Skip to content
Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

The Natural Adventure Company

Self Guided Walking Holidays and Cycling Holidays

Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Details

Picture
Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains
Rating
Average rating:   5,  1 reviews
Country
Morocco
Activity type
Privately Guided Walking
Duration
9 days & 8 nights
Difficulty
Moderate to Strenuous
Accomodation
Various
Availability
January - December

Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakech
Day 2: Tiziane
Day 3: D’knt
Day 4: Tamsoult
Day 5: Toubkal Refuge
Day 6: Ras Ouankrim
Day 7: Mt Toubkal
Day 8: Marrakech
Day 9: Departure

Overview for Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

This privately guided demanding but rewarding trek in Morocco takes in the challenges of summitting Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak (4167m) and Rass Ouanoukrim, the second-highest one at 4089m.

Experience the beauty of Berber villages and the 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, gites, mountain refuges and tent camps.

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

Highlights


Itinerary for Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Go to top of page

Day 1: Arrival Marrakech

Arrive in Marrakech. A complimentary private transfer from airport to your hotel is included.

  • Accommodation: a riad in Marrakech (Riad Zanzibar or similar)
  • Meals for the day: not included

Day 2: Marrakech – Imi Oughlad (1450m) – Tizi n’Tachte (2000m) – Tiziane (1750m)

Early morning departure from Marrakech for a pleasant drive south winding our way up through the Moulay Brahim gorge and upper valleys to arrive at the higher foothills of the Western High Atlas mountains and the trailhead of Imi Oughlad (1450m) with the Jbel Toubkal, at 4167m the highest peak in North Africa, Aglzim 3650m and Aksoual 3847m looming before us. Here you meet up with your berber muleteer crew. We set off up in north-westerly direction for a 2-hour acclimatisation hike up on mule tracks, passing by cornfields, woods, pine and juniper to the Tiz n’Tachte (2000m), where we shall stop to look back down on the Imlil and Ait Oussaden valleys before carrying on for another half hour to Imi n’Ifri and our field picnic. Then a slow hike for about 2.5 hours south-west down along a dirt track to Assif n’ Aait Oussaden and the red clay terraced village of Tiziane (1750 m) for accommodation in our bivouac / gite.

  • Accommodation: Lodge (gite) or tent camp
  • Meals: full board
  • Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 3: Tizziane (1750m) – Tizi n’Taghrhourte (1995m) – D’knt (1870m)

After breakfast we  set off on our hike up along the Assif n’Ait Oussaden valley, passing through walnut groves, up to Tizi n’Taghrhourte (1995m) and ton an almost flat stretch to arrive at Assaka spring, where we will stop for our field picnic after some 2.5  hours of relatively easy walking. Our afternoon’s hike takes us down along the edges of the forest until we reach the berber village of D’knt (1870m) or Agouns n’Assoul where we will have our dinner and spend the night in a bivouac / gite.

  • Accommodation: Lodge (gite) or tent camp
  • Meals: full board
  • Walking time: 5-6 hours

Day 4: D’knt (1870m) – Tizi n’Tagdalte – TIzi Oussem (1850m) – Azib n’Tamsoult (2250m)

We set off for our morning’s 3-hour hike up through groves of walnut trees, fields of corn and barley to meet many sheep and goat herders. We traverse the Tizi n’Tagdalte for the descent amongst the juniper trees till we come to a small spring amongst the trees, where we will stop for our picnic. Once refreshed, we are off down the winding tracks for some 3 hours to come to a small river at the beginning of the valley of Assif n’Ait Oussaden. From here we enter the village of Tizi Oussem (1850m) then up to the summer village of Tamsoult.

  • Accommodation: Lodge (gite) or tent camp
  • Meals: full board
  • Walking time: 6-7 hours

Day 5: Tamsoult (2250m) – Tizi Aguelzim (3550m) – Refuge of Toubkal (3207m)

After breakfast we now set out eastwards on a moderately demanding hike up the winding mule tracks to the Tizi Aguelzim (3550m), then a further 3 hours south-east to the Toubkal Refuge which marks the snowline at 3207m, where we shall have our dinner, in the Refuge itself or a bivouac near the Refuge.

Day 6: Ouankrim and Rass Peak (4089m)

Climb the second highest peak in Morocco with stunning views on the Atlas and Sirwa valley at 3200m. Then walk back to the Refuge or camp for the overnight.

Day 7: Toubkal Refuge (3,207m) to Mount Toubkal (4,167m)

Early in the morning, you will make your attempt on the summit of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. The route takes you up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge and then heading across one of the numerous scree fields, where you will have to negotiate a seemingly endless carpet of boulders and rocks. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the scree and the altitude will make it difficult, however, the views along the way make the walk more than worthwhile.

Cresting the ridgeline, you will reach the plateau, from where it is a short walk to the summit and the vistas are quite breathtaking. From the peak 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.

Retracing your steps you then return down the mountain and head back towards Imlil, before your transfer back to Marrakech.

  • Accommodation: a riad in Marrakech (Riad Zanzibar or similar)
  • Meals: breakfast and lunch
  • Walking time: 9-10 hours

Day 8: Marrakech

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. If you prefer, you can also book an optional camel ride in the villages near Marrakech.

  • Accommodation: a riad in Marrakech (Riad Zanzibar or similar)
  • Meals: breakfast

Day 9: Departure

Departure (complimentary airport transfer included) or extra nights in Marrakech.

Hotels for Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Go to top of page

Accommodation is in quality hotels (riads) in Marrakech, guesthouses (gites), refuges or tent camps in the mountains. The Toubkal refuge Les Mouflons is located at 3,207 meters height. Its 600 m² area allows it to offer single and family rooms with separate showers, as well as seven dormitories. We will try to accommodate you there in a private room with en-suite facilities, but this depends on availability and cannot be guaranteed.  Optional upgrade of the Marrakech hotels is possible.

Sample hotels: Riad Zanzibar, Refuge LeMouflons

Meals

All breakfasts are included, as well as all lunches and dinners in the mountains (picnic lunches are included when out on walks). This is a privately guided walking holiday – 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 Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Go to top of page

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

Please note that 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 9 is included in arrangements.

Baggage Transfers

During the tour, your luggage is transferred to your following night’s accommodation either by car or by a muleteer – please do not bring hard-side suitcases.

Country Info

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

Trip Info for Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Go to top of page

Difficulty Grade: Moderate to Strenuous

This trip requires an excellent physical condition and some trekking experience. No mountaineering or climbing experience required. There are some longer (strenuous) walks, especially the climb to Mt Toubkal, which is non-technical but demanding. 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). Part of the walks are above the snow line. We will provide crampons if needed, which might be the case if doing the trip in winter months.

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. Some walks are above the snow line year-round.

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 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 (not shoes!), which can fit C1 crampons (crampons as well as a snow axe are obligatory if you are doing the trip between December and March; you can bring your own crampons and axe or rent them from us on site)
  • Full length gaiters
  • Hiking socks
  • Thermal socks and thermal base layer (a synthetic wicking layer with a long sleeved top and long-johns)
  • Gloves – A pair of thin liners you can keep on the whole time if you need to. On top of this a pair of wind-stopper gloves. Alternatively gloves that have a removable fleece liner. Layering preferred to one thick pair.
  • Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying, avoid cotton)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Optional down jacket (recommended in winter months)
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or approach shoes – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses with good protection (including side protection), sunscreen and lip salve (SPF20+)
  • Hat/Baseball cap and winter (woollen) beenie if going in December-March
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
  • Water bottle or hydration pack (camelback) – beware hydration packs may freeze in winter months
  • A good 3-4 season sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner
  • Water bottle – we suggest a 2 litre capacity. Platypus / CamelBack systems are ok at lower altitudes but can get frozen in the high mountains especially in winter months
  • Head torch & spare batteries
  • Trekking poles (optional)

Included for Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Go to top of page
  • 2 nights in a comfortable 3-star grade riad in Marrakech
  • 6 nights in basic riads, mountain refuges or tent camps in the mountains
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 7 dinners
  • 6 lunches (some of which are packed lunches)
  • One airport transfer on arrival and one airport transfer on departure
  • Bag transfers of one bag of up to 20 kg per person between accommodations (no hard-side suitcases please)
  • Services of a qualified English-speaking mountain guide, a muleteer and a cook as appropriate in the mountains
  • 24/7 emergency assistance by our local office in Morocco

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable. Please note that in mountain refuges single room accommodation cannot be guaranteed.
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As guide, accommodation and transfer costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost

Options and extras

  • Optional “In Style” hotel upgrade: if you prefer to stay on Days 1 and 8 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 explicitly mentioned in the program.

Extensions

  • 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 – for 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 planes 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 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 Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Go to top of page

Reviews for Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

Go to top of page

Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Sarah W on Highest Peaks of Atlas Mountains

I had a great time. However, my main thing is that it needs to be more clearly stressed how cold it potentially may be [in January], the extreme gear needed (eg big boots), and the need for flexibility in schedule to accommodate local conditions (eg change route bc of snow/ice). Holiday overall - 5. They took care of EVERYTHING and were ready to make it 100% customized to my interests + food. Thanks again!


Booking with us is safe

Find a holiday