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By Robert Bruce

Posted: 28th January 2014 10:26

Whilst escaping the freezing British weather and enjoying a holiday in Morocco, the iGap Travel Guide team were lucky enough to enjoy a tour with Morocco Desert Trips.  A destination management company operating out of the heart of Marrakesh, they offer a number of well-crafted tours and excursions designed to introduce visitors to the charms and natural beauty of Morocco, the culture and the people that call this captivating country home.  We were keen to leave the chaotic atmosphere of Marrakesh behind and explore a more traditional side of the country and so for the team, Morocco Desert Trips’ ‘Atlas Mountains Day Tour’ was the perfect option.

We were met at our hotel by Youness and Said, our driver and guide, and were immediately made to feel at ease.  On the journey towards the mountains, Said imparted a lot of interesting information about the passing landscapes and the cultures we might encounter on our tour, helping us feel as though we were truly at home.  Our first stop was at Le Coin Berber, a traditional argan oil house.  After enjoying an in-depth tour, during which we had the chance to meet some of the local women who crushed the argan kernels by hand, we were invited to sample some of the cosmetic and cooking oils on offer and learn the secrets of this amazing product.  Our journey then continued further up into the mountains; we traversed through green valleys dotted with olive groves and, surrounded by such breathtaking panoramas, it was easy for us all to feel relaxed and a part of nature. 

Stopping off in a traditional village, we were greeted by Jamal, who would join us as a guide for the remainder of our trip.  We had just enough time to enjoy a delicious tagine in the village restaurant and visit the local mosque before we took to the mountain trails on foot; the paths twisted through the Moroccan countryside, encompassing crystal clear streams, makeshift bridges and luscious plateaus.  Luckily, the trail was broken up by plenty of rest stops and, somewhat surprisingly, small gift stalls, giving us the chance to catch our breath, admire the view and peruse the goods on offer.  Friendly and knowledgeable, Jamal was on hand to help when the terrain got a little difficult, but once we reached the summit, we realised the climb had been well worth it. 

We were greeted by the picturesque site of a small but beautiful waterfall that flowed down the mountain side.  This stunning area was enhanced further by a bar and seating area, inviting visitors to sit and gaze into the valley below.  Bracing ourselves, we enjoyed a refreshing dip in the icy waterfall pool before simply sitting and drinking in our exquisite surroundings, but all too soon it was time to leave the beauty of the Atlas Mountains behind and return once more to Marrakesh.  We had just enough time to snap a few photographs with our guides, lasting reminders of the experience that was quite possibly the highlight of our holiday. 



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