Walking Hiking High Atlas
- Walking / Hiking
- Price from:
- 6000 MAD /person
- +212 68 85 44 31
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
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Last updated: 12/06/2006
walking and trekking in morocco:
whether it be enjoying the high atlas.
discovering the wildness of moroccos mountains.
hiking trough the toubkal massif.
DAY 1: MARRAKECH - IMLIL :
Departure by car from Marrakech around 9 in the morning for exhilarating 2hour drive south up over the Moulay Brahim Gorges and Upper valleys - so hold on to your hats - to the Berber town of Imlil (1740m), known as Morocco's 'Little Chamonix', set in the upper level foothills of the High Atlas Toubkal Massif range, a main trailhead with streams and paths branching out in all directions. Here we shall leave our vehicle to take a welcome glass of mint tea in our gîte d'étape prior to setting out towards the west along winding mule trails to the village of AREMD village .
DAY 2 : armed - M'ZIK -TIZI OUSSEM.
In the morning from armd to M'Zik and on up to the Tizi M'Zik (2664m) for a welcome picnic in the woods, with the Imlil Valley and Adrars Algouli and El Hajj around us. Our afternoon is spent hiking down some little-trodden winding eastern trails between the Jbel Tasghimout and the Adrar Adj to arrive this evening at the Berber village of Tizi Oussem (1850m), with its ancient pisé homes tucked away in a delightful valley surrounded by stark mountains. Here we shall have dinner and overnight in a simple Berber family home.
DAY 3: TIZI OUSSEM - TIZI TAGHDALTE - N'AZZADENE VALLEY - TAZAGHART PLATEAU - AMMSLANE. After breakfast we strike out towards the west along the contours of the Assif n'Azzadene Valley and on up to a winding, difficult path to the Tizi Taghdalte (2550m), to take in a truly glorious panorama of the surrounding ranges and the valleys of Takhint and Azzadene. From here we hike down for an hour along narrow mule trails until we reach the Assif Takhint in a beautiful plateau, where we shall stop to picnic amidst a jumble of rocks and boulders and flowing waters. Once refreshed, we strike out for 2 hours across the Tazaghart - or Amsslane - Plateau until we reach the Berber hamlet of Amsslane, where we shall set up camp and have our Berber meal for the night.
DAY 4: AMSSLANE - TIZI N'IGUIDI - IJOUKAK. Today we set off on a hard hike up along sinuous tracks to the Tizi n'Iguidi (2640m). Once through the col, we'll enjoy a most enjoyable hike down through shade trees of walnut and almond, fig and holm oak, terraced irrigated fields and plots of potato, barley and corn to arrive at the quaint village of Ala Noumzorni where we'll take our picnic. This afternoon we continue our descent along the winding trail through gentle countryside of hills, small glades and groves of shade trees until we reach the village of Ijoukak at the crossroads of the Agoundis and Nfis Valleys, where we stop for our dinner and overnight accommodation in a small basic hotel.
DAY 5: IJOUKAK - KASBAH GOUNDAFI - OUED N'FIS - TIN-MAL - MARRAKECH. Once breakfast has been tucked away we set out down what can best be compared to a country lane, passing the Berber villages of Souq Ijoukak, Tagountafte, Ikhfe N'Boul until we arrive at the tribal kasbah of the Sultan Caïd Goundafi. The inner part of the palace-fortress still retains traces of its original Hispano-Arabesque decoration. seems to have been built either in the late 17th century or late in the 19th century, depending on who is telling the tale, and this feudal warrior of the old tradition constantly waged war with the neighbouring Glaoui clan.
We shall have our picnic here before setting out on an easy walk down the contours of the high valley of the Assif Nfiss amidst stands of olive, walnut and almond trees until we come across a hauntingly beautiful hidden valley with its stream of clear, cool slow-moving water full of trout, lined with hillside hamlets, orchards and ancient terraced irrigated fields. We arrive finally at the small, remote stronghold settlement of Tin-Mal high up on the opposite bank of the river, giving all the appearance of a Lhasa-in-Muslim miniature, set amidst brown slopes, green shrubbery and snow-capped mountains. We are here to visit the fortress of high walls and strong towers, the sole survivor of the once holy 12th century city built by the founder of the Almohad dynasty, Mehdi Ibn Toumarte, and the only mosque in Morocco - other than the new mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca - into which a non-Muslim may enter - except on Fridays.
We may enter through a small, sturdy door in the corner of the main tower. Now roofless, deep shadows thrown by the surviving bas relief pisé columns and carefully restored arcades and horseshoe arches contrast with the large sunbaked wall. Intact amongst the ruins we witness the fine examples of ancient Almohad decor. But was there ever a minaret? There are three towers, which are unusual in that they are built above the actual prayer hall, yet minarets are always free-standing. Is the final restored work going to respect the original aura of austere puritanism of that once theocratic Almohad Islam? Cedar from Azrou is now used for the ceilings; a special lime has been imported from Spain; no cement or concrete is being used and the several cupolas have been restored in some areas with richly decorated stalactite plaster work. In the actual village there is a ruined kasbah, a Medersa and an old water tank which produces a regular supply of the French gastronomic delight - edible frogs. And you might buy a litre of Tin-Mal olive oil from the olive press and mill down towards the river. At around 4 in the afternoon, we say goodbye to our mountain guide and rejoin our vehicle to take us back on the long drive over peaks and plains to the Imperial City of Marrakech.
- Inclusions -
- Exclusions -
- dinneres in marrakech
- Extras -
we takes charge of you as soon as you arrive to the Marrakech airport, and takes you back to the plane when you leave.
No terrain difficulty: walking on mule paths, tracks, or sand.
5 to 6 hours walking per day : hikes within the reach of anybody who likes walking, without necessarily being sporty.
Some years, at the start of the season, some passes might be closed because of snow, making us slightly modify the itinerary.
Climbing up to the top of the Toubkal (4167 m) is optional. But placed at the end of the tour, when you are well acclimated to altitude, it should be accessible to all.
In a hotel in Marrakech , on the first and last days of the stay, very close to the famous Djeema el Fnaa square.
In igloo tents for 2 persons with foam rubber mattresses during the tour, or in gîtes.
You will have the opportunity to enjoy typically Moroccan meals (tajine, couscous, ). Fresh products, canned food as a complement, meat bought in the mountains. Picnic or salads for lunch, hot ready-cooked meals for dinner.
We use a cooking tent to prepare meals, and a mess tent to eat.
Water comes from wells. It should be good. However, we advise you to treat it (Micropur, Hydroclonazone, or equivalent). It is also possible to find mineral water in some of the crossed villages.
For transfers between Marrakech and the starting or end point of the hike, we use minibuses or four-wheel drive vehicles.
During the hike, mules or dromedaries carry the luggage.
Usually 5 to 12 persons, but the group may be larger or smaller upon request.
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