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Anti Atlas Mountains

Our holidays in Morocco's Anti Atlas mountains offer the chance of real insight into Berber culture in a very quiet and hassle free region. The Anti Atlas, Morocco’s most southerly mountain range, borders the Sahara and has spectacular natural landscapes, fantastic walking, a tempting climate and a legendary welcome from the local Berbers that make it a most attractive area to visit.

Overview

The Region

The dramatic landscapes of the Moroccan wilderness in the Anti Atlas offer fabulous walking opportunities and great cultural insight away from the hustle and bustle of larger towns and cities.

The most distinct and varied of the Atlas ranges, run for around 300 km from the nearby Atlantic Coast towards Ouarzazate. Peaking in the stunning volcanic range of Jebel Siroua (Sirwa) at 3,304m and 2 hours’ drive east of Taroudant, it provides an important barrier against the Sahara which lies to its south. Completely different but equally fantastic rocky landscapes are found in areas south and south west of Taroudant, near Tiout and Tafraoute respectively.

With less than 20 cm rain per annum, agriculture is focused around scenic rivers and oases. There are many remote Berber villages worth a visit and pretty green cultivated valleys with scattered herds of goats.

Climate

The Anti Atlas Mountains enjoys a relatively equable climate on the Atlantic fringe, but as you pass inland towards Ouarzazate the climate becomes more extreme. Altitudes and latitudes are lower than the High Atlas so it is the warmest mountainous region in winter. The best time to visit the inland parts of the region is between September and May, but be aware that nights are cold in midwinter.

Location

The Anti Atlas mountains are the southernmost mountain range in Morocco, running in a band south of Taroudant bordering the Sahara they are easily accessable from Agadir, which has an international airport.

Places in the Region

Taroudant, the red-walled traditional Berber market town serving the fertile Souss valley on the northern fringe of the Anti Atlas and is the most accessible and friendly centre from which to explore the range. Don’t miss its Sunday souk or the range of activities on offer here that can give you an insight into the 'Real Morocco'.

Tafraoute, a peaceful town roughly 3 hours' drive from Agadir along winding mountain roads, is an ideal base for exploring the area and the Ameln Valley and to see the 'Blue Stones Rocks' and pre-historic rock paintings.

Taliouine, a village on the edge of the spectacular Jbel Sirwa mountains lies midway between Taroudant and Ouarzazate, not long before the road branches off to Zagora. Famous for production of saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, Taliouine has a cooperative where you may buy this miraculous spice at bargain rates and learn about its cultivation. It also has a large crumbling kasbah.

 

Accommodation

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Borj Biramane

Borj Biramane, Icht

Rating

> Destinations > Anti Atlas Mountains

Borj Biramane at Icht is set beside a spectacular escarpment by an oasis in a fascinating area on the northern edge of the Sahara. It is a very well managed property with a pool and offers either en suite rooms in a tower with fine views or “Berber bungalows” with tented roofs and high quality shared bathrooms. 4x4 trips to sand dunes are also available.

Standard Double Guide Price:

£55 per night, half board Information

Standard double room price for indication only. Prices may vary considerably by season and room. Special offer or discount for multiple nights may apply. Prices updated periodically and can be affected by exchange rate.

2** Classic Information

For details of classifications see Star Rating and Guide Price above.

Dar Infiane

Dar Infiane, Tata

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> Destinations > Anti Atlas Mountains

Dar Infiane, kasbah and desert camp at Tata is set on a hill top offering fine views in a fascinating yet little visited area on the northern edge of the Sahara. It is a tastefully restored and ecologically managed kasbah of great character offers comfortable rooms and a small pool. It has a desert camp around 1 hour's drive away with traditional wool tents.

Standard Double Guide Price:

£95 per night, half board Information

Standard double room price for indication only. Prices may vary considerably by season and room. Special offer or discount for multiple nights may apply. Prices updated periodically and can be affected by exchange rate.

2** Classic Information

For details of classifications see Star Rating and Guide Price above.

Tissint Desert Camp

Rating

> Destinations > Anti Atlas Mountains

The remote desert camp in Tissint is set in a spectacular site with small dunes and amazing natural rock formations a short drive from the Dar Infiane Kasbah in Tata

Standard Double Guide Price:

£105 per night, half board Information

Standard double room price for indication only. Prices may vary considerably by season and room. Special offer or discount for multiple nights may apply. Prices updated periodically and can be affected by exchange rate.

2** Classic Information

For details of classifications see Star Rating and Guide Price above.

Tizourgane Kasbah

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Tizourhane Kasbah is a simple guest house created out of part of an ancient kasbah. Located in a truly spectacular and peaceful setting, the spacious roof terrace lends itself to relaxation whilst enjoying the lovely views and silence of this unspoiled and little visited part of the Anti Atlas Mountains.

Standard Double Guide Price:

£70 per night, half board Information

Standard double room price for indication only. Prices may vary considerably by season and room. Special offer or discount for multiple nights may apply. Prices updated periodically and can be affected by exchange rate.

2** Classic Information

For details of classifications see Star Rating and Guide Price above.

Auberge Kasbah Chez Amaliya

Rating

> Destinations > Anti Atlas Mountains

Chez Amaliya is friendly small hotel with a swimming pool located in a beautiful valley in the Anti Atlas Mountains. Located near to the village of Tafraoute, it has great views of the mountains and the famous 'Lion's Head', and is a useful stopping point as part of a tour of the south of Morocco.

Standard Double Guide Price:

£35 per night, B&B Information

Standard double room price for indication only. Prices may vary considerably by season and room. Special offer or discount for multiple nights may apply. Prices updated periodically and can be affected by exchange rate.

3*** Boutique Information

For details of classifications see Star Rating and Guide Price above.

Attractions

Things to do or see

  • See the fantastic rock formations such as the Lion’s Head and Napoleon’s Hat, prehistoric rock carvings and some of the 26 pretty villages in the Ameln valley near Tafraoute
  • Visit the incredible Blue Rocks (boulders), just 4 km from Tafraoute created by Belgian painter Jean Veran with the help of local firemen and 18 tons of paint
  • See phenomenal agadirs (Berber "castles") perched on rocky outcrops in places such as the road north of Tafraoute and the Assif n’ Mouguene canyon (the "Grand Canyon of Morocco") in the southwest of the range
  • Trek in the Jbel Sirwa or Assif n’ Mouguene canyon regions
  • Learn about organic saffron production at Taliouine on the road between Taroudant and Ouarzazate or Zagora. Arriving in late October-early November should guarantee sight of the beautiful blue-violet flowers and even the festival to celebrate the harvest
  • See carpet production at Tazenakt, between Talaouine and Ouarzazate or Zagora
  • See almond blossom in January and February when hillsides will be bedecked with the delicate pink flowers

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