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Mount Toubkal Classic Climb with Marrakech  The Natural Adventure 12

Mount Toubkal Classic Climb with Marrakech

Overview

Our Mount Toubkal Classic Climb with Marrakech combines summiting the highest peak in North Africa with the vibe of exotic Marrakech, a city steeped in ancient artistry that continues to thrive, kept alive by the modern craftspeople of the souqs and the contemporary art and design scene of the Ville Nouvelle.

This is a privately guided trek, you will not be part of a group, and your party will be accompanied by a personal certified guide and a muleteer.

We also offer shorter versions of this tour, enabling you to complete the climb in just two or three days.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Marrakech

Arrive at Marrakech airport, where a private transfer will be waiting to take you to your Riad. 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 the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque.

  • Accommodation: Riad Zanzibar or similar (optional upgrade available)

Day 2: Marrakech – Imlil (1,740m) & Tizi Mzik Circular Acclimatisation Walk (2,664m) | 7-8 hrs

Early morning private transfer from Marrakech to the village of Imlil (90 km / 2 hours). Imlil is a small village in the heart of the High Atlas, and also the centre of mountain tourism in Morocco due to its unique location at the foot of Jebel Toubkal.

Start the acclimatisation trek west of Imlil past Berber hamlets with a stunning mountain panorama, including the Oukaïmeden, Tasskssout, Imsserdan, and Azzaden Valley. The walk features a waterfall where a swim may be possible and juniper and pine forests. The trail then heads west from Imlil (1,740m) up through almond, walnut and apple groves offering a panoramic vista of the beautiful valley and Berber hamlets of Tanghourt, Fimlil and M’Zik. There is a strenuous ascent through the Tizi M’Zik pass (2,664m) from where there is a splendid view of the Jbel Oukaïmeden range, the plateau of Tazaghârt and the pretty Assif Aït n’Ouissedene lined with palm trees. Next, the path descends through juniper and pine woods between Jbel Tasghimout (2,664m) and Adrar Adj (3,729m) to the Tamsoult Cascade (2,204m), a lovely spot for a picnic lunch and a nice place to bathe. The return leg is via the same general route but via different paths via the Tizi M’Zik pass back to Imlil.

  • Accommodation: a traditional riad in/near Imlil (Dar Amadine or similar)
  • Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner; tea and coffee
  • Walking time: 7-8 hours

Day 3: Imlil (1,740m) to Mt Toubkal Base Camp (3,207m) | 6-7 hrs

Begin your trek, heading along the Mizane Valley, first towards the village of Aremd and then onto the shrine of Sidi Chamarouch. Built on a moraine spur overlooking the valley floor, Aremd is the largest village in the valley and provides an exciting mix of traditional terraced farming and streets that seem to be permanently gridlocked by goats and cattle. Continuing east and crossing the floodplain, your route takes you along mule tracks and up into the high rocky cliffs above the valley.

Crossing the river, you eventually come to the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, which attracts tourists and pilgrims alike (although only Muslims are allowed to cross the stone bridge to visit the shrine itself). From here, the trail continues to ascend steadily, snaking and zigzagging its way up to the snowline and the Mouflons Toubkal Refuge (3,207m), your stop for the night.

  • Accommodation: Refuge LeMouflons
  • Meals: Full Board; tea and coffee
  • Walking time: 6-7 hours

Day 4: Base Camp (3,207m) to Mount Toubkal (4,167m) / Marrakech | 9-11 hrs

Early in the morning (around 4 am), you will make your attempt at 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 pretty 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 in the early evening.

  • Accommodation: Riad Zanzibar or similar (optional upgrade available)
  • Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch; tea and coffee
  • Walking time: 9-11 hours

Day 5: Departure or Extra Nights in Marrakech

Departure after breakfast (airport transfer included) or extend your stay.

  • Meals: Breakfast

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in a hand-picked riads or guesthouses, and a mountain refuge at Mt Toubkal base camp. The Toubkal base camp refuge Les Mouflons is located at 3,207 meters in height. Its 600 m² area allows it to offer single and family rooms with separate showers, as well as seven dormitories. By default, you will be accommodated in a dormitory there; we can optionally try to accommodate you in a private room with en-suite facilities, but this depends on availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Click to view default accommodations

*Accommodations 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 you with exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

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.

Difficulty & terrain

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

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 fitness level to get the most from these walks.

When to go

This trip is available to start on any date between the 6th of January and the 20th of December. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

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.

Please note that during Ramadan and Eid Al Adha’s festival times, many restaurants and shops will be closed, which may affect your trip experience. Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr change yearly. Ramadan 2023 will begin March 22nd and ends April 20th. Eid al-Adha 2023 will begin June 28th and ends July 2nd.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK).

  • Private complimentary return transfers from Marrakech airport are included.

Inclusions

Included

  • 3 nights in a traditional riad
  • 1 night in a mountain refuge (lodge)
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 2 dinners
  • 3 packed lunches
  • Private airport return transfers (Marrakech airport)
  • Private car transfer from Marrakech to Imlil on Day 2 and back to Marrakech on Day 4
  • Luggage transfers of one bag (up to 20 kg) per person
  • Services of a qualified mountain guide and a muleteer as appropriate in the mountains
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room. Please note that in mountain refuges single room accommodation cannot be guaranteed.
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as costs are not shared.
  • You can also book one of our guided day tour extensions  – listed below – for these extra days in Marrakech, or just relax and stroll the streets of Marrakech.

Click here to view Ourika Valley full day guided tour

Ourika Valley, due to its many waterfalls and several attractions, is a very popular 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 when booking extentions.

Click here to view Fishing port of Essaouira full day guided tour

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 street 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 is not included; please choose an “Extra night in Marrakech” extension when booking the guided tours (or book a hotel on your own).

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