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Central Morocco

Against the soaring peaks of the Atlas mountains, picturesque Berber villages, palm-filled oases and undulating desert landscapes set the stage for an extraordinary range of adventures. There's hiking along craggy clifftops overlooking the stunning scenery of Todra Gorge and Dadès Gorge, mule treks through Skoura and lush river valleys, and desert wanders by camel amid the sculpted sand dunes surrounding Merzouga and M’Hamid.

Berbers, famed for their hospitality, are another of the region's great treasures. Family-run guesthouses and lavish kasbahs roll out the welcome mat, spread decadent feasts and introduce out-of-towners to the great wonders of Atlas living. Speaking of wonders, central Morocco has them in spades, from thundering waterfalls and fossil-strewn plateaus to ancient citadels and snowy mountain passes, plus North Africa's highest ski slopes. Though you could spend weeks exploring this stretch of Morocco, there are also some easy getaways – to both desert and mountains – from nearby Marrakesh.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Central Morocco.