Mount Toubkal & the Sahara Desert (5 days)

A Perfect Combination of Mountain Trekking and Desert Adventures

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. 

At 4,167 meters, Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. The hike to the summit is at times a bit challenging, but it requires no mountaineering experience and the panoramic view from he summit makes the efforts worthwhile.

After the High Atlas Mountain range lays a mysterious, surreal and stunning landscape. This is the heart of old Morocco - the pre Sahara desert. It's like stepping back in time into an all forgotten world; a world of fortified villages, Berber castles (Kasbahs) and abandoned Foreign Legion outposts. The Sahara region is where you'll find one of the most diverse and dramatic landscapes in Morocco.

Grade: Easy
Length: 5 days
Price: from €300

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

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Itinerary

1
Day

We start this exciting 5-day adventure with a two hour drive from Marrakech. After we reach the little village of Imlil we begin our mountain trek. Heading along the Mizane Valley, we first pass the village of Aremd and then onto the shrine of Sidi Chamarouch. We then continue east and by crossing the flood plains our route takes us along mule tracks and up into the high rocky cliffs above the valley. Crossing the river we eventually come to the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamarouch, which attracts both tourists and pilgrims. From here the trail continues to climb steadily, snaking and zig-zagging its way up to the snowline and the Toukbal Refuge (3206 meters), this will be our stop for the night. 

First day will involve approx. 4 to 5 hours walking.

2
Day

Early in the morning of day 2 we make our attempt on the summit of Jebel Toukbal, the highest peak in Northern Africa (4,167 metres). Our route takes us up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge. The trekking is relatively straightforward, but the scree and the altitude will make it a bit tricky in parts. But the landscapes along the way are spectacular and absolutely breathtaking. When you reach the the summit you will see that it has all been worth while and your reward is 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. We will stay at the top for a while before we retrace our steps. When we return down the mountain we will head back towards Imlil. We are spending the night in a very nice local guesthouse in Imlil.

3
Day

Today drive will be towards the Moroccan desert. First we will cross the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka Pass of the High Atlas mountains. You will also pass through many authentic Berber villages, and once in the desert, riverside oasis and barren hillsides are clustered with Kasbahs. After our lunch we drive further to Valley of the Roses, with beautiful views of the Dades valley, valley of a thousand kasbahs. We will spend the night in Dades.

4
Day

After breakfast we drive to Todra Gorge and after a short stop there we drive on to "Auberge du Sud" at the dunes of Erg Chebbi. After arrival 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.

5
Day

After viewing the most stunning 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 back to Marrakech, again via Tichka pass.

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
€400
4
€350
5-12
€300

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

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!