The Atlas Mountains lying in the northwestern part of Africa are an extended bit of the Alpine system in Europe. Situated mainly in Morocco and Tunisia, the mountains spread over an area of around 1500 miles. The highest ranged in the entire chain is found in the southern part of Morocco and is known by the name of Grand Atlas or High Atlas. Jebel Toubkal is the highest peak here at a height of 4167 m. the second highest peak is in the central part of Morocco and is around 11,000 feet high.
Tourists come here to trek up the mountain summit and it is really worth if for the panoramic view that you get at the top of the mountain. The one day treks of climbing the Atlas Mountains and coming back to the town of Imlil is very popular amongst adventure enthusiasts here. However to get the full experience of scaling the mountains a three day trek is the best. is around half an hour from Marrakech.
Forming a link between the Sahara Desert and the coast, the Atlas Mountains have dense forests of pine, cedar, oak, and cork. The tracts of pasture and the fertile valleys here really prove a great visual delight and this is one area where the livestock can feed well. There are lot of mineral deposits that have been left untouched and today you have a wide deposit of manganese, iron, zinc, phosphates, and antimony. One also gets a lot of silver and gold here along with a lot of petroleum reserves.
The Atlas Mountains traditionally have been said to be the Berber territory. With the best combinations of summits, traditional villages and valleys, the Atlas Mountains surely are one of the most beautiful regions in Morocco. As you meet new people on your trails and relax in the comfortable accommodations provided here, it is the best way you could actually enjoy the tours here to this part of Northern Africa with a lot of enjoyment, excitement, and enthusiasm.
Around five billion years ago, the main base of most of Africa was formed. These rocks are older than the Atlas Mountains in Africa. The Atlas Mountains has formed in three phases in the history of the Earth.
The first phase was formed in the Paleozoic era when there were lot of continental collisions. This is the time that North America, Africa, and Europe were connected.
Then the Anti Atlas Mountains were formed when America collided with Africa. These were actually a chain of mountains then and were a great challenge to the majestic Himalayan ranges. Today what we see of this chain is the Fall line in the eastern part of United States. There are some remains found in today’s Appalachians in the northern part of America.
The Mesozoic era saw another extension of the crust of the Earth that separated all the contents mentioned above. This formed most of today’s Atlas. Most of the rocks that are found in the Atlas range today actually originated from the bottom of the ocean.
Then in the Tertiary period, which is, around 1.8 million years ago, the mountain chains were brought up while Africa and Europe collided in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Atlas range is further divided into the Middle Atlas in Morocco, the Saharan Atlas in Algeria and the Tell Atlas and Aures Mountains in Algeria and Tunisia.
The Middle Atlas lies totally in Morocco and is the westernmost part of the range. The rivers Oum Er Rbia and Moulouya separate it and it spans an area of around 700 kilometres. The Riff Mountains are found in the northern part of the Middle Atlas and these Riff Mountains are said to be an extension of the Sierra Nevada.
Then you have the High Atlas in central Morocco, which is cut through by the Draa valley and is the place where the Berber people live in small villages. Here you have the Lalla Takerkoust, which is an artificial lake near Barrage Cavagnac.
The Anti Atlas is in the southwest of Morocco and has the Djebel Sarhro Mountains as the highest point.
The Saharan Atlas is the eastern part of the mighty mountain range. Here to we find many Berbers living.
The Tell Atlas is around 1500 kilometres in length and stretches from Morocco to Tunisia.
Then there are the Aures Mountains, which are the easternmost portion of the Atlas Mountains.
In this manner, tours here to the Atlas Mountains are filled with a lot of excitement joy and adventure.