Join us on a High Atlas Mountain adventure! On this trip, you will see several different sides of the diverse Moroccan culture, including the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, the popular Berber mountain village of Imlil, remote mountain valleys and passes, and best of all, a spectacular sunrise from the roof of North Africa; the summit of Mount Toubkal. Explore Toubkal National Park at a slower pace, and soak up the remote Berber village life and rugged nature of the mountains.
We will meet you in the vibrant city of Marrakech (at the airport, bus station, or a place of your choice), where we will take you to your beautiful traditional raid in the bustling medina. We will take you on a walking tour of the must-see sites in the city, and local restaurants unknown to most tourists. You will have time alone to relax and site see, before a filling dinner and rest.
You will be picked up from your riad, and we will embark on a 1.5hour drive up winding roads to the High Atlas, where you will get your first taste of Berber mountain life in Imlil. Although remote, Imlil is now the gateway to Toubkal National Park, and the village centre is alive with restaurants, guesthouses and local artisans selling their handmade goods. After dropping your stuff at your comfortable guesthouse, you will have a filling lunch on the stunning rooftop terrace with some of the best views across the Imlil valley. We will take you on a hike around the surrounding villages, where the signs of tourism drop away and you will gain an insight into the traditional Berber way of life. Already, the heat and stress of Marrakech will leave you, as the pace of life becomes slower. Eat, rest and sleep at the guesthouse. Driving time 1.5hours, walking time approximately 4hours.
We will again enjoy the surroundings of Imlil, preparing our legs for the tougher ascent of Toubkal whilst visiting wonderful Berber villages built of mud and straw. After breakfast, we begin by a steady uphill to Tizi Tamaterit mountain pass, where you will be stunned by the views of the adjacent valley. We will descend, and have lunch at the Berber village of Ikiss. Making a loop, we will head to the mountain pass Tizi Aguersioual, after which we descend and arrive back to Imlil, where we will relax for the evening. Total walking time approximately 6hours.
Today we will leave civilisation, and begin our wilderness adventure. We start with a continuous but gentle uphill to the Tizi Mzik mountain pass, where you will be rewarded with stunning views back down to Imlil and on the other side, Ouarzane valley; our next destination. We begin the gentle descend, where you will enjoy the changing colours of the soil and rocks, and views of the distant villages scattered along the valley floor. We will arrive at the raw and remote Tamsoult Refuge where we will spend the night in comfortable tents and mattresses. Your expedition cook will prepare a delicious meal to fill your bellies before a peaceful sleep under the stars.
Walk up to Aguelzim with a possible summit of Aguelzim or Buidoudan. Descend to camp at Nelter Refuge.
Climb South Cwm of Toubkal. Possibly descend North Cwm. Camp at Nelter Refuge.
Ras & Times guida Ouanoukrim. Lunch at Nelter. Descend to Stay in Imlil.
Drive to airport
What to pack?
Visitors are advised to prepare for mountain conditions. It is normally warm and exposed during the day, and cold in the evenings, and very cold on the summit! You will feel the raw power of the mountains. Note: There are opportunities to rent equipment. Let us know in advance.
- Good hiking shoes are absolutely essential. The trail is long and can be rough and uneven at times, good foot support will make the journey far more enjoyable.
- Light comfortable clothes for hiking. Light, long sleeves and long pants are ideal hiking attire as they will help to keep the sun off.
- Warm layers, for the night and the early morning start on the second day. A jacket, long pants, gloves, and a warm hat are recommended, as the morning will be very cold.
- Sun protection. The sun at high elevations is strong. It is wise to bring sunscreen, a sun hat, and polarized sunglasses, as much of the hike is very exposed.
- A buff or a scarf. This will help protect your face from the wind as well as help you to keep warm the morning of the summit.
- Lip balm & moisturizer. This is one that is easily forgotten, but when it comes to areas drier than our skin is used to, lip balm and moisturizer are an essential part of staying comfortable.
- Trekking poles (optional). Some of the terrain is fairly uneven, trekking poles can be helpful for navigating these parts, and for the steep downhill, to keep the weight off your knees.
- Ice axe and crampons (November-April). These will be necessary for navigating winter conditions on the mountain.
- Camera (optional). The views from the top are incredible.
- Your favourite snacks (optional). The hike, although not exceptionally long is at a very high altitude, which can make it very tiring. Although your guide will have some nuts and dates for sustenance, a little bit of your favourite chocolate or candy can come in handy. Experience has shown that having chocolate or your favourite snack, on hand can be a big morale booster when the going gets tough. Know your body and your energy levels.
- A sleeping bag (optional). Although the refuge offers blankets, some prefer to have their own sleeping bag as well
- Portable Power Bank (optional). If you spend a lot of time on your favourite device and want to charge it overnight, a portable power bank may be necessary, as the refuge near the summit may not have consistent power.
- Mount Toubkal is one of the world’s most accessible 4000m+ mountain peaks. Whilst it is not exactly a walk in the park, most people who are able to walk for several hours can complete this awe-inspiring trek. Bear in mind, that some of the climbs are moderately demanding, and most days require around 7 hours of walking on often steep terrain. As you get higher up, the effects of altitude will reduce your level of strength. Therefore, you will enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape and determined to stay positive during the uphill battles. The views will be well worth it, as will the sense of accomplishment!
- As a guide, you need to be comfortable walking on fairly hilly terrain for more than 6 hours with a small pack of around 5kg (our mules will transport most of your equipment). You also need to be able to do this for a number of days in a row. Some of the downhill sections are on loose screens and rubble, which requires care and agility to navigate safely. However, the majority of the paths are in good condition.
This trip has some fairly long descents (3-4hrs+) which can be hard on your knees, ankles, and sometimes hips. If you have any re-occurring or previous injuries to any of these joints you need to be confident that they are well healed before the trip. Please do speak to us and/or a relevant medical professional if you have any doubts or concerns.
- Using trekking poles helps you balance and take some of the strain off your knees. Knowing how to use them properly will help; we can give you some guidance, but it is a great advantage to have used them prior to the trip.
- Do be careful of the heat, in summer it will be hot in Marrakech and even up in Imlil. Up in the mountains, even the fittest person can struggle with hiking under a hot sun. Do take sun cover. for more info.
- You also need to be aware of the heat. Although the mountains have cooler air than down in Marrakech, the sun is stronger at higher elevations. A hat and light clothing to protect the skin is a must. Even the strongest hiker can face problems when underprepared.
8 days – 7 nights
- 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: Riad in Marrakech
- Day 2: Traditional guesthouse in Imlil village
- Day 3: Traditional guesthouse in Imlil village
- Day 4: Tamsoult Refuge camp
- Day 5: Nelter Refuge camp
- Day 6: Nelter Refuge camp
- Day 7: Traditional guesthouse in Imlil village
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 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 my 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.