The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours
The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours

The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours & Morocco Atlas Mountains Tour Guide

So you want to visit the Atlas Mountains? Here’s a guide to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

The Atlas Mountains are a series of mountain ranges extending for almost 2,000 kilometers across North Africa, passing through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The jagged, sky-piercing High Atlas in Morocco is perhaps the most well-known, especially in the trekking community. This is where you’ll find snow-capped Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, a towering stone giant of 4,167m. And there is plenty of trek in the Atlas Mountains beyond Toubkal, along barely-used trails between remote Berber villages The Atlas Mountains are renowned for their imposing size, especially at their pinnacle in the High Atlas.

Jebel Toubkal (Jebel means mountain) is the highest peak in the whole of the Atlas Mountains, never mind Morocco, at 4,167m. Next up is Ouanoukrim Mountain, which consists of two summits, Timzguida (4,089m) and Ras Ouanoukrim (4,083m). Third is M’Goun, (4,071m).

WHEN TO VISIT THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS: The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours

Temperatures soar in North Africa during the summer months. Having said that, there’s around a 15°C difference between Morocco’s lowlands and its highlands. While Marrakech sizzles at temperatures exceeding 40°C, you’ll find that the High Atlas temperatures are in the high twenties or low thirties (dropping lower as you climb Toubkal). However, we’d recommend steering clear of treks at lower altitudes during the summer months

The Anti-Atlas and Saharan Atlas are ideal to visit between October and May. Winters are mild, with warm days and clear skies (15-20°C), although the temperature plummets as night falls


Morocco is the best country in the Atlas Mountains to visit. This is for several reasons. For a start, it’s where you’ll find the highest peaks. But we also love the diversity of mountain landscapes you can experience in Morocco, from its fertile valleys to its snowy peaks and deep gorges. There are also so many options for off-the-beaten-track adventures – we’ve listed our five favorites  below.

THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS & Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours & Morocco Tour

1. CLIMB MOUNT TOUBKAL: The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours

At a lofty 4,167 m above sea level, climbing Mount Toubkal  is no mean feat. Most people attempt the challenge between May and October. Most people trek up to either the Mouflon or Neltner mountain refuge on the first day (both located at around 3,200m) and then aim for the summit in time to watch the sunrise. Another option is to take a longer route through the Azzadene Valley and over the Aguelzim Mountain pass (3560m) before summiting Toubkal.

It’s also possible to climb Toubkal in winter. There will be snow between October and April, although it may linger in small pockets well into the summer – despite scorching Moroccan temperatures. You’ll need to use crampons and ice axes to reach the top – your guide should give you training on how to use them.

Although this isn’t a technical climb, and mountaineering experience isn’t required, you’ll need to be in peak physical condition. Having a guide with you is mandatory, whatever your skill level. Even if you are an experienced hiker, your guide will know the routes and the mountain intimately, and they’ll also be trained to watch out for signs of altitude sickness.

If you are going with a guided group, it is common to hire muleteers to help carry your belongings to the snowline. That’s a real cultural experience in itself. Many local people make their livelihoods from taking groups up the mountains.

2. TAKE ON MOROCCO’S THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE: The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours

If climbing Toubkal isn’t adventurous enough, we’d recommend tackling Morocco’s three peaks challenge. Over 48 hours you’ll be ascending Morocco’s three highest mountains – Toubkal, and the Mount Ouanoukrim twin summits, Timzguida (4089m) and Ras (4083m).

You can base yourself at the same refuge (Mouflons, 3,207m) for both treks. We’d recommend tackling Mount Ouanoukrim’s peaks on the first day, and Toubkal on the second. Although much of your energy will be devoted to completing the task at hand, don’t forget to take in the spectacular scenery of the Atlas Mountains.


Morocco’s Atlas Mountains aren’t just for hikers. Cyclists will relish tackling the winding mountain roads and the high passes. Although there are plenty of different route options, we’d highly recommend a  backpacking tour through the lunar-like Dadès Valley, which lies between the High Atlas Mountains and the Jbel Saghro Mountains.

One of the highest points on the route is the Tizi n’Tazazert pass (2200m). Cruise the switchbacks all the way to the top for panoramic views of the otherwordly topography. Then it’s time to speed downhill to spend the night at the lush Berber oasis town of N’kob. From there, you can extend your route by heading into the undulating dunes of the Sahara Desert.


Todgha Gorge – a limestone river canyon in the eastern part of the High Atlas – is a popular destination with rock climbing enthusiasts. It’s easy to see why; the craggy red rock faces are perfect for climbing.

If you’re a novice climber, a guide is essential. They’ll set you up with the kit, and give you a safety briefing. Although the cliffs tower 400m high and look austere, there are plenty of routes for novices, especially at the entrance to the gorge. Once you feel confident with the techniques and equipment, you’ll be able to progress to more challenging ones.


Trekking in the Atlas Mountains isn’t just about climbing the highest mountain you can find. It’s also about taking in the scenery and learning about the local culture. We recommend hiking through the Ouirgane Valley, which sits in the foothills of the High Atlas. It’s a beautiful area, where craggy red mountains provide a striking contrast with the lush green vegetation lining the rivers.

As you hike, you’ll pass by clay Berber villages perching on the hills. You’ll witness a traditional way of life, seeing crops grown on steep terraces and enjoying Berber hospitality in the mountain lodges along the way. By staying in local lodges, you’ll be helping the livelihoods of these remote communities.

Feeling inspired? Check out our Morocco Tours Company for information, including Climbing Mount Toubkal in Morocco.

6. Explore The High Atlas from Marrakech Merzmerzouga desert – 3 Days From Marrakech To Merzouga

3-day tour of southern Morocco from Marrakech. Sleep in the Sahara, see Ait Ben Haddou, and visit Valley of the Roses. Cross the landscapes of the Atlas Mountains and the Erg Chebbi dunes.

Highlights: The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours

      • See the impressive Atlas Mountains and take in panoramic views

      • Visit the UNESCO Ait Ben Haddou and see the earthen clay architecture

      • Take a guided tour of the Tinghir Oasis and Todra Gorgesthe 

      • Experience a camel ride at sunset and witness a desert sunrise

      • Enjoy some free time to visit Ouarzazate and the studios of cinema

    Full description

    Sleep beneath the desert stars at a Berber campsite on an unforgettable dunes experience from Marrakech. Visit UNESCO-listed Ait Ben Haddou, the Valley of the Roses, and Tinghir. Stop at traditional Berber villages around the Todra Gorge and trek with a camel through the Erg Chebbi dunes, the highest in Morocco

    Atlas Mountain treks and Desert Tours – Combined Adventures

    Are you looking to experience a real taste of Morocco but don’t know which of our activities is best for you?
    We offer you a bit of everything Morocco has to offer – mountains, including the highest in North Africa, desert, with the spectacular Erg Chebbi dunes and the coast, a windsurfing paradise. So if you want to cram in as much as you can on your trip to Morocco then our combined tours are for you!

     Our aim to provide you with a memorable holiday, at a reasonable cost, combining physical challenge, spectacular scenery, and an insight into the Moroccan way of life.

    We recommend that you look at our Walking Treks and Desert Tours as most of these can be adapted to make a Combined Tour. Let us know what you want on the Enquiry Form and we’ll do the rest!

    Marrakech is just 55 miles (90 km) from Imlil, a small town and popular travel hub in the High Atlas Mountains. Imlil sits at the base of Mount Toubkal, which is Morocco’s highest peak and the second-tallest mountain in Africa. Hiring a private transfer is your best option, as this allows the flexibility to stop along the way at the lakes, markets, and other sights along the route. Going by shared taxi is also an option.

    While here, you may want to do an overnight summit of Mount Toubkal. For less strenuous, yet fulfilling hiking adventures in the High Atlas, consider the

     Marrakech trip in the Atlas Mountains which includes a stay in a good recommended Kasbah

    By Private Transfer

    Duration: 2 hours

    Taking a private car to the town of Imlil is the quickest and most convenient choice. Driving in Marrakech can be a game of nerves, so most travelers opt to hire a private driver for the journey, or as part of a broader tour. 

    Leaving Marrakech, you will take the P2009 Highway. An excellent stop along the way is Lake Lalla Takerkoust where, on weekends and holidays, many locals enjoy picnics and swimming in the lake. There are several restaurants and tea shops around the lake, where you can take in the views of the oasis. 

    Continuing, take the P2024 through the winding roads of Tamazirt and Aguergour. Soon you will arrive in the merchant town of Asni, famous for its apples, cherries, and nuts. On Saturdays, there is a bustling marketplace selling everything from locally preserved olives, argan oil, and produce, to hand-thrown clay tajines. 

    From Asni, take the P2005 up into the Imlil Valley where you may pass alongside goats and donkeys grazing near the banks of the river.  

    By Shared Taxi

    Duration: 3-4 hours

    Shared taxis, which are called “grand taxis”, allow you to buy a seat in the car to your final destination. The taxis take off when they are full of passengers, so on slow days, it can sometimes mean up to an hour’s wait before the vehicle leaves. 

    However, you can always pay the price of the additional seats for more room and to leave sooner. If you’re in search of an authentic, if not speedy, way to arrive, this is it. The taxi will drop you off at the base of Imlil where there are plenty of shops, restaurants, and stores with hiking gear for rent.

    By Bus & Shared Taxi

    Duration: 4 hours

    While there is no direct bus service to Imlil, you can take a city bus from Marrakech to Asni. From Asni you would then take a shared taxi for the rest of the journey. Because of the connections, this is the least advisable way to arrive.

    Plan your trip to Morocco

    Contact us and we will be happy to help you organize your trip.

    The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours
    The Best Atlas Mountains Guided Tours