The Tizi N'Test: the road that extends beyond Marrakech to Taroudant and  Taliouine

It's unbelievably impressive. cutting right through the  heart of the Atlas, it was blasted out from the mountains by the French  in 10 November 1928 - the first modern route lo link Marrakech with the  souss plain and the desert and an extraordinary feat of pioneer-spirit  engineering. Until then it had been considered impracticable without  local protection and knowledge: an important pass for trade and for the  control and subjugation of the south, but one of that few sultans were  able to make their own. Through much of the last century it was the  personal fief of the goundafi family, whose huge Kasbah still dominate  many of the crags and strategic turns along the way. Much farther into  the past it had served as the refuge and power-base of the Almohads, and  it was from the holy city of Tin Mal, up towards the col that they  launched their attack on the Almoravid dynasty. The Col du Tizi n'Test,  2,100m in height, stands 43km beyond Berber Homestay. There's a  cafe-restaurant just south of the pass. Walk back along the road a  kilometre Frome here and you will find a track leading straight up to  the col towards a platform mounted by a TV relay station. The views down  to the Souss valley and back towards Toubkal can be stunning .

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Day excursion to Ijoukak Valley including lunch

Drive to the Atlas Mountains, 100km from Marrakech, to visit a local village and mosque, eat home-cooked meals, and try your hand at clay tajine-making.