The sight of the snow-capped, jagged peaks of the High Atlas Mountains are far from the standard image that visitors to the desert state have – and yet the mountain ranges are part of everyday life in Morocco. Just like his medinas and the fragrant tajine pots.
The mighty Atlas Mountains are, in addition to the northern, lower Rif mountains, literally the backbone of Morocco and the highest mountain range in North Africa. It stretches about 1,000 km diagonally from Fès down to Tafraroute. The mountains are divided into two broad areas: the High Atlas (in the north) and the Antiatlas (in the south).
The highest peak is the Jbel Toubkal (4.167m).
The Atlas summits serve as a weather barrier between the Mediterranean climate in the north and the desert climate of the Sahara in the south. For tourists this means that even if it is quite chill in Fès, it can be hot in Marrakech.
The spectacular mountains of the High Atlas are among the most beautiful things Morocco has to offer and should be on the itinerary of every visitor.
The most popular excursions (from Marrakech) are tours to the spectacular passes in the Atlas Mountains.
The breathtaking ride on the winding Tizi n’Tichka pass road (N9) offers true dream views of the surrounding mountains. Peaks, fertile valleys and towering cliffs. At the most beautiful vantage points there are cafes, restaurants and lots of souvenir vendors.
Attention: the pass road is completely asphalted and can be used by any vehicle. There are countless trips from Marrakech offered – accordingly, there is a lot of traffic. Patience is in demand. In addition, there are many construction works that cloud the beautiful picture a bit.
Another popular route is the adventurous drive to Tizi n‘ Test Pass in the south of Marrakech. It also offers fantastic views over the mountains, valleys and flat plains to the south.
Attention: even if there is much less traffic than at the Tizi n‘ Tichka, be careful. The pass road is only one lane paved, narrow and usually has no crash barriers. However, it is passable for every vehicle.
The more adventurous can enjoy the 3 Pass Tour from Tabant to Bou Thrarar. It leads once across the Atlas Mountains and offers truly breathtaking panoramic views. Here you can find out more about it!
Whether on a leisurely hike, a multi-day trek or an adventurous road trip through the narrow valleys and gorges – Morocco’s mountains will enchant you!