High Atlas short holidays, Toubkal breakstreks,short hikes, active excursions,day trips , accomodation
A break away in the Atlas Mountains either to climb Morocco’s and north Africa’s highest summit or simply wander around some sumptuous valleys is a rewarding experience with the most stunning views and fantastic encounters. An ascent of this mountain, in a time where this popular range stands quiet with a handful of adventurers and the Berber inhabitants of this range is a great escape as well as a stay in one place looking for the most amazing adventure.
HIGH ATLAS SHORT TREKS:
The walking in the Toubkal region is a fantastic experience and we here have listed some of the most scenic and spectacular.
Local short walks
There are some fabulous walks from the place of your stay which can be tailor-made to suit your needs and abilities. Whether you would like to venture down to the river, walk through the village or go into the hills behind the accommodation. We can suggest something which is as long or as short as you like. Due to the lack of good or more accurate maps of the area we do recommend a guide for all of our walks, which can be booked either before your arrival or once you are at your place.
Tarabzeg Plateau Trek
Your trekking guide will meet you at your place of stay to make a transfer if necessary. You begin walking south before climbing through juniper and oak forests to the Marrigha Pass (1550m) where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Ouirgane Valley, which is located at the foot of the Toubkal national park. From here the path slowly leads you downhill to the Tarabzeg Plateau near the village of Tinzert (1350m). After a picnic lunch you will continue on mostly level ground until climbing a small 100m hill to the Berber village of Tagadirt (1300m). From here it is an easy track back to your hotel/ Riad.
Grading: Easy (approx. 6 hours)
Cost is based on a minimum of 2 people
Includes: English-speaking mountain guide, muleteer, lunch carrier.
Your trekking guide will meet you at your hotel for a short briefing before operating a transfer if necessary. You will begin by heading south-east from Asni to the Ghriraia River which you will cross to reach the village of Tansghart (1350m). From here you will climb to the village of Ifrhane (1650m) and then onto Mount Ouarhir (1800m), from where you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding valleys. Continue downhill through oak and juniper forests to the village of Imsker (1400m), where you will stop for tea in a Berber House. After a picnic lunch by the stream you will climb to the El Bour Pass (1500m) before walking down to the village of Imi Oughlad (1400m) and then along the Imnayne River back to your accommodation.
Grading: Easy to moderate (approx. 6 hours)
Cost is based on a minimum of 2 people
Includes: An experienced English-speaking mountain guide, a muleteer, a mule to carry supplies and a picnic lunch.
Aguersioual and Tamatert Pass
Your driver and guide will meet you at 08h30 and drive you to the village of Aguersioual (1600m) where you will meet the rest of your trekking team. The trek begins by climbing the Aguersioual Pass (2100m) before walking downhill and across the River Imnane to the remote village of Ikis (1700m). After walking to the next village, Tinoughrine (1600m), you will stop for a picnic lunch at a Berber House. The afternoon is spent climbing the Tamatert Pass (2300m) from which you will enjoy stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. Continue downhill to the village of Imlil (1700m) where you will be met by your driver and taken back to your Hotel/ Riad.
Grading: Difficult (approx. 7 hours)
Costbased on a minimum of 2 people
Includes: guide, mule, driver
Mount Toubkal Ascent (4167 m)
This is possible either for 2 days and 1 night or for 3 days and 2 nights:
2 days and 1 night:
Day 1: Your driver and guide will meet you at 08h30 then drive you to the village of Imlil (1700m) where you will meet the rest of your trekking team. You commence your trek with a climb through orchards and past a stream to the shrine of Chamharouch (2300m). There you can stop for tea before continuing to walk uphill to the luncheon spot (2700m) by the stream at the Imouzer waterfalls. After lunch, follow the stream uphill to the Neltner Refuge (3207m) where you will have dinner and spend the night. You can also spend the night in a tent if you prefer.
Day 2: After an early breakfast, you set off to climb a steep valley to the peak of Toubkal (4167m), North Africa’s highest peak. The view is fantastic! Stop for a small picnic on the top and enjoy the views before walking back to the Refuge for a well earned lunch! Walk down to Imlil where you meet the car and drive back to your place.
1-night/2-days. (Approx. 6-7 hours per day)
Duration: 2 days. 6-7 hours walking per day.
Inclusions: guide, vehicle, mules, full board.
Please note that our guides can modify the treks for you to your requirements and adjust the timings.
3 days and 2 nights:
Day 1: Your driver and guide will meet you at 08h30 at your hotel then drive you to the village of Imlil (1700m) where you will meet the rest of your trekking team. You commence your trek with a climb through orchards and past a stream to the shrine of Chamharouch (2300m). There you can stop for tea before continuing to walk uphill to the luncheon spot (2700m) by the stream at the Imouzer waterfalls. After lunch, follow the stream uphill to the Neltner Refuge (3207m) where you will have dinner and spend the night. You can also spend the night in a tent if you prefer.
Day 2: After an early breakfast, you set off to climb a gradually steady and steep valley to the peak of Toubkal (4167m), North Africa’s highest peak. The view is fantastic! Stop for a small picnic on the top and enjoy the views before walking back to the Refuge for a well earned lunch! Then walk back to the beautiful village of Armed (2000m) located at the foot of Toubkal. Stop for mint tea and a picnic lunch in a Berber house. Spend the needed night there.
Day 3: Follow a lovely walk through walnut and cherry trees down to Imlil where you meet the car and drive back to your accommodation.
Grading: strenuous 2-nights/3-days. (Approx. 5-6 hours per day)
Duration: 3 days
Inclusions: Experienced English-speaking mountain guide, vehicle, driver, cook, muleteers, and mules to carry baggage and supplies, all meals. Please note that our guides can modify the treks for you to your requirements and adjust the timings.
MOUNTAIN BIKING: cycling Toubkal mountain valleys
We have mountain bikes as well as helmets available with full equipment which you can book to explore the surroundings on your own. Some route suggestions:
Difficulty level: Beginners/leisure
Departure: From Asni towards Imlil through the Aït Ali village.
Vertical gradient: Rise/fall of 100-200 meters
Distance: 15 km to Imlil
No guide needed It is also possible to arrange a traditional tea ceremony in a Berber house in the local village of Aït Ali, or a lunch at local house in Imlil (costs apply). Should you prefer to get there the easy way, the most popular bike trip allows you to take in the stunning scenery in a very leisurely fashion), we can transfer you from your place with our 4×4 car to Imlil If you wish you can visit a local Kasbah, have tea or lunch there (costs apply) and enjoy a downhill ride of 15km to Asni.
STRENUOUS MOUNTAIN BIKING WITH PROFESSIONAL GUIDE
There are some fabulous off routes for the fit and adventurous types. Excursions from two hours to a full day with lunch included can be booked. Please contact us to tailor make an excursion of your choice.
As you would expect, mules demonstrate a different combination of physical and physiological traits from their horse and donkey parents. But contrary to popular belief, mules are not stubborn, although they can appear to be lazy as they will not put themselves in danger. They are very intelligent and patient and will do their best for their owners. So, why not discover the beautiful surroundings of the Atlas Mountains in a more traditional way? You can choose from the following selected treks that cater for all riding levels:
- One hour trek to Asni Village, down to the river and along to the mountain facing the Oukeimeden range. This is recommended for beginners or those with no riding experience.
- Two and a half hour trek in the Toubkal National Park opposite a luxury Kasbah . Discover the stunning surrounding countryside and be prepared to be blown away by the breathtaking views. This is recommended for beginners to experienced riders.
- Three hour trek in the Toubkal National Park which includes a visit to a traditional Berber house for tea. This is recommended for beginners through to experienced riders. All treks are led by our experienced English speaking guides.
A minimum of two people are normally required for any trek and please note these treks are operated on a preview notice. Guests are required to sign a liability waiver and declare they do not have an existing medical condition that would prevent them from taking part. Most importantly, these treks are designed for experienced riders comfortable controlling a horse in rugged terrain – unfortunately beginners or inexperienced riders may not take part. We suggest going by mule instead – it’s very safe and you can spend more time enjoying the scenery!
The details below are a guide to the horse treks available and prices are subject to change.
departing from the Asni area at 08h30.
GUIDED DAY EXCURSIONS BY CAR / from Marrakech
• The scenic route from Marrakech
Total driving time: 1 ¾ hours (normal direct driving time is 1 hour).
Going to Marrakech for the day but fancy seeing a bit more of the country on the way? This is a great way to take in the unique and spectacular scenery of the Kik Plateau without committing to a full or half day out. Book the car 45 minutes earlier than planned and your driver will take you through Moulay Brahim, over the Kik plateau (the views of the mountains are genuinely some of the best you can get), past Takerkoust Reservoir and bring you into Marrakech through a more Westerly route.
•Tin Mal Mosque and Tizi n’ Test
Total driving time: 7 hours total
The 12th century Tin Mal Mosque is one of only two in Morocco that is open to non-Muslims. The Mosque is currently being restored and has stunning architecture with genuine features abounding in rich history. After visiting the Mosque you will be driven along the Tiz n’Test Pass (2100m), an ancient link between the Berber cities of Taroudant and Marrakech with stunning views to the South. You will pass through ancient Berber villages, orchards and stunning scenery making this excursion a fabulous day out. Lunch is at a local café or a picnic.
•Tin Mal Mosque, Village of Ouirgane and the option of the Kik Plateau to Moulay Brahim
Total driving time: 3 hours or 4 ½ hours
The 12th century Tin Mal Mosque is one of only two Mosques in Morocco that is open to non- Muslims. The Mosque is currently under restoration and has stunning architecture with genuine features abounding in rich history. From the Mosque you will return to the village of Ouirgane where you may stop for mint tea and visit a Berber family for lunch. From here either return directly to the Kasbah (this is the three hour drive) or take an off-road drive to Amizmiz (this is the 4 ½ hour drive) to view the beautiful Takerkoust Reservoir and the Kik Plateau. You will return to Kasbah Tamadot through the village of Moulay Brahim, long revered as a holy place.
•Tadmamte, Ourika Valley and Setti Fatma waterfalls
Total driving time: 5 ½ hours
Head towards Marrakech for twenty minutes before taking the Oukeimeden route that winds its way high above the Tamadant Valley. The scenery is impressive and passes ancient and isolated mountain villages. From this route you will enjoy amazing views of the High Atlas including North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal. Once you reach the village of of Setti Fatma there is a chance to take a one hour walk up to spectacular waterfalls before lunch at a restaurant. After lunch wind your way down the Ourika Valley, which is characterised by its beautiful scenery of fruit trees, little wooden bridges spanning the river to old houses and the magnificent backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. Please be aware that in heavy rain or snow the off-road track will be impassable and an alternative route will have to be followed.
4×4 Wheel Excursions
•Imsker for tea
Total driving time: 2 hours
Take the road you can see winding up the valley opposite the Kasbah through Tangshart, the village directly opposite Kasbah, and on to Imsker. Go for tea in a traditional Berber house in this fabulous and remote village before coming back on the same route. The views are fantastic, the village is magical and it is a real insight into the lives of the local people.
Armed for lunch
Total driving time: 2.40 hours
Follow the road past Tahanout and Asni up to the village of Imlil. From here take an off road track to the highest village in north Africa– Armed. An excellent traditional Berber lunch is served on the highest roof terrace of the village with stunning views down the mountain. This trip can be combined with a walking trip. Please be aware that there are sections of road with steep drops on the side.
Total driving time: 4 hours drive + 1 hour walk/ ride
Head south west of Marrakech via Amezmiz route, pass the water collector up to plateau Kik , a stunning view of the Western flank of the High Atlas to soon catch up Moulay Brahim sinuous road line down to Asni. We then head to Imlil to meet our team and cars for mules for an amazing optional ride up to the perched hamlet of aremd. Lunch at Berber village house and get back to Marrakech.
•Marrakech- Tacheddirt-Asni- Marrakech
Total driving time: 5 hours drive + 1 hour walk/ ride
Off to Imlil via Tahanout and Asni on a scenic and spectacular drive through villages, valley and snowcapped mountains before we get to Tizi N’Tamatert.There, we watch a fabulous view of different ranges and mountains to stop soon at Tacheddirt for some lunch. We can try some easy walks around the villages and catch our vehicles to get back to Marrakech.
Adventure into the heart of the Atlas Mountains for an unforgettable quad biking experience. The below rates are quoted per person:
Minimum age: 15 years
HOT AIR BALLOONING
This unique experience is possible between 1st September and 30th June. July and August are generally too hot for balloon trips (only possible in the early-mornings) and strictly subject to favourable weather conditions.
•Sunrise Balloon Experience
You will be collected by 4×4 vehicles from your hotel at 05h30 and taken on a journey for 1 hour and 45 minutes to the launch site where you will meet your pilot. The flight may take you over the Palmeraie, the Tensift River, the Jbilat Mountains and various Berber villages. The breathtaking Atlas Mountain range will provide a constant and stunning backdrop to your flight. The flight time is approximately one hour.
When you land you will receive a traditional light Moroccan breakfast before being transferred back to your hotel.
* On this flight you may share with other passengers. Occasionally this will create a 1 hour delay which will thus reduce the cost.
•VIP Sunrise Balloon Experience
The same fabulous experience, but you will be given champagne on your landing with your breakfast in a Berber House!
•Exclusive VIP Sunrise Balloon Experience
Enjoy the Sunrise Balloon Experience for just two people for a romantic flight or special celebration. Again when you land you can enjoy a light breakfast with champagne before you return to your hotel.
Important Points for Hot Air Ballooning:
*There is a minimum of 2 passengers/maximum 8 passengers per basket.
* The balloon flight can be cancelled at any time due to weather conditions or any other factor that may make the flight unsafe.
• All times given are the total driving time: this is time spent actually moving in a car and does not include time spent for lunch, tea, photos, shops etc.
• Unless the price is noted as per car, prices are per person and based on a minimum of two people sharing.
• All tea and lunch mentioned above is included in the price of the trip.
• All prices and descriptions may vary and are subject to change without notice