The High Atlas, North Africa’s greatest mountain range, contains some of the most intriguing and beautiful regions of Morocco. A historical and physical barrier between the northern plains and the pre-Sahara, its Berber-populated valleys feel – and indeed are – very remote from the country’s mainstream or urban life. The area is North Africa’s premier trekking destination; casual day-hikers and serious mountaineers alike will find appealing routes in the region, offering both staggering peaks (jebels) and well-trodden passes (tizis or, in French, cols). Just a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh is Toubkal National Park, home to the impressive Jebel Toubkal (4167m) and numerous villages that appear locked in time. In addition to the highest peak, other worthy crests and hamlets can be reached with a trusted guide.

Mud-thatched Berber villages and remote pinnacles aren’t the only draw here. The landscape varies from season to season: winter drops metres of snow that leads to gushing river valleys in spring; summer brings an unforgiving sun, while the autumnal sunlight brings the browns and reds of the peaks to life.

One of the benefits of trekking the region is being able to walk unencumbered: muleteers and their mules are available for hire, and mountain guides are an invaluable resource, particularly recommended if you are heading off the main routes. Other options include rock climbing and ski mountaineering, and mountain biking is increasingly popular on the dirt tracks (pistes) and mule paths.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Morocco features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Meknes: the Moroccan city you've never heard of but need to visit 

Meknes: the Moroccan city you've never heard of but need to visit 

With the title of Imperial City and a UNESCO-stamped ancient medina, Meknes can rival the likes of Marrakesh, Rabat, and Fez, yet it struggles to attract the…

08 Dec 2016 • Kirsten Henton insert_drive_file Article
Chefchaouen: Morocco’s best-kept secret

Chefchaouen: Morocco’s best-kept secret

Morocco’s tourist track isn’t well-beaten, it’s been thumped flat. Ask anyone who has been and the chances are they’ll have visited some combination of …

05 Dec 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Marrakesh

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Marrakesh

The last few years have seen Marrakesh well and truly established as Morocco’s capital of chic, attracting the rich and famous from Europe and beyond. Yet t…

11 Jul 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month