Getting Oriented

The two routes over the Tizi-n-Test (Test Pass) and Tizi-n-Tichka (Tichka Pass) are spectacular. For serious trekking, the area around Imlil is justifiably famous. There are also less strenuous walks along many of the dirt roads in the region, for instance along the Agoundis River. Alternatively, visitors can make the hotels around Ouirgane their base, exploring the area on mule back or simply lounging by the pool. The Tin Mal Mosque and the Goundafi Kasbah can easily be reached from Ouirgane on a day trip. The Aït Bougmez Valley leads deep into the mountains to reveal a cornucopia of rich verdure, staggering ranges, and Berber traditions, practically unchanged for centuries.

  • The Central High Atlas and the Aït Bougmez Valley. Forested with olive groves and live oaks on their lower slopes, the rugged mountains to the south of El-Ksiba and Beni-Mellal offer memorable trek and jeep excursions and form a striking contrast to Azilal's lush Cascades d'Ouzoud and Demnate's natural bridge at Imi-n-Ifri. The nearby Aït Bougmez Valley is Berber heartland (also known as the valley of happiness) and lies beneath the protective shadow of Mt. M’Goun—Morocco’s second-highest peak. It's an exquisite place to walk, cycle, discover local culture, and absorb that Atlas air.
  • Imlil and Ourika Valley. A village between Marrakesh and Mt. Toubkal, Imlil is the center of adventure tourism in Morocco. Trekkers en route to the mountain stop here for rest, relaxation, and to breathe in the fresh mountain air so rarely found elsewhere. Through the verdant Ourika Valley, visitors will find a string of charming villages, where you can marvel at the Setti Fatma waterfalls, pause for pictures in front of Morocco's only brick mosque at Aghbalou, and mountain bike through the forests above Tahannout.
  • To Tizi-n-Test. The pass southwest of Marrakesh leads to the trekking center of Ouirgane and on to Taroudant.
  • To Tizi-n-Tichka. Completed in 1936, the Tizi-n-Tichka can be a daunting prospect. Though the road is safer and wider than the one over the Tizi-n-Test, it can be a dangerous drive, particularly in winter weather conditions. Still, the views from the pass are like nothing else.

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