Morocco

Best of Mount Toubkal, Moroccan Desert and Surfing in Essaouira

Level

Moderate/Challenging

Duration

13 days

Time to travel

Spring and summer months

Route

Marrackech; Asni; Tizi Ousesem; Tizi Mzik; Imlil Village; Chamharouch; Toubkal refuge; Mount Toubkal; Imlil; Kasbah Ait Benhedou; Dades Valley; Todras Gorges; Merzouga; Desert camp; Merzouga; Alnif; Tazzarine;Agdez; Quarzazate; Essaouira; Marrakech

This trip is both a challenging high peak mountain climb to the roof of Northern Africa and a culturally stimulating Moroccan desert experience where you can explore the arid Saharan landscapes and get closer to Kasbahs, camels and Berber villages

The hike to the summit is challenging, but it requires no mountaineering experience and the panoramic view from the summit makes the hard work worthwhile.

After the High Atlas Mountain range lays a mysterious, surreal and stunning landscape. This is the heart of old Morocco – the pre Sahara desert. It’s like stepping back in time into an all forgotten world; a world of fortified villages, Berber castles (Kasbahs) and abandoned Foreign Legion outposts. The Sahara region is where you’ll find one of the most diverse and dramatic landscapes in Morocco.

Next you will enjoy surfing adventure. Located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, Essaouira is a outstanding surfing spot. Waves in the bay of Essaouira are smaller making this surf spot especially suitable for beginner and intermediate surfers

Facts

Level: Moderate- challenging

Activities: hiking/ trekking, backpacking, camel riding, camping, nature/bird watching, surfing ( suitable for beginners)

Route:  Arrival Marrackech; Asni; Tizi Ousesem; Tizi Mzik; Imlil Village; Chamharouch; Toubkal refuge; Mount Toubkal; Imlil; Kasbah Ait Benhedou; Dades Valley; Todras Gorges; Merzouga; Desert camp; Merzouga; Alnif; Tazzarine;Agdez; Quarzazate; Marrakech, Essaouira, Marrakech Departure

Time to travel: March to May and September to November

Altitude: 4167m

 

Our operation:

All Rahhalah ground handlers and guides are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity to local customs and cultures.

Sustainability:

We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.

All our local guides and staff are properly employed and adequately equipped. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.

As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.

ITINERARY

Day 01: Marrakech

We will be waiting for you at the airport in Marrakech. We then transfer you to the hotel in the centre of the city. While all the participants arrive, you can spend the afternoon visiting Marrakech.

Day 02: Marrakech - Asni - Aguersioual - Tizi Oussem

Pick up from Marrakech & drive to the High Atlas Mountains through Tahnaoute, Asni & Moulay Brahim gorges, arrival to Aguerssioual the starting point of the trek, meet the team (guide & muleteers) and heap up towards Azzaden valley via a beautiful juniper forest & the pass Tizi Oudid, continue to the authentic Azzaden valley, arrival Tizi Oussem Berber villages (1850m). Overnight at the Berber house.

Day 03: Tizi Oussem - Tizi Mzik - Imlil Village

After breakfast, walk up the valley with a view over the river & streams, pass through Azib Tamsoulte (goets shelter) to visit the highest waterfalls in the Atlas Mountains (100m of hight) called waterfalls Aghorghiz (2300m), walk back to cross Tizi Mzik pass (2485) spectacular view over Imlil valley & Toubkal Summit, down to Imlil village, a small town located at 1740m above the sea level, at 67km on the south west of Marrakech, usually it’s the start point of all trek to Toubkal massif.

Overnight at the guest house.

Day 4: Imlil - Chamharouch - Toubkal Refuge

Today we begin our trek. Heading along the Maizane Valley, we first pass the village of Aremd. We then continue east and by crossing the flood plains our route takes us along mule tracks and up into the high rocky cliffs above the valley. Crossing the river we eventually come to the pastoral shrine of Sidi Chamharouch, which attracts tourists and pilgrims. From here the trail continues to climb steadily, snaking and zig-zagging its way up to the snowline and the Toubkal Refuge (3206m), our stop for the night.

Day 5: Toubkal Refuge - Mount Toubkal – Imlil

Early in the morning we make our attempt to the summit of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Our route takes us up the south cirque, crossing the stream above the refuge. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the scree and the altitude will make the going quite difficult in parts. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile. When you reach the summit you will see that the vistas across the surrounding landscape are quite breathtaking. From here there are unrestricted views in every direction, from the Marrakesh Plain to the High Atlas in the north and as far south as the Anti-Atlas and the Sahara Desert. We will retrace our steps when we return down the mountain and head back towards Imlil. Spend the night in Imlil.

Day 6: Imlil - Kasbah Ait Benhedou - Dades Valley

You will be picked up from your accommodation in Imlil at 8.00am and head out over the Atlas Mountains, driving over the stunning Tizi-n-Tichka mountain pass. You’ll pass through lots of Berber villages, and once you’re in the desert, you’ll see riverside oases and barren hillsides dotted with Kasbahs (fortified dwellings that house families and their livestock). Along the way, you will have the option either to take a break and visit the Ouarzazate Film Studios or stop for a hike. Once you reach Dades Gorge, you have the option of going for a hike, or relaxing at your hotel. Overnight in Dades.

Day 7: Dades Valley - Todra Gorges - Merzouga - Desert camp

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer from the Dades Valley to Todra Gorge – a massive fault dividing the High Atlas Mountains, rising up 300 meters in a narrow valley with palmeries and Berber villages. Here, you can go for a hike to explore the palmery, a green oasis full of large date palms. After lunch you’ll head further into the desert to the gateway town of Merzouga to pick up supplies for your desert trip. You will then drive on to a Kasbah to pick up your camel. At sunset, you’ll trek for an hour-and-a-half by camel to a Berber camp where you will enjoy a traditional Moroccan dinner, and sleep under the stars or in tents at a desert camp.

Day 8: Merzouga – Alnif – Tazzarine – Agdez – Ouarzazate - Marrakech

Wake up early to enjoy the views of sunrise in the desert, after breakfast, join the Camels again to ride back by a different way over the dunes to return to our waiting vehicle at Merzouga, way through Alnif, Tazzarine & a part of the long Draa valley before arriving to Agdez and then continue to Marrakech via Ouarzazate & Tizi n’Tichka pass (2260m). arrival to Marrakech.

Day 9 to 11: Surfing & Explore Essaouira

Essaouira was well worth the drive. The town framed the Atlantic Ocean with magnificent 16th century Portuguese fortresses, which towered above thousands of jagged black rocks that cut through sprays of ocean foam. Behind the impenetrable rocks and ramparts was a maze of bleached white house’s tucked along alleys too small for cars. The houses had tiny, delicate doorframes, built centuries ago for when people were smaller. The wind smelled of brine and shipbuilders were lined along the bay, wielding and boats by hand. The sky was dotted with hundreds of swirling seagulls. Essaouira felt like another century, as if the battlements that once kept out violent invaders now guarded against the incursion of progress and time.

The Sqala of the Kasbahs, the artillery platform on the ramparts, offers from its north bastion an incomparable view across the medina, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, over the port’s Sqala and out over the ocean.

The Gnaoua, descendents of African slaves, practice trance and faith healing whilst playing a syncopated music accompanied by singing and dancing. Essaouira has been host for over ten years to a very popular festival, which takes place at the start of summer, and which promotes Gnaoua music whilst giving a wide opening to world music, jazz and blues.

We promise to give you an authentic taste of surfing, all the necessary information to learn how to surf safely, and a smile that you won’t be able to wipe off your face for days!

Surfing is much more than just another water sport… it’s a lifestyle, a passion, and an experience that once you get up on that first wave, you won’t ever forget!

Essaouira Bay:

• Protected & good for learning to surf Sidi Kaouki: (25 km south of Essaouira)

• A long sandy beach

• Good conditions for advanced surfers

• Big shore break compared to Essaouira

• Long waves for some great surfing down the line

• Attention must be paid to low and high tides and to the currents

Cap Sim (2 km north of Sidi Kaouki)

• Good alternative if too many surfers in Sidi Kaouki

• Similar conditions as Sidi Kaouki

• High and rising tides offer the best surfing conditions at this surf spot

Climate:  The best time to surf is winter when Atlantic lows bring a constant swell to the European and African coasts. The temperatures at the coast are moderate in winter, with a slight chance of rain. The summers are hot and dry.

Day 12: Essaouira - Marrakech

After breakfast in Essaouira, transfers to the city of Marrakech, founded almost 1,000 years ago, has a spectacular setting against the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Marrakech is the most popular travel destination; attract people with its historical sites, souks, Squares, gardens etc…

After an  lunch, spend an afternoon of personal exploration.

Overnight

Day 13: Departure /Transfer to the Airport.

According to your flight times you will be transferred to the airport by your guide, who will also assist you with the paper work formalities before you board your flight out. Fly back to your destination with sweet memories of Morocco!

2511 USD

in a group of min 4. Double Occupancy.

Trip Dates

upon request

Note:

  • This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
  • This cost is valid till 15th Dec 2017
  • Luxury option is available. Please contact our office for details.
  • Full payment should be made 30 days prior the departure.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.

This Includes:

  • Private Airport Transfers
  • 3 night in Marrakech ( Hotel /Riad) Standard 3 * Based on Double occupancy
  • 3 Nights in Essaouira ( Hotel /Riad ) Standard 3 * Based on Double occupancy
  • Accommodation during the trek – refuge/guest house
  • Overnight in Nomadic Camp during the desert trek
  • Private Transport to and from Marrakech
  • Qualified English speaking guide
  • Mules to carry the luggage and food during the atlas trekking
  • Full board on trek + mineral water, coffee and tea
  • All meals from Dinner on day 1 to Breakfast on day 13 
  • Camel ride
  • Board and wetsuit hire Board  and 2 sessions  (suitable for beginners)
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary.

This excludes:

  • International Airfare/Domestic airfare
  • Optional activities
  • Cost due to an early descent
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Additional meals
  • Tips and gratuities

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience to the travelers.

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