Seven absolutely unforgettable places to go hiking in Morocco

Seven absolutely unforgettable places to go hiking in Morocco

There are few countries around the world that can offer sublime beauty and an awe-inspiring natural diversity and wonder as exotic Morocco.

Located in the northwest of the African continent, Morocco offers relaxed beach holidays to vibrant shopping opportunities and rich historical and cultural activities.

However, the country is well-known for its amazing hiking and trekking excursions. From gentle treks in the Atlas Mountains during the warmer months and then the snow-capped regions during winter for the more experienced hikers, Morocco offers an unforgettable hiking experience for all.

Jebel Toubkal

Jebel Toubkal is the highest peak in Northern Africa, stretching up to 4167 metres towards the sky in the Central High Atlas Mountains. The mountain features in many myths and legends and the views from the top are well-deserving of its high status in the country’s culture.

Hikers midway to the summit of jebel Toukal (By Elh.yassine - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Hikers midway to the summit of jebel Toukal (By Elh.yassine – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

During the summer months, hikers will spend two to three days to reach the top from Imlil, providing one does not succumb to altitude sickness and/or dehydration. Kasbah du Toubkal is the main starting point on the trail. During the winter months when the snow covers the mountain, the trek calls for specific equipment and more experience. The Toubkal Circuit, which normally takes around seven days to finish, is ideal for those wanting more of a challenge.

Jebel Saghro

During the winter months the snow can make the High Atlas Mountains quite a challenge so for those seeking a gentler hike will find Jebel Saghro the ideal option.

Jebel Saghro

Commons.wikimedia.org/Joaoleitao

It is part of the Anti-Atlas but the temperature is much warmer and the trails are not quite as challenging as that of Jebel Toubkal but still just as beautiful. Amalou n’Mansour is the tallest peak but at 2712 meters above sea level the threat of altitude sickness is much less. Don’t pass up on the chance to view the cave paintings here.

M’Goun Massif

Negotiating across the M’Goun Massif, located in the Central High Atlas, makes for a wonderful experience. There are many trails to hike but for those not wanting a challenge avoid the higher peaks, such as M’Goun Massif itself which stands at an impressive 4,071 metres.

Village Atlas

Commons.wikimedia.org/Hadraj

 

Instead, take the time to appreciate the awe-inspiring mountain views and the charming valleys where the Berber tribes live. Come in spring when the snow melts and flows in streams through the valleys and wildflowers cover the slopes.

Jebel Sirwa

The High Atlas Mountains often overshadow the Anti-Atlas region located in southern Morocco, but for those who venture here agree it features some impressive peaks to scale. Head to the volcanic mountain peak of Jebel Sirwa, reaching a height of 3304 metres above sea level, in reality joins the two ranges.

Jebel Sirwa

Commons.wikimedia.org/Lanzonnet

 

A two day hike can be completed from Atougha but it is highly recommended that you take an experienced guide as the last section can be extremely problematic. For those who can spend a week here, start at Taliouine and take the time to appreciate the beauty of the various Berber valleys with their precipitous terrace fields.

Rif Mountains

Located in the north of the country, the Rif Mountains are not quite as highly celebrated as hiking and trekking excursions, but they are popular with families and locals alike.

Rif Mountains (By Hamza.hayoun (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Rif Mountains (By Hamza.hayoun (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0)

Start off in Chefchaouen and there are a number of treks available to choose from. The Ras el-Maa Rivers makes the ideal spot for relaxing with the family or just by yourself. Head up Jebel al-Kalaa for a day long trek where you can enjoy beautiful vistas of the town at the top. The Talassemtane national Park is a great option for those wanting to indulge in an overnight experience.

Ifrane National Park

Also known as the Little Switzerland of the country, the Ifrane National Park is the perfect destination for hikers who enjoy the natural world. There is an abundance of stunning flora and fauna here, with the Atlas cedar trees covering the slopes like a lush blanket.

atlas Mountains

Moyen Atlas Mountains l Commons.wikimedia.org/MichelGagnon

 

As you head out along the trails don’t forget to try and spot the Barbary Macaque, an endangered species whose number has greatly reduced and calls the national park home.

Paradise Valley

Morocco boasts a great number of beautiful beaches so why not combine a relaxing beach holiday with an exhilarating hiking excursion?

Paradise Valley, Morocco (By Moussab.nabouzi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Paradise Valley, Morocco (By Moussab.nabouzi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0)

The verdant palm fringed gorge of Paradise Valley is situated not far from Agadir and trails the river to Imouzzer Ida Ou Tanane. A short three kilometre trek can be enjoyed from here to the Cascades waterfalls but for those who can spend longer, hire a guide and visit the many Berber villages and camp outside with the stars shining brightly overhead.

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