Hike the Atlas Mountains

Hike through the ancient Kasbahs, mountainside Berber villages and soaring peaks of the Atlas mountain range.

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Known by the Berber people as ‘Idraden Draren,’ or ‘Mountains of Mountains’, the Atlas mountain range is the spine that separates the milder Mediterranean to the north and the desolate Sahara looming in the south.

Stretching for 2,500km across Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, the Atlas Mountains are a mass of dusty canyons, slicing valleys and cloud-tickling summits. The central Moroccan High Atlas mountain range is home to the unexploited M’Goun Massif and the infamous Toubkal Massif, the hometown of Jebel Toubkal (4,167m). North Africa’s tallest peak. The southern Anti-Atlas mountain range is made up of more modest and less-travelled summits such as the Jebel Aklim (2,531m).

Many hikers opt for the temperate months of April through to September. The mild Moroccan winter provides a non-technical introduction to the world of crampons and ice-picks.

With the help of the famous Berber hospitality, craft your own adventure through Africa and Europe’s towering collision point.

The Toubkal Massif

The Toubkal Massif is the most popular hiking destination in Morocco. The gateway Berber town of Imlil is a convenient two-hour transfer from the iconic Marrakesh.

Mt Toubkal (4,167m) is a popular summit for first-timers due to its high success rate. The summit is doable in three days by an inexperienced yet fit individual. For those looking for a more challenging mountain expedition, tackling Mt. Toubkal in the winter months provides a fantastic introduction to mountaineering as you make use of crampons and ice-picks.

If you’re interested in the Toubkal Massif but not in altitude, there are plenty of gentler hiking trails in the lesser-visited valleys and gorges surrounding Imlil and Aroumd.

The High Atlas

The High Atlas mountain range is a playground for skiers, mountain bikers, rock climbers and movie buffs.

Being a natural barricade from the scorching Sahara in the south, the High Atlas receives pleasant temperatures during the summer. The rains of Autumn bring out the dramatic reds and oranges of the mountain’s chalky cliffs. As winter closes in, reds get exchanged for white. Come spring, meltwater gushes down cliffs creating dramatic waterfalls and bulging river systems.

At the foot of the High Atlas Mountain range, you can find the fortified village of Aït Benhaddou, known as the ‘Moroccan Hollywood’ as it’s been featured in so many films. Heavily populated with Berber villages and hiking trails, an adventure through the High Atlas mountain range provides the essential Moroccan experience.

The Anti-Atlas

The Anti Atlas, otherwise known as the ‘Little Atlas’, is Morocco’s lesser-visited mountain range. The mountain range extends for 500 km, from the Atlantic Ocean towards the city of Tafilalt in the east.

Most treks leave from Tafraoute, the most popular being to Jebel Lekst, known as the ‘Amethyst mountain’ owing to its dramatic, purple colour.

The hike to Jebel Aklim, (2,531m) is slowly gaining in popularity. Although it is a tough hike, you’ll be rewarded by views of the High Atlas range to the north, the ancient volcano Jebel Siroua and the across the expansive Sahara to the south.

Being much closer to the Sahara, we recommend you travel outside of the summer months to avoid the scorching desert heat. The Anti-Atlas is less well-equipped for tourism than its northern counterparts, so booking a knowledgeable guide and accommodation in advance is highly recommended.

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