The Middle Atlas Mountains

The Journey South – we were here 🔵

From Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains we drove south, stopping at Fès to pick up supplies at Marjane – Morocco’s answer to Tesco. When we first travelled to Morocco, Marjane had an alcohol department with a separate check-out; but Muslim rules had toughened over the years and, inconveniently, Marjane stopped selling alcohol.

Locked Out of Camp Site in Fès

Due to Covid and the dearth of tourists, we had been warned that we might find some Moroccan camp sites closed, so we were not unduly worried to find the gates of the municipal camp site in Fès chained shut. The site was on a quiet road so we parked on the road outside under some olive trees where we passed a peaceful and undisturbed night.

I suppose we considered it courteous to use a camp site in Morocco if one was available although we rarely needed their services. The sun shone brightly all day and our solar panels were charging the batteries nicely. Water was our only scarce resource but we found that fuel stations would let us fill our 450 litre water tank when we were refuelling with diesel.

We drove on up into the Middle Atlas Mountains stopping for lunch at Ifrane, a winter ski resort where the King of Morocco had one of his palaces. We had lunch in a café in the main square. We chose a modern-type restaurant because there was a better chance of being able to use a clean pedestal type toilet. We ate grilled local trout followed by a pancake, then coffee but no booze – cost £20.

We spent two nights at a camp site nearby at Azrou – 5000 feet above sea level. At night the temperature fell to -1° rising to 25° in the strong daytime sunshine. In winter the temperature could drop to -10°. It was one of our favourite sites, the guardian brought us bread each morning and the site was immaculately kept which was unusual for Morocco.

The camp site at Azrou was an orchard
View from camp site at Azrou