11 Days / 10 NightsStart time
Start time: 0700h (07:00 am)
Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Your hotel in Marrakech. (Please advise your hotel at the time of booking. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 24 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details).
Your hotel in Marrakech
Drive east from Marrakech through the foothills of the Western High Atlas Mountains and the Middle Atlas range to the walled market town of Demnate known for its Kasbah and ancient Jewish Quarter. Take in the panoramic beauty of Morocco’s secluded Happy Valley, where stark mountain slopes give way to terraced fields, pastures watered by mountain streams, orchards of fruit trees - overlooked by the Berber villages.
On this adventure trip in Morocco, travel on foot to the Tagghdite Plateau. You’ll see the black tents of the semi-nomadic Ait Atta tribe dotting the countryside. Trek across hillocks and boulder strewn terrain to the M’Goun summit, 4,068 metres above sea level - the second highest peak in North Africa.
You will also explore the village of Imi n’ Rkt and where Berber women weave intricate patterns into their colourful carpets. Travel southwards on foot past cliffs and pretty ethnic villages to Igherm Aqdim. Hike through groves of fig, walnut and occasional apple orchards, to the Tizguine villages, and admire the Kasbahs.
Discover the smaller gorges of Boutghrar and visit the pretty Boutghrar village and the little villages and Kasbahs around it. On your way back to Marrakech, also visit the magnificent valley of a thousand Kasbahs - the Dades Valley. A visit to the spectacular valleys and gorges in the vicinity of M’Goun will make your Moroccan holiday truly memorable!
Day 1: MARRAKECH - AZILAL - AÏT BOU GUEMES - AGOUTI
You will be picked up from your hotel in Marrakech at 0700h (07:00 am). Accompanied by an English-speaking guide you will travel east, to the market town of Demnate, with its kasbah and ancient Mellah and massed olives groves. From here we follow the winding road up past Aït Taguella, where we turn up to the verdant natural site of the renowned Cascades d’Ouzzoud. We’ll get to see troops of the Barbary Ape on the lakeshore before we climb up back to the top to rejoin our vehicle an hour later to continue our drive on to the Middle Atlas village of Azilal, where we’ll stop for our picnic.
We now turn to the south through the Tizi n’Ouâttar into one of the most beautiful and unspoilt of all the Berber valleys in Morocco - the hidden, isolated valley of Aït Bou Guemès. Arriving at the village of Aït Mehammad we now approach the Jbel Azourki to turn, at Aït Abbès, towards the south-west down to the village of Agouti, where we shall dine for the night in our accommodation in a E d’étape.
Day 2: AGOUTI - ABACHKOU - R’GOULT
Today we strike out after an early breakfast on our 5½ hour hike towards the south down along a oued in the beautiful Aït Bou Guemès Valley between fields of wheat, barley and potato, through stands of apple, peach and walnut trees to reach the hamlet of Abachkou in the Agouersif valley after some 3½ hours’ hiking. Here we shall stop for our picnic amongst the nut trees. Refreshed, we continue on south up mule trails for a couple of hours growths of fig, walnut and almond trees, terraced fields of wheat and barley, outcrops of rock and sunblasted boulders, wild fig and prickly pear to set up camp on the outskirts of the hamlet of R’Goult (2100m), which we can visit whilst dinner is being prepared.
Day 3: R’GOULT - TASSGAIWALT
After breakfast we set out for a 3 hour morning hike, to traverse the hillside and visit the village of Tassgaiwalt. On arrival in the village enjoy a field picnic. This is also where we shall set up camp for the night. The afternoon is at leisure to stroll around the village and meet the Berber inhabitants or visit the rarely seen Neolithic etchings in rock, including those of a panther hunt, before returning to the camp for dinner.
Day 4: TASSGAIWALT - TASSAOUT GORGES - TARGHDITE PLATEAU
We set out for another 5 hour hike, down into the Tassaout Gorges. From here we need to be roped together and ascend for an hour to the Targhdite Plateau, the grazing lands of the great warriors of the south - the semi-nomadic, fiercely independent Aït Atta tribe, whose black tents dot the countryside. Here we’ll meet up with our muleteers who have prepared our picnic for us close to an old mountain hut. We propose a hike up to the Targhdite crest. Otherwise, you may just wish to relax around or walk the surrounding landscape whilst camp is set up and dinner prepared.
Day 5: TARGHDITE PLATEAU - M’GOUN SUMMIT - OUMLILMTE
Up today at the crack of dawn for our 4½ hour hike up across hillocks and boulder-strewn terrain to the M’Goun summit and a pause for about 1½ hours for our picnic. The M’Goun Massif is the largest area of land above 3000m, yet is has no really soaring peaks. Even though it boasts of one of the greatest summits in the entire Maghreb, actual ascent to the highest point at 4068m is not really difficult as your mountain guide helps you to avoid the worst of the scree. An obscure, pre-Islamic tribal cult had made this summit a sacred place, and the tradition continues to this day amongst the Aït Imi peoples. The vista up here is amazing, giving us sight of the southern M’Goun chain and, on a clear day, to the south, the kasbah village of Skoura, the Jbel Sarhro, the valley of the Roses and Jbel Toubkal. Once refreshed, we set carefully off down some scree to rejoin a mule trail which leads us to the Tizi n’Oumsoud and the Gorges of Oulilmte, where we shall stop by a spring to set up camp (2600m) for the night and enjoy a welcome dinner after some 8½ hours hiking.
Day 6: OUMLILMT - TIGHERMT N’AÏT AHMED
An easy 4 1/2 hour hike awaits us as we set out up through these impressive gorges. For about 15m, we shall need to be roped together as we clamber up the sides. For those who don’t wish to take this path, they can follow the winding track up behind the mules to the top. We strike out across sunblasted plains, passing by an ancient, and now uninhabited, once-Jewish village to picnic en route and then on towards the beginning of the M’Goun Valley to set up camp at our beautiful campsite of Tighermt n’Aït Ahmed for our dinner and overnight under some starlit skies.
Day 7: TIGHERMT N’AÏT AHMED - SKALIA - IMI N’RKT
This morning we set off down the valley until, after almost 4 hours of steady hiking, we reach the village of Skalia, where we shall picnic on the banks of the river amidst almond trees near some small kasbahs. From here we set out for a further 3 hours down the riverbed to the village of Imi n’Rkt, About 300m outside of this village, our campsite has been set up and our dinner laid out.
Day 8: IMI N’RKT - TAGHZOUT - TIGHANIMINE
After breakfast we set off further down the riverbed for this day’s 7 hour hike to the hamlet of Taghzout. We are to cross this river twice before we stop for our picnic at the entrance to the M’Goun Gorges. Hike down along the river amidst terraced fields of barley to the village of Tighanimine, where we’ll have our dinner and camp on the outskirts for the night.
Day 9: TIGHANIMINE - AGUERZAKA - IGHERM AQDIM
Our 5 hour hike today takes us on down to the Oued M’Goun, at times wading through the waters, until we reach the hamlet of Aguerzaka and our picnic spot. Set out further south through the encroaching cliffs, passing by the hamlets of Imi N’Ouagga and Issoumar until we come to the pretty village of Igherm Aqdim with four of its houses resembling an old kasbah. Stop for a while to explore the town before leaving for our dinner and campsite in the fields just outside the village.
Day 10: IGHERM AQDIM - BOUTGHRAR - AÏT YOUL
Set out for 3 hours towards the east, to the villages of Tizguine and Mglouna. Stop to admire the small kasbahs before starting the hike though the Tamassint Range, crossing the Assif Imejgane, palm groves, stands of fig and nut trees to enter the smaller gorges of Boutghrar.
Once through these spectacular gashes in the dry landscape, we come to the hamlet of Boutghrar where we shall stop nearby for our picnic. From here we ascend the arid slopes for about two hours before reaching the fortified Berber village of Aït Youl where we shall have dinner and camp near the old Glaoui kasbah
Day 11: AÏT YOUL-DADES GORGE - AÏT BOULMANE - QALÂA’T M’GOUNA - SKOURA - OUARZAZATE - TADART - MARRAKECH
We set on our drive back to Marrakech. Firstly, towards the south down through the startling Dadès Gorge, on through to Qalâa’t Mgouna and then west through a magnificent Valley of a 1000 Kasbahs. We shall stop to visit the fabulous kasbah of Amerhidil in the Skoura oasis. We continue along this “Valley of the Roses” to Ouarzazate, where we’ll stop for lunch before continuing on up along the corkscrewing road through the dramatic Tizi n’Tichka pass down through to Tadert, the Tizi n’Aït Imgher and over the Al Hawuz Plain to the Imperial City of Marrakech.
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour to confirm the departure details.
On all hikes over 24 hours hire of portaloo chemical toilet per day is 275 Moroccan Dirham.
Vegetarians need to pre-advise at time of reservation.
The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.
Breakfast - mint tea, coffee, milk, bread, butter, jam, honey, cheese, cereal.
Field Picnic - fresh Moroccan salad, cheese, tinned tuna fish , bread, tea.
Dinner - Tajine (chicken or mutton *), couscous or spaghetti rotated according to the length of the trek; bread, coffee, mint tea, cake, fruit
This trek takes you into some areas of complete wilderness, canyons and mesetas where there are no toilet facilities as such. Trekkers would be required to dig their own toilet pits, however
You need to be reasonably confident of your fitness and endurance levels, preferably having had previous experience of trekking at altitude and variations of climate.
Outlandish, unbelievable and entirely true
Head out on the open road
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