Depending on your arrival time, there may be some time for self exploration of this wonderfully colourful city.
After breakfast, we head out of Marrakech by private minibus to the beautiful Ourika valley. We meet our mules and muleteers towards the entrance of the Agadir N'Ait Boulmane gorge.We start our trek by following the river, passing numerous small villages until we get to Timichi, our camp for the night. 6 hours walking, Alt gain 400m
We start today's walk zig-zagging uphill through a forest to the Azib Tiferguine pasture land. This area is only inhabited during the summer months when the Berber people move into the higher pastures to allow their animals to graze. In the winter, these mountain pastures are often cut off by snow for weeks at a time. As we continue through the red and ochre landscape the vegetation gradually becomes more sparse. We pass several azibs (summer sheepfolds) and check out some of the wonderful Neolithic rock carvings.
6 hours walking, Alt gain 1200m, Alt loss 600m
Today we summit Adrar N'Oukaimeden (3257m). We start the descent to Tachedirt following the Tizi N'Eddi pass (2928m). Ous accommodation for this evening is a beautiful mountainside gite that dominates the Imnane valley. Tea will be served on the immense terrace of the gite with time to soak up the panoramic views.
6 hours walking, Alt gain 790m, Alt loss 1250m
A quite demanding walk today as we start our ascent to the Tizi N'Likemt pass (3615m). After the pass, we continue for another 2h descent to the pastures of Likemt (2600m). Our camp for the night is close to the river where we can enjoy some al-fresco dinner whilst enjoying the peace of the mountains.
6 ½ hours walking, Alt gain 1324m, Alt loss 1100m
We make an early start in order to summit the first of our 4000m peaks, Jebel Adrar n'Dern (4001m). We walk to the summer pastureland of Adouz Azibs through magnificent wild mountain landscapes rarely frequented by tourists. On the summit we are rewarded with splendid views over the Toubkal and the Siroua Massifs before finally descending to Aourai Camp (300m). When there are strong winds, this can be considered the most difficult peak to summit due to the exposure of the route. Those who choose not to do this peak can enjoy a gentle 3-hour walk with the muleteers to the next camp.
8 hours walking, Alt gain 1250m, Alt loss 1000m
We walk up to the Aourai Pass through a volcanic landscape. From here we can see as far as the Sahro range in southern Morocco and Toubkal is clearly visible as well. We descend towards the verdant valley of Tizgui and continue to our destination, the village of Amsouzart at 1700m. In the afternoon there is the opportunity to walk to the neighbouring village and water mill. Tonight we stay in a simple mountain gîte with a shop selling all sorts of treats such as chocolate and fresh orange juice. (Note: the gite does have solar power for lighting but no power points for recharging batteries). There may also be the opportunity to try out a Hammam (Moroccan steam bath).
4 hours walking (plus the pm walk), Alt gain 100m, Alt loss 1350m
After crossing the beautiful valley of Ait Ighrane and ascending alongside the river, we arrive at Lac d'Ifni (2300m). This is an idyllic spot encircled by towering mountains and we camp close to the lake. There may be the opportunity to take a swim (weather permitting) although this must be reserved for the very brave as at this height, the water is very cold.
5 hours walking, Alt gain 600m
We make our way up the Ouanoums Gorge on steep hairpin paths to the 3680m pass of Tizi n'Ouanoums. From here we have superb views back over Lac d'Ifni and forward towards Jebel Bouiguinoussem (4025m). We then start our descent to the Toubkal Base Camp at 3207m, where we will be spending the next two nights.
7 hours walking, Alt gain 1400m, Alt loss 500m
Today we take on another challenging 4000m peak, Jebel Toubkal. At 4167m, it is the highest mountain in North Africa. The route is non-technical although there may be some sections of snow and scree along the way but these are safe to cross. The view from the summit is truly breathtaking, as you can see the entire Toubkal Massif, the Siroua Massif and, on clear days, all the way to Marrakech. By far, the most rewarding of all achievements over the last nine days.
6 hours walking, Alt gain 967m, Alt loss 967m
Our final challenge is the last of our three 4000m peaks, Jebel Ouanakrim at 4088m. Although this is generally a non-technical ascent, there will be a section towards the summit where you will need to use your hands for 30-40 mins of scrambling. Anyone who doesn't wish to undertake this ascent can instead do part of the trek up to the col of Tizi n'Ougan (3750m) and return to camp along the same route (3½ hours round trip +/-600m). We retrace our steps to Base Camp and, after lunch, continue our descent to Aremd (1900m) for a welcome shower and night in a gîte.
8-9 hours walking, Alt gain 888m, Alt loss 2188m
We leave Aremd & the Ait Mizane valley behind up towards the Tizi N'Mzik pass at 2500m for the red-soiled Azzaden valley, a beautiful valley known for its juniper & redwood forests.
5 ½ hours walking, Alt gain 485m, Alt loss 550m
From Tizi Oussem we head down the valley into the green of the Ouirgane Nature Reserve, where olive & almond trees are abound, the scent of wild lavender & mimosa fills the air. We say goodbye to our muleteers and cooks before boarding the minibus for a transfer back to Marrakech. Overnight in hotel. Free evening to explore the city. Alternatively, you may choose to have a well-deserved swim in the hotel pool after our impressive feat across peaks and valleys.
4 hours walking, Alt loss 550m
In the morning we have a guided tour (on foot) to some of the main sights of Marrakech and the afternoon is free for you to further explore this vibrant city. You may choose to take a caleche (horse-drawn carriage) round the old city walls, visit one of the palaces or the Saadien tombs. Haggle for some last-minute bargains in the souks or chill at the tranquil Jardin Majorelle. Finally, no trip to Marrakech is complete without a nighttime visit to the main square, the Djema el Fna.
For those on group flights, these depart in the morning and will arrive in the UK the same day.