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High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort 16

The Natural Adventure Company

Self Guided Walking Holidays and Cycling Holidays

High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

Details

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High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort 16
Rating
Average rating:   5,  1 reviews
Country
Morocco
Activity type
Guided Walking
Duration
7 days & 6 nights
Difficulty
Moderate
Accomodation
Comfortable
Availability
January - December

Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakech
Day 2: Tinzert – Marigha
Day 3: Marigha – Ait Aissa
Day 4: Ait Aissa – Imlil
Day 5: Imlil – Aguerssioual
Day 6: Ouzoud Waterfalls
Day 7: Departure

Overview for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

Our High Atlas and Marrakech walking holiday in Morocco combines some moderate walking in the iconic Atlas Mountains with the vibe of exotic Marrakech. Experience the beauty of Berber villages and valleys of the Atlas Mountains in the Toubkal region with varied and picturesque scenery, dramatic passes, non-technical peaks and the guarantee of a cheerful welcome from the Berber people. Spend the nights in comfortable riads and 3 or 4-star hotels, some of them with pools.

Travel from Marrakech to the High Atlas mountains to Imlil via Tahannaoute and Moulay Brahim Gorges, meet your Berber team (guide, cook and muleteers). Start your hike via Tizi N’Tinzert pass into Ouirgane Valley where you will enjoy your stay in a comfortable guesthouse. Walk in Azzaden valley through exotic Berber villages into the Village of Ait Aissa where you will enjoy a hammam and an afternoon relaxing on the premier Kasbah du Toubkal (Azzaden Trekking Lodge) roof terrace.

Day 3 will take you to the spectacular valley of Imlil where you will enjoy your stay at another comfortable guesthouse. Then follow a circular route in the Imnane valley via Tizi N’Tamater and Tizi N’Agersioual. Visit the spectacular Ouzoud Waterfalls and finish your holiday in Marrakech.

This is a privately guided walking holiday, you will not be part of a group and in the mountains your party will be accompanied by a personal certified guide, a cook and a muleteer as appropriate.

Highlights

Itinerary for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

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Day 1: Arrival to Marrakech

Arrive in Marrakech. Private transfer from airport to the hotel.

Accommodation: Riad Zanzibar or similar (optional upgrade)
Meals for the day: not included
Walking distance: none

Day 2: Tinzert – Marigha

Car transfer. You will leave the vehicle at Imi Oughlad (1,450m) where you will meet your Berber muleteer and guide. Your first day will be a more leisurely acclimatisation hike in the Ouirgane National Park. The terrain here is gentler with copper green soil and juniper trees. Head toward Tinzert village. Tinzert has a beautiful view of the Ouirgane Valley where you will enjoy your first lunch in the Atlas mountains. The afternoon walk will be down a small valley leading towards Marigha village through the olive groves, overnight at Ouirgane Ecolodge.

Accommodation: Ouirgane Ecolodge
Meals: full board.
Walking distance: 14 km / 5-6 hours

Day 3: Marigha – Ait Aissa

After breakfast, you’ll wind your way through the olive groves and make a gradual ascent up towards the Azzaden Valley. Fantastic, expansive views open up as you cross into the valley, and your guide and cook will pick a picturesque spot to prepare a welcome lunch. After lunch, you’ll follow the course of the river up the valley walking through several small traditional Berber villages before reaching Ait Aissa (1,860m), where you can enjoy a hammam and afternoon relax on the Azzaden Trekking Lodge roof terrace.

Accommodation: Berber house at Ait Aissa
Meals: full board
Walking distance: 13 km / 5-6 hours, 760 m elevation gain

Day 4: Ait Aissa – Imlil

Today’s walk will take you up the Azzaden valley through the village of Tizi Oussem, summer village of Tamsoult with a side walk to the largest waterfalls in the Toubkal National Park. After visiting the falls, you will join the path that takes you to the Ait Mizan Valley via Tizi Mzzik, which is at 2,500 m and gives you the opportunity to view the villages of Imlil and the entire Atlas mountain range. The final leg of the walk will be descending to Imlil.

Accommodation: Drar Adrar Guesthouse
Meals: full board
Walking distance: 15 km / 6-7 hours, 800 m elevation gain

Day 5: Imlil – Aguerssioual – Marrakech

Today you will take a circular route into the picturesque Imnane valley. You start by heading east out of Imlil (1,740m) and along the Tamatert Valley before taking the mountain pass of Tizi N’Tamatert (2,279m). Once you reach the top of the pass, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Imnane valley. From here you will head down to the Berber village of Tinerhourhine and follow winding mule trails, passing through the villages of Ikkis and Amssakrou on the way. As you walk, you will pass by terraced Berber hamlets clinging to the mountainsides.

You will have lunch on a picnic spot with a superb view of the peak of Jbel Oukaimeden (3,268m). After lunch you set off on the last leg of the journey, hiking up the Tizi N’Aguersioual Pass (1,767m) before descending back into the Imlil valley. Here you will meet your vehicle and will be transferred back to Marrakech.

Accommodation: Hotel Gomassine, Riad Zanzibar or similar
Meals: breakfast and lunch
Walking distance: 17 km / 7-8 hours, 800 m elevation gain

Day 6: Ouzoud Waterfalls Day Trip

Ouzoud Waterfalls are located in the Middle Atlas 170 km from Marrakech (3 hours drive). You will be able to discover the highest waterfalls in Morocco, walk around the falls, ride a local boat to cross the river or hike for 2 hours to get to the source of Ouzoud cascades. Enjoy the tasty local food in one of the restaurants with terraces overlooking the waterfalls. Transfer back to Marrakech.

Accommodation: Riad Zanzibar or similar (optional upgrade)
Meals: breakfast and lunch
Walking distance: 2-4 hours

Day 7: Departure or Extra Nights in Marrakech

Departure after breakfast or extend your stay.

Vibrant Marrakech is a fascinating city, home to numerous mosques, palaces and gardens. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with mazelike alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewellery. A symbol of the city, and visible for miles, is the Moorish minaret of 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque.

Meals: breakfast included
Transfer: airport transfer included
Walking distance: none

Hotels for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

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Accommodation is in quality hotels (riads) in Marrakech, hand-picked guesthouses and one night in a traditional Berber house. Optional upgrade of some hotels is possible (please choose when booking).

Sample hotels: Hotel Gomassine 4*, Ouirgane EcolodgeRiad ZanzibarDrar Adrar Guesthouse

Meals

All breakfasts are included, as well as all lunches and dinners in the mountains (picnic lunches are included when out on walks). During your mountain walks, you will be accompanied by a local guide, a cook and a muleteer.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide to you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Travel for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

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Marrakech Menara Airport is served by numerous airlines from the UK, European and international destinations.

Flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airport

Private transfer from the airport to your hotel on Day 1 and from the hotel to the airport on Day 8 is included in arrangements. Please note that only one airport transfer is included, though we can arrange additional transfers. It is advisable therefore that all party members arrive on the same flight or at least at a similar time. Night transfer extra charges may be applicable on private transfers in case of late night arrivals.

Baggage Transfers

During the tour, your luggage is transferred to your following night’s accommodation either by car or by a muleteer.

Country Info

For up to date travel advice and country info, please check here.

Trip Info for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This trip requires a moderate physical condition. There are some longer (strenuous) walks on some days. The terrain varies, and the trails are often exposed to the sun. In the mountains, the route follows ancient Berber tracks, which can be high, steep, narrow, uneven and rough underfoot (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

Due to the lack of signposted trails, you will be supported by a local qualified mountain guide. This is a very remote area. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this walk.

When to Go

This trip is available to start on any date between 6th of January and 20th of December. July is the hottest month in the Atlas Mountains with an average temperature of 29°C (84°F) and the coldest is January at 13°C (55°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 11 in July.

The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired starting date when booking.

Please note that during the festival times of Ramadan and Eid Al Adha many restaurants and shops will be closed and this may affect your trip experience. The dates for Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr change on a yearly basis.

In 2018, Ramadan is from 15th of May until the 14th of June. End of Ramadan Eid al-Fitr 2018 will begin on the evening of Thursday,  June 14th and ends on the night of Friday, June 15th. Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice of Sheep) is from the 21st until the 25th of August.

In 2019, Ramadan is from 5th of May until the 4th of June. End of Ramadan Eid al-Fitr 2019 will begin on the evening of June 4th and ends on the night of June 5th. Eid Al Adha is from the 11th until the 15th of August.

What to Bring

Having the correct personal equipment will make your walking holiday more enjoyable and comfortable. We hope that you find the following suggestions useful when considering what to take on your trip. They are based on personal experiences, and we are confident that you may find other solutions working equally well.

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited (and please note that on some days your luggage is carried by a mule!). Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Sleeping bag (night temperatures can drop significantly!)
  • Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
  • Water bottle or (recommended) hydration pack (camelback)

Included for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

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  • 3 nights in a comfortable 3-star grade Riad
  • 1 night in a hand-picked guesthouse
  • 1 night in a Berber village house
  • 1 night in a comfortable ecolodge
  • 5 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners
  • 5 lunches (some of which are packed lunches)
  • 1 airport transfer on arrival and 1 airport transfer on departure from/to Marrakech airport
  • Bag transfers of one bag of up to 20 kg per person between accommodations
  • Services of a personal walking guide, a muleteer and a cook as appropriate in the mountains
  • Guided day tour of Ouzoud Waterfalls on Day 6
  • Detailed holiday information pack
  • 24/7 emergency assistance by our local office in Morocco

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Single room supplement: Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost.

(please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options and supplements for your desired dates)

Options and extras

  • Optional “In Style” hotel upgrade: if you prefer to stay on your nights in Marrakech in a luxury 4-star hotel (riad) e.g. Charme d’Orient (or similar) rather than at Riad Zanzibar (or similar), you can add this option when completing the online booking form.

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Lunches and dinners not listed in itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.

Extensions

(please choose when booking)

  • One or two extra nights in Marrakech after the holiday (standard accommodation)
  • One or two extra nights in Marrakech after the holiday (luxury accommodation)

(You can also book one of our guided day tour extensions  – listed below – on these extra days, or just relax and stroll the streets of Marrakech.)

  • Ourika Valley full day guided tour after the holiday

Ourika Valley, due to its many waterfalls and several attractions, is a very popular Ourika day trip from Marrakech. This valley is the sole location within the High Atlas Range where the endangered primate Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus is known to occur; this primate is found in the Middle Atlas and a few disjunctive populations in Algeria and Gibraltar. The region is inhabited by Berber people who practice a traditional way of life. You can picnic in the oasis or hike up to the famous seven waterfalls. It is an easy hike, accompanied by an official guide, and it can take between 1 and 3 hours. Note: Overnight accommodation not included, please choose an extra night in Marrakech extension when booking.

  • Fishing port of Essaouira full day guided tour after the holiday
Your day trip to Essaouira from Marrakech will begin with a drive along the Haouz palnes to Chichaoua village where you will stop for a cup of coffee before you continue to Sidi Mokhtar. On your way, you will cross the Argan trees forest, where you might spot some goats climbing the trees. To watch how the Argan oil (also called the liquid gold, or Moroccan oil) is extracted, you can visit a local ladies’ cooperative and learn how some fine cosmetic products are locally made out of the rich Argan oil. From here, we will carry on to Essaouira. Upon arrival, you can explore the beautiful city at leisure:
  •  Visit the fishing port of Essaouira and watch the local fishermen returning back inland with their catch
  •  See Skala Kasbah, which was a citadel in the times of war
  •  Visit some of the beautiful Essaouira art galleries scattered in the Medina
  •  Stroll in the Medina of Essaouira, which can be explored easily as the streets are aligned opposite to every other Medina streets in Morocco, which look like a maze.
  •  Shop at leisure for some local souvenirs
  •  Have a seafood lunch in the harbour stalls or at a local café terrace
  •  Walk down the beach and watch local boys playing football
  •  Sunbathe at the 6 km long sandy beach

Note: Overnight accommodation not included, please choose an “Extra night in Marrakech” extension when booking the guided tours.

Gallery for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

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Reviews for High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

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High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Beranrd F on High Atlas and Marrakech in Comfort

The trails were demanding but gave us the experience that we were looking for. The fact that our guide Mohammed seemed to know people in every village we passed through was an added bonus. Mohammed was a superb guide - knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he went out of his way to make sure that we had a great holiday.  The other guides, in Marrakech and Essaouira, were also knowledgeable though a little shy at first as they were relatively new to the work of a guide. Importantly, their English was good enough for us to understand. We were very pleased with our accommodation on the trek but a little disappointed with the Hotel Gomassine in Marrakech, especially after the more traditional accommodation in the mountains. There was nothing wrong with the hotel accommodation and the staff were very friendly and helpful, but we would have preferred something less modern and bland. It could have been anywhere in the world.
Overall, a great holiday and it provided us with experience we had hoped for.


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