Vacations in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains


One of the best ways to experience the wonders of Morocco is by hiking. Whether walking an hour or trekking a week, Morocco is best appreciated out on the trails. Dramatic and beautiful, the striking High Atlas Mountains, Morocco’s highest peaks, make this region a perfect trekking and adventure outdoors destination.

Blessed with plenty of rainfall and a varied climate, the Atlas Mountains feature an enticing combination of arid peaks, verdant valleys, fascinating Berber villages and virtually deserted trails. The region is a Mecca for everything from easy rambles to challenging hikes, rock climbing and mountaineering. On the other hand, outdoor adventure here is not limited to exploration on foot – mountain biking, horseback riding and 4 x 4 safaris are readily on offer.

At the center of most challenging trekking expeditions in the district sits Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in northern Africa. Towering at nearly 4167 m, the trek up is strenuous but well worth the effect. The view from the peak is other-worldly, encompassing the Marrakech plain, the northern part of the High Atlas and the Sahara.

The Todra Gorge, near the village of Tinerher, is clearly among the most dramatic sights in the High Atlas. The stunning scenery of towering 300m limestone cliffs, lush date and fig trees and an icy-blue river at the foot of the gorge form the backdrop for an amazing hiking adventure At points, the pass through the gorge is no wider than 10 m, while the sheer rock formations tower above. Wandering off the beaten track, trails lead to areas of absolute silence, where peace and serenity settle in quickly. Not merely a mountain pass, the gorge forms part of the main access way between Tinerher and the town of Tamatattoucht in the Ait Morrhad Valley. Alternatively, 4 x 4 safaris and horseback riding are another way to explore this amazing canyon.

Dotted by small, ancient villages terraced beautifully into the sides of the slopes and valleys, the foothills of the High Atlas are populated mainly by the Berbers, the original inhabitants of North Africa. The culture and tradition of these peoples has remained intact, and their way of life simple: Farmers tend their fields and orchards, goatherds watch over their charge and mountain life has hardly changed throughout the centuries. Berber hospitality is second to none and the simple accommodations they offer afford travelers and trekkers a glimpse into local life.

The off-the-beaten-trek region of the High Atlas Mountains presents varied and undiscovered routes, amazing scenery and plenty of hiking trails and adventure travel opportunities at their best.