Morocco // The High Atlas //

Tizi n’Test

Tizi n’Test (2092m) is an awe-inspiring pass that crosses the Atlas and connects to Taroudant and Taliouine. Cutting right through the heart of the Atlas, the road was blasted out of the mountains by the French from 1926 to 1932 – the first modern route to link Marrakesh with the Souss plain and the desert, an extraordinary feat of pioneer-spirit engineering. Until then, passage had been considered impracticable without local protection and knowledge: an important pass for trade and for the control and subjugation of the south, but one that few sultans were able to make their own.

The Tizi n’Test (2092m) itself becomes truly momentous 18km before it connects to the N10 – a rather torturous stretch filled with hairpin bends. A lovely, yet challenging drive, it’s one of the more scenic jaunts in the whole country, giving way to unmatched panoramas that serve as a splendid gateway to the Souss region of the country.

Over the Tizi n’Test pass, the descent towards the Taroudant–Taliouine road is dramatic: a drop of some 1600m in little over 30km. Throughout, there are stark, fabulous vistas of the Tizi n’Test mountains jutting out around the Nfiss Valley with clusters of villages in view hundreds of feet below.

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