Eastern High Atlas

The Eastern High Atlas are much less visited than the mountains in the west, though they're no less spectacular. The region is substantially different from the Toubkal High Atlas. Gone are the long deep winding valleys with their terraced fields: this is an area of shoulder mountains, snowcapped into early summer, bare plateaux, occasional deep canyons and semi-nomad lifestyles in the high pastures. Highlights include the Jbel Ayyachi and the deep gorges of the Assif Melloul, thick with vegetation.

North of Er Rachidia, the Oued Ziz runs through a fearsome defile to Rich, where a metalled road now takes you west to Imilchil, the most obvious 'capital' of the area and from where trekking expeditions set off into the eastern High Atlas. The region is particularly beautiful in late spring, when the greens of young barley and poplars coming into leaf contrast with the creamy-brown nakedness of the cliff-sides above. Near to Imilchil are the calm twin lakes of Isli and Tislit. Moving westwards, tracks lead across the mountains to another major meeting of the ways, Zaouïat Ahansal.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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