Scenic Mountains, including the Atlas Mountains, Offering Adventure Activities and Hiking
Though you may picture vibrant, old medinas and large dusty desert plains when you think about Morocco, the fact is that there is a lot more to the landscape of this fascinating country. The Moroccan landscape is framed and completed by several majestic mountain ranges. Not only do these mountain ranges in Morocco make for spectacular scenery and an interesting change in flora and fauna, but they are also home to several nomadic tribes who still stick strongly to the ancient cultures and traditions of their forefathers. Handicrafts sold here are designed to last the rigors of rural life and they are sold at much lower prices than you will find in any medina. In addition to all this, the mountains of Morocco offer a variety of fascinating adventure activities and sports. You can climb, hike, ski or even enjoy a mule-aided trek up the rugged mountainsides, discovering natural water features, a amazing variety of foliage and wonderfully picturesque views as you make your way along. So visit the mountains of Morocco and discover a whole new side to this mysterious country.
Amtoudi is a fascinating area with more than just mountains to explore. It is home to one of the oldest and best preserved agadirs (granaries) in North Africa. These resemble rocky outcrops in the mountains that feature caves and hollows which could have been used as storehouses by bandits in days gone by. While none of the agadirs are still in use, it is easy to imagine how grain, dates and gunpowder could have been stowed away from prying eyes, giving the bandits and tribes immense power in this dry and difficult country. The best agadir is about 800 years old and can be found at Amtoudi Peak. Half the adventure is getting there as you will have to either climb the narrow trail yourself or hire a mule to do the job for you. The spectacular view from the top makes any attempts most worthwhile.
The striking Chefchaouen Mountains are situated in the midst of a number of other mountains. This steep terrain makes them difficult to visit, but if you enjoy a challenging hike you might find the journey worth it. The mountains have two main peaks – Jebel Meggou and Jebel Tisouka. Jebel Meggou is situated at 1625 meters above sea level while Jebel Tisouka is situated at a striking 2050 meters above sea level. Jebel Tisouka also has a mosque at the top – the most breathtaking location to enjoy morning worship ever!
If you love hiking, there can be no better choice for a hike than the Setti Fatma Mountains. These mountains feature breathtaking views, brilliant trails and seven stunning waterfalls. Setti Fatma is located at the end of the Ourika Valley in Marrakech and it is possibly the best reason to bring your hiking shoes along in the country.
The striking, pink-colored rocky mountains of Tafraoute are unarguably the main attractions in the area. Some of these tower in massive monolithic structures built by Mother Nature over centuries, while others seem to rise in a dusty, crumbly mass of stone and sand. Apparently a Belgian artist by the name of Jean Verame once painted some of the more striking rocks on the mountains blue in an effort to add interesting contrast to the landscape. However that was in 1984 and much of this has now faded. The city below these interesting mountains is also quite picturesque as the inhabitants do their best to ensure that everything is kept in tip-top shape.
Oregano Mountains, Taliouine
The Oregano Mountains have not been given their name for no reason. Covered with oregano plants, these mountains are perhaps the most fragrant mountains you will ever find. As you step on the plants or walk by them, the strong scent of this herb fills the air and can sometimes even be quite overpowering. Fortunately there is plenty of clean mountain air to help disperse the fragrant smell. The mountains tower to a height of approximately 1500 meters above sea level. At the top you will find two caves that are often used as a shelter by some of the local goats. You will also enjoy a spectacular view that is perfectly complimented by the fragrant smell of the mountains.
Tan Tan Mountains
Situated in the south western regions of Morocco, the Tan Tan Mountains overshadow the town of Tan Tan. They are noteworthy because they are flat-topped mountains which are very rare in this country. Apparently the best way to enjoy the unusual splendor of the Tan Tan Mountains is to climb them. Once at the top, you will be able to look back at the Southern Slope and see that it has a sort of massive depression. You will also be able to enjoy an elevated view of the Tan Tan plain with its sparkling brooks, ridges and sand dunes. All of this definitely makes for an interesting change in the Moroccan landscape.
The Sarhro Mountains are incredibly breathtaking. They seemed to be formed by massive blankets of rock that have been cut and sculpted by water and ice eons ago. There are places where rock is all you will see as the hardness of the earth has made it impossible for settlements to be established or plants to be cultivated. Here deep chasms provide the perfect hiding place for beautiful waterfalls to plummet into refreshing pools before feeding the rivers that wind through the area. In other places the rocks are broken up by patches of dry soil and hardy mountain plants and you may be fortunate enough to stumble on a settlement here and there. The Sarho Mountains are spectacular and should be explored if time allows. You can travel through them on foot or by car, but should always be careful not to disrupt the environment or drive too close to the edge of the road.