Trekking in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco

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Trekking in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco
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Are you thinking of trekking in Morocco? Well, why wouldn’t you? Morocco is a varied and rich country. This country is famous for its culture, its people, its food, and most important to us: its geography. From the Atlas mountains to the Sahara desert, Morocco has the most contrasting of landscapes, which will dazzle any trekking lover. Trekking in the Atlas Mountains can be a bit confusing at first because of all the different options and possible combinations, but no need to worry, in this article I will clear things up a bit.

To begin with, let's talk for a bit about this famous mountain range: The Atlas. The Atlas mountains are found in northeastern Africa and are 2,400 km / 1,491 mi long. This huge massif cuts across 3 countries, but its highest peak, Mount Toubkal, is in Morocco. So, there we have our first trekking option: climbing Mount Toubkal. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Another thing you need to know about this region before we get to the trekking part is that it is inhabited by the Berbers, an indigenous ethnic group from northern Africa. The Berbers still live in traditional villages scattered across the Atlas Mountains, where their traditions and way of living still prevail. Now that you know some basic facts about Morocco, its geography and people, let’s talk about what got us to Morocco in the first place: trekking.

Climbing Mount Toubkal

Mount Toubkal (Jebel Toubkal) is the highest peak in the region, with a height of 4,167 meters / 13,671 feet. Ascending Toubkal is not a long mission, it can take 2 or 3 days to get to the top and back. However, if you feel more adventurous and you want to spend more time trekking in this wonderful massif, there are also treks that combine climbing mount Toubkal with other highlights such as Lake Ifni, the Sahara Desert,or Berber villages.

One important factor to take into account when climbing Mount Toubkal is the season. Although the summit can be reached all year round, the best time to hike to the top is in Spring, from April to May. In winter things get a little more complicated. Winter lasts from November till the end of April, and during these months, snow and ice accumulate at the top. This is why crampons and ice axes are compulsory for the winter trek.

Climbing Mount Toubkal

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Trekking in the Atlas Mountains

If you are climbing Mount Toubkal you will be trekking in the Atlas Mountains. There is, however, so much more to see apart from the highest peak. The treks in the Atlas Mountains are designed to walk you through some of the highlights of this beautiful mountain range. Pun intended.

The region’s typical characteristics are its valleys, its deep gorges, gushing river streams, and juniper and pine trees. Trekking in the Atlas is an excellent opportunity to relax, meditate, and enjoy nature. But it doesn’t end there: although Berber villages are not the core of these treks, you will still come across some of them in the way, allowing you to interact with the locals and to get to know their way of life. If you want to get a good overview of the region and its customs, then this option will suit your plans best.

Trekking in the Atlas Mountains

Trekking through Berber villages

If you would like a more cultural approach, then this is the way to go. The treks that include Berber villages as their main attractions guide you through the Atlas Mountains and take you to these traditional villages. From one village to the other, you will be trekking among juniper trees and walking along rivers, always surrounded by the magnificent views the Atlas provides.

There are many alternatives to the Berber villages trek as well. You can go with a short, 1 or 2 days trek, where you will visit the main villages closest to Morocco, such as Imlil or Tinerhourhine, or you can choose a longer itinerary. There are treks that last 5 or 6 days, which take you deeper into the mountains, to more remote and exclusive Berber villages, which have less contact with the busy cities to the west. How deep are you willing to dive into the Berber culture?

Trekking through Berber villages

Packing list for climbing Mount Toubkal

Good preparation is key and that applies to the things you take with you when climbing Mount Toubkal.

Daypack and what to bring

Make sure your daypack is not too small (> 25 L). Make sure your daypack is comfortable so that you can wear it all day long. Good shoulder straps and a sturdy waistband to better distribute weight are highly appreciated. Also check if the belt of)your daypack has handy pockets or a good mounting for your camera or water bottle. Do not forget to bring:

  • Rain clothing
  • Fleece pullover
  • 1 or 2 water bottles (1 L each at least). Along the villages in the route, 1.5 L mineral water bottles are for sale for 10 dirham (approx. € 1). You can also have water from the mountains boiled by the cook; you can also bring heat-resistant bottles to cool the water down.
  • Camera, sunscreen and a small first aid kit; plasters, bandages, betadine, rescue blanket and paracetamol (which helps with altitude sickness and quickly gives some extra energy)
  • Flip flops or sandals for breaks or after the trek.
  • Only in winter (approx. end of October to mid-May): crampons and ice axes for the Toubkal ascent (which can be hired in Imlil before the hike starts)

For the night

  • Sleeping bag, liner, and pillow case
  • Sleeping mat to camp (Two-person tents are included)
  • Duffel bag or large backpack for luggage transport (max. 15 kg), to be carried by mules. Optional, 'flight-bag' for extra protection

Hike comfortable

  • Sturdy hiking boots (for summer, category A/B and for winter B/C) and socks
  • Crampons and ice axes (to climb Toubkal in winter). Possible to rent locally (approx. € 5,- per day)
  • Trekking poles


  • Toiletries stored in small containers and athin towel that will dry faster
  • Flashlight or headlamp for gîte/mountain huts and camping
  • Games, a magazine, or a book for the evening or the lunch break
  • Fast-drying windproof hiking clothes

Where can I book my walking holiday in Morocco?

At you can book many treks in Morocco. We take care of all the details for you, give you personal trekking advice and give you the best service possible. Find all our offers for Morocco here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of Trekking Experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is a walking holiday in Morocco not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:


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