For 1,500 miles, the Atlas Mountains ripple across the north of the continent, stretching from the deserts of Tunisia to the Red City of Marrakech itself. And it’s from Marrakech that you can reach the High Atlas Mountains, arguably the most spectacular mountain region north of the Sahara.
The path up into the foothills and higher takes you through lush valleys and plateaus, raw and savagely beautiful rocky landscapes and jagged snowcapped peaks. As you take the spiralling high road, the near-biblical geology of the Atlas unfolds before you: huge rock formations in orange and crimson and earthy tones.
Local Berbers offer the ubiquitous mint-tea from mud-built abodes. High above you in the cliffs, the ruins of ancient kasbahs lie baked and crumbling in the sun – frontier outposts in wild and red lands. The most impressive of all is the fortified city of Aït-Ben-Haddou, a World Heritage site.
In spring, blossoming almond trees pepper the valleys, and wildlife from the Barbary macaque to the Barbary stag roam freely. Berber tribes, some nomadic, often spend their summers out on the mountain plateaus, and their winters dwelling in caves.
The opportunities for trekking are broad, whether you’re planning a day or two or upwards of a week. The ultimate experience is Mt. Toubkal, at 13,665 the highest peak in North Africa. It can be a tough ascent, but with our expert local guides we’ll take you through the most interesting paths that most people don’t get to see.
Aside from trekking, the High Atlas is a paradise for all kinds of adventure sports from mountain biking to whitewater rafting and canyoning to kayaking. You won’t be slumming it in the mountains either with a handful of upscale kasbah-style boutiques providing a touch of luxury at altitude.
When booking a luxury tour with Lightfoot Travel, our regional specialists will use their own travel experience and knowledge to help design your ideal tailor-made itinerary in the mountains.