• July 25, 2024

The top 5 climbs in Morocco that include mountain tops, Roman ruins, and wildlife

Some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world may be found in Morocco. Wander down lush valleys where time has stopped and meander through aromatic cedar forests. More daring hikers ascend the highest mountain in North Africa or set out on strenuous multi-day expeditions over untamed massifs.

Read More: Trekking in Morocco

Our best choices for trekking in Morocco include peaks and valleys to fit all skill levels, charming eco-friendly accommodations, and a delicious tagine awaiting you at the conclusion of the trip.

1. Jebel Toubka

The High Atlas, Morocco’s highest mountain range, is a trekker’s dream come true and spans about 1000 km (620 miles) diagonally across the nation. Locals refer to it as Idraren Draren, meaning Mountains of Mountains. Trekking is most popular in the spring and fall.

The ascent of Jebel Toubkal, the highest summit in North Africa at 4167 meters (13,670 feet), is the main attraction. The first day of trekking is spent primarily hiking, a six-hour ascent through a rugged valley. A rustic shelter serves as a good place to acclimate and swap campfire stories with other hikers before you head out at first light to conquer the snow-covered summit. In the winter, you will require snowshoeing gear, but if the sky are clear and blue, you can see as far as the Sahara.

If you have more time, you may attempt the strenuous seven-day Toubkal Circuit, which winds through secluded Amazigh (Berber) communities and over lush valleys, rugged massifs, and expansive mountains.

Hikers congregate in the mountain hamlet of Imlil, which is 90 minutes from Marrakesh. It is also the location to reserve a room at a refuge and hire a mountain guide, which is required in Toubkal National Park. There are plenty different hikes to experience. You may go to the exclusive Kasbah du Toubkal in the Azzaden Valley or stay in luxury at the eco-friendly hotel.

2. The Monkey Trail

Ifrane National Park, located next to Ifrane, which is known as Morocco’s Little Switzerland because of its Alpine design and immaculate streets, spans 500 sq km (310 sq miles) of the Middle Atlas highlands. It is well-known for its aromatic Atlas cedar woods and herds of rare Barbary macaques, a unique monkey that was formerly common throughout Europe and North Africa but is now restricted to a few areas in the northern mountain ranges of Morocco and Algeria.

The park has a number of clearly defined, easy-to-moderate paths, but the Monkey Trail, as its name implies, offers the best opportunity of seeing the cheeky macaques and other forest dwellers, such foxes and wild pigs. Enjoyed by trail runners and mountain bikers alike, this area is well-sheltered by towering oak and cedar trees.

Hire a guide, like Saleh Boudaoud, to learn more about the macaques’ risks from poaching for the exotic pet trade and about the park’s flora and biodiversity.

3. Akchour Waterfall and God’s Bridge

Nestled in the verdant creases of the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a little town renowned for its incredibly picturesque blue-hued medina. After exploring its cobblestone alleys and people-watching in its charming squares, however, head to the trails of the sizable Talassemtane National Park, which is home to glowing waterfalls and fir woods.

This well-known climb begins in the town of Akchour, which is 45 minutes by big cab from Chefchaouen. Approach the hydroelectric dam and a split in the road where the well-traveled left-hand path winds between moss-covered rock formations and into an evergreen forest. You’ll get to the first waterfall after about 45 minutes, but continue walking until you get to the larger cascade that empties into an emerald-green pool, which is the ideal place to take a cold plunge before returning to the dam.

Once there, you may continue your journey by going to God’s Bridge, a naturally formed arch that spans two cliffs, by following the right-hand route and making the difficult struggle. Then, reward yourself with a well-earned tagine at one of the wayside stands close to the trail’s conclusion in Akchour. Alternatively, really immerse yourself in the park by booking a stay in a gorgeous wood-and-stone cabin at the environmentally conscious Ermitage d’Akchour.

4. Jebel Saghro Circuit

Situated in southeast Morocco, between the High Atlas and the changing sands of the Sahara, the Saghro Massif is characterized by its bleak beauty, with expansive valleys, level-topped mesas, strange rock formations, and parched desert landscapes.

The semi-nomadic Aït Atta tribe is more likely to visit its stony routes than tourists, and although there are some steep ascents and descents, the trails are typically less strenuous and lower lying than those in the High Atlas. While most passes lie between 1500m (932ft) and 2500m (1553ft), the highest mountain in the region is Amalou n’Mansour, at 2712m (16,85ft).

Starting at Tagdilt near Boumalne Dades and concluding at Kalaat M’Gouna, the Saghro Circuit takes five days to complete. To reach the top of Jebel Kouaouch (2595m/1612ft), which offers vistas that match those of Toubkal, allow an extra day. You’ll need to be proficient at navigation and restock on supplies before you go if you’re traveling without a guide.

There are also several of shorter one-way treks and out-and-back pathways. Located in the oasis village of Nkob, to the south, the Kasbah Hôtel Aït Omar is an excellent starting point due to its vegetarian-friendly cuisine, local guides, and insider ideas for routes.

5. Moulay Idriss to Volubilis

Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, a sacred hilltop hamlet, is the ideal starting place for a leisurely stroll to the archeological site of Volubilis, a far-flung outpost of the Roman Empire turned Unesco World Heritage Site. Volubilis is only 90 minutes from Fez and 40 minutes from Meknes.

From the bus terminal, head downwards to a roundabout where signs indicate a slower pace of life. Wind through olive trees and pine forests, traverse a rich plain, and come upon triumphal arches, historic columns, and glistening mosaics.Return to the whitewashed town by foot, by cab, or by donkey, and replenish your energy with a customary three-course meal while admiring the scenery on Dar Zerhoune’s patio.