Above: Kasbah Tamadot beneath the Atlas Mountains in Asni, Morocco

Although the high-season crowds in Marrakech can be overwhelming, a drive through scenic and unspoiled countryside soon brings you to abandoned kasbahs (citadels) and crumbling mud-walled ksour (fortified villages; “ksar” is the singular) undiscovered by tourists. In the course of a week, we moved from Marrakech to the alpine grandeur of the High Atlas Mountains, continued to a palm-filled valley and concluded our trip in the sand sea of the Sahara. The journey through ever-changing landscapes had an epic, cinematic sweep to it.

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