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Mount Toubkal & Berber Village Trek - Morocco Adventure

  • Sep 6, 2014 · 7:00 PM

Discover the world of the Berbers and summit Mount Toubkal (4,167m), the highest mountain in North Africa. The trail takes you through the wild-flower meadows and scattered orchards of the Ouirgane National Park, on into the rugged Azzaden Valley, and along a mountain stream to the stunning Ighouliden waterfalls, where a revitalising dip awaits the weary traveller!

En route you'll get a tantalising glimpse into the day-to-day life of Morocco's Berbers, whose ancient mud-built villages cling precariously to the high mountain ridges. The climax of the trek is an early-morning hike to the summit of mighty Mount Toubkal, where you're rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the Atlas mountain range and Sahara Desert.

It's then back to Marrakesh for a day of well-earned relaxation. Rest those weary legs on the hotel rooftop, or take to the medina for a spot of shopping and some fine dining. The ancient walled city is famous for its medieval-style squares, where tradesmen such as artisan carpenters and metal workers ply their crafts amidst the tantalising chaos of the myriad souks.

In the evening, head over to the famous Djemaa el Fna plaza, a UNESCO-recognised centre of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which each night plays host to a vast cavalcade of traditional performers, from acrobats and snake charmers to storytellers and magicians. The square is a sensory wonderland, with sights, sounds, and smells that will stay with you forever - the perfect place to round off an unforgettable trip!

Price: £399.

What's included?

Airport transfer

All transport

Local guide and cook

Mules to carry food and luggage

Fresh and tasty meals on the trek

Dinner on first evening

All accommodation

*Fruits and vegetables are washed in sterilised water and bottled drinking water is available to buy at various points throughout the treks.

What is not included in the trip?

International flights

Personal travel insurance

Trekking equipment (e.g. rucksack, boots, sleeping bag)

Visa

Duration 7 days

Level: moderate

Max height: 4167m

Accommodation: Riad, gite & refugee

Group size: 2-12

Please pay the deposit on RSVP. Once you do that we will send you an email with the details of how to pay the reminder of the fee and any further information. 

Food on the trek

Your personal chef will rustle up fresh, healthy, and tasty traditional Moroccan meals using locally sourced ingredients. A typical lunch and evening meal might consist of a tagine with bread and salad, with fresh fruit for dessert.

The food on the trek is very vegetarian friendly. Each meal will be complimented by as much mint tea as you can drink - you may even start to get addicted!

Water

Tap water in Morocco is not safe to drink. For a small price bottled water can be purchased easily throughout the country, including when trekking

Fitness levels and technical climbing skills

The trek to the top of Mount Toubkal is strenuous, so you will need to have a moderate level of fitness. However, the route itself is non-technical, and no climbing is required.

Standard vaccinations

Generally recommended vaccinations for Morrocco are Hepatitis A and Typhoid.


Malaria

Malaria is only present in the northern coastal areas in Morocco. The areas where you will be trekking are regarded as Malaria free. Please take normal precautions against being bitten. Mosquitoes and flies are not usually a major issue but it is recommended that you take some insect repellent.

Itinerary:


Day 1 - Arrive in Marakesh and drive from the airport to Imlil: 1.5 hours (1,780m)


We collect you from Marrakesh airport and transfer you to Imlil, a mountain village near the Toubkal National Park. On arrival at yout riad (guest house), you have the chance to try traditional Moroccan mint tea served with delicious homemade cookies and sweet pastries - the perfect introduction to Moroccan culture. The terrace views of the Atlas Mountain range are truly awe-inspiring.

Most people arrive late on the first day, but those arriving early can use this opportunity to take a stroll around the village, sample the local culinary delights, or just relax on the beautiful terrace of the riad and be mesmerised by the stunning views. In the evening, we enjoy a delicious freshly prepared three-course Moroccan dinner. As for the latecomers, we'll make sure to save you some!

Day 2-Short drive to Agersioual and trek to Tizian: 5 hours


We start the trek with a gentle hike through the Ouirgane National Park, a region famous its copper-green soil and juniper trees. The trail passes through fields of wild flowers, orchards, and scattered patches of woodland. Dotted about the landscape are isolated Berber hamlets that cling precariously to the valley walls, their mud-brick structures blending seamlessly into the surrounding terrain. In the afternoon we reach the charming hillside village of Tizian, where we spend the night.


Day 3 - Trek to Lipeney mountain refuge: 6 hours (3,000m)


After breakfast we follow the trail out of the Ouirgane National Park and into the Azzaden Valley. The path follows a mountain stream and leads us to the Ighouliden waterfalls. The melted snow water is freezing cold but makes for a revitalizing footbath on a hot day! A 100-metre climb from the Ighouliden waterfalls is the Lipeney mountain refuge (3,000m), where we spend the night. There are no shower facilities at the refuge but for the adventurous a revitalising waterfall shower awaits you!


Day 4 - Trek to the Toubkal Refuge: 5 hours (3,560m)

Trekking out of the Azzaden Valley, we follow a steep trail over the Aguelzim Mountain pass (3,560m), where we're presented with stunning panoramic views of the Toubkal Massif - an ideal place to relax and enjoy a tasty picnic lunch. In the afternoon we continue to the Neltner Hut, the refuge at the base of Mount Toubkal, where we spend the night. Depending on the season, we share a bunkroom with other trekkers or camping outside. The refuge has good facilities, including hot showers.


Day 5 - Summit Mount Toubkal, return to Imlil, and drive to Marrakesh: 9-10 hours (4,167m)

We wake at around 5am to begin the steep ascent of Mount Toubkal (4,167m). The trail crosses a stream above the refuge before passing through one of the mountain's numerous scree fields. The trek is not technical but can be strenuous due to the scree and the altitude, especially if it's a hot day. As we ascend, the trail becomes steeper and more rugged and the views grow increasingly spectacular.


From the plateau, it's just a final short climb to the summit of Mount Toubkal, where breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlas mountain range and the Sahara Desert wait of us. We descend the same way that we came, passing the Toubkal Refuge before continuing to Imlil. From here we drive back to Marrakesh, arriving between 5pm and 6pm where you will have a free evening.

One of the highlights of Marrakesh is an evening visit to the famous Djemaa el Fna plaza, a UNESCO-recognised centre of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which each night plays host to a vast cavalcade of traditional performers, from acrobats and snake charmers,to storytellers and magicians. The square is a sensory wonderland, with sights, sounds, and smells that will stay with you forever.


Djemaa el Fna plaza is a foodies paradise and offers three dining options. At the centre of the plaza the air is thick with the captivating aroma of wood-fired barbeques; here you can handpick your dinner from an array of fresh fish, skewered meats, vegetables kebabs, and other culinary delights.


For the more adventurous eater, why not try a bowl of steaming snails, a legacy of Morocco's colonial past? For those desiring a more tranquil dining experience, grab a table at one of the many charming restaurants that line the edge of the plaza. These serve up mouth-watering traditional Moroccan dishes such astagines (rich stews) and pastilla (meat pie), as well as international fare such as pizza and pasta.


For dessert we recommend hunting down one of the mobile stalls selling delicious Moroccan sweets such asbriouatbil luz (pastry stuffed with almond paste) andfaqqas(macaroons made with semolina flour). Finally, polish off your meal with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice from one of the many juice stalls dotted around the square.


An evening visit to the souks

One of the highlights of any visit to Marrakesh is spending a few hours exploring the city's mazy network of souks. These ancient interconnected alleyways are lined with a dizzying array of stalls and kiosks selling everything from spices, teas and perfumes to leatherware, clothes and carpets.



Amidst the donkey carts, battered mopeds and throngs of shoppers and artisans is every conceivable manner of Moroccan merchandise. This is the place to come for slip-on shoes, cowboy boots and trendy bags, lanterns, jewellery and textiles. A sensory wonderland, the labyrinthine souks are for many the embodiment of Moroccan culture: often chaotic, occasionally confusing, but always captivating.


Day 6: Tour of Marakesh

Day 7: Free day and fly home


Please note this event is organised by Curious Kat's Adventure Club and to secure your place you have to join it via this link: http://www.meetup.com/Curious-Kat-Adventure-Club/events/201861892/. Please note that only once you RSVP and pay the paypal fee on the main site your place will be confirmed.  

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