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Mount Toubkal Trek

Trip type: 
Walking & Trekking
Trekking level: 
4. Demanding
Max group size: 
16
Avg user rating: 
Awaiting reviews
Africa, Morocco | 8 days
Trip code: 
XMXO
What's included: 

Transport - Minibus, on foot.

Accommodation - Hotel (3nts), gite (2nts), refuge/camping (2nts).

Meals - 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 4 dinners.

Trip Highlights: 
Summit North Africa's highest peak
Traverse through beautiful High Atlas Mountain scenery
Wander through the lively bazaars of Marrakech
see full itinerary >>

Holidays in Morocco
You'll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organising the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimise the time spent travelling and maximise the variety of experiences.
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
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Itinerary for Mount Toubkal Trek

(Departures in 2014-15)
  • Day 1 - Marrakech
  • Day 2-3 - Aremd
  • Day 4-5 - Neltner
  • Day 6-8 - Marrakech
Extensions and Extras: Extend your holiday and see more of the world. View additional tours for this trip »
Day
1
Marrakech

Marrakech

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception about the welcome meeting that takes places on day 2. 

Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens.

The monuments of Marrakech are numerous and range from the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its superb minaret - famous throughout the Islamic world and the 'sister' to the Giralda in far-away Seville, to the lesser-known tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). There's the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, and the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the phenomenal medinas of Morocco.

Explore the amazing Medina and the seemingly endless mosaic of souqs. Each is devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. A wander amongst them is a sensory delight.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

 

Day
2-3
Aremd

Aremd

This morning will start with breakfast and a welcome meeting at 8am. Your leader will go through everything you need to know about your trek before you set off to the mountains.

You leave Marrakech and drive across the plains towards Tahanaoute, an ancient marketplace on the edge of the mountains. The landscape changes as the plains gradually give way to mountains, with the impressive snow-covered peaks of the High Atlas looming in front of you.

Following the road right to its end you arrive in the village of Imlil (1740m above sea level). From here it is about a 50 minute walk to your mountain base, a typical Berber house in the village of Aremd (2000m) with views up the valley towards Toubkal.

This afternoon you’ll stretch your legs with an orientation walk.

Regardless of your level of fitness, the gentle pace of Aroumd makes it a special place beyond the reach of the modern world - and an opportunity not to be missed.

The next two nights are spent in a 'Gite'.

A gite d’étape consists of a village house with simple dormitory rooms each with space for approximately 8 people. Each room is generally furnished in traditional Berber style with low couches (which can be used as beds), tables, carpets and cushions. On warm nights it’s generally possible to sleep out on a terrace under the stars. Communal facilities usually consist of a couple of showers and toilets.

On day 3 you will explore your surroundings with morning and afternoon walks in the mountains (total walking time approximately 6½ hours plus the option to do more).

The High Atlas region is a mix of fertile valleys and soaring, barren snow-capped peaks. Flat-roofed Berber houses constructed with local materials huddle together to create fortress-like villages which blend almost seamlessly into the mountainside. The many trails and tracks which criss-cross the area provide numerous opportunities for walkers and the ideal way to make the most of this stunning area is on foot.

Accommodation

Gite (2 nts)

Day
4-5
Neltner

Neltner

Today you embark on the first day of your ascent of Mt. Toubkal. This is normally only possible during the summer (June to September) as there is too much snow on the high slopes at other times of year.

It’s a demanding two-day walk that should only be considered by anyone who is fit and has plenty of mountain-walking experience. From Aremd the trail leads past orchards up the floodplain of the Ait Mizane Valley before climbing steeply, as it zigzags up the mountainside. All baggage and provisions are carried by mule - the multi-purpose all-terrain vehicles of the mountains. Used to plough fields, carry loads from valley to valley (often up incredibly steep and narrow tracks), turn threshing machines and even act as taxis ferrying people between the villages! Mules are an indispensable part of Berber life in the mountains.

Along the way you reach Sidi Chamarouch, a place of pilgrimage for Moroccans who come to the tomb of the local marabout (Muslim holy man). You can only see the shrine from across the gorge, as it’s forbidden for non-Muslims to cross the bridge to the other side. Beyond Sidi Chamarouch the trail climbs steeply through a series of switchbacks, traverses the flank of the valley high above the river and brings you to the Toubkal Base Camp at Neltner (3207m).

Early on the morning of Day 5 you set off for North Africa’s highest peak, Jebel Toubkal (4167m); the goal of many mountain walkers who visit the High Atlas. There is a steep final climb that can involve some scrambling, but the effort is rewarded by superb views from the summit of the entire Atlas range.

On a clear day it’s even possible to make out the hazy outline of the Atlantic coast to the west and the sands of the Sahara Desert to the east. After resting on the summit, you make your way back to Neltner where you rest for the night. In total it should be approximately 8 hours of walking.

Accommodation

Gite (2 nts)

 

Day
6-8

Marrakech

On Day 6 we pack up camp and head back down to Imlil (approx. 3 hours) where you meet your vehicle to drive across the plains back to Marrakech.

As it is only about a 1½ hour drive you have almost a full day to explore the fantastic city of Marrakech, to sample the delights of this exotic city, visit some of the impressive sites or do.

Take a guided tour of the Medina and its seemingly endless mosaic of souqs. Each devoted to a separate trade: pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. A wander amongst them is a sensory delight.

Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens.

In the afternoon you have time to wander and make more of your own discoveries. You could visit the Palais de la Bahia, built at the end of the 19th century for Si’ Ahmed ben Musa, the Grand Vizier of Soultan Moulay al Hassan. Only part of the palace is open, as the royal family still makes use of a fair proportion of the building. The beautiful courtyards and splendid living quarters provide a picture of a grand bygone lifestyle. Another possibility is Dar Si Said, housing the Museum of Moroccan Arts. This former royal townhouse now contains beautiful art and craftwork from all corners of the country. If you’d like to experience the relaxation of a traditional bath, your Group Leader can advise where to find the nearest hammam; for just a few dirhams, you’ll be steamed and scrubbed until you shine!

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.

Included Activities

  • Guided walking tour around Marrakech
  • Palais Bahia

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nts)