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The Atlas Mountains in Morocco

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The Atlas Mountains in Morocco have been on our bucket list for a long time. This mountain range cuts through Morocco and offers not only African winter sports resorts, but also traditional Berber mountain villages and fascinating hikes in summer. Nature lovers are very well served in the Atlas Mountains. This mountain range is the second highest mountains in the world and is certainly one of the most natural and wonderful mountains you could ever visit.

The Atlas Mountains consist of a total of three parts: Anti-Atlas, Middle Atlas and High Atlas. The Atlas Mountains are also called Adrar and Dren. Freely translated this means 'the mountain range'. This mountain range in North Africa runs diagonally through the south of Morocco. From the Atlantic coast near Agadir to the border with Algeria.

A trip through the Atlas Mountains is filled with constant highlights. This breathtaking part of Morocco is characterized by pointed rock formations, deep gorges and viewpoints from where you can look far for miles around the area. Also landscapes change after each turn and colors change from green to brown to red. 

One of the most memorable stops you can make is in Aït-Ben-Haddou. This village was the film set of, Game of Thrones, Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and even without the movie stars it is amazing!

The Atlas Mountains has a length of around 2500 kilometers and the highest point is over 4000 meters. With Marrakech as a starting point it is not difficult to make a trip to the Atlas Mountains. At most hotels and guesthouses you can easily arrange an excursion to the Ourika Valley or Aït-Ben-Haddou, but be aware of the extremely commercial character. Along the way you have to look at souvenir shops and often eat at the most expensive places along the road. Therefore a trip with public transport (Grand Taxis) is much nicer.

Where to stay

If you are looking for a perfect place to stay near the Atlas Mountains we recommend the Ouirgane ecolodge. This is such a great little hotel in a very beautiful national park area with magnificent views. The staff were incredibly warm and welcoming. The grounds are a beautiful oasis of grass, gardens, terraces, frogs and birds, and there's a refreshing swimming pool (non chemical). You cannot beat this place. On they get an average rating of 9.2.

The best travel time for the Atlas Mountains

If you want to climb the atlas, you have to take into account the climatic conditions. Because it rains considerably more on the high areas of the Atlas Mountains compared to inland. The temperatures are also lower  year round and even snow can fall from a height of 1000 meters. The reason for this is that the Atlas Mountains are located in a climate barrier between the north and the south. Visit the Atlas Mountains in the months of March, April, May, October and November. In May alpine flowers will be in Bloom and daytime temperatures are very mild and pleasant. Click here for more climate details in Marrakesh.

Written by our reporter and co-founder Jan:

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This article was last updated on May 14, 2024.