Just an hour or so drive from Marrakesh, the Atlas Mountains are a lovely day trip for those who enjoy hiking. We organised our visit through our hotel, but it is perfectly possible to arrange for a taxi and guide independently too. There are several commonly visited spots, we chose to visit the “7 waterfalls” – one of the closest to Marrakesh and therefore most popular (so may be very busy in the summer). Here are a few of my top tips for making the most of your visit:
1. Hire a local guide (around 200 Dh total for a small group) – the path is impossible to find/ doesn’t really exist, plus you’ll need a firm supporting hand over the rocks.
2. Request a “no stopping” taxi, and make sure your driver sticks to these instructions – otherwise the journey will take twice as long while they try and earn commission on your purchases at various shops en route.
3. Bring a packed lunch – lovely to enjoy on the mountain and much cheaper than the cafes there.
4. Wear the appropriate clothes, i.e. hiking books and a good coat in winter. There was pretty thick snow and the route was essentially just scrambling over rocks and through streams the whole way…
5. Know your limits – the first set of waterfalls is relatively easy to visit but the climb to the top requires very good fitness and the correct footwear. The first few waterfalls are also the most spectacular anyway, so don’t feel a need to push yourself too far too the top if you’re struggling.
We had a fantastic day and I’d really recommend it for anyone wanting a refreshing break from Marrakesh!