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Mount Toubkal Express  The Natural Adventure

Mount Toubkal Express

Overview

Our Mount Toubkal Express trek is an active way to spend a weekend with just one night and two days in the mountains to approach, summit and descend the highest peak in North Africa. 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. You can optionally book extra nights in Marrakech.

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Itinerary

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

Morning private transfer from Marrakech to the village of Imlil (90 km / 2 hours). There you will leave the vehicle and, in the company of your mountain guide, 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: Packed lunch and dinner; tea and coffee
  • Walking time: 6-7 hours

Day 2: Base Camp (3,207m) to Mount Toubkal (4,167m) | 9-11 hrs

Early in the morning (around 4 am), 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 in the early evening.

  • Accommodation: no overnight included, you can optionally book extra nights in Marrakech
  • Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch; tea and coffee
  • Walking time: 9-11 hours

What to Expect

Accommodation

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 the availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Click to view default accommodation

*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 to you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Packed lunches are included on both days, as well as a dinner on Day 1 and a breakfast on Day 2.

Difficulty & terrain

The climb to Mt Toubkal is non-technical but demanding. This trip requires an excellent physical condition and solid trekking experience. No mountaineering or climbing experience required. 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 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. 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 (Festival of Sacrifice of Sheep) 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

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By plane

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

  • Private transfers from the airport to Marrakech on Day 1 and to the airport on the last day are NOT included in our arrangements but can be organised at an extra charge. This is because most of our clients usually take a few days in Marrakech before and/or after the holiday – either booked through us or independently.

Inclusions

Included

  • 1 night in a mountain refuge (lodge)
  • 1 breakfast
  • 1 dinner
  • 2 packed lunches
  • Private car transfer from Marrakech to Imlil on Day 1 and back to Marrakech on Day 2
  • 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 and connecting land transfers
  • Meals not listed in 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.
  • Recommended: Extra night in Imlil before the Mt Toubkal climb (with or without a guided acclimatisation walk)
  • One or two extra nights in Marrakech before or after the holiday (standard accommodation)
  • One or two extra nights in Marrakech before or after the holiday (luxury accommodation)
  • 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 extension when booking.

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 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 (or book a hotel on your own).

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