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 village of Arba Tighedouine where we meet our team of muleteers and mules. A nice gentle start to our trek as we walk out of the village on a wide track following the valley of the Zat River towards the village of Ait Stimane (1100m) where we make camp. FC (B,D) 3 hours walking, Alt. gain 300m
We start today's walk zig-zagging uphill through a forest of junipers to the village of Ouarzast which is at the beginning of the Yagour Plateau. 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 900m
We gently descend into the beautiful Ourika Valley and the holy village of Setti Fatma (the waterfalls and cafes here are frequently visited by tourists from Marrakech). There is approximately one hour's walk on tarmac en route to this small riverside village. Have a drink in a caf? or take the opportunity to check email before we say goodbye to this bustling community and continue for another 30 mins out of the village towards the entrance of the Agadir n'Ait Boulmane Gorge. 5 ? hours walking, Alt gain 350m, Alt loss 1050m
We start today by following the river of the Agadir n'Ait Boumalne Gorge and, depending on water levels, may need to cross the river several times (this is where shorts/sandals come in handy). We then continue on a zig-zag mule path uphill to the pass of Tizi n'Tamatert. We contour round this beautiful valley, past the charming villages and terraced fields of Tamatert and Amenzel. We pass juniper and oak trees on our way up and set up camp before the Tizi n'Boukchoud Pass at 2600m. 8 hours walking, Alt gain 1100m, Alt loss 400m
Today is a relaxing half day's walk in preparation for tomorrow's longer day. We climb to the pass of Tizi n'Taroutourte (3000m) and our reward is a splendid view of the great summits of the Toubkal Massif, not often seen from this area by visitors. We continue through the Tifnoute Gorge at the foot of Jebel Adrar n'Dern to Tazroutourte. 4 ? hours walking, Alt gain 780m, Alt loss 580m
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 g?te 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 will make camp somewhere near 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 ten 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 (3? 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 g?te. We say goodbye to our team of muleteers and to our last night in the mountains. 8-9 hours walking, Alt gain 888m, Alt loss 2188m
This morning we have just an hour's walk to the village of Imlil. Our bags are loaded onto our private minibus and we transfer to Marrakech for a free afternoon and 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.
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.
Trip ends after breakfast.