Summit the highest peak in North Africa, Mt Toubkal, and enjoy morning views over the Atlas Mountains and rural Morocco.. Hike through the rugged mountains with spectacular scenery at every turn and a trusty pack of mules heading up your crew.. Experience life in an Amazigh (Berber) village during a stay in an Atlas Mountains village, complete with accommodation in a gite.. Embrace the vibrant souqs, sights, sounds and smells of Marrakech on a guided walking tour of the Medina and visit to Bahia Palace.
From the bustling markets to the Atlas Mountains, this seven-day Lonely Planet Experience combines city sights and mountain trekking. This action-packed trip will immerse you in mazelike Marrakech, introduce you to Amazigh (Berber) culture and see you summiting Mt Toubkal. Stay in mountain gites and hiking huts, trek through spectacular mountain scenery and reach the ‘roof of North Africa’ with an expert crew and trusty pack mules. See two very different sides of Morocco in just one week.
Breakfast Included: 6 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 3
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting today at 6 pm where you'll meet your fellow travellers and group leader. After the meeting you have the option to join your leader on a jaunt to Djemaa el-Fna, the square in the centre of the Medina. Huge crowds converge at night to see singers, drummers, fortune tellers and dancers while snacking on street food.
Rise and shine for breakfast and a group meeting at 8 am. Your leader will go through everything you need to know about the trek before you set off into the mountains. Leave Marrakech behind and drive across the plains towards the ancient marketplace of Tahanaoute, with awesome views of valleys and the Atlas Mountains along the way. Arrive at Imlil village, which is 1740 metres above sea level (approximately 1.5 hours). Take a 50-minute hike to your mountain base in the village of Aroumd (2000 metres above sea level). In the afternoon, stretch your legs with a gentle orientation walk around Aroumd. Your accommodation tonight is a gite, a traditional village house with dormitory-style rooms that seep around eight people. Rooms are furnished in traditional Amazigh (Berber) style with low couches (which can be used as beds), tables, carpets and cushions. On warm nights it’s often possible to sleep out on the terrace under the stars.
Neltner Hut/Mt Toubkal Base Camp
This morning you begin your ascent of Mt Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak. From Armoud the trail crosses the floodplain of the Ait Mizane Valley, before climbing steeply in a zigzag up the mountainside. Along the way, pass the pilgrimage site of Sidi Chamarouch, home to the tomb of the local marabout (Muslim holy man). Only Muslims are permitted to cross the bridge and approach the large white stone that serves as a shrine. From here, climb steeply through a series of switchbacks and traverse the flank of the valley above the river. Arrive into Toubkal Base Camp at Neltner (3207 metres above sea level). Enjoy a hearty dinner and make sure you get plenty of sleep before the big ascent day tomorrow.
Neltner Hut/Mt Toubkal Summit
Embrace an early start this morning and tackle the rocky terrain that leads to the summit of Mt Toubkal. At 4167 metres above sea level, this is truly the roof of North Africa. Take in the beautiful silence of the morning while you make the final climb, which can involve some scrambling. Your effort is rewarded by superb views from the summit, which on a clear day can include the entire Atlas Mountain range, the Atlantic coast to the west and the Sahara Desert to the east. After a rest at the summit and time spent marvelling at the view, make your way back to Neltner.
After breakfast, pack up and head back down to Imlil via Aroumd (approximately 4 hours). From here it's a 1.5-hour drive back back to Marrakech. You'll have free time to explore after checking in to the hotel. Perhaps head to the Photography Museum to see the history of Morocco captured in amazing pictures or grab a bite at one of the many rooftop restaurants surrounding Djemaa el-Fna.
After breakfast, embark on a guided walking tour of the Medina, including souqs devoted to a different trades such as pottery, woodwork, carpets or spices. Then, continue to the 19th-century Bahia Palace and spend some time admiring the architecture. The rest of your time in the city is free for you to make your own discoveries. If you're keen to experience a traditional Moroccan bath, your leader can advise you where to find the nearest hammam. If you’ve enjoyed your taste of Moroccan cuisine so far, maybe indulge your inner foodie with a Taste of Marrakesh Urban Adventure tour.
Your adventure ends after breakfast this morning. If you wish to spend more time in Marrakech, an Intrepid booking agent be happy to secure additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).