Morocco’s mountainous spine
Head south of Agadir and Marrakech, and you’ll soon bump into the Atlas Mountains – a 2,000-kilometre-long range that careers through Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. This near-mystical region is a mix of stuck-in-time Berber villages and boutique hotels with celebrity credentials. (Richard Branson owns our handpicked hotel here, the Kasbah Tamadot.) And it’s all wrapped in a spectacular landscape of snow-dusted peaks, river gorges, juniper forests and dusty valleys.
Local Mount Toubkal is the highest point in Morocco. It’s best known as one of the only ski resorts in Africa, but you can also hike up to alpine meadows and waterfalls in the summer. Go with a local guide, and you’ll usually get a traditional picnic of lamb tagine and apricot salad, too.
And while the Atlas Mountains might seem a world away from civilisation, the souks and squares of Marrakech are only a 90-minute drive north.
Morocco is around 3 hours 30 minutes from the UK.
The Atlas Mountains are about a one-hour drive away from Marrakesh Menara Airport.
There are no two ways about it: Morocco is a scorcher. Summers can get up to 40°C in July and August, although in coastal areas like Agadir, you’ve got the sea breeze taking the edge off. The heat is more tolerable in spring and autumn, when averages hover in the mid-20s. Remember to pack a jacket, though – things can cool down rapidly once the sun goes down.
Visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Morocco.
There are no specific rules for tipping in Morocco. An upmarket restaurant may add on a service charge, so check your bill carefully. Otherwise, aim to leave around 10%. In taxis, it’s acceptable to just round up the fare. It’s a good idea to have some small change on you for paying taxis and tipping guides.
The official language of Morocco is Arabic. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.