Morocco’s scorched desert stretches across Northwestern Africa before it crashes into the Atlas Mountains, the highest peaks in the entire region. In the Atlas Mountains sits the walled market city Marrakesh where open-air spice markets spill out into the narrow streets, the UNESCO port city of Essaouira which is famous for its historic reputation as a pirate haven, and of course the might of the Atlas Mountains: Mount Toubkal. Morocco is a safe and tourist-friendly destination that is among the most culturally rich and visually stunning locations to visit in Africa.
The Atlas Mountains Trek is Ryder-Walker’s expedition to the summit of the might Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Originally, we planned this route as a personal getaway and as a ski descent of Toubkal, but we fell so in love with Morocco that we knew we had to share the magic of the Atlas Mountains with the world. Our Atlas Mountains Trek begins in Marrakesh and journeys deep into the Atlas Mountains, where the surroundings get more remote and the burnt umber character of the mountains begins to come into focus. There is a stunning desolation to these mountains, inhabited only by shepherds and trekkers, only a few villages exist in the high reaches of the Atlas Mountains. Finally, we begin our ascent of Toubkal, for real, as we aim to stand on the roof of Northern Africa looking out towards the ocean, where we finish our trek with a couple of relaxing nights in the stunning port Essaouira.
Moroccan culture has inspired artists and explorers for generations. Morocco itself has gained fame as perhaps the most lively and vivid country in the world and this reputation could not be more well deserved. The people, including the local guides we work with, are some of the friendliest we have met traveling. Marrakesh is a city so deep and fascinating you could lose yourself in it for a lifetime, and the remote stretches of the Atlas Mountains show a truly different way of living for the few that reside in the remote alpine desert. Essaouira, our final destination on the trek, has a fascinating history as a historic pirate’s cove, which today is a stunning stone port that has been entirely preserved on the Atlantic Coast.
Every element of the Atlas Mountains Trek has been pieced together to offer you the adventure of a lifetime. The twisting alleys of Marrakesh leading to huge market plazas, the sweeping vistas of the lonely Atlas Mountains, and the rush of summiting the highest peak in Northern Africa all combine to make this an experience you won’t forget. On your final night, as the sun sets over the Atlantic, in the laidback coastal town of Essaouira, there is time to reflect at the shifting landscapes and cultures of Morocco and relive the joy of summiting Toubkal, all as part of one of the greatest adventures Ryder-Walker has to offer.
Guided Tours: Morocco
In Morocco, the Atlas Mountains rise against the burnt-orange sunset, violet rays radiating across the wide desert plateaus, bleached white beaches, and pastel medieval buildings. As you walk across the sand, through the busy markets bustling with wild sounds, colors, and smells, through small mountain hamlets seemingly carved into the peaks, you can feel the antiquity of the land beneath your feet. ...View Trip Details
*All prices are per person based on double occupancy and subject to change