Mount Toubkal & the Sahara Desert (9 days)

A Perfect Combination of Mountain Trekking, Desert Adventures and Exploring Marrakech

This is one of those ultimate Moroccan adventures where you get to climb the highest North African mountain, explore the Sahara Desert and visit authentic Berber villages and amazing Kasbahs as well as discover the magical city of Marrakech. 

Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. The hike to the summit (4,167 meters) does not require any mountaineering experience although it could be a bit challenging at times. The panoramic view from the summit makes all the efforts more than worthwhile though. And after the descent the camels and sand dunes of the Moroccan Sahara are waiting for you! 

When you are done with your desert adventure you will end the journey by exploring Morocco’s most captivating city; Marrakech.

Grade: Moderate
Length: 9 days
Price: from €600

This trek is available throughout the year. You can start on any date you wish.

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Itinerary

1
Day

Marrakech – Imlil

Pick up from the airport in Marrakech and transfer straight to Imlil (1740 meters) where you will spend the night at Imlil Lodge.

Transfer about 1,5 hour.

2
Day

CAF Refuge (3207 meters)

After breakfast you will start your trek. Heading along the Mizane Valley, we first pass the village of Aremd and then onto the shrine of SidiChamarouch. You then continue east and by crossing the flood plains your route takes you along mule tracks and up into the high rocky cliffs above the valley. Crossing the river you eventually come to the pastoral shrine of SidiChamarouch, which attracts tourists and pilgrims. From here the trail continues to climb steadily, snaking and zigzagging its way up to the snowline and the refuge (3207 meters). Here you will spend the night in a tent nearby the refuge. 

About 5 to 6 hours walking.

3
Day

CAF Refuge (3207 meters) – Jebel Toubkal

Early in the morning you make your attempt on the summit of Jebel Toukbal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Your route takes you up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the scree and the altitude will make the going quite difficult in parts. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile. When you reach the summit you will see that the vistas across the surrounding landscape are quite breathtaking. From here there are unrestricted views in every direction, from the Marrakesh Plain to the High Atlas in the north and as far south as the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara. You will retrace your steps when you return down the mountain and head back towards Imlil. Night at Imlil Lodge. 

About 9 to 10 hours walking.

4
Day

Imlil – Dades Gorge

After breakfast we will leave Imlil. First we cross by car the spectacular Tizin’Tichka Pass of the High Atlas mountains. You will pass through many Berber villages, and once in the desert, riverside oasis and barren hillsides are clustered with Kasbahs. After lunch we drive further to Valley of the Roses, with beautiful views of the Dades valley, valley of a thousand kasbahs. 

Overnight in Dades Gorge at Kasbah Chez Pierre.

5
Day

Todra – Erg Chebbi

After breakfast we drive to Todra Gorge and after a short stop there we drive on to the dunes of Erg Chebbi. We will arrive there around 4 and after a short break you will ride camels into the dunes, where you will spend the night in Berber tents. After seeing a beautiful sunset you will enjoy a fantastic dinner. 

6
Day

Ait Ben Haddou

After viewing the most beautiful sunrise and having breakfast at the camp site you will ride the camels back to the auberge. From there it will be a long day driving to Ait Ben Haddou. Ait Benhaddou is a small town with one of the best-preserved and most sought-after Kasbah's to visit in all of Morocco. 

Here you will spend the night the Kasbah du Jardin

7
Day

Dades – Marrakech

After breakfast drive back to Marrakech, again via Tichka pass. You will arrive in Marrakech early in the afternoon.

You will spend the night at the charming Riad Dar Malak.

8
Day

Marrakech

The last and additional day in magical Marrakech gives the opportunity to follow own ideas for sightseeing and shopping in its magnificent medina. Why not visit the museums and ancient palaces or do some shopping in the souks? We will certainly assist you with proposals!

9
Day

Departure

This is the last day of the adventure and the departure day from Marrakech.

What's included

  • Fully Escorted: fully escorted by local mountain guide, muleteers and cook
  • All Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner included during trek, during desert trek breakfast and dinner included (except dinners in Marrakech)
  • Accommodation: 4 nights simple hotel/riad, 2 nights in local gites, 2 nights in Berber tent
  • Transport: minibus or 4x4 for transfers to / from High Atlas and airport transfe

What's not included

  • International Flights
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips
  • Entrance Fees
  • Drinks and items of a personal nature

Prices

Group Size
2-3
€800
4
€700
5-12
€600

Why book this trek?

  • Trek the magnificent High Atlas Mountains
  • Attempt the summit of Mt Toubkal, highest mountain in North Africa
  • Stay in small Berber villages
  • Visit Dades Gorge and Todra Gorge
  • Climb the beautiful high sand dunes of Erg Chebbi
  • Visit Ait Ben Haddou, a world-famous kasbah

What to Bring

For Atlas Trekking you need to prepare as you would for walking in any mountain region; it can be warm and sunny during the day but the weather in the mountains can quickly change from sunshine to snow and cold winds (autumn through late spring). Please do not leave any rubbish behind you; carry out what you carry in.

Atlas Treks are tailored to match the season and your level of fitness. You have the choice of basing yourself in Berber Guesthouses, from where you can take daily walks, or you can Atlas Mule Trek for 2+ days. On mule treks you usually have the choice of staying in Berber Guesthouse/with families or wild camping in 2-person tents. In addition to regular packing, here is a Check List for Atlas Trekking:

Clothing

  • Good walking boots and socks
  • Comfortable shoes/slippers for camp/guesthouse
  • Trekking pants
  • Lightweight waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants

Equipment

  • Good walking boots and socks
  • Comfortable shoes/slippers for camp/guesthouse
  • Trekking pants
  • Lightweight waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants

Other

  • Good walking boots and socks
  • Comfortable shoes/slippers for camp/guesthouse
  • Trekking pants
  • Lightweight waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants

Trek Grades

Grade 1 walks (Easy)

Tend to be short day walks and rambles at low altitudes. Grade 1 walks can be enjoyed by anyone who leads a reasonably active life and no special preparation is required.

Grade 2 walks (Moderate)

Will usually involve some longer walks (4-6 hours/day) at low altitudes (below 3000m). Some previous hill walking experience would be beneficial but these walks should be within the capabilities of those who lead a normal active life. Grade 2 walking tours may contain some optional strenuous days, and in order to get the best out of the trip we would advise that you tone up your fitness before you join.

Grade 3 walks (Strenuous)

Are for the more serious hill walker and a higher level of physical fitness is required. Walking days are normally 6-8 hours and may involve up to 900m or more of ascent and descent. You should be prepared for several consecutive days walking, often at higher altitudes, so stamina is important.

Booking Enquiry

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We look forward to help you with your excursions in Morocco!