Summit & Spices in Morocco Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Destinations:
Morocco
Programmes:
Exodus Edits
Trip Code:
EMT
Activity Rating - Challenging
Challenging

You have a good level of fitness and are looking for a physically challenging holiday.  Previous experience is essential for activity based trips.

5 Days Flight Inclusive
5 Days Land only

Trip Overview

Let’s see a show of hands for a proper challenge? This trip is mini on time but maxi on adventure: scaling North Africa’s highest peak. But unlike other magnificent mountain climbs, you can be up and back from Mount Toubkal in two days (ideal if your annual leave has been pushed to the brink already). We’ve bookended this adventure with nights in scintillating Marrakech for a long weekend like no other.

At a Glance

  • Two nights in Riads with en suite rooms, one night mountain camp with shared facilities, one night hotel
  • Countries visited: Morocco
  • Three days point-to-point walking with full porterage, so your luggage is where it needs to be
  • Free transfers to meet any flight

Is This Trip for You?

  • Although not technically challenging, you should be an experienced walker, as trails can be very stony
  • Be prepared for a long day of walking on summit day (8-9 hours)
  • Morocco can get very hot during the summer months of July and August and departures during this time may not be suitable if you struggle with the heat
  • There can be snow patches in late April/early May and from the end of September so crampons may be needed for these departures. We’ll let you know beforehand if that’s the case, and these will be provided
  • This trip goes to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

 

Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Marrakech
End City:
Marrakech

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Make your own flight arrangements to Marrakech

    Welcome to enchanting Marrakech, a cornucopia of heritage, faith and culture. Make sure you book a flight that arrives before 5 pm, so you have time to join the welcome meeting and meet your fellow climbers. Rest easy in the lovely Boutique Hotel 2Ciels tonight, ready for tomorrow’s climb.

  • Day 2

    Brace yourself. The adventure begins…

    After breakfast, you’ll leave the city hubbub behind. Today you’ll venture into the Atlas Mountains and start to climb Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak. You’ll drive to Imlil first, a gathering point for mountaineers, before setting off on foot for around an hour to reach Arroumd for lunch. After some essential carb-loading, you’ll follow winding mule tracks for another five hours. As you climb, the scenery gets seriously impressive, and you’ll pass through Berber communities and learn about their way of life. There’s a short stop at the shrine of Marabout of Sidi Chamharouch for some cultural insight (and a well-deserved breather). Then you’ll continue to Toubkal Base Camp for some much-needed sustenance and as much sleep as you can manage at a lofty 3,207m.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Victoriously reach the summit of Mount Toubkal

    You’ll start at 4 am this morning (early by anyone’s standards), clambering over rocky paths as vegetation thins out with the ever-increasing altitude. There are long sections of scree, and the climb becomes challenging because of the loose rock.  Once you pass the 4,000m point, there are magnificent panoramic views across the valleys and lower summits of the High Atlas Range. The feeling of achievement you’ll get at the top is monumental. To the north, you’ll see the fertile plains of the Magreb and Marrakech, and to the south, the wild landscape of the pre-Sahara.

     

    After savouring that victorious feeling for a moment longer (and testing that panorama feature on your camera phone out), it’s time for the descent. Eventually, you’ll be met by a transfer bus to whisk you to Gite Armed in Arroumd for a celebratory evening.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Soothe away muscle fatigue in a traditional Hammam

    After a well-deserved lie-in and a leisurely breakfast, you’ll return to Marrakech for a genuine Moroccan experience: a hammam. It’s a traditional ritual in these parts, consisting of steaming and scrubbing the body to feel renewed. Just what the doctor ordered after that gruelling climb.

    The rest of the day is yours to explore the city at your own pace. Then you can choose to meet your group for a final rooftop dinner at Nomad, a restaurant that serves a wide range of fresh local produce.

    Tonight, you’ll rest your head back at Hotel 2Ciels.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Start planning your next conquest…

    After breakfast at Riad Nashira, it’s a short transfer to the airport today ready for your journey home.  

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels and Mountain Refuges

Mount Toubkal Mountain Refuge

The refuge is a functional pit stop halfway up the mountain. It’s merely a place to rest up and have a quick wash. There are bunk beds in shared dorms, and common areas to get to know your fellow climbers better.

Gite Armed

A simple gite to rest after our ascent.

Hotel 2Ciels - Marrakech

A small, boutique hotel in the midst of Marrakech with comfortable rooms. 

Where a solo room is available, paying for a solo room only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for solo occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a solo room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a solo room.

Solo supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, two lunches and 2 dinners included

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers, will be sent to you at least 2 weeks before departure. If you don’t receive them or need them earlier, please contact our team who will be happy to help.

 

Flights

Remember, flights aren’t automatically included in your trip. If you’d like the Exodus Edits team to help you find some good options, give us a call on 020 8772 3837. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Exodus Edits provide airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the start hotel and from the end hotel and will be on the dates the tour starts and finishes.

We know that the unexpected can happen. Your plane may get delayed, or things just don’t go to plan. If you miss your tour departure, check with the hotel to see if your tour leader has left you a message with details of how to catch up with your group. If not, call our emergency number (you will find it on the final joining instructions) and our team will help you. Don’t forget that you are responsible for any extra travelling expenses incurred if you miss your tour departure.

Location start:
Marrakech
Location end:
Marrakech

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket or equivalent
  • Three-season sleeping bag
  • Gloves and hat (for summit days)
  • Water bottle
  • Water purification tablets
  • Toilet paper and biodegradable bags
  • Backpack
  • Strong walking boots with good ankle support and tread
  • Travel towel
  • Soap
  • Headtorch
  • Earplugs if you have trouble sleeping

Exodus Kitbag

For this trip, we provide a kitbag to pack your luggage in while you head off on your adventure. Once you have booked, there’ll be instructions on how to claim your free bag. Please note that if you book less than three weeks before the departure date, we cannot guarantee that your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts. If you’ve any questions, email [email protected]. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Practical Information

Passport

Morocco

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects. 

Visa

Morocco

No visa required by British passport holders.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Morocco

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Altitude warning

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately.

On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude.

A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

Exodus Edits

Local Time

Morocco's Timezone:
Africa/Brazzaville WAT (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Morocco's Electricity:

127 & 220 Volts. Plug types C & E; establishments often take two round pin plugs. 

Money

Morocco's Currency

The national currency of Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 12.4 to the GBP,  9.8 to the USD, 7.4 to the CAD, 10.9 to the EUR, 7.5 to the AUD and 7.1 to the NZD.  Please note that Moroccan dirhams cannot be purchased and should not be taken outside of the Kingdom of Morocco. 

 

ATM Availability

It is easy to use Visa / MasterCard at the ATM machines. Note that ATM machines are only available in larger towns and cities.

Credit cards are normally accepted for more expensive souvenirs, such as carpets (but shops may charge a 5% supplement for this).

Please do not bring travellers cheques

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

We recommend you change your money at the airport into the local currency, as Morocco only allows 1000 dirhams to be imported or exported. There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency you take provided it is declared on arrival.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. If you wish to tip your group leader in appreciation of their help and friendliness, we recommend MAD30 per person per day. A group kitty is often set up to tip local staff, such as drivers, cooks and guides. We recommend about MAD100 per person.

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Learn more about what sustainable travel means to Exodus Edits here…

Live Adventure, Give Adventure.

Each time you book an adventure with Edits, we’ll contribute £15 to the Inspiration Project. That’s enough money to fund a day trip for a local child. Since 2017, our guides have been taking disadvantaged children to see their country’s famous sights and you’ll help us do this more in 2020.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.