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Embark on an unforgettable journey through Morocco’s stunning Atlas Mountains and awe-inspiring Sahara Desert with our 6-day combined Toubkal and Sahara Tour. This one-of-a-kind adventure offers the perfect blend of thrill-seeking trekking and relaxing camel rides, making it the ultimate experience for any traveler.
Your journey begins with an exhilarating Toubkal Ascent Trek, where you’ll challenge yourself to climb to the summit of the highest peak in North Africa. Along the way, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and immersed in the rich Berber culture of the region. After a day of trekking, you’ll retire to comfortable lodgings to rest up for the next day’s adventure.
From there, you’ll embark on a more relaxed drive towards the edge of the Sahara, where you’ll find yourself just 40km away from the Algerian border. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll experience the thrill of a lifetime as you ride camels through the stunning Erg Chebbi dunes to a traditional Berber camp. Here, you’ll spend the night under the stars, feasting on delicious Moroccan cuisine and enjoying traditional music and dance performances.
This six-day tour is the perfect way to experience the best of Morocco’s natural beauty and culture. So why wait? Book your adventure today and discover the magic of the Moroccan Kasbahs and Mt. Toubkal!
On the first day of our journey, we’ll leave behind the bustling city of Marrakech and venture towards the majestic Toubkal Massif. As we drive south, we’ll witness the stunning beauty of the Haouz Plain and pass through the charming town of Asni before beginning our ascent towards the foothills of the Massif.
Our first stop is the quaint village of Imlil, where we’ll bid farewell to our vehicle and set off on foot with our experienced mountain guide. Our trek will take us through the picturesque Mizane Valley, passing by the largest village in the valley – Aremd. Here, we’ll get a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Berber villagers who have farmed the land for generations, cultivating crops such as corn, potatoes, and walnuts in the harsh terrain.
Continuing on, we’ll cross the river and make our way towards the Sidi Chamarouch shrine, a significant pilgrimage site for Muslims and a popular tourist destination. Nestled beside a small waterfall, the village is a cluster of houses that appear to merge into one another in a chaotic yet charming manner.
As we ascend further, we’ll navigate mule tracks and traverse the rocky cliffs, reaching the snowline before finally arriving at the Toukbal Refuge (3206m) – our base camp for the night. Here, we’ll settle in for the evening after a 5-hour trek, surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of the Toubkal Massif.
Day two of our adventure will be an early start as we begin our trek towards the summit of Jebel Toubkal – the highest peak in Northern Africa. Our route takes us up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge before navigating the challenging scree fields. Although the walking is relatively straightforward, the altitude and rugged terrain make the journey quite demanding. However, the incredible views along the way make every step worth it.
As we ascend further, we’ll reach the ridgeline and find ourselves on the plateau, with a short walk left to reach the summit. From the top, we’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Marrakesh Plain to the north, the High Atlas in the north, and the Anti-Atlas and Sahara to the south. The High Atlas Mountains have been described as “the most fabulous mountains in all of Africa,” and from our vantage point high above the valley, it’s easy to understand why.
After taking in the breathtaking views, we’ll retrace our steps and begin our descent towards Imlil, where we’ll spend the night in the cozy accommodations of Dar adrar or a similar lodging option. It’s an unforgettable day of adventure and an experience that will stay with us for a lifetime.
On the third day of your adventure, you’ll start by being picked up from your accommodation in Imlil at 9:00 am. From there, you’ll head out over the Atlas Mountains, taking in the stunning views as you drive over the Tizi-n-Tichka mountain pass. Along the way, you’ll pass through many traditional Berber villages, and as you reach the desert, you’ll see riverside oases and hillsides dotted with kasbahs – the fortified dwellings that house families and their livestock.
During the journey, you’ll have the option to either stop for a hike or take a break to visit the famous Ouarzazate Film Studios. As you continue on your journey, you’ll arrive at the Dades Gorge, where you’ll have the option to either go for a hike or relax at your hotel. This area is known for its impressive rock formations and stunning scenery, so it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs and take in the natural beauty of Morocco.
After a day of exploring, you’ll spend the night in Dades, where you can relax and unwind before continuing your journey. In total, the driving time for this day will be around 7 hours, but the breathtaking scenery along the way is sure to make the journey feel like a true adventure.
Wake up early to watch the sunrise over the sand dunes before riding your camel back to the kasbah for breakfast and a shower. Depart for Ouarzazate, known as the “Gateway to the Sahara”, passing through the beautiful Draa Valley with its palm trees and ancient kasbahs. Along the way, you’ll have the option to visit the 17th-century Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular filming location for many Hollywood movies. Overnight in Ouarzazate. (Total driving time 5 hours)
After experiencing a magical desert sunrise, you will return to the kasbah by camel and enjoy a refreshing breakfast. Once ready, you will embark on a scenic drive to Ait Benhaddou, an ancient fortified city with numerous kasbahs. This breathtaking city has served as the backdrop for many Hollywood movies including The Mummy, Gladiator, Alexander, and Lawrence of Arabia. With your knowledgeable guide, you will explore the buildings and learn about the fascinating history of this UNESCO World Heritage site. In the evening, you will check into a hotel near Ait Benhaddou where you will spend the night. (Total driving time 5-6 hours)
After breakfast, you will leave Ait Benhaddou and travel along the Ounilla Valley to the Telouet Kasbah, a crumbling kasbah that was once an important stop for traders. You will have the opportunity to explore the Kasbah before continuing your journey. After lunch, you will head back over the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass to Marrakech, where the tour will end. The total driving time for this day is around 4 hours.
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.