If you want a colourful alternative to the Alpine trekking that you find in Europe, Morocco’s Jebel Toubkal and Saharan itinerary could be the ochre-hued adventure that you’ve been looking for. We start our trip in Marrakech, Morocco’s fascinating, bustling capital, before ascending the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains – Jebel Toukbal, where you will experience the breathtaking view from more than 4,000m in the air. After Toubkal we venture into the Sahara, stopping off at Ouarzazate, our final point before we hit the desert sands. In the Sahara we head deep into the dunes, camping Berber-style under the stars, before awakening each morning to the sight of the rising sun on the sands. After our trek we arrive back in Marrakech once more, with time left over to savour an amazing Moorish feast before we head home.
|Departure & Return||Duration||Price (incl. flight)||Price (excl. flight)|
- International airfares
- local guides and a 360 expedition leader
- Scheduled riad and hotel nights
- Group camping, climbing and cooking gear
- Scheduled restaurant meals
- Porters and camels
- Ground transportation in country
- All accommodation based on two people sharing
- All food whilst on trek and when city based
- Professionally edited highlights video of your trip!
- Personal equipment
- Staff/guide gratuities
- Alcoholic beverages
- Trip Insurance
- Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service and so forth
- Unscheduled hotels and restaurant meals
Arrive in the buzzing city of Marrakech where you will be picked up from the airport and taken to your charming riad to drop bags off before heading out into the city.
Marrakech - Aremd - Sidi Chamharouch - Mouflon Refuge (3,207 m)
After a hearty breakfast our minibus will drive us up to our start point at Imlil (1,800 m) in the foothills of The Atlas. We set out from there and head initially to Aremd (1,940m) about an hour away and stop for a quick lunch. We continue up meandering mule paths for a further five hours through the Ait Mizen valley and into breathtaking high mountain scenery. On the way we call in to the marabout of Sidi Chamharouch before reaching Mouflon Refuge for dinner and where we stay for the night.
Today is spent acclimatising, exploring the area around the refuge. There is the option of climbing Ouanakrim (4,088m), a local peak for those who feel up a bit more of a challenge. We stay at les mouflon Refuge that evening for dinner and sleeping overnight.
Mouflon Refuge - Toubkal Summit (4,167m) - Kasbah Du Toubkal (1,800m)
Up very early for breakfast to set us up for the climb to the summit of Toubkal. We wind through rocky paths as the vegetation starts to disappear at this altitude. As we pass the 4,000m mark the whole of the Atlas range opens up before us before we get a full, magnificent 360 degree panorama at the summit. The silence is remarkable, the High Atlas is unforgettable. Once we've all had time to contemplate what we've just achieved, we head all the way back down to Aremd Village. We'll stop for lunch as we wend our way down. We'll be picked up at the bottom and taken to the Kasbah du Toubkal where we'll spend the night for a well-earned rest.
Imlil – Tichka pass- Talouet- Ait ben haddou Kasbah- Ouarzazat
We set out in the morning from the Kasbah to make our way steadily back down to Imlil, enjoying stunning views all the way all the way down. We then turn off the Marrakesh road to head to Ouarzazate via the Tizi N’Tichka pass (2,260 m). We’ll stop to visit the former palace of Pasha El Glaoui, a Berber chieftan, at Telouet where we will have a lunch at Local restaurant . This is one of the most beautiful Kasbahs in Morocco. We then proceed along the Aït Ben Haddou valley, stopping once again to visit the Aït Ben Haddou Ksar, a UNESCO world heritage site dating from the 17th century. Finally we arrive at our hotel in Hotel in Ouarzazat in time for a bath and dinner.
Ouarzazat – Gorge dades- Ouarzat
Departure at 8am from the hotel to Skoura through the road of Thousand-Kasbahwhen. We will have a half hour to visit the Kasbah of Amredhyle after a short visit continue the road to Todra Gorges via the Kalaat of M’Gona; the Roses valley and Boumalen Dades. Once we arrive at boumalne you will take the road along the Dades valley to the Gorges of Dades. Once we arrive we will have a half hour of walking inside the valley of Dades. After lunch in a local restaurant we will come back to Ouarzazate to arrive at 5pm (approx).
Ouarzazat- Ras nkhal the starting point of the Trek
We meet our local team, load up the camels and start walking along the Drâa Valley towards our first camp, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. That night we spend our first night out in the desert, some people prefer to sleep in our Berber tents, some would rather just sleep under the stars. 8 hour drive, 2 hours walking.
Ras Enekhal - Sidi Naji
We awake to a fine breakfast before booting up and heading out across the vast plateau, interspersed with dunes, snaking across dried river beds. After a stop for lunch and about 4 1/2 hours walking we reach our night stop at the ancient Maribout (or tomb) of Sidi Naji, sitting poignantly alone in the vast expanse of desert.
Sidi Naji - Erg Ezzahar
We leave Sidi Naji in the morning and have a slightly easier day of walking through the sand to the great 700m high Erg Ezzahar, or 'The Screaming Dune'. We reach it in time for lunch, then that afternoon we can climb to the top of it to watch the sun set over the golden sands, setting them alight in an unforgettable crepuscular fire, the dunes coming alive with the gradual movement of the shadows.
Erg Ezzahar - Essemar - Sedrate
The day begins with another display as sumptuous as yet very different to the night before as the rising sun inches over the horizon bathing the dunes in the softest light of dawn. We start out by climbing up the dunes to reach the plateau. We follow the plateau, looking out over the Draa Valley, walking amid the tamarisk and acacia trees before we reach our lunch spot at the ancient nomadic settlement of Essemar, consisting of little more than local farms and a well. After lunch we continue on Erg Sedrate where we will find our camp prepared for us amongst the dunes, dinner in preparation and perhaps a fire going.
Erg Sedrate - Erg Chegaga
We continue through the sand, through undulating dunes, over wind-carved ridges, feeling like Lawrence of Arabia. We stop for a lunch on one of these ridges before proceeding to Erg Chegaga. It is the highest dune in the southern desert in time and our ultimate goal on this expedition. The climb through the sand in the heat will be hard but worth every step. We finally reach its summit in time to marvel at another hypnotic sunset turning the dunes in fiery reds and oranges before dusk sets in. Finally we lie back, enjoying the silence of the night, peppered only by the occasional dissatisfied grunt of a camel.
Erg Chegaga - Erg Lghoul
Those who are keen can awaken early to witness the finest sunrise on the trek over the dunes as witnessed from their highest point. After breakfast we descend Erg Chegaga and find the Chegaga River. Looks will be deceiving however. From a distance it bears the hallmarks of a verdant river valley, green and tree-lined amid the burning sands and plains. Upon arrival, it will seem surprising to find a riverbed devoid of water, but the walk along the bed amid the tamarisk and acacia trees provides welcome shade and a wonderful change of scene. We reach our final nightspot on the edge of a small nomadic village where we enjoy our last fantastic dinner in the desert.
Chegaga - Iriki - Marrakech
This is our final day, and we'll need an early start as we have a long day ahead of us. We make our way out of the eternal sands on foot to meet our lorry where finally we no longer have to walk. We clamber into the back of the lorry as it takes us across the Iriki plateau to Foum Zeguide, a reasonable sized frontier town on the edge of the desert where our air-conditioned bus will seem positively chilly for the long drive to Marrakech. The journey takes us up and over the Atlas Mountains where we'll stop very briefly for lunch to admire the amazing views across the range. Well be taken to our hotel to wash a week of dust and sand from our bodies and toes before heading out in the evening for a fine supper in or around the legendary Jemaa el-Fna square and a well earned beer or two before repairing to a proper bed.
Fly back to UK