How to Prepare for a Trip to the High Atlas

hiking bootsTrekking in the Mountains of Morocco is, for many, the highlight of a trip to Morocco. The alpine landscape reveals traces of the range’s glacial history (for real!), and is a far cry from the scrub of the plains or the sands of the nearby Sahara Desert. But while any trip requires planning, a jaunt to the High Atlas necessitates a slightly higher degree of preparation. As with any mountain landscape, temperatures and conditions can change quickly, and available resources will vary wildly between villages and outposts. Here, then are a few things to consider as you get ready for a trip to the High Atlas.

Guides – If you are planning to strike out on the trails, you may be curious about hiring a guide to help show you the way. There are a number of guiding/touring businesses in almost every trailhead village, as well as the larger cities. They can provide transport, food, lodging or any combination thereof you like, in addition to leading you through the mountain passes. Make sure you are clear on your price before you go, and establish exactly what is being provided ahead of time. Don’t feel guilty about shopping around for good prices or service! (more…)

When to Travel to Morocco

man squatting in alleyway in MoroccoThe best time to travel to Morocco depends on the type of experience you want to have. Planning to visit the desert? Hoping to surf? Is skiing more up your alley?

Despite extreme summer heat, the peak tourist season occurs in July and August. Temperatures in Marrakech and Fez can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit during this time, and a day in the Sahara Desert can climb to an arid 120-degree heat.

Expecting to splash in the water?
With long coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, water sports are popular among foreign visitors, national tourists and locals alike. Coastal breezes make temperatures in these areas feel more bearable throughout the summer, making it an ideal time for a holiday spent kayaking, surfing or relaxing on the beach. Think Essaouira, Agadir or Tetouan. (more…)

Take a Trip to Ifrane, Morocco

ifrane moroccoLocated in northern Morocco in the Middle Atlas Mountains, west of Ifrane National Park, is the city of Ifrane, an oasis with verdant forests. Lakes, fountains and greenery in the city offer a breath of fresh air from some of the other busier, dustier cities in Morocco.

Built by the French in the 1930s, Ifrane became a retreat of sorts. With wide avenues for driving, European-style villas and natural green spaces within easy access, you might feel like you’ve stepped into a summer resort in Switzerland with the sloped roof chalets and natural springs. During the winter months, Ifrane becomes a destination for skiers, and there are several resorts set among the hills. In the summer, these same hills are lush and green and become a hot spot for hiking, walking, mountaineering and rock climbing. (more…)

Trekking Near Chefchaouen

trekking rif mountains chefchaouenThough Morocco’s mountains offer plenty of places for trekking, if you only have time to visit one region when you visit the country, consider exploring the Rif Mountains, located beyond Chefchaouen.

You might be ready to strap on your hiking boots and hit the trail, but before you begin your trek into the Rif Mountains, spend a few days in Chefchaouen, which is known as Chaouen by the locals. Moulay Ali Ben Rachid founded the city in 1471. It was used as a defensive base for Riffian Berber tribes against the Portuguese in Ceuta. The town quickly expanded in 1494 when individuals seeking refuge from Granada settled in the city.  (more…)

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Morocco

morocco camels beachThe world is filled with fascinating places to visit, and there will be a time when you have to choose which destination is right for you. We’re not afraid to let you know, though, that if you’re looking for a vacation experience that encompasses adventure, culture, history and wilderness, you should look no further than Morocco, a diverse country filled with majestic palaces, interesting museums, mouth-watering cuisine and large expanses of stunning natural landscapes.

Still not convinced? Here are ten great reasons to make Morocco your next vacation destination:

1. Trekking

The Rif Mountains, High Atlas Mountains, Middle Atlas Mountains and Anti-Atlas Mountains all fight for attention from trekking enthusiasts. Located in the northern portion of Morocco, the Rif Mountains’ peaks may not be as high as those in the High Atlas Mountains, but they are covered with forests and caves. The Middle and Anti-Atlas Mountains are not as heavily visited as the High Atlas, so they offer a quieter, more personal experience with nature. (more…)

Trekking the Anti-Atlas Mountains

trekking anti-atlas mountainsPeople travel from around the world to trek Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. The most southern of the country’s ranges is known as the Anti-Atlas, which spans from the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest to Ouarzazate in the north. The Sahara Desert borders the range to the south … a drastic contrast from the towering mountains!

Though the Atlas Mountains is often the most popular trekking destination in Morocco, the Anti-Atlas rivals the northern peaks with views of the Sahara Desert and fewer people on the trails. (more…)