Frequently Asked Questions About High Atlas
The High Atlas Mountains of Morocco offer stunning landscapes, vibrant culture and a wealth of activities for visitors. From trekking through the valleys and exploring Berber villages to taking in breathtaking views from the highest peak, there are plenty of experiences to be had in this region that will leave lasting memories. The cities of Marrakech and Ouarzazate provide excellent bases for day trips into the mountains while numerous accommodation options are available throughout the area.
When is the best time to travel to High Atlas?
The best time to visit High Atlas is from March to May and September to October. During these months, temperatures are milder and the skies are usually clear, making it perfect for hiking and trekking. The summer months (June – August) can be too hot as temperatures reach into the high 30s. Winter is also not recommended because of snow in the mountain passes, although winter sports enthusiasts may enjoy this season. If you plan on visiting during Spring or Autumn, make sure to bring a good selection of warm clothing as nights still tend to be cold due to the elevation.
Which is the best place to stay in High Atlas?
The best area to stay in High Atlas depends on which type of experience you are looking for. If you want a more traditional Berber experience, then Ait Bougmez is for you. It is known for its beautiful landscapes and vibrant Berber culture. For an even more remote experience, the valley of Todra offers stunning views and untouched nature. Marrakech is also an excellent base for exploring the Atlas Mountains due to its proximity to some of the main trekking routes.
What are some of the best sights to see in High Atlas?
Popular attractions in High Atlas include:
1. Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak of the mountain range at 4,167m.
2. Imlil Valley, offering stunning views of the surrounding snow-covered peaks.
3. Berber villages such as Aït Benhaddou and Tinerhir which offer a glimpse into traditional Berber culture.
4. The Dades Gorge, with dramatic sandstone cliffs and hidden oases.
5. The Aït Baamrane National Park, with diverse flora and fauna.
6. Natural hot springs in Imi n'Ifri that provide relaxation and rejuvenation.
What are some good places to eat in High Atlas?
Some of the best places to eat food in High Atlas include:
1. La Tiziri, a traditional Berber restaurant located in Imlil Valley.
2. Dar Zitoune, a restaurant with stunning views over Jbel M’Goun and an excellent menu of Moroccan dishes.
3. Chez Oussama, a small cafe serving delicious tajines and couscous.
4. Le Petit Prince de l'Atlas, an award-winning restaurant offering creative dishes made with local ingredients.
What are some good shopping spots in High Atlas?
Popular places to do shopping in High Atlas include:
1. Souk of Ouarzazate, an open-air market selling traditional handicrafts, carpets, jewelry and pottery.
2. Palais des Congres Mall in Marrakech, for a more modern and luxurious shopping experience.
3. Artisanal markets such as the one at Aït Ben Haddou where you can buy local products directly from the artisans.
4. Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakech which is filled with vendors selling spices, souvenirs, spices and more.
What are the best spots to enjoy nightlife in High Atlas?
High Atlas has plenty of options for nightlife, such as:
1. Jazz clubs in Marrakech, such as Le Theatre des Jeunes and Palais de Bahia.
2. The lively Jemaa el Fna Square where you can find street performers and musicians.
3. Dancing and music at various venues across the city.
4. Traditional Berber festivals throughout the year which are filled with music, dancing and delicious food.
What are some nearby day trips from High Atlas?
The best day trips near High Atlas include:
1. The Dades Valley and its stunning rock formations.
2. A visit to the Sahara Desert for a camel ride and sandboarding.
3. The Merzouga National Park, which is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Morocco.
4. Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with ancient mudbrick kasbahs.
5. An excursion to Ourika Valley to explore traditional Berber villages and valleys.