THE MOUNTAIN CHAINS IN MOROCCO
It’s true that when we think about Morocco, we tend to think about the desert, whereas mountains occupy more than two thirds of the territory, incredible no? Morocco has four mountain ranges: the High Atlas, the Middle Atlas, the Anti Atlas and the Rif. Discover the treasures that each of these mountain ranges contain with Dunes and Desert ☺
1- The High Atlas
This mountain range is the highest massif in North Africa, it stretches over 700km, and culminates at 4 167m above sea level with Mount Toubkal. It is the mountain chain that attracts the most visitors, first because it is very close to Marrakech, and then because you can practice many sports activities.
The treasures of the High Atlas
Among the wonders to discover in the High Atlas Mountains, you can find Mount Toubkal (4 167m) and Mont MGoun (4 071m). There are also the Ourika and Ait Oucheg valleys with their typical Berber villages and terraced fields.
In terms of fauna, you can find some species of the cat family: the caracal lynx and the Berber leopard but they are pretty rare.
You can mainly see weasels, foxes, jackals, wild boars, squirrels and even monkeys.
There are also many birds of prey, such as the ferocious buzzard, the booted eagle, the circaete, the hawk, the crècerelle, the peregrine falcon and even the golden eagle.
In the High Atlas, you can also admire the highest waterfalls of Morocco, Ouzoud waterfalls, in the small Berber village of the same name.
You can also ski!! The Oukaïmeden station is the only ski resort in Morocco, and will allow you to go down some tracks if there is enough snow ☺
Finally you will find the Jbel Saghro, a volcanic mountain range with lunar landscapes overlooking the famous Dades canyon and the Draa Valley.
What to do in the High Atlas?
Many activities are possible from Marrakech!!
Trekking (one or more days) is the most popular sport in the High Atlas, with for example the ascent of Mount Toubkal (3 days), the ascent of the MGoun mount (4 days), a complete tour of the Ourika valley to meet the Berber people (2 days), or a day of walking in the Valley of Ait Oucheg or Ouzoud waterfalls.
You can also practice mountain sports such as canyoning or mountain biking ☺
If any of these activities make you want to, book directly online on our site for exclusive benefits (learn more).
2- The Middle Atlas
The Middle Atlas is located north of the High Atlas and south of the Rif, and stretches about 350km. It is therefore the mountain chain to visit if you stay in the cities of Fez, Meknes or Beni Mellal.
The treasures of the Middle Atlas
Among the hidden treasures of the Middle Atlas, there is the Ifrane National Park, a park whose landscapes are the most representative of Morocco. You can go hiking or fishing.
The city of Ifrane is also part of the country’s sights, with its architecture with sharp roofs and frequent snowfall in winter, it looks like a small Swiss village!
Another treasure of the Middle Atlas, the Bin El Ouidane dam: built in the 50s, this hydroelectric dam forms a lake of over 3000 hectares of crystal clear waters in the middle of the mountains. A postcard landscape that attracts more and more travelers from all around the world. You can rest in one of the many beautiful hotels by the lake, and practice many water sports (jet-ski, wakeboard, kayak, banana boat or even pedal boat).
3- The Rif
The Rif mountain chain stretches nearly 500 km from Tangier to Moulouya in northern Morocco. Encircled by the Mediterranean Sea in the north and the Middle Atlas in the south, the Rif consists mainly of mountains and plains.
There is a varied vegetation: fir trees, cedars, wild olive trees, cork oaks or oaks. Rif is also known for its cannabis crops.
You can make beautiful walks in the middle of its breathtaking landscapes. The highest point of the Rif is 2456 meters. During these walks, we can meet goats, gazelles but also the golden eagle.
The treasures of the Rif
Chefchaouen or the “blue pearl” is a must in the region. True instagram star since a few years, this small traditional town is a haven of peace. Stroll through the narrow streets of its typical and quiet medina, discover its unique craftsmanship and culture, and rest in one of its small hotels or guest houses. We promise you will never want to leave!
Go on a day hike to discover the region of Akchour and its amazing natural bridge: the bridge of God. Stroll along the river, in the shade of the trees, and open up to a geological magnificence: an impressive rock arch, at a height of 25m above the river, the Oued Farda, which eroded the rock up to form this natural art piece. You can swim in crystal clear waters before enjoying a tajine directly in the river. Paradise at only 30 minutes drive from Chefchaouen!!
4- The anti Atlas
The oldest mountain range in Morocco, Anti-Atlas is the southernmost of the Atlas mountains. It is an old eroded and desert massif bordering the Sahara. It extends east to Jbel Saghro which forms a transition with the High Atlas.
The treasures of the Anti-Atlas
The massif of the Anti-Atlas is much less known by travelers and you will discover a more authentic and more secret Morocco.
The city of Taroudant, located 80km from Agadir in the Souss region, is a small picturesque town, protected by beautiful red walls that are worth almost alone. We call it the little Marrakech ☺
The village of Taliouine is famous for its exceptional saffron and its hikes in the Jbel Siroua massif.
The pink city of Tafraoute is nestled in a circus of pink granite, and will delight all geology and hiking lovers!
As you can see, the Moroccan mountains are full of hidden treasures and activities of all kinds. Do not hesitate to ask us for advice during your next stay or book your mountain activities directly online on our website ☺