Toubkal & Berber Villages Trek

A more interesting route.

About Toubkal & Berber Villages Trek

Summary

Our most popular Toubkal Summit Trek - includes 3 days excellent acclimatisation in the quiet valleys & Berber villages to the west of Imlil.

Activity code: ITCTTM04m

Difficulty: GRADE TWO: - Between easy and moderate, hiking mostly along zig-zagging mules tracks at upper valley levels for about 6 hours each day. The actual summit climb is non-technical but can be hard going. Good boots are essential. Suitable for anyone who leads a reasonably active life as hiking always involves some effort. Full support team.

Duration: 4/5 Days Trek ONLY / 8 Days Holiday version

START / FINISH - Marrakech.

This particular itinerary is our recommended trek for doing the Toubkal summit justice as we include three wonderful days' hiking in the quiet valleys west of Imlil providing good acclimatisation and fantastic scenery; something a little different from the basic "up and down" options.

Why book with Rediscover Trekking ?

Our trekking organiser (Andy in the UK) and our Head Guide (Houcine in Imlil) have many, many years of experience of arranging treks in Morocco. The route been fully thought through and is tried and trusted - timings are based on a small party and allow for amendments and short cuts if necessary for any reason. We have detailed maps, which are difficult to obtain outside Morocco, and a wealth of experience in these areas so feel free to contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

NO hidden extras. NO groups. FULLY Insured.

What's Included in this trek ?

  • English-speaking, licensed, experienced local guide
  • Full support team to carry your luggage and general equipment (by mule)
  • All accommodation (modern igloo tents / Berber houses / mountain refuge)
  • All meals during your trek (breakfast on all days except first, lunch on all days & dinners on all days except last)
  • Private round trip transfers from Marrakech to Imi Ourghlad and Imlil to Marrakech
  • Full insurance and emergency back up.

Holiday Version also includes:

  • Round trip airport transfers (Marrakech)
  • 2nts on BB at the fabulous Ksar Anika in Marrakech
  • 1nt on HB at the Douar Samra in the hamlet of Tamatert (near Imlil)
  • Private guided city tour of Marrakech (half day)

Essential Information

You may wish to consider splitting day 4 into two days walking by camping a little distance below the refuge for this night followed by the remainder of the descent to Imlil on day 5.

NB: The months from December through to mid-April could possibly preclude the Toubkal summit climb due to sudden, heavy snowfalls. We shall advise you of adverse climatic conditions and alternate nearby peak climb - Jbel Aguelzim (3547m) prior to your setting out from Marrakech

COST FOR THIS TREK:

All our holidays are tailor-made so the ultimate cost of each trek is based upon:

  • The number of people in your group
  • Where you are starting from and to where you wish to travel at the end of the hike;
  • Whether you are including any accommodation (e.g. in Imlil or Marrakech)
  • Extras such as WC tent, etc.

IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU BRING (depending upon season): good walking boots; sleeping bag (3 seasons); waterproofs and fleece/duvet jackets, hats, balaclavas or ear muffs; gloves; rambler or ski pole; personal toiletries; small First Aid kit, thermal underwear (Dec-May); day pack; filled water bottles; torch and batteries (LED head torches are excellent), penknife (remember not to pack in hand baggage for flight); towel, sunscreen, insect repellent, hygienic wipes, nibbles and/or dried fruit. Drinking chocolate if preferred to tea and coffee, camping mug (otherwise it is small Moroccan tea glasses for everything), energy sweets and toilet rolls could come in handy!

MEALS ARE NORMALLY:

  • Breakfast - tea, coffee, milk, bread, butter, jam, cheese plus porridge in the winter and cereal in summer.
  • Picnic lunch - fresh Moroccan salad, cheese, slicing sausage, tinned tuna fish and sardines, bread, fruit, mint tea.
  • Dinner - Tajine (chicken or mutton with vegetables), spaghetti, cous cous (main courses rotate depending on duration of trek), bread, coffee, tea, cake, fruit.

NB: all our prices are for land arrangements only (starting and finishing in Marrakech), please contact us to arrange accommodation in Marrakech or Imlil as well as flights from your preferred airport.

Contact us now to book this Trek for any date.

Itinerary

  • DAY 1: MARRAKECH - IMI OURHLAD -TIZI N'TACHT - TIZZIANE.

    An early morning departure (8am) from Marrakech for a pleasant drive south, way up through the Tizi n'Techt to arrive at the higher foothills of the Western High Atlas mountains and the trailhead of Imi Ourhlad. Here alight from your transport and meet up with the Berber muleteer crew, always a fun part of any of our treks. Once your luggage is loaded up set off up in a northwesterly direction for a two hour acclimatisation hike up switchback mule tracks to the Tizi n'Tacht (2000m), where your guide will prepare your first field picnic whilst you admire the surrounding valleys and peaks. After a relaxing break at the summit your guide will lead you on a slow hike of about three hours southwest down along mule tracks to the red clay village of Tizziane (1700m) for dinner and camping place for the night.

    • Trekking Time: 5-6 hours
    • Overnight at Berber Gite or camping in Tizziane (1700m)
    • Meals: Lunch, Dinner.

  • DAY 2: TIZZIANE - N'OUISSEDENE VALLEY - TIZI N'OUSSEM - AAZIB TAMSOULT - AAZIB TIZIKERT.

    After breakfast it is time to set off on an interesting three hour hike up along the Assif n'Ouissedene Valley, passing through almond groves and several Berber villages, through Id Aissa on to the hamlet of Tissi Oussem (1800m) and the Aazib Tamsoult (2250m), where your guide will prepare your field picnic. From here we recommend you hike a little further (approx. 1 hour) to the Tamsoult Cascade (2204m) before returning down to the Aazib Tamsoult and then climbing a short(ish) switchback path up to the Aazib Tizikert to save some of the altitude gain on day 3. It is at this tranquil, elevated spot that you'll stop for dinner and overnight camping above the Assif n'Ouarzane Valley.

    • Trekking Time: 7 hours
    • Overnight camp at Aazib Tizikert
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • DAY 3: AAZIB TIZIKERT - TIZI AGUELZIM - TOUBKAL REFUGE.

    After breakfast, head off to the east on a moderately difficult hike up winding mule tracks to the Tizi Aguelzim (3104m) with a picnic taken en route, then a further 3 hours south-east to the Toubkal Refuge which marks the spring snowline at 3207m. This is your final stop for today where your support team will prepare your dinner and accommodation either in the natural bivouac sites below the Refuge or, alternatively, take cover there for the night.

    • Trekking Time: 7 hours
    • Overnight at Toubkal Refuge (3200m).
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • DAY 4: TOUBKAL REFUGE - SUMMIT JBEL TOUBKAL - SIDI CHAMHAROUCH - AROUMD - IMLIL.

    A very early breakfast today as you and your guide set out around 6am to attain, after a three hour, non-technical but steep climb, the highest peak in the Maghreb (4167m). The panorama from here is simply stunning. This remarkable climb and view is what you have come so far for. Whenever you are ready, your guide will lead you on the Ikkhibi Sud or South Cirque for a straightforward 2 to 3 hour descent back to the area near the Refuge for a picnic (this descent can be steep in places and the route is covered with many loose stones so we would recommend a walking pole for this section for anyone with aching joints or who is not 100% sure footed).

    Day 4 of this hike can be very long - you may wish to consider splitting it into two days by camping a little distance below the refuge for this night followed by the remainder of the descent to Imlil on day 5.

    After your picnic set off towards the north along steeply descending, zigzagging trails of the higher slopes of the Valley of the Assif n'Isouhouanem n'Ouagounss towards the Berber village of Sidi Chamharouch (3106m). Before entering the village your guide will draw your attention to a special tree, sacred to the local Berbers, on which they hang strips of coloured cloth and pile up stones around the trunk. After a brief stop here to relax, particularly welcome on a hot day, descend high above the valley of the Assif Ait Mizane, down zigzagging trails around granite and basalt grey rocks for about 8km to the village of Aroumd (Aremd) (1840m), commanding one of the more fertile valleys of the High Atlas mountains with terraced, irrigated plots and fields of maize, onions and fruit trees on all sides. As it is a very long day we will usually arrange a second picnic here prior to continuing on along the floor of the valley, then up a well-defined mule track zig-zagging above the river for some 4km to arrive, at around 5 in the evening, after a long day's activity, back at the Berber village of Imlil and a welcome glass, or two, of mint tea in the home of our senior guide prior to your return to Marrakech and arrival around 7pm.

    • Trekking Time: 10 hours
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

  • Holiday version - Summary of Full Itinerary:

    Day 1 - arrival into Marrakech; private transfer to your accommodation.

    • Stay at e.g. Ksar Anika - 2nts BB

    Day 2 - private guided city tour (am); balance of day for independent sightseeing.

    Days 3 to 7 - on trek as per itinerary above (5 day version).

    • stay at Douar Samra in Tamatert - 1nt HB.

    Day 8 - private transfer to Marrakech Airport

Prices

Toubkal Summit & Berber Villages Trek

Fully guided and supported trek in High Atlas. Includes English-speaking guide, transport, all meals and all accommodation. Holiday version also includes extra 3nts accommodation, airport transfers and city tour.

Full Holiday version

1 person2 people3 people4 people
£ 921£ 620£ 592£ 555

Trek ONLY version (4 days)

1 person2 people3 people4 people5 people6 to 7 people8 to 10 people
£ 410£ 321£ 216£ 271£ 262£ 229£ 222

Trek ONLY version (5 days)

1 person2 people3 people4 people5 people6 to 7 people8 to 10 people
£ 498£ 402£ 380£ 345£ 336£ 297£ 289

All prices are per person

Reviews

"We were very pleased with the accommodation in all parts of the trip. Riad Daria is truly lovely and the service there is top notch! The local guide for trekking was wonderful; super knowledgeable about his country and the routes, very flexible when my husband decided he was not up to the Toubkal summit, and extremely personable with our 12 year-old son. He also took us to a local market in the countryside on the way to the trekking start point, which gave us an insiders view of rural Morocco and the lifestyle. The mule driver/cook was also amazing. We never expected such well-prepared lunches on the trail and dinners in gites and he was just a lovely person to be around. Only one slight glitch in that we phoned local agent to confirm time for pick-up in Essaouira for Marrakech airport transfer. We agreed on 13h but she sent the driver a text to arrive at 13h25. Was not a problem as the route was fairly open but we were nervous when the driver did not at the time that we had agreed upon the day before. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time."

P Bohl, April, 2015

"Really superb and we all enjoyed this. Great scenery and a fantastic experience. We stayed the first night at a Berber Gites d’Etape in Ait Aissa, camped at the Azib n’Tzikert and again at the Toubkal Refuge and then spent the last night at the Refuge itself. The Gites d’Etape was fantastic – clean, comfortable and a very nice place to stay. The camping was fine and as expected. The Refuge was also clean and comfortable and as good as any bunkhouse I’ve stayed in in the UK. Their food looked very good and the staff were very helpful (even as non-residents). Our guide (Abdul) was excellent, knowledgeable and friendly. He was a very clever leader, getting the best out of everyone and made a big contribution to ensuring one of our group made it to the summit. The muleteer team (Larson, Hamed and Hassan) were equally delightful, warm and encouraging. We were touched at the care they put into preparing the food and generally looking after us. The food was of an incredibly high standard and exceptional taking into account how it was prepared. They made a great team."

P Jenks, July, 2017

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