High Atlas Berber Encounter Trek

Oukaimeden Plateau & Ourika Valley

About High Atlas Berber Encounter Trek

Summary

A low level hike offering a good challenge year round. Mostly off the beaten track, encounter the local Berbers & some terrific scenery.

Activity code: ITCTTM07m

Difficulty: GRADE TWO - between moderate to Strenuous, good boots essential. You need to be reasonably confident of your fitness and endurance levels, preferably having had previous experience of trekking at altitude and in variations of climate. Full support team.

Duration: 5 days Hike ONLY / 8 Days Holiday version

START / FINISH - Marrakech.

This trek offers a superb variation of landscape in the High Atlas without the high altitude or steep gradients. Your guide will introduce you to many Berber villages in the valleys to the east of Imlil and in the shadow of Mount Toubkal. In brief, the route is a circular one from Imlil, initially hiking north and east up to the Oukaimeden plateau and then down into the beautiful Ourika Valley before the final section returns to Imlil via more secluded valleys and Berber villages.

You will love this off the beaten track itinerary as you encounter the Berber way of life.

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. This route been fully thought through and is tried and trusted - timings are based on individual bookings 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 Imlil and back 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

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 - IMENANE VALLEY - ARG.

    Set out from your accommodation in Marrakech around 7.30am to drive south towards the Western high Atlas ranges and into the lovely valley of the Assif n'Ait Mizane where you reach the trailhead of Imi Ourhlad (1400m). This Berber hamlet is set between the high slopes of the Adrars n'Lgouine and Ouardsrou and is where you'll meet up with your guide and the muleteers - always a fun part of the day. Once loaded up you can begin your hike up the trail towards the north-east for approx. 4 hours along a winding mule track, passing through pine trees and rock slides to the Tizi n'Imsker (1700m). After traversing the pass you'll descending through fields of vegetables and groves of apple, nut and fig trees to the Berber village of Imsker (1505m), in the Valley of the Assif Imenane.

    At around noon, stop for a picnic which your guide will prepare from mostly fresh ingredients. Once refreshed, hike on now down winding paths to a valley full of orchards until you reach the quaint village of Arg, where your support team will set up camp (1700m) and prepare dinner. Arg, a landscape almost Himalayan, with its pise houses seemingly built one on top of the other, was a place where Sir Winston Churchill loved to paint.

    • Trekking Time: 5 hours
    • overnight in Berber family home or camping at Arg (1700m).
    • Meals: Lunch, Dinner.

  • DAY 2: ARG - TIDILI - ASRTEQ - OUKAIMEDEN

    After an early breakfast set out on a 6 hour hike to the Oukaimeden Plateau. Firstly, by taking a narrow, winding trail crossing some savage yet beautiful scenery leading to the Berber village of Tinoughar (1725m) then continuing on a long hike through the village of Tidili and upwards to the last village, Asrteq (2200m), where you will rendezvous with your muleteers. At this point your guide will prepare a welcome picnic lunch in an almost deafening quiet. The afternoon hike will be up a zigzagging mule trail to Tizi n'Oukaimeden (2670m), with Jbel Oukaimeden (3268m) looming over you.

    From here hike down near the ski station, perhaps visit some prehistoric rock carvings of camels, donkeys and hammers, of the sun and a plough, before carrying on to the camp site (2500m) and dinner under the stars.

    • Trekking Time: 6-7 hours
    • overnight in refuge or camping at Oukaimeden (2500m)
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • DAY 3: OUKAIMEDEN - TIZI N'OUAATTAR - SETTI FADMA VALLEY - TIMICHI.

    After breakfast, set out today for a 2 hour hike up along a winding piste until you reach an Aazib (summer grazing area), from where your guide will lead you on a narrow, zigzagging path up to the Tizi n'Ouaattar (3250m). On the way you will pass by some strange basalt rock formations prior to heading down to the western branch of the Ourika Valley. At this point your guide will prepare your field picnic near the hamlet of Timoummar (2200m).

    The afternoon is spent hiking down a circuitous path, passing through the villages of Anemiter and Timguisst, surrounded by vegetable plots and groves of plum and nut trees. After some 4 hours of moderate-level hiking, you will reach the terraced Berber village of Timichi and your campsite (or accommodation in a Berber family's home) and dinner for the night.

    • Trekking Time: 6 hours
    • overnight in Berber family home or camping at Timichi (2000m).
    • Meals: Lunch, Dinner.

  • DAY 4: TIMICHI - TIZI N'TACHEDDIRT - AMGHDOUL.

    Up at 6.30am in the freshness of early morning. Breakfasted and camp struck, your guide is ready to take you on a superb 7 hour hike of moderate level out of the valley up and down the slopes to the village of Iaabassene (2300m). From here you strike out up a hard, zigzagging path through the rocky hillsides to Tizi n'Tacheddirt (3200m) to enjoy a stunning panoramic vista of the Jbel Aksouâl (3842m) on one side and of Bou Iguenouane (3882m) and Angour (3616m) on the other. Before you stretches a beautifully verdant valley leading to the attractive, and the oldest, Berber village in the Toubkal Massif - Tacheddirt (2291m). It is here, set amongst terraced plots clawed from the surrounding craggy slopes, where your guide will prepare a welcome picnic.

    Afterwards, take a stroll down to visit the old pise homes, then off once more down a zigzagging trail to the river and the campsite of Amghdoul (2130m) or accommodation in a Berber family's home and dinner for the night.

    • Trekking Time: 7 hours
    • overnight in Berber family home or camping at Amghdoul (2130m).
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • DAY 5: AMGHDOUL - TIZI N'TAMATERT - IMLIL - MARRAKECH.

    After yesterday's hard slog, today's walking is a relatively easy hike down a narrow, winding piste along the splendid Imenane Valley. The route splits the foothills of Jbel Aksoual and Adrar n'Oukaimeden ranges and passes several Berber villages clinging to the upper slopes. After some 2 hours continue up to Tizi n'Tamatert (2272m) which affords a panoramic view of the Imlil Valley. Now it's downhill all the way for a further 2 hours easy hiking on winding mule tracks, passing through the village of Tamatert (1810m) with its orchards of apple, nut and cherry trees, until you reach Imlil. Your final stop on this wonderful hike is where a welcome hot shower and a glass or two of mint tea awaits as your guide prepares your picnic here in the gite d'etape of our senior guide. When you are ready and you've said your goodbyes it is time to rejoin your vehicle to take you back to Marrakech.

    • Trekking Time: 4 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.

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

    Day 8 - private transfer to Marrakech Airport.

Prices

Oukaimeden Plateau & Western Ourika Valley 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

2 people3 people4 people
£ 693£ 638£ 608

Trek ONLY version

2 people3 people4 people5 people6 people
£ 425£ 401£ 362£ 352£ 309

All prices are per person

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Independent Holidays for all budgets since 1998