Morocco’s Atlas Mountains run from the Atlantic to the Sahara Desert through the middle of the country. Their environment is harsh – baking hot in summer, snow-covered in winter – but the surprisingly fertile valleys allow the Berber tribes to cultivate a large variety of crops.
The High Atlas, Middle Atlas and the Anti Atlas each have their own characteristics, but they are all perfect locations for walking and trekking. In early spring the slopes of the Anti Atlas are gently coloured with the pale pink and white of almond blossom, while summertime in the High Atlas provides the stark contrast of lush green barley in the irrigated valleys at the foot of the barren rock strata above.
While Mt Toubkal is the highest peak in North Africa and the most popular trek in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, there are many lesser-explored trails to discover. We offer a wide selection of Atlas Mountains tours that steer you away from the tourist routes and along more remote trails. Following ancient paths that snake between secluded villages, over mountain pastures and passes, you’ll be truly absorbed in the mesmerising landscapes and Berber culture.
Our guided tours are packed with immersive itineraries that let you get under the skin of Morocco and experience the boundless diversity of these incredible mountains. Visit the traditional hammam at Tijhza where you’ll mix with the locals, meet the Berbers at Imlil or explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou.
Our Atlas Mountains Tours
15 Daysfrom£ 995
Guided Group (Excl. Flights)
Imperial cities, Atlas Mountains, Sahara Desert and the Atlantic coast
Mt Toubkal Climb: Towering 4167m above sea level, Mt Toubkal is the tallest peak in north Africa. While this trip is no mean feat, it rewards you with the most phenomenal views. As you hike along a well-defined route, you’ll pass through beautiful and remote Berber villages, introducing you to traditional mountain life before steadily climbing to the summit.
The Atlas Mountains and Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fez and Meknes: The Atlas Mountains in Morocco form the magnificent backdrop to the Imperial cities. As well as heading into the mountains to explore the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, Todgha Gorge and the beautiful Ziz Valley, you’ll also experience the vibrant city life of Marrakech, Fez and Meknes. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou is one of the most impressive sights in the Atlas Mountains. Built out of traditional mud bricks, this historic landmark vies for your attention and has even featured in the Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Gladiator’.
Highlights of Morocco – In comfort with Allan Langdale: Budding photographers and history buffs will be in their element on this insightful tour with Allan Langdale. Allan is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer and author and shares his knowledge of Morocco and the High Atlas Mountains. During the trip you’ll visit lively souks where the aroma of spices and sounds of frenetic chatter awakens your senses. You’ll also stay in traditional riads, kasbahs and an authentic Bedouin camp on the edge of the Sahara Desert, which enhances your Moroccan experience. In the valley of Tijhza, you can explore the traditional villages, mingle with the locals and relax in a Moroccan hammam.
Marrakech & The Sahara: This journey from Marrakech across the High Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert is filled with captivating contrasts. One day you’ll be riding a camel across the desert and camping beneath the stars and the next you’ll be swept into the charming chaos of Marrakech. As you walk among the High Atlas Mountains, you’ll stop off at the remote village of Tighza and experience a traditional hammam.
Mt Toubkal Long Weekend: For anyone who doesn’t have much time on their hands but wants to conquer the dizzying heights of Mt Toubkal, this tour is the perfect solution. In just three days, this non-technical climb guides you to the summit, where you’ll witness panoramic mountain views. En route you’ll follow meandering mule tracks through the magnificent scenery that surrounds Ait Mizan and Toubkal Base Camp. The climb to the summit is challenging but the sense of achievement you’ll feel is beyond compare, not to mention the panoramic views over Magreb, Marrakech, and the High Atlas. There’s also time to visit a Berber village and explore the colourful city of Marrakech.
The mount toubkal trek is an amazing week away. We were looked after the whole week, kept well fed, and taken up the climbs at a good pace. There were great views throughout, and plenty of rest time from the treks.
This Exodus Mount Toubkal trip is a little longer than some and I feel it is much better for it. The route undertaken allows for good altitude acclimatisation over the common two day itinery direct from Imlil village. I/we found the estimated walking times on the trip notes to be quite conservative, our group must have been pretty speedy. Most days we arrived at camp at least an hour under the estimate. The camps themselves are wild camps with no on site facilities other than a portaloo toilet tent. Local people or team members did bring bottled water and fizzy drinks to the camp for purchase, with an altitude price premium. The tents used were by Salewa and a good size, they seemed quite new. At Toubkal base camp our camp was set up a few hundred metres downhill of the two constructed mountain refuges, across a stream. It was a short, few minutes, walk to the refuge where you could use (for a small charge) the showers or buy snacks, water and fizzy drinks from the kiosk shop. During the trek all food is provided and it was very good, my only slight criticism is that maybe there could have been some more variety but I also fully understand we were on a mountain… where Tesco don’t deliver. For any trip like this we often find ourselves deliberarting over the best kit and clothing to take. My departure was 6th August. It was blazing hot in Marrakech and on our last full day in the Medina it was 47C. On the low slopes of the first day of hiking it was 41C. On summit day we started off before dawn and it was 18C. Heavy thermal gear (and sleeping bag) was not required. I did not need my hybrid fleece jacket at all but we are all different. A long sleeve heavy merino t-shirt and wind jacket was as heavy as I went on summit day. What took me by surprise was the rain. Don’t forget your rain gear. In the afternoon of our summit day there was a torrential rain storm for maybe two hours of non stop very heavy rain. In fact every afternoon in the mountains there was short lived rain and thunder. I don’t know if this pattern was a high summer thing or all year round. I’m not the biggest user of walking poles ever but was glad I brought them for the summit decent. It’s often steep with a lot of loose stones just waiting to put you on your bum.
Overall a great trip, the Atlas mountains were amazing. Views from top of Toubkal were stunning, and we had the summit to ourselves. The terrain was harder than I thought it might be, having already trekked up Kilimanjaro, but it was do-able. The team including the mule drivers worked really hard and deserve to be paid more. June was a good time to go. Hot but not unbearable, until we returned to Marrakesh to 47 degrees! Was only 32 when we left. Shame there wasn’t more time alone in Marrakesh to bargain hunt in the souks. Would have happily forgone the guided tour of Marrakesh if I had known.