Lush valleys, spiraling streams, and rushing rivers await your Morocco holiday. For those that may not know, Morocco is situated in the North West corner of Africa. Many of us recognize the country from the well-known city of Casablanca; outdoor addicts may know of Morocco through the Hight Atlas Mountains and Mount Toubkal. Regions within these mountains, such as the Ait Bougmez Valley, are largely unmapped.  Such a country offers a trekking opportunity and experience not soon forgotten in this lifetime.

Not all visitors are interested in five to ten day hikes, acclimating to the altitude and trekking a summit in the High Atlas Mountains. Smaller Morocco trekking tours do exist to the Azaden Valley and Tizi Oussem.  Tizi Oussem is a village.  To reach the valley and village you will take a drive from Marrakesh.  The drive is 1.5 hours in a day, which means a total of 3 hours.  The hike will take 5 to 6 hours each day.  

To begin this trek, you will start at Imi Ourlad Tii Ntacht, which is 2200 meters above sea level.  As you hike through the valley region you will lunch at Imi Nifri.  The hiking can be a bit difficult in parts, but it is largely an easy walk for somewhat fit travelers.  Around this area is a gorge, and a few other valleys to trek.  Of course, if you want to see all of the beauty the High Atlas Mountains have to offer, more than an overnight trip hiking to Tizi Oussem is necessary.  

By the dinner hour you will have reached Tizi Oussem at 1950 meters.  There is a guest house in the village where you will be quite comfortable for the evening.  The next day the High Atlas trekking continues to Tizi Mzik. This lies at 2400 meters above sea level.  You will lunch in Berdoun before trekking to Imlil at 1750 meters above sea level.  Once you reach Imlil, the trek is over and your ride will be waiting to take you back in Marrakesh.  

If you elect to do short overnight Morocco trekking experiences during your vacation, you can change the regions of the country you visit.  For example, a drive from Marrakesh to the Anti Atlas region to begin a trek towards the Sahara is a highlight visitor’s trips.  You also have the option of trekking farther north in the Rif Mountains.  The Rif Mountains sit on the coast of Morocco.  On days of good weather, Spain is visible in the distant horizon.  

Treks in Morocco are for both day hikers and multi-day trekkers. There’s something worth seeing for everyone who wants to strap up Vibram plated boots and hit the footpath. Many a village, people and landscape await those who want a sidetrip away from the more touristy places. A Morocco holiday is guaranteed to top the list of any holiday from before and any holiday that may come after.

by Sam Mitchell