Trekking in Morocco
Trekking in Morocco
Trekking in Morocco enjoys great popularity, as the Kingdom surpasses most African countries in natural variety, diversity of terrain, and network of trails. More than 20,000 km of walking routes have been recorded! Whether you are a beginner or already an advanced hiker, the country has a lot to offer you. Here below we analyze the key aspects, paying special attention at the bottom of the page to the preparations, which must be different depending on the duration of the itinerary, the weather, and the time of year in which the trip is made.
Where to trek in Morocco
When it comes to hiking in Morocco, you can opt for two great environments: the mountain and the desert. The first option is the most common, while the second is compatible with 4×4 or camel routes.
If we focus on the mountains, there are several accessible and interesting chains for those who wish to trek in Morocco:
• The High Atlas: is located in the center of the country and northeast of Marrakech. There are several peaks over 4,000 meters, including Djebel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa (4,167 meters). One of the advantages for travelers is that they are only two hours from the city of Marrakech.
• The Anti-Atlas: further south, near Agadir. Here, the highest peak is about 2,500 meters. One of the attractions of this area is that on the way to the summits, you will have the opportunity to delve into the customs and traditions of the Berber population, discovering their villages and ways of life.
• The Rif: in the north. In addition to its beautiful landscapes, there are beautiful towns for sightseeing, such as Chefchaouen which is located at the foot of two of its mountains.
When to trek in Morocco
The best time to go trekking in Morocco is the period between April and November, as the temperatures are milder and there is less rainfall. Avoid the beginning of spring, when mountain areas are usually flooded after the melting of snow that fell during winter. Summer is generally pleasant, although in the areas most exposed to the sun and at low altitudes you will experience intense heat. And if, on the contrary, you choose the desert instead of the mountains for your excursions on foot, avoid the hot months of June to August. It is also not advisable to go hiking in Morocco during Ramadan as many companies stop their activity on this Islamic holiday.
During the winter months, that is, from October to April, there is still the option of trekking in Morocco, specifically in the south, around the Draa and the Dades valleys, an area that borders the Sahara desert. Or you can also try something different and more demanding: start a journey through the snowy paths of Djebel Toubkal, in the High Atlas, which at that time is under a beautiful white blanket, keeping the snow until June, depending on the year.
Recommendations for trekking in Morocco
If you plan to go hiking in Morocco, it is important that you take into account a series of recommendations. First of all, what has to do with the equipment? The basic things you should bring are:
• Comfortable clothes for walking
• Trekking boots or similar
• Raincoat, anorak, or parka
• Bottle of water
• hat or cap
• sun protection cream
• Small backpack to carry the things of the day
The rest of the equipment to carry will be normal for a trip of these characteristics, with a toiletry bag if it is going to be a long route. It is also advisable to carry telescopic poles as support in each step, thus reducing the risk of falls. And if you don’t want to lose the detail of the panorama, don’t forget some good binoculars and a camera with a telephoto lens. We also recommend carrying a small first-aid kit with basic medicines, such as analgesics, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories, as well as specific medication for those who are following a specific treatment.
And secondly, another recommendation when trekking in Morocco is to organize the excursion with a trusted agency that provides a good mountain guide. Although going alone allows you to walk at your own pace and make decisions on the go without being subject to other people, the truth is that guided tours and excursions provide two great advantages:
• Comfort: you will not have to worry about booking accommodation or hiring transport to get to the beginning of the route or to be picked up at the end of it
Safety: in the event of a mishap, a mountain guide is trained to provide basic first aid and, of course, to call the local emergency services for help.
In addition to all this, hiring a mountain guide is helpful as a translator, especially in negotiating the price and conditions of the services to be enjoyed during a day of trekking in Morocco. Services can often be hired in nearby villages and some of the most illustrative examples are mules to carry luggage or a cook, as can occur on more expert trekking and mountaineering expeditions.