Visit The Atlas Mountains on your Morocco Trip
Mention Morocco and the first thoughts that come to mind are the Sahara Desert, traditional souks and the medina, tagines, mint tea, earthy spices and it’s lush all-year-round warm weather.
You might even desire venturing upon an adventure to climb Mount. Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains. However, for those still on the fence, rest assured there’s more to the Atlas ranges than just conquering the great Mount. Toubkal!
Introduction to the Atlas Mountains
In Morocco, the Atlas Mountains are split into three regions and these are: High Atlas, Middle-Atlas and Anti-Atlas. The High Atlas, also known as the Grand Atlas, is inarguably the most popular region of the multi-faceted mountains. It is peppered with beautiful traditional Berber and Amazigh villages that are split by valley upon valleys. Most peaks in the High Atlas go beyond 3660 metres, with the highest being Mount. Toubkal at 4167 metres where several of the higher ones are snow-capped for the greater part of the year. On the other hand, the lower peaks are covered with a forest of cork, pine and other trees depending on the limitations of irrigation.
The Atlas Mountains is also home to infamous Argan Oil (endemic to Morocco), amethyst and atlas cedar – most popular with essential oil users. Additionally, the Atlas regions are rich in minerals such as iron ore, lead, copper, silver, zinc and manganese among other resources.
What To Do in the Atlas Mountains
The High Atlas is the most frequented region and for a good reason. It has plenty to offer with hiking being one of the top activities. There is an abundance of picturesque routes you can take on, and our guides can show you some that are hardly frequented by tourists.
You’ll be glad to know that there are also easy (but equally scenic) walking routes for families, and even for the young and the elderly with plenty of things to enjoy along the way! The Atlas Mountains truly welcome everyone and is suitable for anyone regardless of their age and climbing abilities.
Majority of travellers opt for multi-day excursions as well as day excursion, we have a number of excursions varying in duration in which are equally popular, from a 2-day excursion to 8, 10 or even 12 days perhaps – to get the most of the High Atlas experience – with or without climbing Mount.- Toubkal. Many itineraries include places like the Cascades d’Ouzoud (Ouzoud Waterfalls), Ourika Valley and Gorges du Dades
Check out some of our breath-taking photos in the High Atlas.
You will also encounter herds of farmed animals as you approach Amazigh villages such as Imlil, Arghan, Ait Assia, Azzaden and Valley Imnan just to name a few. The Amazigh villagers (who trace their origins to at least 5000 BC) are always welcoming to visitors who are curious about their exceptionally preserved culture, traditions and rural lands. Many will insist on inviting you in for traditional Moroccan mint tea!
In the Middle Atlas, marvel at the beautiful Cascades d’Ouzoud located near Azilal City. You can easily enjoy spending a few hours at Cascades d’Ouzoud taking photos from breath-taking vantage points, trekking around the falls and going on scenic boat rides (you might even get photobombed by the resident monkeys there!).
Wander around Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas where it is relatively less touristy. Embrace the peace and tranquillity as you explore striking landscapes of incredible rock formations and pink granite mountains.
Mount Toubkal Trek
For mountaineering enthusiasts, climbing Mount. Toubkal is something not to be missed when visiting Morocco. Standing at an impressive height of 4,167 meters, Mount. Toubkal is the tallest peak – not only in the Atlas Mountains but also in North Africa and the Arab World.
It takes 2 days to ascent Mount. Toubkal with most of the walking completed on the first day. However, do note that in order to climb Mount. Toubkal, it is now a requirement to be accompanied by local and certified tour guide. Having a local guide’s expertise not only is now a requirement but will benefit in enhancing your climbing experience with their knowledge of the safest paths, the best views as well as their ability in imparting their history and knowledge of Morocco to you.
How to get to the Atlas Mountains
The ‘Red City’ is also a great base for day trips to the other parts of High Atlas like the Cascades d’Ouzoud, Draa Valley, Tinmel Mosque and Ourika Valley. Your nearest entry points into the Middle Atlas is about 2 hours north of Marrakech. And lastly, the Anti-Atlas is just south of Marrakech, about a 3 hours’ drive.
Excited to discover the Atlas Mountains?
With its vast terrains and altitudes, the Atlas Mountains is a symbol of Morocco’s raw natural beauty; where traditions are preserved and time moves in its own pace. This paradise on earth is indeed legendary for vacations, camping, mountain walks and hiking opportunities.
Check out our Atlas Mountains tour packages here and feel free to get in touch with our team for more information. We also can offer fully customised private tours for locations all over Morocco.