Morocco: Atlas Panorama
Only a 3-hour flight from the UK lies the beautiful North African country of Morocco. Exodus offer a number of trips to this fascinating country, from 8 days riding on exciting trails through the High and Anti Atlas mountains to 8 days exploring Marrakech and the Atlas mountains with easy day walks from a quiet gite. Ian Langford reports on his recent visit to this magical country.
Here at Exodus, we pride ourselves on the numerous trips offered to suit all people, whether you want to spend a leisurely week trekking in the Atlas Mountains, or a more challenging trip to Mount Toubkal. Alternatively, you may decide on a more cultural trip exploring the sights, so why not try either the Marrakech & The Sahara trip or the Fez To Marrakech Explorer! We even offer three Mountain biking trips for the off road enthusiast.
I travelled to Morroco in November, when it is a slightly cooler time to visit the country, and I partook in the Atlas Panorama trip. This is a great value for money trip combining a couple of days in Marrakech, and then the rest of the time is spent in the unspoilt surroundings of the Atlas Mountains, where you are able to relax and unwind for a few days. Whilst in Marrakech, you get a city tour with a very enthusiastic guide, displaying a great passion for his country. Taking in some of the main sights, you visit the Bahia Palace, Mederassa Ben Youssef, and the impressive 900 year old Koutoubia Mosque to name a few of the attractions on offer.
After the tour, you have the opportunity to wander through the maze of souks where you can test your bartering skills for items such as jewellery, silverware, carpets, pottery and leather goods amongst a host of other things aswell! There are plenty bargains to be had, so just make sure you have room in your case to fit all your purchases!
Heading into the Atlas Mountains, you head over the Tizi’n Tichka pass which at 2260m is the highest in Morocco, and the views from the twisting, winding road are amazing. After a 2 hour drive, you are at the end of the road at a place called Anmiter, and from here, you begin the 2 hour trek to our base for the next few days in the small village of Tijhza. We laden up the mules with our luggage, and start the trek. The next few days are spent doing day walks from the basic, but comfortable Gite in the surrounding mountain ranges. The scenery is quite varied from lush green valleys to masses of red rock for as far as the eye can see, and I likened it to being on the moon (not that i’ve done that trip!) Whilst staying in Tijhza, you get to visit the local school that Exodus sponsor, and at present we are raising funds towards a Health Clinic in the area. The children are always happy to see our groups, and are fascinated by your camera equipment!
You also get the chance to spend some time with a locally family which is a very humbling experience. You are welcomed into their home and offered the traditional fare of mint tea, bread & olive oil and walnuts. Sat in the corner of the room was the family’s prized possession of a TV and video recorder, and even though they couldn’t understand the programmes because they were in Arabic, and not Berber, they still enjoyed watching the pictures!
All in all a very enjoyable experience that gives you just a small insight into this colourful country. You are guaranteed a warm welcome, so why not make Morocco a ‘must see’ on your places to visit list and get first hand experience of what so many other people are raving about.
Ian went on Exodus’ Atlas Panorama 8 day trip .