High Atlas Mountains (Central): The Complete Guide
The Central High Atlas region is located in the heart of Berber territory and has largely remained untouched by modernity. While many areas have access to electricity and roads, there are still some isolated hamlets that are disconnected from these amenities. The region boasts stunning scenery, with gentle dips and dramatic plunges, and is home to charming, simple villages built from the soil on which they stand. The region’s standout attraction is Mt. M’Goun, which rises to over 13,000 feet and is the second-highest peak in North Africa.
A solid chalk mass morphologically dominated by tabular zones reaching an altitude of 2,500 m (8,200 ft) extends from Azilal to Ouarzazate. Here, the contrasting landscapes are similar to Colorado in the United States, with high plateaux, gorges and box canyons, and peaks sometimes splintered by erosion. Several peaks in this area exceed 4,000 m (13,000 ft), with Jbel Mgoun at 4068 m being the highest peak in this part of the High Atlas. The area is populated by Berbers.
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Azrou, Village in Central Atlas Mountains
Azrou is a Berber town located in the Middle Atlas Mountains, at the junction of roads leading to Fez, Meknès, Midelt, and Khenifra. The town is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including cedar and pine forests and high meadows that bloom in the spring. Azrou is known for its relaxed atmosphere and is a good place to rest after visiting larger cities. The town takes its name from the outcrop that marks its western boundary, and the large Ennour mosque, finished with local cedar, serves as a landmark. Azrou is home to one of the largest weekly markets in the region, known for its Berber carpets, and is busiest on market day (Tuesday). A museum of the Middle Atlas has been under construction for some time, but its opening date has been indefinitely delayed. Instead of visiting the museum, it is recommended to explore the surrounding countryside, including the mountain air and great views, and possibly spot some local Barbary apes.
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