it exudes alpine cool. Even more interesting, the town was built above a number of 16th century cave dwellings. Most of these underground lairs are still used as storage and mangers, just begging to be explored.

"2014-11-15" by Guillaume Baviere via Flickr Creative Commons

Nothing is as indescribable as a stay on the edge of the desert. Head to Ouarzazate to discover its immensity and colors. At night, opt for an encampment amongst the sands, a chalet in the mountains and, wherever you are, bed and breakfast with the locals for an unforgettable and authentic experience. These are at the heart of the Moroccan identity, like palm trees, argan oil and the honey from its lavender. The setting of a number of movies and TV shows, make sure you pay a visit to the fortified village of Ait Benhaddo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Looking out over the Atlantic, you will be enchanted by the turquoise waters of Dakhla bay on the Western Sahara. There you will meet migratory birds, pink flamingos and whales passing through. A Spanish designed fishing village and trading post, take in the old colonization as you breath in the salty sea breeze. It's a great place to try kitesurfing, windsurfing, and surf casting.