The High Atlas Travel Guide

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Excellent places to visit in this particular region of Morocco

Mud-thatched Berber villages and remote pinnacles are not the sole draw here. The landscape differs from season to season: winter drops metres of ice which results in gushing river valleys in spring; summer brings an unforgiving sun, and the autumnal sunshine takes the browns and also reds of the peaks to life.

Among the advantages of an Atlas mountains trek in the region has been ready to stroll unencumbered: muleteers plus their mules are out there for hire, and mountain guides are an excellent aid, especially suggested if you’re going the key routes. Other choices include mountain climbing and ski mountaineering, and mountain biking is increasingly well known on the dirt tracks (mule paths and pistes).

The Agoundis Valley

To the East from Ijoukak winds the Agoundis Valley, that provides an answer use of Toubkal; needed 2 days of extreme trekking from Ijoukak to attain the Toubkal Refuge. On foot, from Ijoukak head out there on the Marrakesh road, cross the Oued Agoundis river bottom and turn right onto the up valley road, passing many gîtes. The scenery prepares to distant peaks and there’re an amazing number of villages. After an hour’s walking you get to the wreck of a well used mineral processing plant, a gondola currently loaded with the environment on the cable stretched across the valley to mines which closed many decades ago. Continue walking to the village of Taghbart in which there’s a fork; have the proper department to cross the river, and that makes a remarkable ascent to the 2202 metre Tizi-n-Ou-Ichddane on the Atlas watershed. The Agoundis piste quickly passes El Makhzen along with a prominent building in wedding cake style before getting steadily narrower, uncovered and difficult, passing perched villages and ending at the village of Aït Youl.

From Aït Youl, strong walkers are able to achieve the Toubkal Refuge in one day, crossing the Tizi n’Ougane (risk of ice on the last slopes from November through May) passing through wild gorges and also screes on the fashion.
Amizmiz and also Ait Zitoun

The average, dusty town of AMIZMIZ, 58km from Marrakesh, could be the website associated with a long established Tuesday souk – among the biggest Berber markets of the Atlas, moreover not really a major location for visitors. The city comprises several pretty distinct quarters, like a zaouia, former Mellah and kasbah, divided by a tiny, typically dry, river. Amizmiz creates a great foundation for mountain biking within the High Atlas.

From Amizmiz, the nearby village of Ait Zitoun is a lesser known, but far better spot to begin treks than Amizmiz, because you are able to organize both supplies plus mules right here, together with a local guide. Ait Zitoun is a challenging spot to find; it is situated on a brief piste veering left from the major highway connecting Amizmiz to Ouirgane (look for a tiny sign stating Gîte Ait Zitoun). It is likely to organize a stroll to Ouirgane from here, that requires 3 to 4 times and also is best completed in the less hot months.

An answer to each of these villages for an overnight stop is Lalla Takerkoust, 22km northeast of Amizmiz. Ideas from the lake on the surrounding mountains make for terrific picture opportunities during the cold months with the surrounding snowcapped peaks in view that is clear. A several villages dot the landscape and hiking to several of the low lying hills for ideas of the region uses a valuable day’s opportunity.
Mountain biking – several routes from Amizmiz

Morocco offers several of the very best adventure traveling in the planet with routes ideal for all skills. The High Atlas has jeep and mule tracks which address the countryside and many adventure companies offer mountain biking as being a pursuit. Travelling by themselves, it is crucial that you be conscious of neighborhood sensibilities; ride gradually through villages, giving way to individuals where needed, particularly those on mules plus kids tending livestock. If renting a motorcycle, negotiate essential extras such as a pump, puncture repair kit as well as spare inner tube. A helmet is suggested, and also carry lots of drinking water.

Of the 3 routes detailed below, the very first 2 may be achieved by a beginner with a rented bike, while the 3rd is best left to the adept, ideally on their very own motorcycle. Almost all routes start and finish at Restaurant Le Source Bleu located in Irghagn, above Amizmiz. As several roads are signposted, the Amizmiz 1:100,000 topographical map is very highly suggested, and also very best from professional map stores before leaving home.
Route one The Oued Anougal Circuit

From Le Source Bleu, descend on the piste road running from Amizmiz to Azegour then head on uphill past the Maison Forestière. About 1.5km beyond, a narrow piste branches off left, taking you on the west aspect of the valley to pass through the village of Aït Ouskri, from anywhere there are huge views up the valley, to Jebel Gourza and Jebel Imlit. The piste continues, passing the villages of Tizgui, Toug al Kheyr and, after 10km, Imi-n-Tala and Imi-n-Isli (“big spring”), before crossing the Anougal River below Addouz on the eastern edge of the valley. Care must be had in spring, if the river could become swollen from melted ice. Adopting the piste through Sticking, and Imzayn to the reduced monitor, causes Igourdan and, after aproximatelly 12km, uphill, to Aït Hmad.

Leaving Aït Hmad behind, roadway widens to be a full width piste jeep track permitting a quick but safe downhill back into Amizmiz.
Route two: Jebel Timerghit Circuit

Observe the Route one description to Imi-n-Tala after that carry a piste westwards throughout the forest to attain the Oued Erdouz road from Azegour, with Jebel Timerghit towering above. Turn left and also circuit the hill to Toulkine and on throughout the granite landscape towards Azegour. 5 100 metres before Azegour you arrive at a junction – turn left here, crossing a bridge over the Oued Wadakar, plus remain past the remains of a mining site. The path and then runs through forest and, after a light crest run, descends in several bends to Amizmiz, passing the Maison Forestière.
Route three: Toulkine Descent

Start the path within the exact same fashion as all those above, but do not break off remaining as in Route one. Keep on forward for any very long toil throughout the forest to get the milder crest before descending into the Erdouz Wadakar valley where there are considerable damages from the mining that once took place here. Cross the bridge and also turn right to circuit round to Toulkine. A piste heads northwest from the village but rather stick to the mule track which heads due north over the crest to circuit the valley heads with Adghous perched in the center. This then wends through the Jebel Aborji forest before a very brutal descent to the plains at Tiqlit. Note it is advisable to check out the route at Toulkine.