Home TRAVELAFRICA MOROCCO TRAVEL DIARY: THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

MOROCCO TRAVEL DIARY: THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

by jenellewitty@gmail.com
Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger

Walking through the Atlas Mountains in Morocco is an experience I will never forget.

Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger town

It has been a while between travel stories up here on Inspiring Wit, as I have been focusing more on the fashion and lifestyle content. However, I still have so many travel guides and journals to share with you! While these may be a little older now, I still wish to share them, as thankfully, little changes in a hurry. If you missed any of our travel journals from Morocco, please find these here:

Diary Entry Day One: Chefchaouen

Morocco Diary Day Two: Volubilis

Morocco Travel Diary Day Three: Fez 

Travel Diary Day Four: Marrakech Food Tour

Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger hike

THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

After spending our first night in Marrakech, with me tucked up in the beautiful Riad and Mario off exploring the best of Moroccan cuisine, we drove out to the Atlas Mountains.

The High Atlas Mountains, south of Marrakech, are home to the tallest peak in North Africa, Jbel Toubkal (4068 meters). The area separates Morocco’s north from the Sahara to the south. Driving up to the Toubkal National Park, we were able to take in the stunning mountain ranges, and pass by local schools.

Stopping to pick up our local guide, we continued into the National park where we headed on a guided walk of 1-2 hours. One of the highlights was being able to visit a local Berber village, and enjoy lunch at a local family’s home.

The family were so kind to have us into their home, we felt so welcome and loved the chance to experience a glimpse into the way that they lived. Something to note is that often visitors bring small gifts for the children- colouring pencils, crayons etc. I wish that we had planned that in advance as I felt sad I didn’t have anything to give them in gratitude.

Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger
Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger valley
Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger trees

It was so isolated on our walk, that I felt a million miles from everywhere. The warm breeze lapped at us as we followed our guide up the slopes and took in the changing and dramatic landscape. Close to the local village there were a lot of private properties owned by internationals who retreat out to the mountains. I imagine this to be a beautiful place to unwind and visit.

THE BERBER POPULATION

Around 60% of the Moroccan population are Berber. The Romans had called the indigenous people ‘Berbers’ meaning ‘barbarians’, which was at the time quite a slur. More recently the Berber Pride movement has claimed the name as a unifying term, and the Berber flag uses the Tifinagh letter ‘yaz’ symbolising freedom. Heading out to the mountains gave us a better opportunity to get to know more about the Berber people, which I was so grateful for.

Morocco travel diary Atlas Mountains Journey Beyond Travel
Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger door in village
Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger village
Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger donkey in truck
Morocco travel diary in the Atlas Mountains with Inspiring Wit travel blogger village cactus
Riad Snan 13 in Marrakech
Riad Snan13 Marrakech tour diary

RIAD SNAN 13

The Riad’s in Marrakech are by now so well known, thanks to so many images being reshared on Pinterest and Instagram as so many fashionable travellers flock to spend some down time in the beautiful city. Of all of the Riad’s we were lucky to stay in, Riad Snan 13 was my favourite. I dream of returning to its minimal, cool and cozy courtyard, rooms and rooftop.

The beautiful white washed courtyard is the perfect place to unwind, be it in the pool, seated on a lounge or tucked away in the reading room. The Terrace, where breakfast is served, offers a peaceful spot to eat, lay back on a sun bed or share a meal.

Riad Snan 13 is located in Mouassine, the oldest and most traditional Marrakech neighbourhood. Only 100 meters from the spectacular Marrakech souk entrance and 4 minutes from Medina’s nerve center: La Place Jemaa el Fna. It was the best place to be close enough to all of the charms of the souks and Marrakech, whilst also providing a quiet oasis.

Riad Snan13 Marrakech tour diary
Riad Snan13 Marrakech tour diary
Riad Snan 13 in Marrakech
Riad Snan 13 in Marrakech

Upon our arrival we sat down to enjoy Moroccan mint tea in the courtyard before settling into our beautiful room. As I was unwell, I stayed behind to take a shower and sleep while Mario headed out into the Souks to join the food tour. I was so well looked after by the staff who were so kind to specially cook me some steamed rice, bringing it up to the room for me with a bowl of honey to help soothe my stomach and give me a little more energy.

I could not be more grateful for their hospitality and for being so kind.

Riad Snan13 Marrakech tour diary

OUR ROOM AT RIAD SNAN 13

Our 25-m2 room was equiped with the most luxurious king size bed, a small indoor reading and rest area, bathroom with a Beldi tadelakt bathtub and incomparable Moucharabieh (typical Moroccan terrace). It was the dreamiest place to visit and feel completely relaxed and inspired. Fresh pale pink roses were dotted throughout the Riad, making me smile.

Honestly I dream of returning to Marrakech just to spend more time in this Riad. Unfortunately I was just not well enough to shoot an editorial I had in mind to shoot here, so I have to go back!

Riad Snan13 Marrakech tour diary

WHERE TO EAT IN MARRAKECH

Morocco sunset Marrakech

NOMAD

We ate on our final night at the very cool Nomad. With a modern Moroccan menu based on simplicity, fresh local produce and spice, offering revisions of traditional local cuisine and international dishes with a Moroccan twist, it was the perfect choice to end our Moroccan trip.

Located just off the Rahba Lakdima spice square (places des épices) in the heart of the Marrakech Medina, the restaurant was modern, minimal and chic. We ate on one of the two levels of terraces enjoying the unbelievable sunset and views of the squares and Atlas Mountains. After having eaten so little in days, I had a serve of the Nomad couscous and vegetable fritters while Mario tucked into a Nomad burger. Each were beautiful dishes.

Nomad Cafe Marrakech table
Nomad Cafe Marrakech balcony
Nomad Cafe Marrakech
Nomad Cafe Marrakech burger

Marrakech Cafes also worth trying: 

Le Jardin

Cafe Clock

Atay Cafe

La Famille Marrakech 

Zwin Zwin Cafe

I have our tour of Marrakech itself with some beautiful surprises to share next so be sure to check back soon! If you have any questions for me about travelling to Marrakech, trekking, or travelling to Morocco, please send them my way below.

Have you been to Morocco? Let me know what you got up to!

READY TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT CREATING YOUR OWN TOUR OF MOROCCO WITH JOURNEY BEYOND TRAVEL? SEND THROUGH YOUR QUESTIONS AND TICK THAT MOROCCAN ADVENTURE OFF OF YOUR BUCKET LIST! https://www.journeybeyondtravel.com/

If you missed any of our Morocco travel diaries, find them below:

Diary Entry Day One: Chefchaouen

Morocco Diary Day Two: Volubilis

Morocco Travel Diary Day Three: Fez 

Travel Diary Day Four: Marrakech Food Tour


PHOTOGRAPHED BY: MARIO RECCHIA & JENELLE WITTY

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