Escape to the serenity of the High Atlas foothills

The calm and comforts of Amazigh (Berber) hospitality await on this four-day Intrepid Retreats experience to Ouirgage, on the green edges of the Mt Toubkal National Park. Leave the modern world of Marrakech behind and journey to a home awayfrom home where olive trees and mountains make your backdrop. Surround yourself with the flavours and scents of this wild part of the country, hike the hills through small villages and farms, hang out with the locals, try your hand at making some iconic local dishes and, most importantly, take the time to sit back, relax, and reconnect with yourself and the world around you.


Start
Marrakech, Morocco
Finish
Marrakech, Morocco
Destination
Morocco
Style
Comfort
Theme
Intrepid Retreats
Code
XMLO
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 4, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Tap into the nomadic spirit of the Imazighen (Berbers) with a hike through the red earth hills and green-dotted valleys of a place that feels beyond the reach of the modern world.

  • Break bread with a local Imazighen family in their village, and get an insight into daily life in the High Atlas region.

  • Learn the secrets behind tea, tanorte and tagine with a cooking demonstration and, best of all, feast on the delicious dishes for lunch.

  • Enjoy the comfort of your locally owned, unpack-once accommodation, where you’ll experience traditional Amazigh (Berber) hospitality and the small touches that make all the difference.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip includes a hiking tour in the High Atlas Mountains. This will take approximately 3 hours and difficulty of the walk will be adjusted to group abilities. A basic level of fitness and appropriate footwear and clothing will allow you to fully enjoy this inclusion.

  • If you wish to spend more time in Casablanca or Marrakech, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

  • The weather in Morocco can be extreme. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot, especially for those who aren't accustomed to the heat, so please consider carefully what time of year you travel. If you do travel in the warmer months, pack layers to cover you from the sun, bring the necessary sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • In 2021, Ramadan will take place from 12 April to 11 May. This is a great time to visit Morocco due to fewer crowds, however it may cause some disturbance to your travel schedule. Some regular services may not be available or open during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars. Please consider your travel arrangements carefully.

Itinerary

Start your Retreat with a welcome meeting at 11 am this morning, followed by the journey from the city to your accommodation in Ouirgane (approximately 1.5 hours). Welcome to the serene foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Ouirgane is a place of peace and calm and a welcome escape from the bustling chaos of Marrakech city life. Settle into your own oasis for the next few nights. Your retreat is a locally owned, traditional Amazigh (Berber) guest house, built in the time-honoured style and full of character and the small touches that make all the difference. This truly is a home from home, and the bar, reading room, rose bush-surrounded swimming pool, and backdrop of olive trees and mountains will make it hard to even leave to explore. There will be a traditional, delicious dinner at the guesthouse, when the smells of lamb tagine, homemade bread and oranges with cinnamon fill the air.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ouirgane - Welcome Lamb Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Meet at the centrally located Modagor Opera Hotel in Marrakech at 11 am this morning for the welcome meeting. It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time, and will head out towards Ouirgane straight after. If you are going to be late please let your booking agent or hotel reception know. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you in Marrakech, subject to availability.
Get your energy up at breakfast this morning reading for a half-day hike in the beautiful landscape of the High Atlas Mountains (approximately 3 hours). Explore the surrounds that feel beyond the reach of the modern world. The red earth hills and valleys are dotted with green pines and terraced farmland of almonds, cherry and apple trees. You’ll navigate boulders and crags, running streams, and pass through traditional Amazigh villages on the way, waving to the villagers as they go about their daily lives. Learn more about local life here as you finish your hike with lunch shared with a local Imazighen family (Berber people). Rest your legs back at the guesthouse with an afternoon to relax and soak up the atmosphere and the view of lake and mountains before another delectable dinner.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • High Atlas Mountains - Guided Hike
  • Ouirgane - Lunch with Local Family
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast this morning you’ll get a chance to learn the secrets behind the delicious dishes you’ve been feasting on the last couple of days. Join in with a cooking class at the guesthouse and get a demonstration of how to make Morocco’s signature tea, using mint grown right here in the garden. Then, because bread baking is a key part of Amazigh life, learn how they work the dough to make a special type of bread called Tanorte. If that wasn’t delicious enough, get the inside info behind the iconic dish of the Imazighen, and Morocco as a whole – the tagine. Learn all the secret spices and techniques as it’s cooked outside over a wood fire. Then comes the best part – eating everything you’ve helped make for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free, maybe join one of the optional activities detailed below, or snooze off you lunch by the pool in the shade of the trees.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ouirgane - Tagine & Bread Baking Cooking Class with Moroccan Tea Making Demonstration
Optional Activities
  • Ouirgane - Women's Association Visit & Carpet Making Demonstration - MAD50
  • Ouirgane - Beauty Therapy at Domaine la Roseraie - MAD400
  • Ouirgane - Domaine la Roseraie Massage (30 minutes) - MAD350
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This afternoon you can choose to join a number of optional activities – your leader can provide more details. Be introduced to skincare secrets passed down through the generations in a ghassoul workshop. Or share a cup of tea with a local women’s association that craft carpets typical of the area, learning how the association plays an important part in supporting the women and the local community.
Make the most of the guesthouse surrounds during your final breakfast, before you depart for Marrakech. On your way back, your Tour Leader will lecture you about an Intrepid Foundation-backed project – which your trip helps support – called Education For All, which helps girls from remote villages in this region access an education.
Included Activities
  • Education For All (Intrepid Foundation Project) project talk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The tour ends today in the early afternoon upon arrival back at Mogador Opera Hotel in Marrakech - please book your flights leaving Marrakech no earlier than 2pm or consider extra night in the city. We are happy to assist in booking additional accommodation for you, subject to availability.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private minibus

Accommodation

Comfort style hotel (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Ouirgane - Welcome Lamb Dinner
  • High Atlas Mountains - Guided Hike
  • Ouirgane - Lunch with Local Family
  • Ouirgane - Tagine & Bread Baking Cooking Class with Moroccan Tea Making Demonstration
  • Education For All (Intrepid Foundation Project) project talk

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Morocco Retreat: Ouirgane trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

START & END OF TOUR
Your adventure starts on Day 1 with a group transfer from Mogador Opera hotel to our accommodation in Ouirgane. If you are unable to make your way to the hotel for that time, please consider arriving a day earlier and pre-booking one night accommodation. Tour ends on Day 4 in the early afternoon in Mogador Opera hotel - please book your flights leaving Marrakech no earlier than 2pm or consider extra night in the city.

MINIMUM NUMBERS
This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients booked and confirmed in order to depart.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

COMMISSION
The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops, services or activities is ingrained in the culture of the Moroccan tourism industry. In an effort to best control and monitor shopping and activities with an aim for the best experience possible, Intrepid has established a system of carefully selected shopping experiences and activities based on positive feedbacks from our previous travellers. On occasion these will be as part of included walking tours or outside of included activities in free time. Please note that if you feel that you do not wish to join in on these shopping experiences we assure you there is no obligation and if you indicate your desire to not partake your group host will help to facilitate a suitable alternative during this time.
Intrepid have set up a centralised system of receiving payments from these recommended suppliers, of which are then distributed towards local Responsible Travel projects (such as 'say no to plastic' cotton bags for our travellers and drinking water refilling stations), traveller information packs, and host bonuses. Further details of these arrangements can be provided by your group host on request.
While Intrepid endeavors to ensure that these suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality, please note recommended suppliers are chosen based on past travellers feedback and experiences and Intrepid cannot explicitly guarantee the quality of the product. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of you our traveller is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.

Essential trip information

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