Trekking Morocco in Style
This is a luxury trekking trip to Morocco which offers stunning accommodation at the world renowned Kasbah du Toubkal and an itinerary based on your individual desires which can include a trek up Mount Toubkal. Your own personal mountain guide will be on hand for the duration of your stay to help with planning daily treks in the valleys and guiding to the summit. You can choose to walk as little or as much as you like.
Guests will stay full board in luxury accommodation at the Kasbah du Toubkal, which was described by Condé Nast Traveller as “having the best rooftop views in North Africa”. There are deluxe rooms but also luxury suites offering the highest standard, plus a hammam on the premises and a wonderful rooftop restaurant.
We will initially be based in the trailhead village of Imlil (just 40 miles from Marrakech) and a few days later move to a fabulous mountain lodge in the remote Azzaden Valley where peace and tranquility prevail. The valley of Azzaden is a spectacular location and the Lodge is very comfortable offering similar levels of facilities to the Kasbah’s Garden House and allows guests to stay right in the heart of the stunning Atlas Mountain without having to compromise on comfort and style. Its architectural style is such that it complements the environment of the surrounding villages and the local environments, but there is also underfloor heating and a private hammam.
All trekking is fully supported with a mule and muleteer to carry your luggage whenever required. Our treks take us from the village of Imlil along footpaths and mule tracks which wind through the lush, irrigated terraces, apple orchards and walnut groves to other villages where you will have a glimpse into a way of life that has barely changed for centuries, and where traditional Berber values and hospitality have been largely unaffected by the outside world.
The High Atlas Mountains, which dominate the skyline to the south of Marrakech, have always played an important role for the city, not least with regard to commerce. Whilst Marrakech is in itself a fascinating city, a whole new experience awaits those who venture south into the mountains. With several peaks above 4000 metres, the Western High Atlas is part of a larger chain of mountains that spreads from the Atlantic Coast in the west to Tunisia in the east. The mountains are home to the indigenous Berber people who have inhabited Morocco for at least 5000 years. The Berbers live in small clusters of earthen adobe houses which cling precipitously to mountainsides and are often only accessible by mule or foot.
This experience is as much about relaxing and being hosted in beautiful lodges, as it is about trekking in Morocco and soaking up the vistas, atmosphere and culture of the regions we visit. Everything is tailored to the desires of your party be they active and adventurous, or sedate and relaxed. This trip is very much about you! If you'd like to add to your trip it's also possible to add on other elements such as desert visit or a climb of Mount Toubkal.
Trekking in Morocco in style itinerary
Six day, five night itinerary with option to add five day climb of Mount Toubkal.
Day 1: Private transfer from Marrakech Menara Airport or your accommodation in Marrakech to Imlil (approximately 90 minutes) where you will meet your personal mountain guide and have the opportunity to discuss your preferences for walks and treks. Depending on your arrival time, there will be the option of an introductory walk in the area. Dinner and en-suite accommodation at the Kasbah du Toubkal.
Day 2: A day to relax and enjoy free time in the Imlil area, or a chance to explore the Imlil valley with your personal mountain guide. This can be separate morning and afternoon walks or one full day walk. Alternatively, you may wish to venture further afield to an outlying valley. A picnic lunch will be provided if required or lunch will be served at the Kasbah du Toubkal plus dinner.
Day 3: A supported trek of 3-4 hours’ duration with guide, mule and muleteer to the remote mountain lodge in the Azzaden Valley, a beautiful setting barely touched by the modern way of life. A picnic lunch en route with dinner and luxury accommodation is provided. There is an easy, medium or hard route to choose from, see the descriptions below*. You may wish to enjoy a relaxing hammam (steam bath) on arrival. See walk options below.
Day 4: After breakfast, a day to explore the stunning Azzaden Valley. There are several treks of varying lengths to choose from, please see the list below**. For example, a moderate walk amongst the villages of the Azzaden Valley or a taxing 7-hour circular route passing the Lepiney refuge hut and the Tizi n’Tzikert col at 2930 metres, or indeed anything in between. Other options of a similar length include the slightly easier and very beautiful 7-hour circular walk passing the cols Tizi n’Teouti at 2450 metres and Tizi n’Tougdalt at 2700 metres. A picnic lunch en route will be provided on full day walks, otherwise lunch will be served at the lodge.
Day 5: After breakfast, depart Azzaden Trekking Lodge and trek back to Imlil via a route of your choice with your guide. A picnic lunch en route will be provided. Dinner and ensuite accommodation at the Kasbah du Toubkal will be provided.
Day 6: After breakfast, depart Imlil and return by private transfer to Marrakech Menara Airport or to your accommodation in Marrakech.
Ascent of Mount Toubkal
This is a five day addition to the holiday which leaves the mountain lodge on day 4 and treks over the pass to reach the Nelter Refuge at the base of the mountain. From here there is an early morning start to hike to the top and back down again, and a walk back down the valley all the way to Kasbah in one day. This is a guided ascent and involves overnighting in a tent and then in the lodge if preferred.
Walks from the Kasbah du Toubkal to the Azzaden Valley Lodge:
Easy (5 hours): From Imlil toward the road taking down to Asni until the village of Aguersiwal then we follow up the country road heading for the village of Matat , from this village 1 hour walk through the juniper trees will take us to get to the pass of Tizi Oudide 2100m from where we could enjoy a stunning view in good conditions. 1 more hour downhill will take us to get to the Toubkal Lodge which sets on the top of the hill above the village of Id Aissa.
Medium (6 hours): We set of for 6 hours walking from the Kasbah du Toubkal up via a long switchback mule tracks westwards to Tizi M’zik (2450m). Our short clothes stop here due to and respect all traditions and culture of this valley. After the break we start our descent through the forest of juniper trees to the village of Tizi Oussem , from here we follow down the Ait Ouazzaden valley tell the village of Id Aissa where the Toubkal Lodge sets above.
Hard (8 hours): After an early breakfast at kasbah du Toubkal , we strike out for about 8 hours walk towards the south, up to the Berber village of Armed (1850m). After this take the very steep climb to the right up to Tizi n’Tizikerte 3100m. From the pass we head down to Azib n’ Tamsoult then follow down the Tamsoult gorges until we get to the village of Tizi Oussem then to Id Aissa.
Walks around Toubkal Lodge :
5 hours walk to the south of Toubkal Lodge
Hiking up along the Assif n’Ouazzaden valley, passing through walnut groves and several Berber villages, up through the Tizi Oussem, on to the hamlet of Tizi oussem (1850m) and the Azib n’Tamsoult (2250m), from here we hike for 1h30 further to the Tamsoult Waterfall (2400m) also known as the Irhouliden Cascade where we should have our picnic. Allow another 2 hours back to the Toubkal Lodge.
4 hour circle walk visiting the villages
Head down to the Azzaden River bed and cross to the opposite bank of the valley then up to the village of Tizi iZggar through the barley, corn fields and walnut groves. After enjoying some mint tea with a Berber family we head back via Tiziane and Taddart villages.
Overnight camp trek from the mountain lodge
Strike out for 6 hours hiking up through groves of walnut and juniper trees, through stands of holm oak and red pine to across the Tizi n’ Touti 2100m and into the Assaka plateau where we shall stop for our picnic . We now set out up and down the higher slopes, passing the Azib n’Oussaka and down to the valley of Assif n’ Deknt and the Berber village of Deknt 1800m, where we are going to spend the night in Berber gîte. After breakfast we set off for 6 hours trekking , and continue our second day trek by climbing up through fields of potatos and barley until the Assoul Camp site. Then follow up goat trails and stark winding slopes to traverse the Tizi n’ Tagudilte ( 2700m) where we will stop to see some impressive vistas of mountains and valleys. Then, descent amidst the juniper trees to our picnic site by a small stream, surrounded by an almost alpine atmosphere of mountains. From here we set off down to the head of the valley of Ait Ouazzaden, crossing the river to hike alongside irrigation ditches and small mills towards the last village in this valley ( Tizi Oussem ) then to The Toubkal Lodge 30 minutes further .
Harder trek to the mountain lodge
Meet our guide and muleteers at Wirgane then start our 6 hour hike. We strike out the village of Tourourte to take the piste which leads up to the Tassa wirgane national park. At the village of Tassa wirgane we hike between juniper and red woods to stop for our picnic in the midst of walnut treesnear the forest in the valley of assif n’Azerfsanne. Once refreshed, we set off up the slopes, passing through Berber hamlets until we reach the pretty village of Tizian (1600m), from where we climb a very steep slope which will take us to the Toubkal Lodge setting above Id Aissa village .
Two day trek to the mountain lodge
2 hour drive from Marrakech to Tinmal which is a holy 12th century city built by the founder of the Almohad dynasty (Mehdi ben Toumert). After visiting the mosque, we set off along a flat, easy trail through some beautiful surrounding dotted with walnut and olive trees to Ijoukak, our picnic place. Continue along the valley for about an hour then go up the piste climbing up the village of Amzrouni where we shall overnight after in a gite d’etape. From this village we set out for 7 hours to continue up to Tizi n’Iguiddi. Once this col has been traversed, we amble down a long these sinuous path through areas of startling beauty to arrive at the village of Amsslane for our picnic. After lunch we climb up a small col then down again to get to the very old village of Takkaint for the overnight. In the morning we set off for our 5 hour hike up and down the higher slopes through groves of walnut and juniper trees passing by the Azib n’Assaka then to traverse the tizi n’ Touati 2100m; after the col we now head down through a big stream down to the valley of assif n’ait Azzade. Once we get to the valley floor we shall cross to the other bank of the river and climb a very steep slope through the village of Id Aissa to get to Toubkal Lodge setting.
Trekking in Morocco in style cost £955.00
Based on two people sharing a standard room at the Kasbah du Toubkal hotel.
- Transfer from Marrakech riad or airport
- Standard twin room at the Kasbah du Toubkal with ensuite bathroom, buffet breakfast and evening meals in the rooftop restaurant
- Ensuite room at the Azzaden trekking lodge with bath, shared lounge and balcony and including all meals and picnics during the trekking
- Registered trekking guide, mule and muleteers.
Not included in the price:
- Alcoholic beverages, tips, personal shopping, international air travel, additional trips or activities outside of the itinerary and medical insurances / treatments.
- Single person supplement (standard room only): £1395.00
- Exclusive use of the whole mountain lodge: £420 per person
Kasbah du Toubkal upgrades per night:
- Superior room (ensuite with bath and shower, private balcony or outside area): £70.00
- Deluxe room (ensuite with bath and shower, private terrace or balcony): £100.00
- Junior suite (upstairs private salon with Berber couches, further lounge area and private terrace and mountain view, downstairs ensuite twin bedroom with bath/shower): £200.00
- Apartment suite (ensuite bath and shower. fully fitted kitchen, dining area, lounge and choice of private balcony or terrace with panoramic view, wall of glass): £315.00
Please note that due to recent changes in the National Park rules, helicopters are not now allowed to provide private transport.
A deposit of £100 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 6 weeks prior to your departure.
Fitness and clothing
You do not need to be super-fit for this trip and the attraction is that you can tailor it with your personal mountain guide to a level of trekking that suits your wishes. Fitness in general depends on your choice of climbs with some options being moderately demanding with some long days of sustained walking, or others are less demanding and more relaxed in distance and challenge.
You will of course enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape. As a minimum guide, you need to be comfortable walking on fairly hilly terrain for more than 3 hours with a small pack of around 5kg. You also need to be able to do this for a number of days in a row if you prefer a more challenging itinerary. It is also important that you are relatively agile and steady on your feet. There are some sections of descent on sometimes loose scree and rubble which will require care and agility to safely navigate.
Please do speak to us and/or a relevant medical professional if you have any doubts or concerns. Using trekking poles can be of great help for balance on loose ground and to take some of the strain off your knees.
Clothing for treks in Morocco:
- Holdalls (no suitcases) which the mules will carry
- Daysack for use on most days for the treks
- Walking boots or walking shoes with ankle support, sandals or light shoes
- Walking trousers for trekking, normal trousers/jeans and shorts
- Warm jumper or fleece for the mountain nights
- Shirts and T-shirts for hiking and in the hotel
- Waterproof/windproof top, plus an umbrella
- Hat and gloves for cold mornings
- Swim costume
- Sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
- Some personal first aid - make sure to include rehydration sachets, anti-diarrhoea tablets, insect repellant, wet wipes
- Water bottle
- Trekking poles - available to borrow at the Kasbah
- Camera, charger
In keeping with our commitment to the local community, a 5% charge is included in your trip price - this is in favour of the local Village Association “Association des Bassins d’Imlil” and Education For All www.educationforallmorocco.org.
The Association Bassins d’Imlil covers the whole of the surrounding valleys. This association provides the ambulance that you see in Imlil which provides a service to the local population and visitors; other community projects that have been undertaken include the rubbish clearance system and the provision of the village Hammam. Education For All helps provide college education for girls from the rural High Atlas.
We provide the excellent rates of pay for our trekking and mountain guides.
We comply with the highest code of standards for the care of mules.
You can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or contact us for private dates, a bespoke itinerary or more trip details.