Morocco

Best of Mount Toubkal and Moroccan Desert and Imperial Cities

Level

Moderate/Challenging

Duration

12 days

Time to travel

Spring and summer months

Route

Marrackech; Asni; Tizi Ousesem; Tizi Mzik; Imlil Village; Chamharouch; Toubkal refuge; Mount Toubkal; Imlil; Kasbah Ait Benhedou; Dades Valley; Todras Gorges; Merzouga; Desert camp; Merzouga; Alnif; Tazzarine;Agdez; Quarzazate; Marrakech

This trip is both a challenging high peak mountain climb to the roof of Northern Africa and a culturally stimulating Moroccan desert experience where you can explore the arid Saharan landscapes and get closer to Kasbahs, camels and Berber villages. The hike to the summit is challenging, but it requires no mountaineering experience and the panoramic view from the summit makes the hard work worthwhile.

After the High Atlas Mountain range lays a mysterious, surreal and stunning landscape. This is the heart of old Morocco – the pre Sahara desert. It’s like stepping back in time into an all forgotten world; a world of fortified villages, Berber castles (Kasbahs) and abandoned Foreign Legion outposts. The Sahara region is where you’ll find one of the most diverse and dramatic landscapes in Morocco

Facts

  • The Atlas Mountains, which is the north Africa’s greatest mountain range, holds some of the fascinating and most magnificent regions of Morocco.. These huge mountains offer very impressive mountain biking trails, trekking trails and photography opportunities. These mountains are the highest in the region, with Mount Toubkal stretching to 4.165 meters above sea level. It is divided into three parts: the Middle Atlas (north of Beni Mellal), the Anti-Atlas (south of Marrakech to Tafilalet) and the High Atlas Mountains between Marrakech and Ouarzazate.
  • The Moroccan Sahara is mainly made up of a big rocky plain, which runs from the feet of the Atlantis on the North/East almost to the Atlantic coast, south of Agadir. In Morocco, the desert moves smoothly, the Draa Valley or Wadi Ziz strung a string of villages and lush palm groves, before losing in the dunes of the erg (Chebbi or labidia), which lie at the foot highland last relief before Algeria

ITINERARY

Day 01: Marrakech ( D)

A Rahhalah guide will pick you up from the airport in Marrakech and transfer you to the hotel in the center of the city. In the afternoon, we will enjoy some free time to explore Marrakech.

Overnight at a hotel in Marrakech.

Day 02: Marrakech - Asni – Aguersioual- Tizi Oussem

We will drive to the High Atlas Mountains through Tahnaoute, Asni & Moulay Brahim gorges. Our starting point is Aguersioual, this is where we will meet the team (guide & muleteers) and head up towards Azzaden valley through a beautiful juniper forest and the pass Tizi Oudid.

We then continue to the authentic Azzaden valley and Tizi Oussem Berber villages (1850m).

Overnight at a guest* house.

*It’s a guest house in the Berber villages of Tizi Oussem or Refuge Azib Tamsoulte, The Refuge is located Azib Tamsoulte at 2250 m altitude, in the heart of Toubkal, the building isolated in nature which bears the name of a region at the foot of virgin Tazararte, alongside the sheep, a place of transhumance summer for the villagers of the Azzaden valley.

Day 03: Tizi Oussem - Tizi Mzik - Imlil Village

After breakfast, we will walk up the valley enjoying the beautiful view over the river and streams, then pass through Azib Tamsoulte to visit the highest waterfalls in the Atlas Mountains (100m of height) called waterfalls Aghorghiz (2300m), We will walk back to cross Tizi Mzik pass (2485) and take in the spectacular view over Imlil valley & Toubkal Summit. Then, we proceed down to Imlil village, a small town located at 1740m above the sea level, at 67km on the south west of Marrakech, usually the start point of all treks to Toubkal massif.

Overnight stay in Imlil at a guest house..

Day 4: Imlil - Chamharouch - Toubkal Refuge (B, L, D)

Today we begin our trek along the Maizane Valley. First, we pass the village of Aremd and then continue east by crossing the flood plains. Our route takes us along mule tracks and up into rocky cliffs above the valley. After crossing the river, we eventually come to the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamharouch which attracts many tourists and pilgrims. From here the trail continues to climb steadily, snaking and zig-zagging its way up to the snow line and the Toubkal Refuge (3206m), which will be our stop for the night.

Toubkal Refuge: the Toubkal refuge is located at 3207 meters height. Offer family rooms with separate showers, as well as dormitories, large enough to handle a great number of people

Day 5: Toubkal Refuge - Mount Toubkal (4167m) - Imlil

Today starts with an early morning attempt to reach the summit of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Our route takes us up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge. The walking is easy but the altitude will make it difficult in some parts. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile and when you reach the summit, you will see that the vistas across the surrounding landscape are quite breath-taking. From here, there are limitless views at every turn, from the Marrakesh Plain to the High Atlas in the north and as far south as the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara Desert. These views are memories that will last you a life time.

We will retrace our steps when we descend the mountain and head back towards Imlil.

We will spend the night in Imlil.

Day 6: Imlil - Kasbah Ait Benhedou - Dades Valley

You will be picked up from your accommodation in Imlil at 8.00 am and head out to the Atlas Mountains, driving over the impressive Tizi-n-Tichka mountain pass. Our journey has us passing through lots of Berber villages, and once you’re in the desert, you’ll see riverside oases and barren hillsides dotted with Kasbahs (fortified dwellings that house families and their livestock). Along the way, you will have the option either to take a break and visit the Ouarzazate Film Studios or stop for a hike. Once you reach Dades Gorge, you have the option of going on a hike, or relaxing at your hotel.

Day 7: Dades Valley - Todra Gorges - Merzouga - Desert camp

This morning, we head for Todra Gorge, a massive fault dividing the High Atlas Mountains, rising up to 300 metres in a narrow valley with palmeries and Berber villages. Here you can go for a hike to explore the palmery, a green oasis full of large date palms. After lunch, we’ll head further into the desert to the gateway town of Merzouga to pick up supplies for our desert trip. We will then drive on to a kasbah to pick up your camel for a camel trek at sunset to a Berber camp for a traditional Moroccan dinner, and sleep under the stars in tents at the desert camp.

Day 8: Merzouga – Ziz Valley – Midelt – Azrou - Fes

We will wake up early to watch what well may be the best sunrise of your life. We’ll peacefully camel-trek back to the village of Merzouga. Over the dunes, you can’t help but appreciate the unique beauty of the spectacular Erg Chebbi sand dunes – changing with the light as the day progresses.

After breakfast in our riad, we will start travelling to Fes via the Ziz Valley and Azrou. Enjoy the fascinating landscape along the magnificent Ziz Gorges carved through volcanic rock, and through the Tizi n’Talghamt Pass to Midelt. Stop in Zaida to enjoy a barbecue and refreshment with a glass of mint tea then continue our journey to Fes. You will stop at the Cedar Forest, on the Midlle Atlas Mountains where you will see the Barbarian apes in the wild. Get to Fes at the end of the day and check in to our riad.

Day 9: Fes

Most of the morning will be spent visiting the medina (the old city) and its alleys. We begin with a walking tour within the narrow labyrinth streets, visiting the famous old Tanneries, and then the Quaraouine Mosque and University , the Attarin Medersa and the Najjarin Fountain.

After lunch, we will drive to the old Jewish quarter and the Royal palace gate yard, where you will learn about the Jewish history in Morocco. Your visit includes the tile art factory and then a wonderful panoramic view over the whole Medina of Fes.

Day 10: Fes – Meknes – Rabat

After breakfast, we will start travelling to Rabat via Volubilis and Meknes. Our journey will be over the Rif Mountains and the foothills of Zgouta. We will get to Volubilis, the well preserved Roman Empire in North Africa, dating to 25BC, where you will see the most beautiful Mosaics in Morocco dating back to 3rd century BC. Here you will learn a lot about the Roman occupation and culture in Morocco.

Afterwards, our journey continues to Meknes, the Ismaili capital of Morocco; here you will see the fascinating gate Bab Mansour built by the sultan My Ismail, the royal granary and the Sahrij Souani basin used for irrigation and plantation. After some free time wandering in the Lahdim square, you will continue to Rabat via the highway.

Hotel: Bélère Hotel Rabat / Rive Hotel or Similar el: Hotel Volubilis / Hotel Wassim or Similar

Day 11: Rabat – Casablanca

Today, we will explore Rabat. This diplomatic and administrative capital is the official residence of the King Mohamed VI, We’ll go on a Rabat City Tour visiting the Royal Palace (outside), Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the unfinished Hassan Tower. These sites are important examples of Almohad architecture, Afterwards, we’ll head to Casablanca, a city made famous by the classic Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman 1942 romance film “Casablanca.”. You’ll have time to yourself to explore Morocco’s largest city!

We’ll then have dinner at the Hotel.

Hotel: Idou Anfa Hôtel & Spa / Kenzi Sidi Maarouf Hotel or Similar

Day 12: Casablanca – Airport

After breakfast, transfer to Mohamed V International airport for return flight and assistance with the boarding formalities.

2,382 USD per person

in a group of min 4 participants. Double occupancy

Trip Dates

27th March 2016

NOTES

  • This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
  • This cost is valid from 1st April 2016 till 30th October 2016
  • Full payment should be made 30 days prior the departure.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.

THIS INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers from/to Marrakech airport
  • 1 nights’ accommodation in Marrakech
  • Accommodation in refuge/guest houses during the Toubkal portion of the trek
  • Accommodation in hotel and Tents during desert trek
  • Transport from Marrakech and throughout the desert trek
  • Meals as described
  • English speaking Guide
  • Mule to carry the baggage and food during the Toubkal trek
  • Camels
  • 3 Night Accommodation in 4 * hotel on half board for the extension
  • English Speaking guide
  • Sightseeing with a guide for the extension
  • Entrance fees

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International Airfare/Domestic airfare
  • Optional activities
  • Single supplement
  • Meals not specified above
  • Cost due to an early descent
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience to the travelers.

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