From snow to sands
Sitting between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara Desert- Morocco encapsulates everything North Africa has to offer. From the smell of incense in the ancient souks of Marrakech, to the snow-capped peak of Mount Toubkal and sand dunes of the Sahara Desert; Morocco has something for everyone.
This 10-day Moroccan experience will take you along the winding paths of the High Atlas mountains, passing through Berber villages, before reaching the snow-capped peak of Mount Toubkal- North Africa’s Highest Mountain. You will then descend, before stepping out into the hot sands of the vast Sahara Desert.
In good hands
We are fully compliant to the British Standard for overseas expeditions and adventures (BS8848), and demonstrate a rigorous approach to the safe planning and management of our adventures. Our team in Morocco has many years experience of trekking the High Atlas and Sahara Desert, and will ensure the safety, wellbeing and enjoyment of all our clients.
The adventure of a lifetime
From the bustling souks of Marrakech, to the warm welcomes of the Berber villages nestled in the Atlas Mountains and the remote desert communities of the Western Sahara, this adventure will showcase the best that Morocco has to offer. After arriving at the team hotel in Marrakech, you will have an introductory briefing and kit check from our experienced guide. The next day, we will set off for the first challenge- an ascent of Mount Toubkal. The Atlas Mountain rise impressively from the plains south of Marrakech. As we drive to the start of the trek, you will become aware of their size, and get a sense of the vast desert that lies beyond. In the desert, we will trek between oases, used for generations by the nomadic people of the region, crossing gigantic sand dunes, and vast open spaces.
Each night we will camp out in comfortable tents, with a hearty Moroccan meal served to prepare us for the next day of trekking. The trip is fully supported, with a mule team to carry provisions during the Mt Toubkal climb, and a camel train for our desert adventure.
Departure from London Heathrow airport, arrival into Marrakech Menara Airport. You will transfer to your accommodation before a brief city tour of Marrakech. There will also be a chance to change money and pick up any last-minute essentials. We will take in some sights, including Koutobia Minaret- part of the largest mosque in Marrakech. We will finish off by visiting the world-famous Djemaa el Fna Square, Marrakech’s most popular attraction. This lively hub is home to many story-tellers, snake charmers and dancers.
After a leisurely start, we will transfer through the Moulay Brahim Gorges of the Tizi n’Techt, to the Berber town of Imlil (1740m). Known as Morocco’s ‘Little Chamonix’, Imlil is set in the upper level foothills of the Western High Atlas Mountains. A popular starting point for many treks in the High Atlas, mule paths branch out in all directions.
We will leave camp behind and trek for some 4km towards the Berber village of Aroumd (1843m) and through the villages of Taourirt, Targa and Imoula. The magnificent Western High Atlas peaks of the Toubkal Massif will stand before us.
After stopping in Aroumd, we will continue for a further 8km towards Sidi Chamharouch. This Berber village is set beside a waterfall, with small houses seemingly built one of top of the other. The village is home to a marabout shrine which attracts Muslim pilgrims, and is forbidden to non-Muslims. We will stop for a picnic lunch, with stunning views of the mighty Jbel Toubkal. We will then continue onwards towards Toubkal Refuge for our dinner and overnight accommodation in the refuge.
We will have a very early breakfast, before setting out at dawn to witness a spectacular sunrise. Our climb to the summit will take around 3 hours, and is a steep but non-technical climb to the peak of Mount Toubkal. The panorama from the peak is simply stunning- and well worth the effort.
After spending some time at the summit, we will take the Ikkhibi Sud (South Cirque) for a straightforward 2-3 hour descent. We will return to the refuge for a picnic, and then continue our descent along steep, zig-zagging pathways through Sidi Chamharouch and eventually Aroumd.
Here we will have a hearty dinner, and spent the night in our Berber Gites.
We will set off early, for a descent affording views of the Assif Ait Mizane valley as it winds through fields of maize, onions and fruit trees.
We will stop for a glass or two of mint tea in Imlil, before rejoining our vehicle and transferring south, across the Ourika Valley to Ait Ourir town. From there, we will take the Tizi n’Tichka pass- a winding mountain path with deep gorges on one side, and imposing mountain peaks on the other. We will then continue onwards to Ouarzazate- the gateway to the Sahara Desert.
Soon we will come to Agdez, where we will have our picnic lunch in a lush oasis. Afterwards, we will continue along the impressive Draa Valley, the largest palm grove in the south, to Zagora. In the late afternoon we will arrive at Ouled Driss oasis. We will rest up, enjoy some dinner, and overnight in the oasis.
In the early morning, we will meet our caravan team, load our bags on to the pack camels, and start our desert trek. Before trekking, we will have as short lesson on how to wear our Tagelmust- a Berber headdress traditionally worn by the desert-dwelling Tuareg people. The Tagelmust is an essential piece of desert apparel, as it covers the head and protects the face and eyes from sand.
We will then set off into the desert, crossing small sand dunes dotted with acacia trees, to Lahdibat for a picnic lunch under shade of the Tamars trees. In the afternoon we will continue through dunes and regs (a naturally occurring desert pavement, formed from closely packed rock fragments and pebbles) to the spectacular dunes of the Erg Sahel. Here we will be caught between the vast expanse of the desert and the wide open sky.
We will have some dinner and spend the night in desert tents.
Today we will get up before the dawn, and climb to the top of a high dune. From here we will feel the temperature rising dramatically from the chill of morning, as we watch a spectacular desert sunrise.
After packing up our gear, we will continue across some immense Sahara regs, passing the occasional nomadic goat herder or camel train. We will get a taste of the nomadic life by sharing some tea under nomad tents, and enjoying our lunch among small, golden sand dunes.
We will walk on through undulating desert dunes and ridges, to reach Ras rich in the late afternoon. After dinner, we can enjoy the sunset and retire to our tents.
This morning’s walk will take in a mixture of terrain- from vast plateaux dotted with isolated acacia trees, to small dunes and desert plains. We will arrive in Buno village, and stop for our lunch.
In the afternoon we will make our final trek back to the oasis at Ouled Driss. Here we will have time to visit the old ksar and the nomad museum.
We will have dinner, and spend a final night in our tents.
After breakfast, we will meet our vehicles and transfer back along the Draa Valley. We will pass some outstanding Kasbahs on our way to Ouarzazate. Here we will stop for lunch, before continuing our journey through the scenic Tizi n’Tichka pass to Marrakech.
There will be time to shower and rest at the hotel, before our celebratory meal in traditional Moroccan style. Expect a feast with music and belly dancers!
You can either chose to head straight home after the trek, or further explore Morocco on one of our trip extensions. Explore the mysterious souks and lush gardens of Marrakech, or venture further afield to the Essaouira on the Atlantic coast, or experience the rich history of Fez and Casablanca- it’s up to you!
Deposit: £345 (balance payable 12 weeks before departure)
- £1,650 – including return flights from London
- £1,350 – book your own flights
- International return flights to Marrakech
- Experienced English-speaking guides
- All meals, transfers & accommodation as outlined above
- Bottled or safe, purified drinking water during the trek
- All park fees, taxes, permits & fees as required for the above itinerary
- Hotel accommodation on twin shared room basis, where specified
- Fully supported emergency procedures & 24/7 support line
- First Aid kit
- Back up vehicles and transfers
- All porter and camel services