From the coastline of the Atlantic to the shore of the Mediterranean, the heights of the Atlas mountain stretch to the sands of the Sahara. Morocco is a place of impressive natural landscapes, attracting hikers from all over the planet.
With such vast diversity, this has become a top destination for people who enjoy trekking. Morocco tours offer experiences suitable for people of all abilities, you are sure to find adventure amidst the awesome scenery and experience the rewards that adventure can reveal. For those of you looking for some inspiration as to which direction you should point your compass, here is a brief introduction into the different regions of this vast and wonderful country of Morocco.
Trekking in Morocco’s Mountains is a big tourist attraction. With mountains as impressive as the one your will find in Europe, but with a fraction of the tourism, the Atlas Mountain range is the place to visit. Trekkers can take it easy in the spring and summer months along gentle trails that lead from village to village or you can plan a few days hiking through the mountains, meeting the local Berber people, immersed in the awesome surrounding.
The High Atlas offers the challenges for those people seeking to push themselves to accomplish bigger hiking goals. There is such a variety of landscapes that everyone can find an adventure that will take them out of their comfort zone and push them to the level that they want to be pushed, with the more adventurous travellers can aim for the summit of the tallest peak in North Africa, on a Toubkal trek.
Jebel Toubkal is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. At 4167 meters, it offers views from the summit that are a grand enough reward for the effort needed to trek to the top. A view that reaches out way beyond the edge of the mountains, at night you can see the lights from the cities of the flat lands, which really does put a relative perspective on just where you are in the world. The best time of year to do the mount Toubkal trek would be in the spring and autumn months.
The great peak is deserved of the great stories from ancient Greece, that Reference the title of ‘Atlas’. Accessible to people who at a reasonable fitness level, you can make the adventure more challenging if you choose to venture there in the winter months. The trek usually takes a minimum of two days, but it is advised that you take a day or so to acclimatise to the altitude in the town of Imlil, before heading straight to the top as to avoid altitude sickness. If you’re trekking in the peak in the summer months, your need to take the right precautions to prevent sunstroke, as you are very exposed when you are up at those heights.
For an exhausting but exhilarating challenge, there is also the Toubkal Circuit, a gruelling trek that takes around a week to complete.
In the deep winter months trekking in the Atlas Mountains through heavy snow fall can make the Toubkal trek maybe too challenging for most tourists, the next option is Jebel Saghro. This mountain range offers a less extreme trekking experience. Still within a stunning landscape, this offers a slightly milder challenge for those still looking for trekking in Morocco’s mountains. Jebel Saghro is located south of the High Atlas and east of the Anti-Atlas in the northwest of Africa, northeast of Taliouine and southwest of Ouarzazate. The weather here can be slightly milder than in the High Atlas locations. In this region you can find trails that are not as difficult to pass. Amalou n’Mansour is the highest peak at 2712 meters and while you are on your expedition here, you can go in search of the ancient cave paintings, a beautiful discovery hidden within the peaks and valleys.
If you plan a trekking adventure in the Central Atlas range, the traverse of the M’Goun Massif is less of a challenge than great Toubkal. M’Goun stands at 4071 meters, surrounded by equally dramatic mountains scenery. This area is alive with the blossoming wildflowers in the springtime, bringing the hillside to live, the scent of the flora drifting through the valleys and Berber villages. As the winter snow melts, sensational rivers cascade down from the lofty heights and water the beds of the Ait Bougmez and the Tessaout valley. This is a perfect setting for a springtime treking retreat or hiking tour.
In the south of Morocco, lie the Anti-Atlas, which is a smaller range in comparison the great High Atlas. Within this region you can discover the volcanic mountain of Sriwa reaching up to 3304 meters. You can book a trekking guide to take you through these parts, planning a hearty two-day trek between the two of the ranges. Its is recommend that you explore with a guide as there are parts of the trail that can become more of a challenge for less experienced climbers. Within the valleys of the Anti-Atlas you can take week-long rambles, visiting the villages that are tucked in amongst the terraced fields.
The paths through the villages are well used by locals and provide a manageable walking tour through the mountains.
Trekking in the north of Morocco
Those who plan to go trekking in the north of Morocco, you will discover the Rif Mountain range to be the site of your trekker adventures. These mountains are not as popular as some of the other more renowned ranges. Here you will find more local families enjoying an easier hike than in the higher High Atlas. This region offers a comfortable terrain for a half day hikes along the river Ras el-Maa. Transport to this area is easy enough, you can catch a taxi when ever you feel that you are ready to end your day.
If you feel you have the stamina to step up to the challenge, you can take the full day to trek Jebel al-Kalaa. The view from this mountain overlooks over the town, a great spot for some scenic photography. If you are looking for an overnight hike in this area, then book a guide to take you on a hiking tour into the Talassemtane National Park.
National Park hiking
If National Park hiking is more your thing, then you can also choose to plan a walking tour to Ifrane National Park. Loving referred to as Morocco’s ‘little Switzerland’, this is a perfect location for nature lovers to explore. If you visit in the Springtime or in the Autumn, the sight of the blossoming cedar trees, and their seasonal changing colours will excite the vision and thrill the senses. It in this part of North Africa that you may sight the Barbary Macaque that was once common in throughout the northern region but now is an endangered species.
Along the coast of Morocco, you will find the less travelled hiking trails through the lush oasis of Paradise Valley. Near to the beach resort of Agadir, the deep gorge follows the river Imouzzer Ida Ou Tanane and is decorated with lush palms all the way to the waterfalls. This 60km trek takes you through the valley villages and can be explored with a guide and a mule, this can turn into a wonderful adventure.
If you are looking for an alternative to the mountains, but still seek drama and excitement then head to the western territory of the Sahara Desert Morocco, On the Moroccan side of the desert, the towns of Merzouga and Chegaga are where the travellers trail brings you to. It is from here you can find guides to take you on an over-night expedition into the Sahara. This will adventure will bring a new set of challenges and rewards, as well as its own unique experiences and vistas. The endless roller sand dunes will tower above you and reach on for thousands of miles.
This is a part of Morocco which feels timeless and you can really forget about the troubles of life on a dessert tour. to really immerse yourself in the lifestyle of this land, you can take a dessert camel tour and spend the night with one of the dessert tribes.
Good to know before you go:
Trekking at a high altitude can be very tiring so it is recommended that you bring plenty of small snacks, nuts, dried fruit and maybe some chocolate or candy for an extra boost. Some of the terrain is fairly uneven so if you’re feeling you may need some additional support, trekking poles could be a good option for you.
What you need for trekking?
To be fully prepared for trekking it is good that you pack a range of suitable clothing; light clothing for the days hike with long sleeves and long pants that are ideal for keeping the sun off. Good hiking shoes are highly recommended as the ground is generally quite uneven. Please make sure you bring adequate sun protection, sunscreen, sun hat, polarised sunglasses etc as you can be very exposed when you are outside hiking in the day. Also, some lip balm and moisturiser will be e benefit to help to keep your skin hydrated.
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