High Atlas Mountains
The massive and mountainous chain of the High Atlas separates Marrakech from the arid plains and semi-Saharan dunes to its south. Rugged peaks rise to over 4,000m (13,000 ft) and are usually snow-or ice-covered from November to April. With their myriad of remote and friendly Berber villages tucked high up on the plateaux, and the network of mule paths that links them, this region is a mountain biker's and walkerís haven, particularly in spring (April/May), when the winter snows have melted. Day time temperatures are pleasant, wild flowers abound, and emerald green terraces contrast dramatically with the forbiddingly brown and barren hillsides. The High Atlas has walks to suit all abilities, but mules and horses are also available for riding in the villages. Your visit to the Atlas range can be as challenging as you like from a full on ascent of the highest peak, Jebel Toubkal at 4,167m, to a gentle stroll through the tranquil Jebel Sahro region, where the rocky landscape is interspersed with crystal clear rock pools home to many exotic creatures.
The villages in the High Atlas are small but thriving and are home to the Berbers - enduring, hospitable and very friendly people. The villages offer stylish accommodation in the local houses and there are established guides available. The high peaks force the clouds to give high quantities of rainfall; therefore the High Atlas has many fertile valleys surrounded by rivers and waterfalls. Rich in precious and semi-precious stones and crystals, the area is also a geologistís delight.
Things to See & Do
A trek through the spectacular High Atlas Mountains is not just one of the most scenic hikes in the world - it's also an immersion into the culture of the Berber people, Morocco's original inhabitants. Few roads penetrate this craggy mountain stronghold, where the agrarian way of life has little changed in a hundred years. As you trek, you'll see Berber women in brightly coloured dresses tending fields amid picturesque mud-brick villages, and higher up, you'll meet nomadic shepherds in summer pastures. Take the time to visit homes to share a cup of mint tea with these friendly, open mountain people. The trek is strenuous, but scenic grandeur abounds, from towering limestone peaks to sheer red-rock canyons.
For sightseeing in this region, the following are two spectacular drives:
Places to stay in the High Atlas Mountains near Marrakech:
Enquiries & Booking
To enquire about or to book a personalized private High Atlas Mountain tour, please call us on +44(0)7713 615829 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your itinerary and prices.
© COPYRIGHT 2006-2008 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED LAYTEN LIMITED Date last edited: 12 November 2012