Expeditions
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Morocco High Atlas Circuit

Background

"Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller". Ibn Battuta Berber Explorer

Highlights

  • Trek to Moroccos highest peak Jebal Toubkal 4167m
  • Explore Marrakesh with its wonderful palaces and souqs
  • Trek through traditional Berber villages 
  • Sleep in the wild High Atlas with its snow-capped peaks above
  • Gain a deeper understanding on this simple way of desert and mountain life

Overview

The Atlas Mountains span 2500 km across northern Africa, through Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The range's highest peaks however can be found in Morocco culminating in the highest of all, Jebal Toubkal at 4167m. Your adventure starts in the bustling city of Marrakesh, with its small alley ways, beautiful palaces and souqs and exquisite architecture. One can really sense that this ancient town was an important trading and religious hub over the centuries. 

From Marrakesh we head south toward the High Atlas mountain range where we will be met by our local Berber team of muleteers and camp hands. Our accommodation throughout will mostly be tents as we make camp at higher and higher altitudes before our ultimate ascent of Toubkal. We will pass through dozens of Berber villages, that while only a few hours from Marrakesh, live a very traditional lifestyle of subsistence.

 

We will also ascend several high passes of well over 3500m, providing us with superb views of the landscape below. On the morning of our ascent of Toubkal we will leave early as we will try to reach the summit by sunrise. On our way down we may choose to also do the west summit of Toubkal which is also a very nice extension to the trip.

 

Throughout all of this, you will be led by Ismael Santos our expert mountain guide that leads mountain expeditions all over the world. His experience not only in the Atlas mountains but in Europe, the Himalayas and the Andes makes him an invaluable guide on this adventure.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival to Marrakech and transfer to hotel. Accommodation in Hotel Riad Bahia Salam.

Day 2

Rest day in Marrakech to visit the city.

Day 3

Transfer to Imlil (1 hour 30 minutes) and start of the trek.

Imlil 1740 mts – Tizi n'Tamartet pass 2280 mts – Ouaneskra 1990 mts Tacheddirt 2310 mts - Azib Amguedoul 2430 mts.

Day 4

Azib Amguedoul 2430 mts - Tizi Likemt pass 3560 mts - Azib Likemt 2610 mts.

Overnight in tent.

Day 5

Azib Likemt 2610 mts - Tizi n'Ououraine Pass 3120 mts - Amzouart 1824 mts.

Overnight in tent.

Day 6

Amzouart 1824 mts –  Lake Ifni 2322 mts.

Overnight in tent.

Day 7

Lake Ifni 2322 mts – Tizi n'Ouanoums pass 3675 mts – Refuge Mouflons 3207 mts.

Overnight in refuge.

Day 8

Refuge Mouflons 3207 mts – Toubkal summit 4167 mts – Refuge Mouflons 3207 mts.

Overnight in refuge.

Day 9

Refuge Mouflons 3207 mts – Tizi N’Tadat pass 3837 mts (via Tazaghart) – Ighoulide water fall – Refuge Azib Tamsoult 2250 mts.

Overnight in refuge.

Day 10

Refuge Azib Tamsoult 2250 mts – Tizi n’Mzik pass 2489 mts - Imlil 1740 mts - Transfer to Marrakech (1h 30min) and free evening.

Accommodation in Hotel Riad Bahia Salam.

Day 11

Transfer to airport and return flight

Routes

Day 1

Welcome to Marrakech! You will be greeted by the No Roads team at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

This afternoon/evening is yours to immerse yourself in the colourful city of Marrakech and adjust to the climate.

Accommodation in Hotel Riad Bahia Salam.

Day 2

Today is a free day to explore the vibrant city of Marrakech. For an explosion on your senses and a true introduction to Morocco, we highly recommend visiting a Marrakech souk today.

Accommodation in Hotel Riad Bahia Salam.

Day 3

After leaving Marrakech in the morning we will arrive at Imlil at around 10 am. There we meet our local guide and head off up to the first pass, Tizi n'Tamatert, through tree covered fields. At the pass, there are views up the valley where we can see Berber villages nestled among greenery. A quick stop maybe a freshly squeezed orange juice and away we go down into the valley. We will pass through 3 larger Berber villages before arriving at our campsite on a small plot of terraced land. 

On today’s trek, you will cover 14km over 5-6 hours.

Accommodation in a tent.

Day 4

Today it is time to dig in and really experience what it is like to trek the Atlas Mountains. It is a long and slow ascent to the pass at Tizi Likemt at 3555m above sea level. This pass often has residual snow from winter and affords amazing views of part of the Toubkal massif. 

From here it is a long down, winding through small villages until we reach the beautiful Azib Likemt. A small stream passes the campsite where we can wash and relax.

On today’s trek, you will cover 10.5km over 6 hours.

Accommodation in a tent.

Day 5

Your trek today will take you through the Tizi n’Ououraine with more views of the Toubkal massif and the Ifni Dome. Your day ends in the picturesque village of Amsouzert.

Azib Likemt can be very cold in the morning with frost common. Today we set out through a wonderful canyon for the first 2.5 hours before heading up a fairly easy slope to Tizi n’Ououraine Pass. From there it is a long down into Amzouzart, a large Berber village in a lush green valley filled with walnut trees.

A couple of small shops sell chocolate and delicious, freshly squeezed orange juice.

On today’s trek, you will cover 14km over 7 hours.

Accommodation in a tent.

Day 6

Today you depart Amsouzert and head to Ifni Lake. Ifni Lake is a stunning sight as a very blue and deep lake that is surrounded by mountains and is the perfect place to set up camp for the night.

This is a lovely day walking through tree covered villages on our way to the dormant volcanic lake of Lac Ifni. Once we leave the shade of the village we head up along a barren landscape to a pass that affords wonderful views of the lake. Another 45 minutes and we are in camp on the shores of the lake where we can go for a refreshing swim. Don’t forget your sandals as the shore is made up of small rocks but the water is crystal clear.

On today’s trek, you will cover 12km over 4-5 hours.

Accommodation in a tent.


Day 7

Today is the hardest day of the trek with a very steep and long upwards slope. You will reach the pass at Tizi n’Ouanoums and then descend to Refuge Mouflons which will be your accommodation for the night.

A small saddle can be seen north of the lake hush up in the mountains. This is Tizi n’Ouanoums Pass our first destination today. The first hour or so is up a rock and stone valley before we start up the final ascent. This is a demanding day that affords amazing views as we get higher and higher finally reaching 3675 m above sea level.

From the pass, we can see several 4000 m peaks but not Toubkal which is hidden by several closer ridges.

It is then a long down to the Refuge which is a welcome site. 

On today’s trek, you will cover 11km over 6-7 hours.

Accommodation in Refuge Mouflons.

Day 8

Your trek today will reach the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains at Toukbal Summit. From the summit, you will be met with breathtaking views of the entire Atlas range before returning to Refuge Mouflons for the night.

Today is summit day and we will rise an hour earlier to leave by 5 am. The first obstacle is a large rock fall that takes us up to a gully. Snow and ice is often still present so we make our way carefully through this section.

As we make our way up the gully, Toubkal’s summit can be seen for the first time. We will stop at a saddle at 4000m for a break, preparing ourselves for the final ascent. But the hard work has already been done as the final 167m is a gentle climb.

The summit of Toubkal is quite large and affords views in every direction. It is an incredible place with panoramas of the desert and the extended High Atlas mountain range that runs generally east to west.

It is a place to sit and savor.

The descent can be a tricky affair but our team will ensure a safe journey back to the Refuge by around midday, where we will have lunch, hot shower and rest for the day.

On today’s trek, you will cover 8km over 8 hours.

Accommodation in Refuge Mouflons.

Day 9

It is a long day of trekking today as you depart Refuge Mouflons and make your way through TiziN’Tadat pass (via Tazaghat). You will stop at the Ighouliden waterfall before arriving at your accommodation for the night at Refuge Azim Tamsoult.

Considered by many as their favourite day, we will climb up the valley for about 400m and then pass down into what is first a very barren valley until we reach a lush green pass that takes us to our Refuge. Not before an initial 600m descent with over 120 switchbacks.

1400m descent is a long way in anyone’s book. This day is no exception though the natural beauty of the place is a great distraction. 45 minutes before the Refuge we will pass under a large waterfall before walking into lush green agricultural terraces surrounding the Refuge.

On today’s trek, you will cover 12km over 6-7 hours.

Overnight in Azim Tamsoult Refuge.

Day 10

The last day of your trek has arrived and you depart Refuge Azim Tamsoult and make your way to Imlil via Tizin’Mzik Pass. On arrival into Imlil you will be transferred to your hotel in Marrakech for a long hot shower and a free evening to rest and relax or hit the town for your final evening.

On today’s trek you will cover 10km over 4-5 hours.

Accommodation in Hotel Riad Bahia Salam.

Day 11

Transfer to airport to meeting your return flight.

Inclusions

  • Guided by expert Mountain Guide Ismael Santos
  • Accommodation at Hotel Riad Bahia Salam in Marrakech (3 nights) with bed and breakfast service
  • Transfer Marrakech  – Imlil
  • Local guide, cook, and mule driver
  • Mules to carry luggage, food, and camping equipment
  • Food during all the trek (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • Tents (2 pax every tent), mess tent, and all equipment gear
  • Accommodation at refuge ‘Les Mouflons’
  • Accommodation at refuge ‘Azib Tamsoult’
  • Transfer Imlil – Marrakech
  • Transfer from the hotel in Marrakech to the airport

Exclusions

  • Flight to Marrakech round trip
  • Dinners in Imlil and Marrakech
  • Mineral wáter and drinks during the trekking
  • Sleeping bag, clothes, and trekking equipment
  • Insurance

Maps

Extensions

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Moroccan Berber Experience

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