Tizi-Test Morocco

Tizi-Test Morocco

Tizi-n-Test is a pass at 2100 meters above sea level.  It is characterized by greenery juxtaposing red clay hills and roads.  Tizi-n-Test is the point in the High Atlas Mountains where the many valleys of Marrakesh meet the Sahara of Morocco.  Trekking in Morocco takes fortitude and knowing where the best places to visit are.  By taking the road of Tizi-n-Test Pass you are able to reach your starting destination for some shoe-in-the-ruff mountain hiking.  

While trekking Morocco can be done during winter, consider the weather first.  Snow does fall at these higher climates and can make for a cold trip and often dangerous trip. Most locals wont go beyond a few hundred meters from their village. They know the dangers that can lurk at higher altitude. Knowing this, spring or summer is best for trekking through some of the High Atlas Mountains. 

On your trip either trekking or driving through Tizi-n-Test, you will be able to see the almond trees and walnut trees in bloom.  Large gardens can also be seen from significant points in the valley regions.  White flowers often grow in the gardens reflecting in the sun. The scene is surreal but inviting and Utopic indeed.

The road is just one way to get through the pass and around Morocco.  If you have the time to spend trekking the countryside consider taking a Morocco trek tour.  You may start at Asni village to move through the pass.  The pass runs into the Sous Plains and then on to Ourigane and into Amizmiz.  Amizmiz is one of the most beautiful villages of Morocco.  At Amizmiz there is an old Kasbah.  The Kasbah is slowly being eaten away by the elements, but it is still glorious to see sitting within the olive trees of the region.  

Trekking tours that take you on foot from village to village can last for more than eight days depending on how far you wish to travel through the Tizi-n-Pass.  If you have the fortitude for such trekking, the rewards will be memories for years to come.  Custom Morocco holidays can be set up through tour operators to get you around the villages.

Ourigane, a village mentioned above, is known as a health resort.  The coolness of the summers are said to heal ailments suffered by those who live in Marrakesh.  Within the village are salt mines that are still in working order. 

The higher you trek through Tizi-n-Test Pass the more the colors will change.  The terrain starts out with a red hue, but towards the top it can almost seem purple.  The landscape will also become wilder. Around every corner there always seems to be something entirely topographically different.

If you wish to start near to the top of Tizi-n-Test Pass you will have the village of Ijoukak.  From here, trekking Morocco will take you into the Agoundis valley towards Taghbart and El Maghzen.  You can also try to trek the Jbel Toubkal Massif.  This is the highest mountain summit in the High Atlas Mountains.  Trekking Jbel Toubkal is not for the casual tourist and can take 2 to 3 days at best in the dry, summer season.  

Tizi-n-Test Pass leads to Tin Mal, which houses a Mosque still used today. The Mosque shows of the culture and history that is ripe throughout Morocco and especially the High Atlas Mountains. Trekking through this countryside for day trips or a longer tour is essential to understanding the people that make up such a diverse and varied Morocco.

by Sam Mitchell