Anti-Atlas and High-Atlas, Atlas exploration
The Moroccan mountains and their snowy summits in winter are an integral part of Morocco, in the same way as the desert or the littoral, and especially for its cultural history.
Indeed, the Atlas is the cradle of the rich and ancient Berber culture, with its 39 dialects still spoken today in the kingdom, its music and its colors
It is in the High Atlas that are the highest mountains of Morocco. The legendary Toubkal and the M’Goun, whose summits culminate at more than 4000 meters, have become hotspots for hikers.
The High Atlas is dotted with vertiginous roads passing by peaks reaching more than 2,200 meters, like the Tizi N’Tirherouzine, or the famous Tizi N’Tichka, or the Tizi N’Test. These winding roads offer landscapes as varied as magnificent.
Many rivers spout from its entrails, then cross some high fertile valleys. They are an invitation for a walk and for the cultural discovery of their populations. The mythical Drâa used to run from the High Atlas to the Atlantic coast for nearly 1,100 km, feeding the beautiful valley of the same name.
Others like Todgha or Dadès form gorges with magical and unique landscapes. Beautiful valleys like Ourika, near Marrakech or the valley of the roses in Kelaat el M’Gouna and its famous celebration dedicated to this magnificent flower.
Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the great palm grove of Tafilalet, the Anti-Atlas is formed by several massifs.
The Bani, Sirwa and Saghro’s “jbels” (mountains), which are generally lower and more arid than the High Atlas, already foreshadowing the Saharan drought. Its rocky and colorful landscapes are dotted with small green palm groves, often located at 1000 meters altitude, and small traditional Berber villages where life flows peacefully far away from the noises of the world.
The Souss, on the other hand, offers a rich fertile agricultural valley stretching as far as the Atlantic.
These Jbels have all different aspects, in their structure, vegetation and fauna, but the warm hospitality of the population is everywhere, and hiking whether on a pedestrian or motorized mod are numerous to carry out. The Hamada of Drâa which runs along the Anti-Atlas in the south invites itself to sink into the landscapes and the splendours of Sahara.
Valleys of the Atlas
As real crossroads between the Atlas chains and the villages of the South, the valleys play an essential role in the commercial exchanges between city dwellers and the mountain populations, mostly Berbers. The valleys of the Atlas offer nice hiking trails with varied contrasts.
The Ourika valley, enjoying a milder climate during the hot summer days, is only 60 km from the hectic Marrakech and offers a good approach of the Atlas for the tourists passing through the region. Nearby, the Oukaïmeden is a ski resort as popular as picturesque.
On the other side of the mountain, we come closer to the Saharan oases of which Ouarzazate is its midpoint. To the east, along the “route of the 1,000 kasbahs”, we discover the great valleys of the Central High Atlas.
The valley of the roses, from Kelaat Mgouna, slips towards the Mgoun, the second summit of Morocco. At the beginning of May it’s entirely covered with “Damascena roses”.
These roses were imported by pilgrims returning from Mecca during the 10th century. A famous place to discover some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Moroccan South.
Departing from Boumalne, the dizzying Dades valley is renowned for its stunning landscapes along the road that leads to the gorges and continues its way to the Berber village of M’semrir. From here, beautiful walks in the High Atlas, especially to reach the valley of Oussikis, Imilchil or Tamtatoucht and the gorges of Todra, can be realized.
From Tinghir, we discover the valley of Todra which is one of the most beautiful palm groves of Morocco. In the heights of the valley, Todra gorges impress with their 300 meters high. It is also a famous spot for climbing amateurs.
To the south of Ouarzazate, from Agdz, winds the magnificent valley of Drâa dotted with ancestral ksour in the heart of this great palm grove of 200 km long. The desert is present with the ergs that mark it from Zagora to finally reach the great Saharan erg ‘Chegaga’ , at 60 km from Mhamid.
Todra – From 79 €
Imlil, Toubkal – From 20 €
Imlil, Toubkal – From 25 €
Marirha, Ouirgane – From 70 €
Imlil, Toubkal – From 23 €
Imlil, Toubkal – From 60 €