Experience Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains on this Mt Toubkal trek

From the heart of Marrakech’s Medina to the top of Mt Toubkal, this Moroccan adventure offers you a sublime combination of city sights and mountain trekking. Learn some basic Arabic or Berber from the local villagers in the Atlas Mountains, while experiencing the friendly hospitality of the Berber people, and ascend to the summit of North Africa’s highest peak. Prepare for a sensory overload as you encounter the Djemaa el-Fna for the first time, get lost in Marrakech’s maze of covered market streets and feel those tastebuds tingle over a traditional Moroccan tajine.

Start
Marrakech, Morocco
Finish
Marrakech, Morocco
Countries
Morocco
Themes
Walking & Trekking
Code
XMXO
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
129kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Watch from a rooftop cafe as the Djemaa el-Fna comes alive at dusk
  • Experience Berber culture in the mountain villages of the Atlas Mountains
  • Ascend to dizzying heights to reach the summit of North Africa’s highest peak
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Marrakech’s famous sites and seemingly endless souqs

Itinerary

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. There will be a welcome meeting today at the hotel, where you'll meet your fellow travellers and group leader. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

For those who are travelling on the group flights from the UK, a welcome meeting will also be held on the morning of Day 2 over breakfast. Please check the notice board for timings.

Important Note About Altitude Sickness:

As parts of this trip go above 2,800 metres (9,200 feet), it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude, regardless of age, gender or fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and can be difficult to treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is vital that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during the trip, use the table on the back daily to record your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
This morning will start with breakfast and a group meeting at 8 am. Your leader will go through everything you need to know about the trek before you set off into the mountains. Leave Marrakech behind and drive across the plains towards the ancient marketplace of Tahanaoute, the High Atlas mountains looming ahead. Arrive into Imlil village, which is 1,740 metres above sea level. From here it's about a 50-minute walk to your mountain base in the village of Aroumd (2,000 metres above sea level) with views towards Toubkal.

In the afternoon stretch your legs with a gentle orientation walk around Aroumd, far from the reach of the modern world. The next two nights are spent in a 'gite', a traditional village house with dormitory rooms sleeping around eight people. Rooms are furnished in traditional Berber style with low couches (which can be used as beds), tables, carpets and cushions. On warm nights it’s often possible to sleep out on the terrace under the stars. Showers and toilets are usually shared.

On Day 3, explore your surroundings with morning and afternoon walks in the mountains. The High Atlas region is a mix of fertile valleys, snow-capped peaks and Berber villages constructed using local materials. Total walking time is approximately six-and-a-half hours, with the option to do more.
Today embark on the first day of your ascent of Mt Toubkal. This is usually only possible during the summer (June to September) as there is too much snow on the high slopes at other times of year. This demanding two-day walk should only be considered by those who are fit and have plenty of mountain-walking experience.

From Armoud the trail crosses the floodplain of the Ait Mizane Valley, before climbing steeply in a zigzag up the mountainside. All baggage and provisions are carried by mule. Used to plough fields, carry loads, turn threshing machines and ferry people between villages, mules are an indispensable part of Berber life. Along the way pass the pilgrimage site of Sidi Chamarouch, home to the tomb of the local marabout (Muslim holy man). See the shrine from across the gorge, as it’s forbidden for non-Muslims to cross the bridge to the other side. From here climb steeply through a series of switchbacks and traverse the flank of the valley above the river. Arrive into Toubkal Base Camp at Neltner (3,207 metres above sea level), where you'll spend the next two nights.

Early on the morning of Day 5, set off for Jebel Toubkal. At 4,167 metres above sea level, this is North Africa's highest peak. The final steep climb can involve some scrambling, but the effort is rewarded by superb views from the summit of the entire Atlas range. On a clear day it’s even possible to make out the Atlantic coast to the west and the Sahara Desert to the east. After a rest at the summit, make your way back to Neltner. In total there should be approximately eight hours of walking.
On Day 6, pack up camp and head back down to Imlil (approximately three hours). From here it's a one-and-a-half hour drive back across the plains to Marrakech.

The vibrant city of Marrakech is a feast for the senses. You'll have plenty of time over the next few days to explore. Take a guided walking tour through the souqs of the Medina, each devoted to a different trade such as pottery, woodwork, carpets or spices. For the rest of your time in the city you'll be free to make your own discoveries. Visit the Palais de la Bahia, built in the 19th century for the Grand Vizier of Soultan Moulay al Hassan. Only part of the palace is open, as the royal family still uses the building. Another possibility is the former royal townhouse of Dar Si Said, which now houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts. If you’d like to experience the relaxation of a traditional Moroccan bath, your leader can advise where to find the nearest hammam. Perhaps indulge your inner foodie with a 'Taste of Marrakech' Urban Adventure day tour, or take part in a cooking class to create the perfect tajine.

On the final day of the trip, there are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
Transport
Private minibus
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Hotel (3 nights), Mountain hut (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Guided walking tour around Marrakech
  • Palais Bahia

Dates

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Important notes

1) A Single supplement is available on this trip. please see trip notes for details.
2) A 'Passenger Self Assessment Form' is required to be completed for this trip. Please ask your Travel Consultant for details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Mount Toubkal Trek trips score an average of 4.82 out of 5 based on 11 reviews in the last year.

Mount Toubkal Trek , September 2015

Mount Toubkal Trek , August 2015