Tizi n'Test

High Atlas Mountains

Blasted through the mountains by the French in the late 1920s, the awe-inspiring road over the Tizi n'Test pass (2100m) was the first modern route linking Marrakesh with the Souss plain. Vital for the control of trade, its hair-raising hairpin bends offer one of the most exhilarating panoramic drives in the country. As if the small-lane road weren’t enough of an adventure, the weather is subject to sudden changes.

Heavy clouds and mist often cut visibility to near zero and you might find your way blocked by snow in winter. As you approach the pass, you may suddenly break through fog into clear blue sky, and catch breathtaking aeroplane-window views over cloudbanks. On the south side of the pass, the van ominously embedded into the hillside is your cue for a pit stop at La Belle Vue. The balcony offers stunning valley views of green terraces and cypress forests cascading down the hillside all the way to Taroudant, the tajines are great, and there are even a few simple rooms upstairs if you'd like to wake up to a view like this in the morning.

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