Morocco’s Atlas Mountains: An essential guide

Actually wanted to check off several outdoor adventures all in a single region of just one nation? Well, cool canyons, lush valleys and probably the highest peak in North Africa make Morocco’s expansive Atlas Mountains the supreme playground.

The multi faceted mountains pass through each Tunisia and also Algeria before they stretch into Morocco’s Sahara towards the Atlantic coastline. However much less recognized than the wasteland, the about 2500 km mountain range allows you snowboard and sandboard only a couple of hours apart – how is that for variety?

While the Sahara is surreal for one day or perhaps 2, as are the main cities, the Atlas Mountains are a treasure trove for mixed gems that kept drawing me back for a lot more.

Here is the lowdown on an Atlas mountains day trip to nourish your adventurous soul.
Center Atlas

The very first, the majority of northern of the 3 areas of the Moroccan selection of the Atlas may be the Middle Atlas. The forested slopes of the Middle Atlas mountains run just south of Meknes and also Fes, resulting in Marrakech. While many folks hop on a bus directly from only one of those towns to Marrakech, they are losing out on probably the greenest of the areas.

The highlight of the time of mine in the Middle Atlas had been the Ouzoud cascades. The majestic falls plunge 360 foot down the basic cliffs edge. This produces several tiers of pools and small sized falls, ideal for having a dip to escape the heat.

I chilled out with a fresh orange juice at among the cafes perched in the canyon to look at the monkeys that swing from the tree branches and also whimsically hang from the canyon walls. Just 2 and a half hours from Marrakech, there is nothing to keep you from experiencing it on your own.

Moreover , make sure you check out the town of Ifrane, coined as the “Switzerland of Morocco” because of its alpine esque structure and also to the west of its, the scenic trekking trails of Ifrane National Park. Below you will be surrounded by several of the very best wildlife Morocco has to give, like run ins with our long lost cousins, the exceptional Barbary ape.

Top Atlas

Just outside Marrakech would be the most frequented and grandest of the ranges, family home to the woman of all peaks in North Africa, Jbel Toubkal. Before hitting the city of Imlil, the very best foundation for any Toubkal trek, you will be charmed by the Ourika Valley. The almond and cherry orchards are spectacular when in bloom, as would be the wildflowers with complete reign over the picturesque riverside.

And then in can come the daring trek up Mount Toubkal. The trek are able to be conquered in 2 days, with the assistance of a mule to have the package of yours so you are able to concentrate on pressing yourself up almost fourteen, zero foot on the good of the mountain. When you get to the best, ingest the ideas of the jagged Atlas Mountains fading off into the Sahara desert. During the trek you will have lots of invites for mint tea (nicknamed Berber whiskey) while passing through the remote Berber villages.

Kick it with the Berbers – they are noted for nomadic patterns which go back almost 4,000 years, and are a part of a local community indigenous to North Africa.

Yet another one of Morocco’s best heights is Oukaimeden. Obtain this: in February and January you are able to really strap on skis or maybe the board of yours, and descend the largest skiable peak on the continent at 8,530 feet. Oukaimeden is a fantasy for skiers that wish to feel multiple weather on the journeys of theirs and also it is likewise really nice driving the largest ski lift in Africa (or going old school and also ascending by donkey).

Because it is as Mother Nature is constantly looking out there for a means to cool you down, Todgha Gorge, in the Eastern portion of the Atlas Mountains near Tinghir, could enable you to beat the heat.

Carved from cliff side canyons, the gorge is a favorite site among locals. Very much of the stream is lined with scented red flowers and is ideal for lingering walks inside the tall walled canyon.

I enjoyed the drive in place into the canyon that gave way to impressive viewpoints of the rich city of Tinghir because of its date palm valleys & pretty traditional villages made from mud – I swear, they are like life sized sand castles.

Oh, but wait… the High Atlas is not finished with you just yet. To the southeast of Toubkal is Ouarzazate, the Hollywood of Morocco, plus its neighboring Aït Benhaddou, at the foothills of the High Atlas mountains.

You might claim that the ideas on the clustered orange, crumbling kasbahs belonging to the otherworldly UNESCO heritage site are straight from a film – which would not be a fabrication. Aït Benhaddou and its mountainous backdrop is a favorite movie location for large pictures as Game of Thrones, Gladiator and also the Bourne Ultimatum… Prepare to geek out.

On the way of yours not High Atlas mountain range, see the grand finale. Not for the weak of heart, the Tizi-n-Test road pass twists across the mountains, six, 867 feet above ground level.