- n/a days
About the challenge
The route is tough in places with steep rocky climbs and made tougher due to the effects of being at altitude; however the reward of magnificent views from the summit and our sense of achievement more than compensates for the effort put in.The route also takes us through colourful Berber villages. The villagers farm in the river valleys and herd their goats and sheep in the mountains. We will have plenty of opportunity to meet them and to become accustomed to their way of life.
We meet at the airport for the flight to the city of Marrakech in Morocco. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel, situated ten minutes from the airport. Night Hotel.
Approx 3-4 hrs walking
After an early breakfast we leave Marrakech and drive (2hrs) towards Asni village and the start of the High Atlas Mountains from the north. Here we will meet our muleteers and our bags are taken for the day’s journey into the heart of the Atlas. We cross the Ait Mizan Valley before starting the trek at Sidi Faress Village. The trek takes us through a lush green area and after a picnic lunch we continue to our night’s camp near the village of Imskar, where we enjoy the warm company of our Berber guides.
Approx 5-6hrs walking
After breakfast, we leave the village and walk along a mule track through the Imnane Valley with its many clay built villages perched on the mountainside. We walk through terraced wheat and corn fields and continue up to the villages of Ikiss and Tinehrourine. We will stop along the way to have lunch and perhaps to drink sweet mint tea with local people. The afternoon trek takes us up the valley toward the village of Tacheddirt where we camp for the night.
Approx 5-6hrs walking
We leave Tacheddirt and walk through Azib Amegdoul heading towards our high point for the day at Tizi n’Tamatert pass (2400m). After soaking up the views we continue down the other side to Tamatert village. In the afternoon we’ll continue down to the village of Imlil and our nights stop. Imlil is perched at the foot of Toubkal Mountain, North Africa’s highest peak. We overnight in Imlil in small hotels.
Walk 6 hours
After another good breakfast we load up the mules and set off for the six hour trek to the small refuge below the summit of Toubkal. The tracks are quite steep and narrow in places. Our path takes through remote mountains as we continue to climb through a winding valley, passing a Muslim shrine before arriving at the refuge/campsite (depends on group size) where we spend the night at 3200m.
Walk 10 hours
We wake very early and, after a quick breakfast, we set off. We do the three hour climb to the summit slowly as we will be feeling the effects of altitude. The tracks twists and turns as it climbs to the top at 4167m; the view from the summit is spectacular and a great reward for the effort put in. After spending some time enjoying the views we descend back down to the refuge before continuing down to Imlil where we spend another night in small hotels.
Night in small hotel.
After breakfast in the Hotel we meet with our vehicle and take a 2 hr drive to the Ourika Valley where we’ll visit the stunning waterfalls of Setti Fadma. We have lunch on the banks of the Ourika River before heading to Marrakech. After dinner in the hotel we will have a guided tour of the main square to really get a feel for the local atmosphere. Hotel in Marrakech.
A free day to explore the endless souks of Marrakech, buy those all important souvenirs, and perhaps visit some of the many historical sites. We join back together in the evening to have a final Celebration meal. Night in Hotel
After breakfast we transfer to the airport and return to the UK.
The cost includes all accommodation as well as all flights and transfers, camping equipment (except sleeping bag and sleeping mat), all meals except one dinner, entrance to any sites visited as part of the itinerary. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides, cooks, mulemen and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline fuel supplement if charged by the airline, one meal as specified, tips for local crew, or international departure tax. It also does not include any entrance fees for any optional sites you may wish to visit. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Royal Air Maroc, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
We use good hotels with a shower and toilet in each room when in the cities but please do not expect the same standards as you would in the UK! When camping, water may be scarce though there should be some opportunities to wash; wet-wipes are recommended for other days.
All food is included when camping and it is great; very varied and plenty of it! One meal as specified in the itinerary is not included, meaning you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget whilst in Marrakech.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic, who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, drivers, cameleers and cooks. Your local guides knows the local area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Drivers, cooks and cameleers do not always speak English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew works closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely.
Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in this country is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.
Vehicles take the group to the start of the trek and pick us up at the end. All luggage, food, water and camping equipment is carried by mules, and some landrovers. It is essential that your luggage is carried in either a soft expedition kitbag or soft rucksack. These are easily loaded onto the mules. Hard-sided luggage is completely unsuitable. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate.
Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
We trek predominantly over stony, firm rocky tracks; footing may be loose in places. We are travelling over remote mountains. Because of the varied terrain and lack of accurate maps, it’s impossible to give accurate daily distances. It’s also much more useful when training to think about the hours you need to walk for!
Clothing & Equipment
Weather conditions can change quickly so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Days in this region are usually clear and sunny, and it can get very hot. Nights are colder and the temperature drops noticeably as soon as the sun sets. There may even be frost on the tents some mornings. Rain is not likely but you must be prepared!
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race.
For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential and it should be valid for at least 6 months after arrival in Morocco. There is currently no visa requirement for UK citizens. Other nationalities should check entry requirements.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. AITO, our Trade Association, has recognised the work we do in this area and has awarded us 5 stars as a Responsible Tour Operator.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with BTCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Make your volunteer pledge by going to www.btcv.org/dapledge
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