8 of the best Off-the-beaten-path adventures in Morocco



Off the Beaten Path Adventures in Morocco

Morocco is one of the most thrilling destinations on the planet. Here at Epic Morocco, we can really make your experience epic; your journey will be surprising, intriguing and most of all, completely seductive every step of the way. Experience the collocation of a complete culture clash, become charmed by the bright colours of the souks, and fall in love with the traditional lives of the Moroccan nomads.

As one of the most diverse countries in Africa, a first time traveller will be met with a landscape of extremes and a culture full of surprises. From the towering heights of the Atlas Mountains and the arid Sahara Desert to the tourist-friendly coastline and the loud, crazy hustle and bustle of Marrakech Square, Morocco is a true delight to the senses.

Find out more about our tailormade holidays or continue reading to discover 8 of the best off the beaten path adventures in Morocco.

1. Hiking In The Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains stretch for around 1,200 miles from the Moroccan coast of Agadir to Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. In the heights of the mysterious mountains, you will come across enchanted castles, magnificent gorges and some of the most fascinating mountain villages – and hikers of all levels will be able to enjoy a tour with the lead of an expert guide.

Who is it Suitable For?

Hiking in the Atlas Mountains isn’t suitable for young children, although there are no age limits. For experienced or active families, trekking with children is of course a possibility but bringing young babies and toddlers is not recommended – especially in the soaring heat of summer. Hiking trips can sometimes happen in small groups or can be tailored for couples and the hiking level can range from beginner level to moderate.

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When to Go

Expect summers to be very, very hot. In Marrakech, temperatures can be 40°C and over. But winters can be cold and snowy at the mountain’s highest peaks. So if you want a happy medium, the best time to go hiking in the Atlas Mountains is springtime. But the weather can never stop the intrepid adventurer; if you’re prepared for the extremes of climate, then the Atlas can be trekked all year round.

Find out more about our 6 day (5 night) High Atlas Quick Escape hiking tour which is an ideal short break with around 3 days of moderate grade hiking and overnight stops in riad guesthouses and mountains lodges.

2. Tour the Imperial Cities

Many people think of the busy souks of Marrakech or the coastal resort of Agadir when we talk of Morocco. But there’s so much more to be discovered if you don’t mind a jam-packed schedule full of adventure.  And touring the Imperial Cities is a great way of getting to know the country’s rich history in a short space of time.

Who is it Suitable For?

Touring the Imperial Cities is a little bit different to what some mainstream travellers may be doing but it’s still a very easy and very accessible tour which can be tailored to suit all ages. Visiting the four historical capitals of Fez, Marrakech, Meknes and Rabat can be as fast or slow paced as you like; always speak to your tour operator to get a full itinerary of activities.

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When to Go

Unlike the strenuous activity of hiking or trekking, visiting the capital cities is a little more easy going and relaxed (though just as thrilling and exciting!) so you can visit any time of year. But remember that summers are extremely hot and dry and can be uncomfortable if you are travelling with young children or the elderly. Be sure to bring protective clothing in the summer and plenty of sun cream.

3. High Atlas on Horseback

There are few things in life quite as primitive and rugged as discovering the wonders of the Atlas on horseback. High Atlas is home to the mountain’s highest peak, Jbel Toubkal and this is a popular destination for serious climbers. Life here is slow, a pace which helps even the most jaded traveller wind down. Do something a little different in this off the beaten path location and take a leisurely tour of the wonderful mountain summit on horseback.

Who is it Suitable For?

This type of tour is best suited for someone who is confident with horses. Beginners or new riders may find the activity to be challenging and we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to someone who has never ridden before. But anyone of intermediate level or above is perfect for horse riding in High Atlas.

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When to Go

Spring is inarguably the best time visit the Atlas Mountains. The climate in spring is at its most comfortable for many travellers and when travelling on horseback, extreme heat can often be a tough challenge. In the winter, temperatures are mild during the day but they can plummet to very cold at night.

If you would like to know more, take a look at our flexible 7 day (6 nights) High Atlas Horseback holiday package.

4. Sahara Desert Trek

Explore the most dramatic landscapes and arid plains of the African desert. Morocco is defined by its varying landscapes and the beautiful Sahara is not to be missed if you want to discover the true rhythm of this mysterious country. The Sahara is the largest, driest desert in the world and stretches across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, and The Sudan.

Who is it Suitable For?

Trekking the Sahara with children isn’t impossible. But it’s important to remember that intense heat, long hours of walking, and camping conditions don’t make it the best fit for a family vacation. Sahara tours can be tailored to any level but some of the more strenuous trekking tours are best suited to experienced hikers only.

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When to Go

The climate in the Sahara is without a doubt, the most unforgiving. The heat can be unbearably hot and evening temperatures can be brutally cold. So choosing the right time to go is very important for your trip. For the most comfortable temperatures, try travelling between October and April or early May.

5. Mountain Biking Across the Desert

From the High Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert, you could get a complete landscape tour of Morocco on bike. If a slow paced tour leaves you feeling restless, pump up the pace with something completely different – for thrill seekers and confident riders, we would definitely recommend mountain biking.

Who is it Suitable For?

Designed for confident mountain bikers and adrenaline junkies, a mountain biking tour is nothing short of thrilling. Discover the beautiful landscapes of Morocco on the back of the bike and enjoy your time in a small, focused group led by an expert guide. Not only can you get a taste of both the mountains and the desert, but you can also have an enjoyable tour with other like-minded bikers.

There are tours designed for all levels but it is usually recommended that travellers have at least basic biking skills. For beginners, it is definitely worth having mountain biking training prior to travel.

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When to Go

The High Atlas Mountains can be divided into two climatic zones. The southern parts are affected by the heat of the Sahara, whilst the north is affected by Atlantic’s western winds and is therefore much cooler. A tour from the High Atlas to the Sahara could vary in climate; if in doubt, always contact your tour operator for advice.

It’s also important to remember that the temperatures in the desert can be unbearable at its most extreme so be sure to pack lightweight clothing and plenty of sun protection. It’s also worth shopping around for some UV garments or clothing with moisture wicking properties to keep you cool and dry.

If you would like to find out more about mountain biking in the Sahara, take a look at our Atlas Sahara Hike and Bike 12 day tour.

6. Skiing in Oukaimeden

Most people are surprised to learn that Morocco is home to Oukaimeden, the eccentric ski resort close to Jebel Toubkal, the highest summit of the Atlas Mountains. But believe it or not, you could well be frequenting the pistes of an African ski holiday. Breathe in the spectacular views high on the peak of the Atlas whilst enjoying a wonderful skiing experience from just £7 a pass.

Oukaimeden does not boast size but a traveller can certainly be forgiving due to its miraculous location, its rock bottom ski prices, and its unadulterated, modest charm.

Who is it Suitable For?

Oukaimeden Ski Resort is suitable for travellers of all ages. This is ideal for large groups, couples, families or lone travellers; the resort offers runs and nursery areas for all levels including beginners. Unlike the glamorous resorts of the French Alps, Oukaimeden is much more down to earth and breeds a warm, welcoming culture that anyone can easily fit into.

There is also a large sledging area suitable for younger children and plenty of hotels, restaurants and food kiosks to keep you entertained and well-fed for days.

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When to Go

The best time to go skiing in the Atlas Mountains is around January or February or anytime in the winter months when there is enough snow. But Oukaimeden is open all year round and is also great for many other activities such as hiking, horse riding or mountain biking.

7. Desert Dune Camping

Camping can be a fun and rewarding way to experience the Sahara – and because it’s suitable for all ages, including children, it makes the ideal family trip for those who like the adventure of something a little bit different. Skip the luxuries of a Marrakech hotel and opt for an alternative way of travel; discover the beautiful sights of the desert with a camping holiday.

Our Desert Dune Camping tour brings together the fun of the dunes, exciting camel rides and evening campfires full of atmosphere.

Who is it Suitable For?

Camping in the desert is a fantastic family holiday idea. But it’s also suitable for couples, small groups, large parties or even lone travellers.

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When to Go

Desert camping can be enjoyed any time of year. Our camping holidays do not require any strenuous hiking activities and everything can be taken at your own pace. But if you would still like to avoid the unbearable heat of the Sahara, avoid travelling during the summer months.

8. Surfing in Agadir

Agadir is one of Morocco’s most popular destinations but if you want to avoid the tourist crowds, why not join a surfing camp and enjoy the wonderful views of Agadir’s rugged coastline with an adrenaline-pumping activity? Surfing holidays are a great way to try something different – and for expert surfers, you’ll be pleased to know that Agadir is blessed with some of the strongest, highest waves in the world.

Travel with Epic Morocco and have access to the best surfing spots, top equipment hire and the best surfing lessons to get you started. If you would like to know more about booking a surfing holiday with Epic Morocco, take a look at our Atlantic Surf Camp.

Who is it Suitable For?

Surfing in Morocco is suitable for all levels. Our camps offer surfing lessons for beginners but experienced surfers will be pleased too and find the waves more than enough when it comes to testing your surfing skills. Being a popular European tourist town, you will find many other activities nearby so those who want a varied holiday will not be disappointed. Head a bit further out of Agadir to get to some of Morocco’s best food hotspots – go to New Talbourjt for genuine local grub and don’t forget to visit the famous Souk El Had if you fancy your chances at haggling.

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When to Go

Novice surfers will be able to surf in Agadir all year round. Blessed with some of the world’s best waves, this coastal gem can be visited any time of year and there is also much to do in and around the area. But if you’re after something more challenging, be sure to plan your visit sometime between November and March when the waves are at their highest and strongest. Intermediate and expert surfers can enjoy the most testing waves at Devils Rock or Anchor Point, and if surfing’s not your bag, you can also try windsurfing, jet-skiing and other high-adrenaline water sports.

To find out more about our tailormade holidays to Morocco, contact our team at Epic Morocco.