Tizi n’Tichka Pass
Tizi N’Tichka excursions
Between Marrakech and Ouarzazate, this vertiginous road takes you though some of the High Atlas’ most beautiful sites over nearly 200 kilometres. The natural landscapes and their colours change constantly along the drive, so this road provides a condensed version of all the surprising richness of the region, and numerous opportunities for hikes.
Snaking through the mountain road’s twists and turns, the drive rises atop the plains to reach its culminating point, the Tizi N Tichka mountain pass (“the pasture pass”, 2260 m), an imposing natural barrier between the provinces of Marrakech and Ouarzazate. The view and change in altitude are quite impressive. You’ll next cross the Tizi N’Aït Imquer mountain pass, which offers an astounding panorama over the Jebel Tistouit, in the middle of a ring of snow peaked mountains. Below, you’ll see a number of kasbahs and little villages.
If you continue down the road another twenty kilometres or so, you’ll reach the village of Telouet. Once you’re there you must visit its kasbah of a surprising cultural richness. This is actually the old palace of the Pasha of Marrakech “the last lord of the Atlas”. Following a sumptuous procession of corridors, arcades and patios, you’ll be blown away by the embellishments in the marble and the ironwork.
Back on the Tichka road, take a slight detour to the left 2 kilometres before you reach Taoussit towards Abadou and Sidi Daoud: you’ll reach Tighza, a great place with lots of day trip offerings. We recommend, for example that you follow the current of the Lounil oued to its source, and go deeper into a mountain landscape of a thousand colours. After about 4 hours of walking, you’ll reach Lake Tamda, a refreshing oasis of light and water.
To get on the Tizi N’Tichka road from Marrakech, follow the road to the palmeraie towards Fes, then Ouarzazate. It should take you about two hours to get to the mountain pass then another hour and a half to get to Ouarzazate. You could also take the bus, but the drive will be longer. If you are travelling between January and April, check the road conditions before you leave; sometimes the mountain pass will be closed if the weather is bad.