The Pass in the Atlas Mountains

Take the Agadir to Ouarzazate road and 30km outside Taroudannt turn off left (road no. S501) to the Tizi-n-Test Pass, just before the summit of the pass you will come across La Hotel Belle Vue, with its panoramic views, then start the long winding down hill from the top of the pass at 2089m.

This road takes you through Berber villages which have been hardly changed by the passage of time and views which can only be described as stunning.

At the village of Asni take the road to Imlil, and a summit attempt of Toubkal (highest point in Northern Africa) is possible before dropping down into the valleys of Imnan and Azzaden, where you will see the beauty and touch the culture of the High Atlas Mountains.

Col Tizi-en-test

Then on to the flat valley floor at Tahannaout and Marrakech, only 30 km in the distance.

This road does not have many places to overnight, the steeps of the mountains does not leave much flat space in the valley for camping, so either you can overnight at La Hotel Belle View or use the deserted house at the top of the pass (2089m).

Col Tizi-en-test Hotel Belle View

Otherwise you will have to wait until you are near to Asni, were you will find a great camping wsite next to the river. After that you will have to wait until you arrive in Marrakech and Camping Feradous which is situated 15km outside Marrakech on the Casablanca road.

Driving the roads of Morocco

Driving. This road trip should only be done during the hours of sun light, due to the lack of barriers and large lorries.

Villages on the way down

The road between Taroudannt and Marrakech is a no-go zone after sundown due to it being a main link for the overladen 7.5 ton lorries crossing the High Atlas Mountains heading for the distant towns and villages in the Atlas Mountains.

High Atlas Mountains

These drivers do the same trip for 20+ years and they know the road, like you know the back of your hand... This road is only one car wide in places, with 500m cliffs common on the unbarriered road and no road markings. Taxis, coaches and lorries come around the corners at high speeds. On the same corner you will have the distraction of locals selling minerals and cooking herbs, drive slowly

Sport. The mule tracks which crisis cross the high passes and valleys are the haven for any serious off-road biker, with the terrain changing from harsh mountains and forests to desert and sand , you will find something for all levels. This gives the tracks a great wheel line, which will at times make you feel as if you are riding a roller coaster.

TY on the road

Then on to the flat valley floor at Tahannaout and Marrakech, only 30 km in the distance.

Stunning view from hotel window

Watch out for the hard working donkeys, mules and camels which will be sharing the route with you (a dead sheep will cost you well over 1500 DR, imagine the price of a camel...) as you wind your way through the endless corridors of dry river beds you will pass through valleys where time seems to have stopped.

The only petrol driven traffic on these mule tracks which wind their way into the mountains for hundreds of km will be the scooter. The river Oued Souss has a large catchment zone, taking water from the High Atlas snow fields to the Atlantic Coast 500 km's away. The river has good rainbow trout which took a liking to my Shakespeare No 3 spinner!