The Atlas Mountains are Morocco’s hidden gem. They are home to some of the country’s most remote and interesting villages where you find the local Berber tribes. The Berber measure distance by hours, meaning they measure distance by the amount of time it takes to get from one village to another. It’s easy for you, as you are going to be travelling by car, but for local people, it was on foot or on horseback.
As a traveller, you can visit the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech as a base. You can go for a few hours, or a few nights. The road trip is fascinating and of course the deeper or higher you go, the more exciting. The roads are incredible, taking you through exquisite nature, interesting tribal villages and spectacular views. Just a few years ago the infrastructure here was basic, but roads are well built and it’s easy, but still remote enough not to be too busy, to travel into the mountains.
You have a few types of hotels to choose from and this depends on your budget and your interests. People go to the Atlas Mountains to ski, in which you may choose a resort style hotel. Many go for adventure, including trekking, hiking and abseiling, in which case they usually choose a more local style guesthouse or riad. There are luxury resorts, such as the Kasbah Tamadot owned by Richard Branson, and there are hostels and backpackers too.
How long you go to the Atlas Mountains for totally depends on you, talk to us about all of the options. There are also people who do their own thing, hire a car and drive to the mountains on their own. There are several retreats up there, and if one is looking for a tranquil few days in peace and nature, where the air is fresh and there is no noise, you may want to do your own thing.
You can take a private driver and visit one of the more popular destinations in the Atlas Mountains which is just an hour out of Marrakech, the mountain town of Imlil. Imlil is at the foot of Mount Toubkal, and there is a little bit of everything here. You get lovely views and an interesting town which you can also do trekking from and have a very special lunch stop at the Kasbah Tamadot. Or even an overnight stay.
You can visit the Atlas Mountains at almost all times of the year but summer and spring are best. The days are warm and gorgeous, although evenings can get chilly. You’re in the mountains, look out for guided treks, ask your guides and try to watch the sunrise from the top of Mount Toubkal. It’s beautiful.