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High Atlas short Breaks:atlas mountains short holiday break, treks, 4×4 safari, family holidays,day trips…

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AIT BOUGMEZ VALLEY:

The Atlas Mountains is the country where the existence of a splendid afterlife is undoubtedly agreed upon. The Bouguemez valley, nicknamed ‘Happy Valley’ for the purported disposition of its inhabitants, remains by all accounts Morocco’s most stunning high-altitude destination besides the Toubkal National Park just south of Marrakesh, which would usually be mobbed with trekking-minded tourists at summer times. The Bouguemez Valley is, on the other hand, described as “the best-kept secret in Morocco.”

The Secluded Mountain Kingdom:

The Bouguemez valley resembles the secluded mountain kingdom of the travellers’ imagination. The land is intensely cultivated in precise geometric patterns that form intricate mosaics on the fertile valley floor. Scattered here and there are clusters of fortified houses made from the same red clay that they rest on and stacked like blocks turned out from a child’s sand bucket.

WHERE TO STAY

We will be staying in some of these kasbahs/ gite d’etapes or guesthouses in the village. Remote though it is, the Bouguemez valley has hosted trekkers for years, and they mainly have lodged in the simple Berber-style gites or guesthouses, sprinkled along the valley. This is to say that, while it’s very charming and comfortable, it is still a simple, unpretentious place, surrounded by hollyhocks, walnut and fruitful trees.

BOUGUEMEZ BEST VIEWS

Sidi Moussa Granary/ Shrine :

Climbing a nearby cone-shaped hill to a circular granary that is also a shrine to Sidi Moussa, a local holy man whose healing powers are said to be especially effective in cases of infertility offers some of the gorgeous sights of the entire landscape. The keeper of the shrine who climbs the hill every morning to assume his duties is nearly 120 years old.  After making us tea, he handed out candle stubs and we climbed to the upper floors of the turreted granary to admire the 360-degree views of the valley.

Dinosaurs Footprints :

A journey back in time exploring some ancient foot prints of the Atlas giant lizard – Atlasaurus imelkai- which roamed the area more than 165 million years ago is a must. The creature 15 meters long is believed to have weighed some 22 ½ tons. Despite the fact that the skeleton is in Rabat’s archaeological museum there are evidences and footprints worth a close visit at Ibaqiliwn and Aguerd N’ouzrou.

Here some of our standard tours:

Valley Strolls,short walks

  1. 3 days walks/ 2 nights stay:
    a ballade along the fertile valley, riversides and mud brick villages perched on the hillsides
    Grade: moderate – 4/5 walking hours
    Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers
    Accommodation: auberges/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses
    Full board option: yes
    Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture
    Itinerary: Aarous- Imelghas- Zaouit oulmzi
  2. 2 days walks:
    1 night stay Grade: easy – 3/4 walking hours
    Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers
    Accommodation: auberges/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses
    Full board option: yes
    Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture
    Itinerary: Agouti- Imelghas
  3. 4 days walk/ 3 nights stay
    Grade: moderate to difficult – 5/6 walking hours
    Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers
    Accommodation: Camping/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses
    Full board option: yes
    Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture
    Itinerary: Zaouit- imelghas- Aarous- Abachkou/ Iguelouane

Stay with a family :

Live the day to day eventful journeys amongst the locals is not permitted to everybody. Since we come from this same ground we made forays into the best and most suitable places that would not mind hosting strangers. It is new close look up at the lifestyle of these communities, their way of thinking and a real taste of rural Morocco.  It is an exclusive invitation for those who seek for a travel back into time for some truly riveting experiences.

Treks and Hikes:

Mgoun summit Ascent – 5 days –

Grade: strenuous 6/8 walking hours
Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers
Accommodation: Camping/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses
Full board option: yes
Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture
Period: May- end of September
Itinerary: Aarous- Tarkeddit- Mgoun summit- Igli- Imelrhas

Day trips and excursions:

Bougmez 4wd safaris

  • 5 Days 4×4 car drive :
    Itinerary: Marrakech – Zaouit Ahansal- Bouguemez (2 nights)- Marrakech
    Period: May-November
    Group size: max 4 people/ 1 4wd
    Accommodation: gites d’etape/ auberge/ Kasbah
    Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook
    Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture
    Meals: full board during the journey
    Distance: 510 km
  • 3 Days 4wd safari drive:
    Itinerary: Marrakech- Bouguemez – Skoura – Marrakech
    Period: May-November
    Group size: max 4 people per 1 4wd
    Accommodation: gites d’etapes/ auberges/ Kasbah
    Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook
    Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture
    Meals: full board during the journey
    Distance:470,00 km

GENERAL TIPS

1. When you arrive at airport get some change before you ask for a taxi transfer’s prizes.
2. For those who plan to stay in Morocco a bit longer, buy a cheap mobile phone for local and national calls.
3. The daytime is on the whole nice but often windy and we would recommend bringing something cool and light to use as a cover up with a wind-stopper! For evenings out in Essaouira bring a long (but light) pair of pants or skirt in case it is cold. We would say a smart jacket or cardigan is also essential for warmth on cooler nights
4. Bring an extra suitcase, in case you decide to purchase a famous Moroccan room-size rug or other items in one of the very few Morocco’s free of hassle markets.

How to Get Around

  • On foot with a local assistance: mules/ local buses/ taxis
  • On a 4wd from village to village when 4 wheel driving away
  • Mule rides / horsing ballades

Where to Eat

  • When trekking/ hiking you will be on a full-board option during the journey
  • When in gites/ guesthouses the meals inclusions are on full board
  • Exceptionally we will visit locals for some mint tea and a local meal
  • A selection of restaurants en route

Families short holidays:

 

1.Short ballades  / hikes in the happy valley- 4 days/ 3 nights-

  1. Itinerary: Marrakech- Bouguemez (2 nights)- Marrakech
  2. Period: May-November
  3. Group size: max 4 people/ 1 4wd
  4. Accommodation: gites d’etape/ auberge/ Kasbah
  5. Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook
  6. Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture/ workshops
  7. Meals: full board during the journey.

2.Stays with local families:

  1. Itinerary: Marrakech- Bouguemez (3 nights)- Marrakech
  2. Period: May-November
  3. Group size: max 6 people
  4. Accommodation: gites d’etapes/ auberges/ Kasbah
  5. Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook
  6. Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture/ workshops
  7. Meals: full board during the journey

Romance:honeymoon and couples, private car rental groups, self-drive safaris…

Activity center based stay/ star walks:

Preferably for couples in search for a place where to stay comfortably and plan the day to day their moves. A tailor made journey where good ambiance, serene beauty and great company make up the special ingredients of a concoction for a memorable holiday.

  1. Itinerary: Marrakech- Bouguemez (2 nights)- Marrakech
  2. Period: May-November
  3. Group size: max 4 people/ 1 4wd
  4. Accommodation: gites d’etape/ auberge/ Kasbah
  5. Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook
  6. Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture
  7. Meals: full board during the journey

II.Short walks in the happy valley:

  1. Itinerary: Marrakech- Bouguemez (2 nights)- Marrakech
  2. Period: April-November
  3. Group size: max 6  people
  4. Accommodation: gites d’etape/ auberge/ Kasbah
  5. Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook/ muleteers
  6. Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture
  7. Meals: full board during the journey
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