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Nestled at the foot of the Central High Atlas Mountains on the southern side, lies one of the most captivating regions in Morocco – the Dades & Roses Valleys. Boasting an idyllic landscape of rose-filled fields, ancient fortified villages, and breathtaking vistas, this region offers an unforgettable trekking experience.
As you embark on your trek, you’ll be greeted with the warm hospitality of the Berber people, who have called this region home for generations. Immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions as you explore the winding paths of the Dades & Roses Valleys. Marvel at the stunning natural beauty around every corner, from the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains to the rugged red rock formations that dot the landscape.
Take in the fragrant scent of blooming roses as you wander through the valley, and witness firsthand the vibrant hues of the local flora and fauna. Visit the fortified villages and learn about the rich history and culture of this region from the friendly locals.
With its unparalleled beauty, rich history, and welcoming locals, the Dades & Roses Valleys Trek is an adventure you won’t want to miss. Join us on this unforgettable journey and discover the true heart of Morocco.
On the first day of your Dades & Roses Valleys Trek, our team will pick you up from your Riad/Hotel in Marrakech and take you on a scenic drive through the Tizi-N-Tichka pass, which is situated at an altitude of 2260m in the High Atlas Mountains. As you journey towards Ouarzazate, you’ll be mesmerized by the breathtaking landscapes that showcase a range of vibrant colors. Along the way, you’ll also pass through numerous traditional Berber villages, each offering a unique insight into the local culture and way of life.
After a few hours of driving, you’ll arrive at the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. This iconic Kasbah has served as a natural decoration for many famous movies, including “Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth.” You’ll have the opportunity to explore this ancient fortress, cross the dried river, and climb to the top of the hill to enjoy a panoramic view of the Kasbahs.
Afterwards, you’ll head to Ouarzazate, known as the gateway to the Sahara Desert. From there, we’ll continue towards Skoura palm grove, famous for its lush palm trees and traditional Berber architecture. We’ll then visit the Valley of the Roses, which is the center of Moroccan roses and rose products. As you meander through the valley, you’ll be enveloped by the sweet fragrance of blooming roses and learn about the local traditions surrounding rose cultivation and distillation.
Next, we’ll venture towards the Tamnalt Hills, famous for their unusual rock formations that have been carved over centuries by the Dades River. Finally, we’ll arrive at the Dades Gorge, where you’ll spend the night in a gite, nestled right in the heart of the valley. Surrounded by the stunning red and mauve rock formations, you’ll be treated to a unique and unforgettable experience, full of natural beauty and cultural immersion. This leg of the journey will take approximately 7 hours.
On the second day of the Dades & Roses Valleys Trek, you’ll meet with the muleteer team and begin your exhilarating trek through the Dades Valley. You’ll start by ascending to the Tamassint plateau, located at an altitude of 1884m. From this vantage point, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the valley below, with its rugged rock formations and fertile landscapes.
As you continue your journey towards the small village of Ait M’Rao, which is situated at an altitude of 1800m, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about the daily life of the Berber people. You’ll stop for lunch and enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the stunning scenery that surrounds you.
After lunch, you’ll cross the Mgoun Valley, famous for its natural beauty and breathtaking vistas. Along the way, you’ll pass through the Isoummar village, where you’ll witness firsthand the simple yet profound lifestyle of the Berber people. You’ll also catch a glimpse of improvised shelters made by local shepherds, who tend their flocks in the pastures.
As the day draws to a close, you’ll reach the Gite at Issoumar, which is situated at an altitude of 2260m. This comfortable accommodation will provide you with a much-needed rest after a long day of trekking. You’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and have the opportunity to relax and take in the peaceful surroundings. This leg of the journey will take approximately 7 hours of walking.
On the third day of the Dades & Roses Valleys Trek, you’ll begin your day with a delicious breakfast at the Gite in Issoumar. Then, you’ll set off on your trek towards the village of Alemdoune, which is situated at an altitude of 1734m.
Your first task of the day will be to cross the river, which will provide a refreshing break and a unique opportunity to soak in the natural beauty of the surroundings. As you continue on your journey, you’ll be greeted by imposing high ridges and majestic summits, which will offer stunning panoramic views.
In the afternoon, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the lush green vegetation that surrounds the village of Alamdoune. This charming village is known for its picturesque landscapes and traditional way of life. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and learn about their customs and traditions.
After a day of trekking through the stunning countryside, you’ll arrive at the Gite in Alemdoune. This comfortable accommodation will provide you with a much-needed rest, allowing you to recharge your batteries for the adventures that lie ahead. You’ll spend the night in the Gite, enjoying a hearty meal and taking in the peaceful surroundings. This leg of the journey will take approximately 6 hours of walking.
On the fourth day of the Dades & Roses Valleys Trek, you’ll embark on your last trekking day. This day will be filled with more incredible natural beauty, as you traverse another stunning gorge and visit traditional Berber villages along the way.
As you walk, you’ll notice the valley gradually flattening out, with settlements and farms appearing along the riverbanks. These communities are home to the hardworking Berbers, who are known for their skill in cultivating the land.
One of the highlights of the day will be the river crossing, which will provide a fun and challenging experience. Once you successfully cross the river, you’ll arrive at the charming village of Boutaghrar, which is situated at an altitude of 1600m. This village is known for its traditional architecture and peaceful way of life.
At the end of a long day of trekking, you’ll arrive at the Gite in Boutaghrar, where you’ll spend the night. This comfortable accommodation will provide you with a cozy place to rest and reflect on your journey. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal and take in the beautiful surroundings, knowing that you’ve accomplished an incredible feat of trekking through the stunning landscapes of the Dades & Roses Valleys. This leg of the journey will take approximately 7 hours of walking.
On the final day of the Dades & Roses Valleys Trek, you’ll leave the Gite in Boutaghrar and begin your journey back to Marrakech. The drive will take you through scenic routes, offering more opportunities to appreciate the stunning natural beauty of Morocco.
As you travel back towards Marrakech, you’ll have time to reflect on your incredible trekking experience, the challenging yet rewarding hikes, the friendly locals you met along the way, and the magnificent landscapes that left you in awe.
After approximately 6 hours of driving, you’ll arrive back in Marrakech, where you can relax and explore the city’s vibrant culture, food, and architecture. You may choose to spend the night in Marrakech or continue on to your next destination.
Overall, the Dades & Roses Valleys Trek will leave you with unforgettable memories of Morocco’s natural beauty and cultural richness.
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.