Morocco: Marrakech to Tafraoute

If you’ve been following my last two posts (here and here) you’ll know we’re in the middle of a trip through Morocco!

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday exploring Marrakech and getting lost (in a good way) in the souks in the medina. After one last night in Marrakech, we headed out early Thursday morning into the High Atlas Mountains. At one of our rest stops, we pulled over to a cafe and found an argan oil cooperative with women making argan oil in the traditional way; it was really cool to see!

Making Argan Oil

Making Argan Oil

On the road, which was basically a dirt track, we drove through many Berber villages and beautiful picturesque scenery. The mountains were just stunning and it was amazing to see how different life is for the people of the villages. Even though they were very remote villages, they all had cell phone towers and electricity!

Berber village

Berber village

Thursday evening, we wild camped. It was at the top of a mountain plateau and even though we were in the middle of nowhere, some shepherds came through our camp with their goats around dinner time. After finishing our meals, we had some amazing views of the stars!

wild camping in the High Atlas

wild camping in the High Atlas

The next morning, we were back on the road through more amazing mountains and stunning views, arriving in Taliouine for the evening. In Taliouine we enjoyed real showers and delicious Moroccan tajines of chicken and beef for dinner.

We were back on the road again for more great trails and mountain views. At this point, we were heading into the Anti Atlas Mountains, which had phenomenal swirls of color showing on them. This was one of our favorite days of off road driving beacuse of the great dirt roads, amazing scenery, and even driving through a few river beds. We even got to see our first real oasis before arriving in the town of Tata. In Tata, we camped at a municipal campsite in the middle of town, which allowed us to explore the market in the morning before hitting the road again.

Anti Atlas Mountains

Anti Atlas Mountains

Sunday was a great drive as well. We drove through more river canyons and many oasis with palm trees laden with dates ripe for picking. We had some excitement when we drove by the Akka Gold Mine and again when one of the cars with us got a flat tire.  But we were able to work as a team and quickly get it replaced with his spare. In the evening, we found a beautiful spot above the river bed to wild camp.

We all enjoyed a nice hot fire and the stars before bed. Unfortunately, since we were in a canyon, the wind howled all night. Luckily no tents were blown over, but no one got a good nights rest. We were all anxious to reach Tafraoute in the morning and were packed up and ready to go by 8 or 9.

We had some enjoyable driving on our way to Tafraoute, but were trying to outrun some rain clouds. Nevertheless, we had some truly stunning views on the drive. We were running ahead of schedule, so we thought we’d do an extra trail, only to reach a village where the river had completely washed out the road and we had to turn around.

We pulled into Tafraoute at lunchtime and all checked into a beautiful hotel for a good nights rest and some hot showers. After a late lunch in a cafe, we hit the shops for some souvenirs and to replenish our food supplies.

Grains in a shop in Tafraoute

Grains in a shop in Tafraoute

We’re looking forward to having dinner at a Bedouin tent and hitting the road for Paradise Valley and some sand dunes in the morning.

Check out my other posts about our Morocco trip:

We went on this trip with Russ, Mark, and Libby from Yorkshire Overland Tours and they were absolutely amazing!


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