When I told people I was going to trekking to the top of highest mountain in Northern Africa,...
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Mount Toubkal Trek
Transport - Minibus, on foot.
Accommodation - Hotel (3nts), gite (2nts), refuge/camping (2nts).
Meals - 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 4 dinners.
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
Fly to Marrakech
Fly to Marrakech. On arrival in the late evening you transfer directly to your hotel. Even today, the name Marrakech conjures up images of scenes from The Arabian Nights with its busy souks (markets) and twisting alleyways. This remarkable city, dating from the 11th century, never fails to satisfy the curiosity of adventurous travellers. It has everything from the graceful architecture of the Koutoubia Minaret, which dominates the skyline, to the throbbing atmosphere of a medieval fair in the great open square, the Djemaa el-Fna, in the heart of the medina. Hotel - 1night. The hotel is located just outside the city walls around the old Medina. It is about a 25 minute walk to the main square Djemaa el Fna but close to local shops and restaurants
Aremd; orientation walk
This morning 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. Gite d’étape – 2 nights (BD)
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. Gites are generally found in villages on walking routes. Showers (sometimes hot ones!) may be available in gites but these will be offered at an additional cost of around 70p to £1.
Aremd; Atlas Mountains
You’ll 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. (BLD)
Neltner Refuge; trek on Mt Toubkal
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). Approximately 5 hours walk. Camp - 2 nights (BLD)
Neltner; summit Mt. Toubkal
Early this morning 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. All in all it’s a long but rewarding day - approximately 8 hours walking (including rest stops). (BLD)
Marrakech; descend from Neltner
You pack up camp and descend 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 some shopping. Hotel – 2 nights (B)
Marrakech; city tour
This morning you wake early to an unfamiliar sound - the muezzins calling the faithful to prayer in the various city mosques - your first contact with Islam. After breakfast you’ll have a walking tour of the city centre with a local guide. This takes in the main sights but the most exciting part is when you enter the sprawling souk. Here individual trades and crafts are concentrated together in a single street or area, so all the shoemakers are next to each other, as are the jewellers, the potters, the weavers, etc. This is the best place in Morocco to sharpen your bargaining skills and you’re almost certain to be tempted by some of the extraordinary variety of merchandise on display - even if it's only a trinket or a packet of exotic spices.
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! (B)
The trip ends in Marrakech for Land Only clients. Those on group flights transfer to the airport and fly home. (B)
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Available when booking on selected Guaranteed trips departing in the next 8 weeks. Discount off the 'without flights' price. When booking online the discount will be applied post booking. One of our travel consultants will call you back to confirm your discount amount. *Prices in price panel are before discount.
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