• MOUNTAINS

EXPLORE NORTH AFRICA’S HIGHEST MOUNTAINS

Most visitors to Morocco will come into contact with its extraordinary mountain ranges that give an insight into the country’s absorbing rural lifestyle. Tradition reigns in the four major mountain chains of Morocco, and these exceptional environments provide a perfect backdrop for adventurous activities like mountain biking, hiking and horse riding, as well as showcasing one of Morocco’s most endearing and enduring attributes – the hospitality of its people. The High Atlas Mountains are home to Jebel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest mountain,and are possible to visit on day trips from Marrakech, the Middle Atlas Mountains offer magnificent cedar forests on the doorstep of the country’s most impressive city, Fez, and the Rif and Anti-Atlas Mountains have magical and surprising landscapes around every corner.

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HIGH ATLAS OUIRGANE

Morocco’s landscape is a continually changing palette of colours – and in Ouirgane the primary shade is red. The foothills of the High Atlas Mountains here are formed of red earth, dotted with deep green trees - all particularly stunning when the peaks that rise up behind are covered with bright white snow. Ouirgane is a beautiful and peaceful small town – perfect for retreats and hiking, and the neighbouring village of Marigha is home to a number of good quality places to stay. Ideal as a stay-put mountain stay to explore the area or as the end point of a High Atlas trek or bike journey, the region makes a relaxing place to stay for two or three nights.

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MIDDLE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

With spring flowers, cedar forests and waterfalls, the Middle Atlas Mountains stand in contrast to the snowy peaks of the High Atlas and the arid rocky walls of the Anti Atlas. A relaxed and under-visited region with much to explore, this is a great area for hiking. And you might even spot a Barbary ape or two on your visit! Situated a stone's throw from Fez you can either visit as a day trip from the medieval city or alternatively many will pass through the Middle Atlas en route between Fez and the Sahara Desert. Morning in the cedar forests and overnight in the dunes of the Sahara remains one of Morocco's most splendid examples of physical variety.

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ANTI ATLAS MOUNTAINS

Attracting climbers from all over the world, the Anti-Atlas Mountains offer amazing high walls of granite rock springing up from deep, green oases. There are also numerous trekking options in the fertile valleys with their quiet, traditional Berber villages and wealth of flora and fauna. The main settlement in the region is Tafraoute, a lively town set amidst one of the most dazzling of Morocco's rich wealth of dramatic panoramas, and the area resembles the characteristic landscapes of the southern states of the US. A boulder-strewn desert-scape surrounded by mighty rock faces and a maze of sandy trails ideal to explore on foot or by bike.

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AIT BOUGMEZ

Ait Bougmez, in the Central High Atlas Mountains, is one of Morocco's best preserved valleys and one that offers numerous hiking possibilities for walkers of all levels of fitness. It is the centrepiece of a fantastic region and showcases some of Morocco's most dramatic and beautiful mountain scenery. The wide, flat-bottomed, valley is punctuated by a network of picturesque villages linked by paths, making it an excellent place for leisurely strolls, whilst the surrounding mountains of the M'goun range offer some of the most challenging and rewarding trekking in Morocco.

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JEBEL SAGHRO

One of Morocco's most dramatic and striking ranges of mountains, the Jebel Saghro is an enchanting region of wild, open desert landscapes and small lonely oases. If remote wilderness hiking is your goal, the Saghro is an excellent choice in the cooler months of the year. Here we have been organising encounters and hikes with nomads for many years, as a way for people from the western world to get in touch with a culture and way of life that has changed very little in centuries. The landscape of the Saghro has a prehistoric feel to it and the remoteness of the range makes it an excellent choice for seekers of true adventure.

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HIGH ATLAS IMLIL

In every season the Imlil valley has its own particular beauty: from the milky-white blossoms of spring, to the firey reds and auburns of the autumn leaves, and from the snow-capped winter peaks to tranquil, green summer hollows. Discover a more traditional way of life as you hike amongst the mud-built Berber villages scattered on these hillsides and relax in peaceful surroundings. Ideal as a base for exploring the region on foot, or as a start or finish point of a linear hike, guest houses such as Douar Samra have for many years been firm favourites with our guests.