To travel around Morocco is to take an adventure into the unknown.
From the jaw dropping highs of the Atlas mountains, to the barren landscapes of the Sahara desert, Morocco and its diverse landscapes offer some of the most incredible adventures we’ve ever experienced.
For many visitors however, a visit to Morocco consists of staying in a riad in Marrakech or a nice hotel on the outskirts. As you can see from our Morocco video, Morocco is so much more than this, and the biggest mistake a visitor to Morocco can make is to limit themselves to within the walls of the medina of Marrakech.
If you were to sit on the rooftop of a riad in Marrakech, it would be impossible to ignore the epic and magnificent Atlas mountains, sitting on the horizon, foreboding and enticing. They dominate the horizon, seemingly so close that you could reach out and touch them. This magnificent range, and in particular Mount Toubkal, are worth putting down your mint tea and getting out and seeing an alternative side to Morocco!
Morocco surprised us in many ways, but in particular the unexpected adventures we encountered at almost every turn. From scaling Mount Toubkal in the Atlas mountains in winter, getting caught in a Saharan sandstorm, to eating sheep head in a homestay, Morocco has an incredible diversity of landscapes on offer. The real adventures are outside of Marrakech, where you can experience dramatic mountain ranges, colourful and dynamic gorges and of course the epic Sahara desert.
Morocco was a country that grew on us. Our time there began in Marrakech, a place we freely admit to not enjoying, and we were glad to escape and head South to the Atlas mountains. The moment we stepped out of the minivan, we felt a sense of calm and excitement as we inhaled our first breath of fresh mountain air. It was quite the contrast from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech and something we would recommend all visitors to Morocco to experience. But there is even more to see in Morocco.
Head south east, and you come across the town of Ouarzazate and a beautiful oasis in the mountains. Further east, the epic Dades gorge awaits, its swirling and jaw dropping rock formations creating an other worldly trekking experience. And then, on the horizon in the south east, the inescapable allure of the mighty Sahara desert. Here you can take a camel trek out into the desert, stay in a desert camp or, as we did, live with a berber family and experience a side of Morocco few will ever experience. Oh and you might even witness a wedding proposal and/or eat sheep head, both of which happened to us whilst we were there!
For us, Morocco is adventure. It has some of the best one day and multi day treks we have ever attempted. It has the Sahara, it has the Atlas mountains, it has the coastal towns and it has, for all its flaws, Marrakech and the intensity that comes with the city.
As our first taste of Africa, Morocco provided a gateway to a new continent for us. One which we hope to return to again.