Middle Atlas

Humble villages and gentle mountain trails offer a charming counterpoint to imperial cities and ancient ruins in this area of Morocco. The fertile plains of the north have acted as Morocco’s breadbasket for centuries. The Romans left remains at Volubilis, followed in turn by Muslim dynasties who created Morocco’s grandest imperial city: Fez.

The narrow streets of the Fez medina are a true assault on the senses and this region's major drawcard. Meknes, another old imperial capital, offers a slightly more pocket-sized experience but some epic relics from Moulay Ismail's reign. Nearby, the picturesque pilgrimage town of Moulay Idriss – for centuries off-limits to non-Muslims – still quietly exerts a mystical force but remains little-visited.

The Middle Atlas, home to the Barbary macaque, rise to the south: the area is made for tranquil ambles and forest picnics. Across the mountains, Morocco's distinctive kasbahs begin to make an appearance – a sure sign that the southern desert isn’t far away.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Middle Atlas.


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