Atlas Mountain Trek
Day 1 Marrakech
You are welcome to arrive in Marrakech at any time, as today is a designated arrival day with no planned activities. Please note that there will be an important welcome meeting this evening at our joining hotel. Please check the hotel notice board for more information on the location of this meeting or ask at reception. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to this meeting, as you will be required to fill out some important pre-tour admininstation documents. After learning more about our tour and plans for the following day, you are welcome to join our CEO and your travelling companions for an optional dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 2 Armed (B,D)
Departing Marrakech this morning, we journey to Imlil in the Toubkal region. We make the hour trek from Imlil to the little village of Armed and the simple mountain gîte that is to be our home base for the next four days. Our luggage will be transported by mules. Accommodation here is multi-share with 3 or 4 beds in each dormitory/room. Bedding is provided but you will need to bring a sleeping bag for additional warmth if travelling in the months Nov-April. You will need to bring your own bath towel. Bathroom facilities are unisex and shared. Each evening on return from our days of hiking, you will enjoy homemade dinners of local produce in the cozy salon. Settle in and enjoy the tranquility, fantastic views and clean mountain air of this magical region. Lunch today is not included, but you will have the option of a cooked lunch at the gîte before setting off for this afternoon's hike. Your CEO will be able to give you more information as to the cost of this and what is on offer. In the afternoon we hike along the mountain slopes to find the shrine of Sidi Chamharouch (2,350m). This sacred place offers a fascinating glimpse into local life, as people from all over the region come with offerings and prayers for good health and well-being, perhaps even hoping to drive away a bad jinn (spirit) or two! Please note non-Muslims are not able to enter the shrine itself. We return to our gîte for the evening. Approx travel time: Marrakech to Imlil, 1.5 hrs (private van) Approx walking time: Imlil to Armed, 1 hr Approx walking time: Sidi Chamharouch hike, 3 hrs return
Day 3 Tizi 'n Tamatert (B,L,D)
Tamatert is nature at its best. We spend the day trekking, our trail taking us through magnificent mountain landscapes. As with our other trekking excursions, we will be accompanied by a mule who will carry picnic lunch supplies. You need to bring a small day pack to carry essential items for the day such as water, hat, sunscreen and fleece/jacket. We depart from Armed and follow a goat path heading uphill. Crossing over the river we reach a high point at 2500m then descend through a forest to Tamatert village. From the village we follow the newly built road upwards to the pass of Tizi ‘n Tamatert (2300m). We’ll have lunch at the pass, where you have views across Imlil and to Mt Toubkal. We descend via the road to Tamatert, and shortly afterwards we’ll cross underneath the walnut trees to the mule path that continues along the ridge back to Armed for the night. Overnight in Armed. Approx walking time: Tamatert hike, 5.5 hrs (walking time not including stops)
Day 4 Tizi 'n M’zik (B,L,D)
Lace up those hiking boots for another day of exploring the High Atlas Mountains. Today we trek along mule paths on the mountains slopes to a pass on the opposite side of the valleys. We ascend on tracks with some scree to reach the Tizi ‘n M’zik pass (2,490m), where we are rewarded with superb views down to Imlil and the Mizane Valley, and up to the plateau of Tzikert. We’ll have our picnic lunch at the top. We then descend via the village of Achain, where we may have the opportunity to take tea in a local village house, before returning to our gîte in Armed for the night. We overnight in Armed. Approx walking time: Tizi M'zik Pass hike, 6 hrs (walking time not including stops)
Day 5 Armed (B,L,D)
Today we have the opportunity to get a real insight into mountain village life, by spending the day working with the local villagers. The village association will arrange for us to assist with any current projects or work programs, or spend the day with a local family. The projects will vary, depending on the season and the needs of the village. You might assist with some of the agricultural tasks, or perhaps help to construct new buildings or facilities for the village, there may be a project to help clean up the local trekking paths, or you can experience the life of a family by assisting with their daily chores. You’ll have lunch in a village house during the day. Should you prefer to do some more walking, there may be an opportunity to make a hike for about 3 hrs through the villages of the valley, depending on the availability of extra guides. In the late afternoon there is the opportunity to take a traditional steam bath in the village hammam (optional - at your own expense) before we enjoy our last night’s dinner at our gîte. Approx walking time: project work variable; village hike 3 hrs (optional)
Day 6 Marrakech (B)
We complete our journey with one last short trek back to Imlil, before travelling back to Marrakech, where we have the afternoon and evening to explore this wonderful city - perhaps for some serious bargaining for souvenirs. Djemaa el Fna, the open-air market place around which the traditional life of Marrakech revolves, has always been an exciting place to visit. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Now, with the food-stalls, snake-charmers, water-sellers, travelling musicians and acrobats, the square is a place of entertainment for both Moroccan and overseas visitors. The modern shopping centres and boulevards of the French-built new town are also only a short walk away. Please note that only certified local city guides are allowed to guide travellers in the medina, therefore your CEO cannot accompany you through the souks, but will be able to help you find a local guide if you wish. Of course, you are also free to wander at your leisure, just make sure to get a map! Approx walking time: Armed to Imlil, 1 hr Approx travel time: Imil to Marrakech, 1.5 hrs (private van)
Day 7 Marrakech (B)
You are free to depart Marrakech at any time. Please note that hotel check out time is normally mid-morning, but luggage storage is available (possible extra charge to be paid locally). We are able to organise extra nights accommodation if you wish to extend your stay. Please enquire at the time of booking.