Morocco, steeped in ancient history, colorful culture and dramatic landscapes, continues to deliver WOW experiences now more than ever.
While of course our travelers to Morocco love experiencing highlights such as Casablanca, Marrakech and the coastal town of Essaouira, it’s often the simple encounters with locals that really make an impact.
Interacting with and learning about the Berber culture in the Atlas Mountains is one particularly memorable experience.
The Berber’s rich cultural history dates back to prehistoric times, over 4000 years ago! They established ancient trading routes between the West African and the Sub-Saharan region where they transported goods from beyond the Sahara desert to the Northern Moroccan cities.
Today, it is still possible to still find many traditional Berber settlements in the mountains of Morocco. These villages offer an interesting insight into the Berber tradition and history. Here is more about this experience, and why it’s on our list of top travel experiences for 2017!
Journey to the Atlas Mountains
The High Atlas, North Africa’s greatest mountain range with snow-capped peaks and lush valleys, is very remote and far removed from Morocco’s mainstream, urban life. While only a 2-hour drive from Marrakech, the region feels isolated and offers a glimpse into a world where time seems to have stood still.
Here you can enjoy a variety of hikes into the mountains. On these treks, explore ancient villages, pastoral valleys and hidden passes and panoramic ridges. Far above dramatic stark crags and rocky trails contrast with terraced village gardens and ruined kasbahs.
Experience a Traditional Berber Village
Traditional Berber villages are common in this area. These villages have no electricity, running water, or paved roads. Spend time with locals as they farm and herd cattle, and watch them make and sell carpets, honey, olive oil and pottery in local markets.
Explore the paths outside the mud-walled houses and experience the hospitality of the local community.
Have Lunch With a Berber Family
You will first be welcomed into the main dining area of a local home and invited to sit down on a carpet on the floor and enjoy Moroccan Mint Tea.
Watch, or even lend a helping hand, as traditional chicken Tajine is cooked alongside traditional, ubiquitous round bread that will accompany the meal.
Interested in learning more about the Berber culture and visiting Morocco? Contact us today to get started planning your custom adventure!