Turn down the tempo and relax the senses on this 7-day, 6-night High Atlas Berber village tour. Longer than the typical tours, you will have the opportunity to venture deep into the valleys of the High Atlas Mountains and immerse yourself in the world of Toubkal National Park, where ancient villages scatter the valleys framed by the stunning backdrop of Mount Toubkal, the tallest peak of North Africa. On this one-week Berber village trek, you will spend six nights in local guesthouses, with our local, experienced and local guides acting as your translators, to help you communicate with these friendly, humble villagers so that you can truly get to know a slower way of life, more in tune with nature. Feel the power of nature!
We will pick you up from your accommodation in Marrakech in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle, and our journey begins! We will leave behind the hectic city, and head out onto the winding, scenic roads to the mountains. After around 1.5hours, we will arrive in the small, picturesque Berber mountain village of Imi Oughlad, where you will meet your guide, mule and cook. You will get to know each other over a mint tea, pack up the mule (you will only be carrying a small day sack for personal water and snacks) and we begin the hike. It begins with a short, steep climb under the shade of old, gnarled juniper trees. The path then eases off as we follow the valley up and over a pass, greeted by magnificent views. We then drop gently down the other side to the village of Tinzert where the valley opens. In Tinzert we will settle into a guesthouse that is owned and run by a local family. The guesthouse will be simple and basic but has beds with foam mattresses, toilets and somewhere to take shower or stand-up wash. You will be served a delicious dinner, and have time to rest and get to know the local family with the help of your guide. Approximately 1.5hrs driving and 6hours of walking.
After a filling breakfast, we will leave Tinzert and make our way to the larger Azzaden Valley and follow it up in the southern direction. The valley is a strip of lush green amongst the surrounding arid hillsides. The small river in its base is fed from melting snow from the higher peaks. We follow this green strip past a few small traditional Berber villages before we arrive Tizian, where we will spend the night. We will stay in a guesthouse that is owned and run by a local family, who continue to live a traditional life. Total walking time approximately 5hours.
As we leave Tizian in a southerly direction we pass through ancient terraces of large walnut trees. We will stop at Tizi Taghrhourt from which we get a great view back down the Azzaden Valley. Then it is a long steady climb up to today's highest point of the pass at the head of the valley. The terrain here is more arid than in the valley bottom and we will see reds, yellows and greys in the exposed rocks and soils. Dropping down the other side we wind our way down into the Dkent Valley and around to the large village of Tizgui where we will spend the night in a traditional guesthouse. Approximate walking time 7hours.
Today we will leave the Dkent Valley and climb back over a challenging but stunning mountain pass to the Azzaden Valley. After breakfast, we will start with a sustained uphill trek to the high pass of Tizi Tougdal at 2700m. We will begin amongst terraced fields in the valley bottom but then climb up out of the oases and onto the arid mountainside again. Once we pass Tizi Tougdal it is all downhill back into the Azzaden Valley where we will head to the village of Tizi Oussem, surrounded by the green of fields and well established groves of trees terraced on the hillside. Here we will stay once more in a lovely traditional guesthouse, where we you will be watered and fed. Approximate walking time 7hours.
Our final day of hiking! From Tizi Oussem we will follow the Azzaden Valley to the south as it narrows and approaches the mountains that feed its river. High above to the West is the Tazarhart Plateau, a 3900m mountain with a flat top around 2km across. We will see the cliffs rising up to its lip to the right of the valley head. Passing the hamlet and mountain refuge at Tamsoult we will continue to where the valley narrows to a cliffed gorge and a large waterfall crashes to its bottom. After a rest at the waterfall we will follow the valley back down but this time follow the path up the eastern side of the valley and work our way around and up to the pass at Tizi Mzik. From here we get a superb view down into the Mizane Valley and the handful of villages that are known collectively as Imlil. We make our way down into what may now seem like a bustling metropolis after our days amongst the smaller, more isolated villages. Imlil is the main starting place for treks to north Africa's highest peak and there are lots of guesthouses and shops to cater for the needs of the trekkers. We will spend the night at a small guesthouse which is owned and run by the Amzil family. There are simple ensuite bedrooms with western-style flush toilets, hot showers and a rooftop terrace to enjoy the view back across to Tizi Mzik where we descended from. Approximate walking time 7hours.
Today will be your free day for you to explore the villages of Imlil. There are numerous hikes you can chose from, from small peaks to mountain passes to waterfalls, and beautiful villages to soak up the local atmosphere. Alternatively, you can chose to rest your legs on the stunning rooftop terrace. You will be well fed by the guesthouses' excellent cook.
After a rooftop breakfast, we will have time to explore Imlil for a few houses, and have the opportunity to buy unique souveniours from the local artisans. We will then drive you back to your accommodation in Marrakech. Approximately 1.5hour drive.
- Sturdy shoes. The path is rocky at times, so proper shoes are advised to maximize comfort.
- Sun protection. Although the temperatures are cooler than in the cities, the sun is strong. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are advised.
- Light clothing. Long-sleeved t-shirts and trousers of light materials are advised to protect against the sun.
- Snacks. Although your guide will provide you with some dried fruits and nuts between meals, you know your energy levels. Don’t hesitate to bring some of your favorite snacks.
- Toilet paper
- Warmer clothes for the evening (it can get chilly in the mountains)
- This tour is best enjoyed between May-October. However if you prefer a winter experience, do not hesitate to contact us.
- We run these treks continuously throughout this period, so please get in touch! You are welcome to join us independently, or within a larger group (subject to demand).
- We can combine this trip with other tours around Morocco, get in touch and we can give you a quote.
- Day 1: Tinzert Berber village guesthouse
- Day 2: Tizian Berber village guesthouse
- Day 3: Tizgui Berber village guesthouse
- Day 4: Tizi Oussem Berber village guesthouse
- Day 5: Local guesthouse Imlil
- Day 6: Local guesthouse Imlil
The guesthouses of the remote valleys are basic but have all the necessities. You will sleep on comfortable mattresses, but be prepared for traditional toilets and sometimes bucket showers! You will experience the true simplicity of remote village life. In Imlil, you will get a well-deserved rest in a more luxurious guesthouse with hot showers and Western-style toilets.
You will eat delicious, fresh, local meals cooked by your guides or in the accommodation. And do not forget about the liters of mint tea! Example meals include:
- Breakfast: Moroccan breakfast of bread, jam, honey, peanut butter, olive oil, tea, coffee, milk
- Lunch: Salad, tomatoes, seasonal fruit and nuts, lentils, beans
- Dinner: Traditional Moroccan tajine, fresh bread, soup
What about my dietary requirements?
Let us know in advance, and we are more than happy to cater to your specific dietary needs.
You will be picked up in a private, air-conditioned vehicle directly to and from your accommodation in Marrakech. Want to spend another night in the mountains? No problem! We can cater to that.
We accept payments in Moroccan dirham, euros, dollars, or British pounds. Payment in cash, or by bank transfer. If you wish to pay in another currency, get in touch! Together we will figure it out.
Rural Moroccans still live a traditional way of life. So it is advised to dress a little more conservatively than you are used to. For women, this means that the shoulder, chest, and knees are covered, and for men, shoulders, and knees. It will also protect you from the hot sun, and help you to stay cooler.
Your luggage for the trip will be carried by mules, to help take the weight off your shoulders. If you have some additional luggage you wish to keep in Imlil, we can arrange a secure place for you to store these items.