Mount Toubkal and Berber Villages

7 Days

Price from: £475.00

Mountaineering
Touring Activity
Trekking

Explore rural Morocco on foot scenically beautiful and culturally inspiring

This trip has been designed for experienced walkers who are looking for a reasonably challenging trek in the Atlas Mountains with time to enjoy the exotic city of Marrakech.

  • Mount Toubkal and Berber Villages image
  • Highlights
  • Stay in rural villages
  • High Atlas Mountains
  • Highest summit in N. Africa
  • Moroccan cultural tour
  • Peaceful trekking holiday
Morocco is an exotic country of vibrant contrasts: from sandy beaches and impressive mountains to lush forests and scorching deserts. It is the northern gateway to Africa and is said to be the closest destination to the UK where you can expect to see a totally different culture to our own. It is an affordable and increasingly popular holiday destination and thanks to its wonderful climate, it is pleasant to visit all year round. Our packages to Morocco begin and end in the famous city of Marrakech, which is beautifully placed at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains. During your visit to this fascinating city make time to explore the souqs (markets) and wander the streets and squares of the old city where jugglers, storytellers, snake charmers and acrobats put on a magical show each evening.

Marrakech sits in the foothills of the High Atlas but shares the predominantly Mediterranean climate of north-east Morocco. Summers are normally very hot and dry with scarce rainfall and temperatures of 40C plus. However, once you climb out of the searing heat of the valleys, temperatures are generally fairly comfortable, although it can be very cold on the highest peaks during the night. At this time of year, rivers and other water sources become mere trickles or disappear completely. Like all mountain systems, the Atlas ranges are liable to rapid weather changes. Snow is even possible on the summit of Toubkal in August.

The High Atlas mountains are possibly the greatest mountain range of North Africa. They are aguably the most beautiful and intriguing part of Morocco. The region has retained a remoteness which until recent decades was virtually complete, and contains villages where the way of life has changed very little for centuries.

We will follow little used mule tracks, which take us through rural Berber villages and fertile valleys to rugged mountain trails and over high passes. At 4167m, Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. It's ascent is not a technical climb but is a rough scramble on scree slopes. The views from the summit are truly magnificent and are a more than sufficient reward for the effort. Far below to the north are the green plains of Marrakech while to the south are the Jebel Sahro mountain range and the vast expanse of the Sahara desert.

Activity Information

Mount Toubkal at 4167m is well above the height at which the effects of altitude can begin to take hold. Specifically AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). This condition can affect a person of any age, gender or fitness level but it can be life threatening if not respondsed to (i.e. by moving down to a lower altitude). Common symptoms include dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. These can all be managed but if the effects worsen professional help should be sought. During a quick ascent such as this one, the effects of altitude are brought to a minimum and should not affect any climber too badly. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting enough sleep will encourage successful acclimatisation.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Morocco and transfer from the airport to your hotel in Marrakech.

Day 2

Walking time: 5 to 6 hours
Transfer from Marrakech to Imi Ouglad village (1300m). This will be about an hour and 15 min drive from Marrakech. There you will meet your mule and muleteer. First you will walk to Tizi l'bour (1500m). Then on to Imsker village (1300m). Then you walk up to Ousertik Valley. Here you will spend the night in a local village gite (2200m).

Day 3

Walking time: 5 hours
Today you will walk from Gliz village to Oukaimeden (a premier skiing resort, 2500m). Then it's on to Tizi 'n Addi (3000m) and to Tacheddirt (2300m) village where you will spend the night. Tacheddirt is the highest village in the Atlas Mountains.

Day 4

Walking time: 3 to 4 hours
Today we cross the Imnane Valley, one of the most famous valleys in the Toubkal massif. We walk by Tizi 'n Tamatert (2300m) and will end up in Imlil where you will spend the night.

Day 5

Walking time: 5 hours
Heading along the Mizane Valley, we first pass the village of Aremd. We then continue east and by crossing the flood plains our route takes us along mule tracks and up into the high rocky cliffs above the valley. Crossing the river we eventually come to the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, which attracts tourists and pilgrims. From here the trail continues to climb steadily, snaking and zig-zagging its way up to the snowline and the Toukbal Refuge (3206m), our stop for the night.

Day 6

Walking time: 9 hours
Early in the morning we make our attempt to the summit of Jebel Toukbal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Our route takes us up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the scree and the altitude will make the going quite difficult in parts. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile. When you reach the the summit you will see that the vistas across the surrounding landscape are quite breathtaking. From here there are unrestricted views in every direction, from the Marrakesh Plain to the High Atlas in the north and as far south as the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara desert. We will retrace our steps when we return down the mountain and head back towards Imlil. Transfer to Marrakech.

Day 7

Departure from Marrakech.

Reference

  • This itinerary is intended only as a guideline. There are various factors which may affect the itinerary slightly such as weather condtions and routes will be chosen to guarantee your maximum safety.

Dates and Prices Info

This package is available all year round. Prices are based on groups of 2-4 people.

What's Included?

  • Full event planning and client liaison
  • Experienced local mountain guide, driver, muleteers and cook
  • Accommodation: 4 nights camping or village houses in the High Atlas
  • Accommodation: 2 nights in Marrakech including breakfast
  • All Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner included during trek
  • Transport: minibus or 4x4 for transfers to/from High Atlas
  • Big discount on clothing and equipment from Cotwold Outdoors and Montane

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Sleeping bags
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Entrance Fees
  • Lunches and evening meals in Marrakech
  • Drinks and items of a personal nature

Information

Although credit and debit cards are beginning to gain some acceptance in the Atlas Mountains, this is still only fairly rare. It is safest to presume that everything in the Atlas Mountains must be paid for in cash (Moroccan dirhams). Even though ATMs are becoming much more common in towns and cities, they are yet to reach many trailheads, less so mountain villages.

Ask Activus

If you have any questions about this activity please do not hesitate to ask.

Grade: Difficult

Suitable for...

Those with some previous mountain walking experience as this trip involves 2 days of strenuous trekking. You will need a good level of fitness and be able to walk for 6 hours per day. You should be prepared for several consecutive days walking, so stamina is important. Trekking in the Atlas Mountains can be warm and sunny during the day but the weather in the mountains can quickly change from sunshine to snow and cold winds (autumn through late spring).

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