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Welcome to the exciting adventure of the 5 Day Mt Toubkal Ascent and Sahara Desert Combined Tour! This tour is perfect for those who are seeking to conquer the Toubkal Ascent Trek and explore the beautiful Erg Chebbi desert in a short amount of time.
Your journey will begin with a comfortable pick-up from Marrakech, followed by a scenic drive to Imlil where you will meet our experienced team. After getting acquainted, you will embark on a thrilling two-night trek up the majestic mountains of Toubkal.
Once you have completed your ascent of Toubkal, your journey will continue with an express desert tour that will take you through some of the most breathtaking areas in the South of Morocco. Experience the thrill of a camel ride through the Erg Chebbi dunes and spend a magical night under the stars in the heart of the desert.
Although this tour requires long daily drives, it is certainly doable and well worth it for the experience of a lifetime. For those with extra time to spare, we offer the option to extend your journey and take a slower pace, allowing you to climb Toubkal over 3 days, followed by a 4-day desert tour.
At the end of your tour, we will take you back to Marrakech where you can reminisce about your incredible adventure and take home unforgettable memories. Book your 5 Day Mt Toubkal Ascent and Sahara Desert Combined Tour today and embark on a journey of a lifetime!
On Day 1 of your adventure, we will depart from Marrakech and make our way towards Imlil, where we will begin our journey to the base camp of Toubkal. As we leave the city behind, we will travel south towards the rugged terrain of the Toubkal Massif. Along the way, we will pass through the quaint town of Asni, and start our ascent towards the foothills of the Massif. The Oued Rhirhaia valley stretches out before us, and we will catch glimpses of small villages clinging to the sides of steep hills as we wind our way towards Imlil.
Once we arrive in Imlil, we will meet with our experienced mountain guide, and set off on our trek. Our first stop will be the village of Aremd, which is the largest in the valley and boasts traditional terraced farming, gites, and bustling streets filled with goats and cattle. The Berber villagers have worked these lands for generations, producing crops such as corn, potatoes, and walnuts.
After passing through Aremd, we will make our way to the shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, located on a moraine spur overlooking the valley floor. As we cross the river, we will begin our ascent into the high rocky cliffs above the valley. We will eventually arrive at the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, which attracts visitors and pilgrims alike. Only Muslims are allowed to cross the stone bridge to visit the marabout shrine itself.
From here, our journey continues steadily upwards, snaking and zigzagging its way up to the snowline and the Toukbal Refuge (3206m), where we will spend the night. The refuge provides a cozy and comfortable stopover before continuing our ascent of Toubkal. The trek will take approximately 5 to 6 hours of walking, and along the way, we will be surrounded by stunning vistas and breathtaking landscapes. Get ready for an unforgettable journey on Day 1 of the Marrakech – Imlil – Base camp of Toubkal trek!
On Day 2, the trekking group will wake up early in the morning to begin their ascent of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. The route starts by crossing the stream above the Toukbal Refuge, heading towards one of the mountain’s numerous scree fields. The trek involves navigating through an endless carpet of boulders and rocks, which can be quite challenging due to the altitude and the unstable terrain. However, the stunning views along the way make the journey worthwhile. Upon reaching the ridgeline, the group will find themselves on a plateau, where they will only have a short walk left to the summit. The view from the top is simply breathtaking, with unrestricted views in every direction. From the Marrakesh Plain to the High Atlas Mountains in the north and the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara in the south, the panorama is stunning. Pliny, the great Roman scholar, once described the High Atlas Mountains as “the most fabulous mountains in all of Africa,” and the group will understand why from this vantage point high above the valley. After taking in the views, the group will retrace their steps back down the mountain towards Imlil, where they will spend the night in Dar adrar or similar accommodation. The total trekking time for the day is approximately 9 to 10 hours.
On Day 3, your adventure continues with a pickup from your accommodation in Imlil at 9:00 AM. You’ll be driven over the majestic Atlas Mountains, taking in the breathtaking views as you pass over the Tizi-n-Tichka mountain pass. During your journey, you’ll come across several charming Berber villages, and as you make your way towards the desert, you’ll witness riverside oases and hillsides adorned with kasbahs. Along the way, you’ll have the option to take a break and visit the Ouarzazate Film Studios or make a side trip to Ait Benhaddou. Ait Benhaddou is an ancient fortified city that boasts countless kasbahs and has been featured in numerous Hollywood movies like Gladiator, Alexander, and Lawrence of Arabia. With your guide, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the buildings and take a walk around the city.
Once you arrive at Dades Gorge, you’ll have the option to go for a hike or relax at your hotel. You can take a leisurely stroll through the stunning landscape and appreciate the serenity that the area has to offer, or perhaps you’d prefer to unwind and enjoy the comfort of your hotel. Either way, you’ll be spending the night in Dades, where you can soak up the beauty of the surroundings. Total driving time on this day is approximately 7 to 8 hours.
After breakfast at the camp, you’ll ride your camels back to Merzouga. From there, you’ll take a 4×4 vehicle to explore the vast and stunning Erg Chebbi sand dunes. You will visit the small village of Khamlia to experience the Gnawa music and culture of the Sahara. Afterwards, you’ll visit the panoramic view of the golden dunes near the Algerian border. You’ll have a break for lunch in the desert before returning to your hotel in Merzouga for a restful afternoon. In the evening, you will ride your camels back to your Berber camp in the middle of the dunes. You’ll enjoy another traditional Moroccan dinner and spend the night under the stars or in tents. (Total driving time 3-4 hours)
On the final day of the tour, you will wake up early to catch the sunrise during a 1.5 hour camel ride in the Merzouga area. After the ride, you will return to Merzouga for breakfast and a chance to shower. Then, you will start your journey back to Marrakech, traveling through the stony desert and over the Atlas Mountains. Along the way, you will have many opportunities to stop for photos, explore the surroundings, and have lunch. The expected arrival time in Marrakech is between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, after a long 10 hour drive.
To make the last day’s journey more comfortable, we recommend spending the night at the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. This would extend the tour to 6 days.
The best time to hike in Morocco is during the spring (March to May) and the fall (September to November). During these months, the weather is typically mild, with comfortable temperatures during the day and cool nights. The landscapes are also more colorful during these seasons, as wildflowers bloom in the spring and the foliage changes color in the fall.
However, it’s still possible to hike in Morocco during the summer and winter months. Summer can be hot, but the higher elevations in the Atlas Mountains offer cooler temperatures. Winter can be cold, especially at higher altitudes, but there are still opportunities for winter hiking and skiing. It’s important to note that some trails and passes may be inaccessible during the winter months due to snow and ice.
It is technically possible to climb Toubkal without a guide, but it’s not recommended. The terrain can be challenging, especially for inexperienced hikers, and having a guide can provide added safety and support. A guide can also help with navigation, especially in areas where the trail may not be clearly marked.
In addition to safety concerns, climbing Toubkal without a guide may not be permitted. The Moroccan authorities require hikers to obtain a permit before climbing Toubkal, and our tour companie and guides are licensed to issue these permits. If you don’t have a permit or are caught climbing without one, you may be fined or even deported.
It’s also worth noting that climbing with us can enhance your overall experience. Our guide can provide insights into the local culture and history, and can help you appreciate the natural beauty of the area. We will also take care of logistics, such as arranging transport and accommodations, leaving you free to focus on enjoying your hike.
Climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, but it’s generally considered a moderate to strenuous climb. The difficulty of the climb will depend on several factors, including your level of fitness, previous hiking experience, and the route you choose to take.
The standard route to the summit starts in the village of Imlil and involves hiking to the Toubkal Refuge, where climbers can rest for the night before making the final ascent to the summit the following day. The hike to the refuge is approximately 5-6 hours and involves a steady uphill climb.
The final ascent to the summit involves some steep and rocky terrain and can take 3-4 hours, depending on your pace. Altitude can also be a factor, as the summit of Toubkal is 4,167 meters (13,671 feet) above sea level. It’s important to acclimate properly to the altitude and take necessary precautions to prevent altitude sickness.
That being said, the climb to Mount Toubkal is accessible to most hikers with a moderate level of fitness and previous hiking experience. It’s recommended to train and prepare for the climb in advance, with a focus on building endurance and stamina.
Overall, while climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, the stunning views from the summit and the sense of accomplishment make it a rewarding experience.
The temperature in the High Atlas Mountains can vary greatly depending on the season and altitude. In general, the higher you go, the colder it gets.
During the winter months (December to February), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can drop below freezing, especially at higher altitudes. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach -10°C (14°F) or colder at the summit of Mount Toubkal. It’s important to come prepared with warm clothing and gear if you plan to visit during the winter.
In the summer months (June to August), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can be quite hot during the day, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). However, temperatures can drop significantly at night, especially at higher altitudes, so it’s important to pack warm layers for evenings and early mornings.
Overall, it’s best to come prepared for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions when visiting the High Atlas Mountains, as the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly.
Hiking Toubkal Mount in the winter can be challenging and requires proper equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are some essential items you should bring with you:
Insulated and waterproof boots: Your boots should be sturdy, waterproof, and insulated to keep your feet warm and dry in snowy conditions.
Warm clothing layers: You’ll need to dress in layers, including a base layer, mid-layer, and outer shell, to stay warm and regulate your body temperature. Insulated jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves are also necessary.
Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants: You’ll need a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants to protect you from the snow, wind, and rain.
Crampons and ice axe: In snowy conditions, you may need crampons and an ice axe to help you navigate the mountain safely.
Backpack: A sturdy backpack with a waterproof cover is essential for carrying your gear, snacks, and water.
Sleeping bag: If you plan to spend the night in a mountain refuge, you’ll need a warm and insulated sleeping bag.
Sunglasses and sunscreen: The sun’s reflection on the snow can be intense, so bring sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your eyes and skin.
Morocco is generally considered a safe country for trekking, but like any travel destination, it’s important to take appropriate safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Stay on designated trails: Stick to designated trails and avoid venturing off into unknown areas.
Dress appropriately: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and bring the necessary equipment, such as proper footwear, warm clothing, and rain gear.
Stay hydrated: Bring enough water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout your trek.
Avoid hiking alone: It’s always safer to hike with a group or a guide, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.
By taking these precautions, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding trekking experience in Morocco.