Best Treks in Morocco

Best Treks in Morocco

Nepal has Everest, Tanzania has Kilimanjaro, the USA has Denali and Western Europe has Mont Blanc. But avert your eyes south down Italy’s shapely leg, across the Mediterranean and over Tunisia, and you’ll find yourself in Morocco. A gateway to Africa, it is where balmy beaches merge into sun-scorched sand dunes and medieval medinas conceal secret streets and heady souqs. But it is its mountain ranges and the myriad trails that zigzag across them that are the country’s trump card. From mighty Toubkal in the High Atlas Mountains to the M’Goun Massif in the Central Atlas, which rolls out carpets of wildflowers come late spring, Morocco is a must for any budding trekker. And the piece de resistance? The three-and-a-half-hour flight time, meaning that even if time is short, you can still summit and siesta all in one Big Short Break.


  1. Jebel Toubkal
  2. Jebel Saghro
  3. M'Goun Massif
  4. Rif Mountains


Jebel Toubkal

Ask anyone about trekking in Morocco’s mountains and they’ll probably start with Mount Toubkal – as they should. The highest mountain in North Africa, at 13,671ft, and the 42nd highest in the world, just contemplating its summit feels like a feat in itself. If you’re feeling up for a challenge, take on the N’ait Oussaden Valley beforehand. Traverse Berber villages, walnut groves and quaint farms and give your legs a running start up the craggy summit. If time isn’t on your side, hop aboard the Toubkal express and tackle the mountain in just two days. Rest assured that its views will leave you slack-jawed on either route. From sunken goat-strewn valleys and serrated chains of towering peaks to the bluer than blue skies that greet you as you approach the summit, trekking Toubkal is the ultimate masterclass in how to feel mighty and small all at once.

Toubkal summit


Jebel Saghro

If trekking in Morocco’s mountains rouses images of dramatic gorges, towering rock spires and barely another soul, then look no further than Jebel Saghro. Unlike Toubkal, which challenges its climbers to reach the top in time for sunrise, Saghro is happy for you to take it at your own leisurely pace. Follow winding footpaths over picturesque passes, pause for lunch at nomadic settlements and leap for joy (and that all important ‘I did it’ Instagram post) atop the range’s highest peak, Amalou n’Mansour (8,897ft). And thanks to its mild climate, camping under stars is up for grabs all year round too, as is staring agog at a gulch of geological marvels like Ali’s Gate. Timeless, remote and chock-a-block with man-made and natural wonders, you don’t have to tell us twice how much geology rocks

Happy Valley


M’Goun Massif

Miley Cyrus wasn’t wrong when she said, ‘it’s all about the climb’. And up M’Goun Massif, which stands at an impressive 13,356ft, it’s a line that you’ll probably end up repeating to yourself over and over on your ascent. Punching the air like a clenched knuckled fist, the Central High Atlas looks menacing but feels quite the opposite. Home to the aptly-named Happy Valley and its smattering of waterfalls, wildflower meadows and friendly mountain goats, M’Goun is as authentic as it gets. Even up the Massif, you’ll be hard-pressed to come across many other intrepid hikers. But if a ten-hour trek doesn’t appeal, a day hike offers the perfect mix to appease all travellers. Wander up to the Sidi Moussa Granary for views over the valley, find the perfect souvenir at Tabant’s local market or brush up on your palaeontology (a la Friends’ Ross Gellar) on a visit to the valley’s 185-million-year-old dinosaur footprints (which are just an hour’s walk away from Tabant).


Rif Mountains

The Rif Mountains may not be as renowned as Toubkal and the Atlas ranges but that’s no reason to ignore them. Base yourself in Chefchaouen, Morocco’s blue-washed beauty, and explore the northerly mountain chains to your hearts content. Spend a day hiking in Akchour to God’s Bridge (think a naturally sculpted bridge suspended 83ft above a river) and its waterfalls, which comes with the perfect reward – a café. Or scramble to the top of the 11-mile Jebel el-Kelaa. Boasting 360° views over hills pockmarked by strings of settlements caught-in-time, walks along the Rif will feel like a welcome break from the thrumming town down below. Plus, trekking in Morocco’s mountains really does make the country’s renowned tagine go down a treat.


And the best time to go you ask? Spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) boast the best crampon-less conditions, where all you’ll need is yourself, a few extra layers and a guide.