Morocco’s varied landscapes create the perfect setting for any type of adventure. One of our groups set out on our Hiker’s Journey to Morocco in October 2021 for an unforgettable trip to the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountains. Read on for some wonderful photos taken by one of our WT adventurers.
Our long-awaited trip to Morocco, just when the country was opening again to international tourists, was a delightful mix of culture and trekking. We joined a small group of fellow travelers led by our guide Mark Gordon in Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the oldest and largest medina in North Africa.
Hidden within the medina of Fes we found iconic 14th century buildings like the Bou Inania Madrasa featuring intricate wood carvings, and magnificent mosaic tilework.
Nearby to Fes we hiked among the ruins of Volubilis, a partly excavated Berber-Roman city little changed since the filming of the movie Patton in 1970.
No trip to Fes is complete without a visit to its ancient tannery, where we tucked fresh rosemary into our masks to hide the stink of leather processing.
Hiking through the forests of the Middle Atlas Mountains led to encounters with the Barbary macaque and inhabitants of isolated Berber settlements supporting a semi-nomadic herding life. This young lady was kind enough to pose for a couple photos and give us a tour of her seasonal home in the mountains.
Between hikes we visited a cooperative where local women made a variety of indigenous spices and foods like cous cous, shown here. Everywhere we went, the local people were so happy to see Americans again and treated us like royalty. Everyone except the royal guards who advised us that we had strayed into the royal hunting reserve. Fortunately, our local guide knew exactly where the unmarked property line was and set them straight.
Our most challenging hikes were in the High Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco where we encountered pilgrims hiking to the King of Jinn’s shrine and Berber guides with hardy mules to take the load off their tired knees.
After a long day’s hike, there was nothing better than watching the moon rise over the High Atlas Mountains from the comfort of a poolside bar.
The trip ended in the magical red city of Marrakesh, with many hours walking through the souks and marveling at the local musicians, aritsans, and architecture. And of course, marvelous Moroccan meals with our wonderful hiking friends and guide.
—Text and photos by two-time WT adventurer Jeff Wyatt, Hiker’s Journey to Morocco.