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Morocco has so many beautiful places to discover from Marrakech.
One of the best experiences we had on our trip to Marrakech was the Atlas Mountains Day Trip. This is the best way to discover the natural beauty of Morocco and delve into its culture.
We booked our tour with Moroccan Travel Trips and it couldn’t have been better. Here we will tell you all about our Atlas Mountains Day Trip.
Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Blog Post, but all opinions are my own
The trip started at 9 am, when we were picked up at our accommodation by an English –speaker local driver, Mouhssine. He took Sergio and me in a comfortable 4×4 with air conditioning and the adventure began.
Our personalized tour consisted of visiting up to 5 valleys and the Atlas Mountains. It was a day trip just for the two of us.
After half an hour’s drive from Marrakech, we did our first stop to take pictures. It was a beautiful Berber village with traditional houses surrounded by nature. These houses are designed to keep cool in the hotter months and warm in the winter. They are made of clay, bricks, and rocks in ochre colors that blend in with the surroundings. It was stunning!
On the way to the next valley, Mouhssine was telling us lots of interesting facts about Morocco and the culture. It was so interesting to learn about Moroccan culture.
In this area, you can also visit a Women’s Argan Oil cooperative. Here you can learn how they use kernels from the argan trees are to make argan oil and cosmetic products. You can also buy some here.
Ourika Valley and the Waterfalls
The road trip was very comfortable and visual, with stunning views everywhere you looked at. It was spectacular how the vibrant green nature, terraces, rivers, Berber villages and the mountains in the background were configuring the landscape. As it was only Sergio and me taking the tour, we could stop anywhere we wanted to take pictures and enjoy the views.
Here you can also take a hike to the famous waterfall and enjoy the views. Completely worth it but we decided not to do it as we wanted to visit the Ouzoud Waterfalls.
We stopped many times to admire the beauty of the different places in the Ourika Valley. The Ourika Region is where Moroccan people spend time to escape the heat of other areas as the air is fresher and they can have lunch by the river.
In this area, you can also have a camel ride if you book it in advance. As we had already been in the Sahara desert and had a camel ride, we decided not to do it again but I am sure it is a lot of fun and we loved it in the desert.
Visiting the local markets
Another stop takes place in Asni, a Berber village famous for its Saturday Market. This is one of the most important markets in the area as it brings lots of people from nearby villages to find fresh products. If you are lucky and you are taking the Atlas Mountains day trip on Saturday, you can also enjoy the experience of visiting this local market.
Depending on which day of the week you take the trip you can visit different local markets. On Mondays, you can visit the Ourika market, on the Tuesdays Tahanaout market and Sundays the Asni Market as we mentioned previously.
Getting to Imlil, in the Atlas Mountains
As we were getting closer to the Atlas Mountains the landscapes were changing from the green terraces and valleys into beautiful rocky landscapes. The experience of seeing the snow-capped mountains was something unexpected in Morocco.
We arrived at Imlil, a small village at the foothill of the highest mountain in North Africa, the Toubkal.
In Imlil you can find lots of experienced local guides with mules, to take you for a hike. This is the best way to explore the area as you go with an experienced person that knows the area very well.
From here lots of professional hikers take a hike to the summit of the Toubkal peak, which is 4167m high. You can find all the information there as well as renting some equipment like snowshoes for example.
A perfect lunch experience
When we arrived in Imlil we stopped at one of the local restaurants. It was early for lunch and the owner was making the tajines. Mouhssine told us that we had to book our tajine in advance or we wouldn’t have lunch as it was a small local restaurant and the owner was the only one cooking.
We saw how he was preparing the tajines and we booked ours (Mouhssine told us that for people to know if there is any tajine left you to have to check that it doesn’t have a mark on top)
After two hours we came back to have what I would call one of the most delicious tajines we’ve ever had. It had potatoes, carrots, tomato, meat… and we had it with the traditional bread and a Moroccan mint tea.
We really enjoyed the meal while we also learned everything about the traditional Moroccan tea which was so interesting.
In order to have a fantastic day trip to the Atlas Mountains, there are some things you need to take into account.
- Book your tour with an experienced tour company. We couldn't be happier of booking with Moroccan Travel Trips as we could choose our own personalized itinerary and they have experienced local guides that speak in English and go above and beyond to make the day trip perfect.
- Bring some water with you. You will need to bring your own drinks or you can buy them on the way, but we would recommend you to bring them with you.
- Wear comfortable shoes and make sure you have some warm clothes as the closer you are to the mountain the cooler it gets. In the beginning, it is pretty warm but then it gets cold, so bring layers.
- Don’t forget to take your camera. You will have the chance to get stunning pictures along the way so make sure you bring your camera or phone.
- Be ready to have an unforgettable day. You will have a fabulous day visiting the valleys and the Atlas Mountains.
This Atlas Mountains day trip was one of the best day trips we have ever had. Not only because we discovered many beautiful hidden gems of Morocco but also because we learned so much thanks to Mouhssine, who went above and beyond to prepare the best day trip for us.
If you are visiting Marrakech, you cannot leave without taking this Atlas Mountains day trip as it is the best way to discover the local culture and the beauty of this area.
Are you traveling to Marrakech? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.