Road trip in the Atlas mountains

If somebody asks me about my favourite place in Morocco, I always mentioned the South. During my first travel I didn’t really have nice experiences in Fez and my second visit wasn’t overwhelming either. After this we always travelled from Casablanca southwards. Until last summer, when we decided to see if we could find the roots of the Beni Ouarain rugs.

In 6 hours time we drive from Casablanca via Fez to Taza and from there on to the foot of the Mid-Atlas. The first nights we sleep at an auberge from Mohammed*. Actually, the auberge exists only of their living-room where we sleep on the sofa’s. They spoil us with delicious food and immediately we feel like a part of the family. The location in the middle of the National Park Tazekka is beautiful and restful. It has soft gold colouring slopes, no paved roads and grazing horses. The main traffic is a shepherd passing by with his sheep now and then.

We make a day trip to Tahla by crossing through a fantastic route in the National Park. This is where we meet Belkacem, and he tells us a lot about the different qualities of wool. After a couple of days we continue our travel via Azrou, M’rit and Khénifra. We take a short break at the Oum Rabiaa waterfalls and relax at the waterside with tea and biscuits. We wonder if we should stay and sleep at this idyllic place, but in the end we descide to continue our journey. In the evening we arrive at lake Aguelmam where we set up our tent. If you want to camp the Moroccan way, this is the place to be. During the day we look for shade in the woods, and in the evenings we swim in the lake and make a campfire where we eat our food.

Our  last stop of the journey is Ait Bouguemez, also known as the Happy Valley. Travelling through one of the most beautiful routes I’ve ever seen (like parts of Asia, Australia and New-Zealand) we arrive in a green valley full of walnut and apple trees. The beauty and peacefulness of this place takes my breath away. In fact it is only a 5 hours drive from Marrakech. Why haven’t we ever been here before? There are not a lot of tourists. Only 4 young people are working here as a volunteer for 3 months. There are several women cooperatives for weaving rugs and at the Assosiation Ighrem you’ll find woodcarving. An ideal get a way from Marrakech.

The other day a friend of mine asked me if I had some travel tips for Morocco. He would go there for 2 weeks. This time I advised the above mentioned route. The South is a more travelled area, whereas the Atlas mountains are a place where you will find little tourism and a lot of hospitality.

Would you like to come in contact with Mohammed? Please send us an e-mail and we will pass on his details.