Morocco is one of the last remaining monarchies in Africa, it is a country of desert, semi desert, and green terraces, walnut and Almond groves, Juniper and Eucalypt woodlands and date palms. In other words it is perhaps the nearest place to mainland Europe that could be described as Exotic: In the sense of its landscapes, people, colours, smells, noises and flavours. A land of vibrant market souks, mosques and minarets. There is a great tradition of Islam although it is generally moderate. There has also been the history of the independence of the Berber peoples of the Atlas Mountains, famed for their civility, sense of humour and strength as a mountain people.
If you are a 'foody,' there is some excellent cuisine to be enjoyed from French inspired dishes, to famous Berber ones - such as Tagine and Couscous. At their best they have influenced world cooking. Then there is the inevitable Mint tea, or 'Whisky Berber' as the locals like to joke!
The highland regions of the nation run obliquely across the middle and form the chains of the fabled Atlas mountains rising to high peaks such as Toubkal and Mgoun that are over 4000m high.
To the south the Atlas ripple into the lower Jebel Sahro which eventually merges into the Sahara desert. Sherpa’s mountain treks to these places commence from the red city of Marakech, a place that used to be the hub of an empire stretching as far as Timbuktu in Mali. It is an amazing place where in the central square, The Djema El Efna you will find a mediaeval spectacle every evening featuring music, snake charmers, acrobats, orange juice makers and kebab cooks. A unique place to experience African night life. In winter the snow-clad peaks of the High Atlas provide a backdrop to its distinctive skyline of crenellated walls, palm trees and minarets. All of Sherpa’s tours begin and end here and these include a self guided trek as well as the traditional high peak escorted tours.
Morocco does not immediately spring to mind when one thinks of high mountains, but in fact, it provides some of the most impressive mountain walking in the world. More than this, its population, Berber and Arab, ensure a truly exotic experience and a thought-provoking insight into an ancient culture very different from our own. Morocco is also a country that offers a variety of microclimates. Even in summer you can still find snow in the High Atlas, whilst in - mid winter the fringes of the Sahara are ideal for walking.
The Berbers of the Atlas have long held the interest of ethnologists as an example of an ancient mountain society. Our contact with them as delightful trek staff is one of the charming aspects of walking in this region.