Morocco

Trip:           Toubkal Treks including Desest Tour
Altitude:     4167m/ 13,671f   
Route:        Various See itineraries
Date:          Various See itineraries
Duration:    7 - 9 Days Landonly
Grade:       Moderate    - Strenuous
Price:         From €880

Morocco is a land of contrasts, a place where shadows merge with sunlight; where sky and sea meet at the horizon. Morocco is unique in many ways! It is an African country closest to Europe in geographical and cultural terms. The country is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the North; the Desert and the Atlantic Ocean to the West and a huge mountain range.

Your destination, The High Atlas Mountains, are a mountain range across a Northern stretch of Africa. They extend about 2,500 km (1,500 miles) through Morocco. The highest peak is the Toubkal Mountain, with an elevation of 4,167 m (13,671 ft) in southwestern Morocco.

Overview


At 4,167m, Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. The hike to the summit is challenging, but requires no mountaineering experience and the panoramic view from the summit makes the hard work worthwhile.

With the start of the trek just a couple of hours drive from Marrakech, you can reach the summit and back within 2 days and still have plenty of time to explore Morocco’s most captivating city, Marrakech.Toubkal has become a magnet for trekkers heading to the Atlas Mountains.

The Jebel Toubkal trek is typically done in two days. The first day begins with the relatively easy walk from Imlil along the Mizane Valley towards Aremd Village and the Muslim shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, followed by the tougher push up to the Toubkal Refuge, making around five hours walking in all.

Most trekkers then aim to start early the following morning for the 3 hour scramble up to the summit (the trail at this point is a rocky scree covered path). At the summit, the views are incredible taking in most of the Atlas Mountains and on a clear day, the Sahara. The descent back down to Imlil takes around five hours.

7 Day


Grade: Trek - Moderate (Strenuous for some) This trek is suitable to all and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A good level of fitness and some experience on a mountain is recommended prior to departure. You will enjoy your trip a lot more if prepared well. Moderate on good tracks that most fit people should be able for. This trek is Moderate but can be strenuous for some. Most days will require 4 to 6 hours walking excluding acclimatizing days.

Date: It is possible to climb Jebel Toubkal any time but spring is arguably the best. In Winter, the mountain is covered in snow and a skilled guide, crampons and ice axes are a must. In Spring, the weather is warmer and there is still some snow cover over the loose scree making for perfect trekking conditions. Summer and Autumn can be hot and the scree is loose but an early start makes it more than manageable. 

Price from: €880 pp Landonly.

Price includes:
•    Airport transfers
•    Accommodation in a 3 star Hotel in Marrakech, breakfast included
•    Transport from and back to Marrakech
•    A mountain guide
•    Mules & muleteers
•    A cook & cooking equipment
•    Accommodation & food & mineral water during the trek
Price does not include:
•    Flight
•    Tips
•    Beverages. Meals in Marrakech
•    Travel Insurance

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to Marrakech:  Transfer & Overnight at your hotel


Day 2: After breakfast, you will be transferred to the little village of Imlil. Here you will be able to explore the area and you will spend the night in a local Berber Guesthouse.


Day 3: Today we begin our trek. Heading along the Mizane Valley, we first pass the village of Aremd and then onto the shrine of Sidi Chamarouch. 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 zigzagging its way up to the snowline and the Toukbal Refuge (3206m), our stop for the nightn Approx 4hrs - 5hrs walk


Day 4: Early in the morning we make our attempt on 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 Marrakech Plain to the High Atlas in the north and as far south as the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara. We will retrace our steps back to the refuge where we will have lunch and spend the night Approx 8hrs walk
Day 5: After a late breakfast, we return down back to Imlil where you have lunch and relax a little bit before being transfered back to Marrakech. Overnight at the hotel Approx 4hrs walk plus 1h drive
Day 6: A free day in Marrakech so as to visit the historic monuments. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 7: Transfer to airport

8 Day


Grade: Trekking - Strenuous. This trek is suitable to all and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A good level of fitness and some experience on a mountain is recommended prior to departure.

Date: May until the end of October

Price:€920 pp Land Only
Price includes:
·    Airport transfers
·    Accommodation in a hotel Riad in Marrakech, breakfast included.
·    Transport from and back to Marrakech
·    A mountain guide
·    Mules & muleteers
·    A cook & cooking equipment
·    Accommodation & food & mineral water during the trek
Price does not include:
·    Flight
·    Tips
·    Meals in Marrakech
·    Beverages
·    Travel Insurance

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to Marrakech. Transfer & Overnight at your hotel
Day 2: Marrakech - Tiziane. In the morning we leave Marrakech in our private minibus. After admiring the Moroccan landscape awhile, we arrive at the point where our trek begins. There, we meet the mules and the cook who will make our life much easier these coming days! We cross the town of Imioughlad and begin the ascent towards the first mountain pass of the trek. From the pass, at 2000m above sea level, we have precious views of the region of Tigouga, Taroudant, and of the Angour mountains to the north. After lunch, we arrive at the village of Tiziane and set up camp Approx 4hr walk
Day 3: Tiziane - Tizgi. We start the day early to avoid the sun during the ascent of a mountain pass. After reaching the Teouti pass, at 2400m, we descend towards the town of Assaka. After lunch, our path climbs again until we reach the village of Tizgi, where we set up camp. Approx 6hr walk
Day 4: Tizgi - Azib Tamsoult. Today we hike along beautiful, wild, landscapes of the Toubkal range. We'll find flocks of cattle with their Berber shepherds. After the morning ascent, we descend to the valley of the river Azaden, where we eat. With renewed strength, in the evening we climb to the campsite of Azib Tamsoult, at 2250m Approx 6hr walk
Day 5: Azib Tamsoult - Toubkal Base Camp.Today is an intense day, in which we significantly increase the average altitude of the trek. Ahead of us we have the demanding ascent to the Aguelzim pass, at 3450m. The ascent is long but progressive. Once on the pass we will be able to admire the summit of Toubkal. We then descend towards the Toubkal base camp, at 3200m Approx 6hr walk
Day 6: Ascent of the Toubkal. Today is the Day. With four days of walking in the Toubkal National Park, the possibilities we have of successfully reaching the summit are high. We start the day early, at daybreak, to avoid the sun as much as possible during the ascent. After 3 hours of effort, we reach the top of North Africa. All the effort pays off with the impressive views we have. After enjoying this moment, we start the descent to the base camp. There we eat and then continue the descent towards the Village of Imlil, where we spent the night Approx 7hr walk
Day 7: Hiking along Berber villages. Today we have a "relaxed" hike through several Berber villages. We climb a pass and then we walk along the beautiful Valley of Imenane. In the evening we head to Marrakech Approx 5hr walk
Day 8: Transfer to airport

9 days


Toubkal Trek & Desert Tour
Grade: Trekking - Moderate This tour is suitable to all and can be achieved by a beginner with training. A good level of fitness and some experience on a mountain is recommended prior to departure

Date: Autumn, Winter and Spring

Price: €1080 pp Land Only Minimum No. 4 Maximum No. 20
Price includes:
·    Airport transfers
·    Accommodation in a 3 star Hotel in Marrakech, breakfast included
·    Transport from and back to Marrakech
·    A mountain guide
·    Mules & muleteers
·    A cook & cooking equipment
·    Accommodation & food & mineral water during the trek.
Desert tour:Ttransport in 4WD Vehicles with drivers & fuel
Food & Accommodation during the tour
Camel ride
Price does not include:
·    Flight
·    Tips
·    Beverages. Meals in Marrakech
·    Travel Insurance

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to Marrakech. Transfer & Overnight at 3*** Hotel. Breakfast included
Day 2: After a transfer to the little village of Imlil we begin our trek. Heading along the Mizane Valley, we first pass the village of Aremd and then onto the shrine of Sidi Chamarouch. 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 zigzagging its way up to the snowline and the Toukbal Refuge (3206m), our stop for the night Approx 4hrs - 5hrs walk
Day 3: Early in the morning we make our attempt on 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 summit you will see 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. We will retrace our steps when we return down the mountain and head back towards Imlil. We spend the night in a local guesthouse here
Day 4: Today drive towards the Moroccan desert. First we cross the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka Pass of the High Atlas Mountains. You will pass through many Berber villages, and once in the desert, riverside oasis and barren hillsides are clustered with Kasbahs. After lunch we drive further to Valley of the Roses, with beautiful views of the Dades valley, valley of a thousand kasbahs. Overnight in Dades.
Day 5: After breakfast we drive to Todra Gorge. After a short stop there we drive on to a nice Auberge at the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
Day 6: Today you have a free day to just enjoy the beautiful views and atmosphere of the dunes of Erg Chebbi. In the afternoon you will ride camels into the dunes, where you will spend the night under Berber nomadic tents. After seeing a beautiful sunset you will enjoy a fantastic dinner.
Day 7: After viewing the most beautiful sunrise and having breakfast at the camp site you will ride the camels back to the Auberge. From there it will be a long day driving to Ait Ben Haddou (via Draa Valley). Ait Benhaddou is a small town with one of the best-preserved and most sought-after Kasbah's to visit in all of Morocco.
Day 8: Drive back to Marrakech, again via Tichka pass. You will arrive in Marrakech early in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Transfer to the airport.

Preparation


Passport / Visas
you will need a valid full passport, please ensure it at least have six months before expiring before we leave. People from UK countries as well as other countries in Europe don’t need a visa, it’s free.

Preparation - Outside the winter months, Jebel Toubkal is accessible as long as you are reasonably fit and determined. No specialist gear is required and with a guide and mule to take the load the task is made much easier. Even in winter the climb can be attempted without technical skills - however you must ensure you have a suitably qualified guide and the right equipment. Toubkal is at altitude and altitude sickness is a possibility - albeit impossible to predict.

We have selected a walking weekend to help you adjust to the goal of the trek. The weekend has two walks with advice and techniques for clothing and gear given also. On the Saturday we will climb one of Irelands highest peaks during a day hike and on Sunday morning early we will go on a night hike simulating the requirements on the summit day of a trek which takes you out of your comfort zone prior to the real thing.  If you are a total beginner to walking/hillwalking then a 12 month training program is recommended.

We suggest a training program of at least 6 months to comfortably trek to 4000-6000m.
Months 1-2: This should include fortnightly hillwalking for 3hrs+ with a small/medium pack of weight of 5-10kg approx.
Months 3-4: This should be increased to include longer days (6hrs+) and pack weight of 10kg approx. Attend our Free meet day!
Month 5: Two days walking back to back twice giving 4 days total. Example: Saturday 7hr & Sunday 6hr = 13hrs walking. Avoid injuries at all costs!!
Month 6: Continue with some walking but reduce to lower peaks and durations of 4hrs, avoid injuries at all costs!!

Gear


Equipment
3 to 4 season sleeping bag
Walking stick
Day sack/backpack
Headtorch / headlamp
Basic First Aid Kit
Ice axe and crampons (winter)
Water bottle
Penknife (useful)
Clothing:
Good walking boots and socks
Comfortable shoes/slippers for camp/guesthouse
Trekking pants
Lightweight waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants
Underwear
Long johns
T-shirts
Fleece jacket or warm jumper
Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket
Hat
Goggles (winter) and sunglasses (summer)
Lightweight thermal or fleece gloves
Other:
Personal items (e.g. towel, sunscreen, wipes, toilet tissues, antibacterial handwash)
Small First Aid Kit including insect repellent, plasters, meds
Small rubbish bag to carry out what you carry in
Matches e.g. burn toilet paper
Trail snacks
Zip-Up bags for camera
Repair kit (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)