Tijhza Village

Atlas Panorama Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Destinations:
Morocco
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TMP
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
16 Min age

Trip Overview

The perfect introduction to Morocco; an insight into the colourful city of Marrakech along with some varied walking exploring the striking High Atlas Mountains. Based in the remote and picturesque village of Tijhza, were we stay in a simple but pleasant riad and enjoy optional walks each day.

The pace is relaxed, allowing us to enjoy the scenery of the mountains and learn about the way of life of the friendly Berber people. You will also have the opportunity to experience a traditional hammam, as part of Exodus' ongoing responsible tourism project in Tijhza. Our time in Marrakech sees us exploring palaces and busy souks with free evenings to enjoy Jemaa el-Fnaa famous for its street food, juice sellers and musicians. 

At a Glance

  • 4 nights riad, 3 nights 3-star hotel with en suite facilities and pool
  • 4 days centre-based walking
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 2600m, average 1900m
  • Travel by private minibus

Trip Highlights

  • Stay in a traditional Moroccan village
  • Walking amidst beautiful mountain scenery
  • Discover the fascinating culture and traditions of the Berber people
  • Experience the vibrant city of Marrakech
  • Visit our Responsible Tourism project and try a hammam

Is This Trip for You?

There are 4 walks, at a maximum altitude of 2900m and an average altitude of 1900m. Each day offers a very different view and all walks are optional allowing you to choose when you walk. Although most of the walks are on well-graded paths, some are on rough and stony trails and the area is generally quite undeveloped. There are a few steep ascents and descents. Our simple rural accommodation in the mountains is quite basic but offers a warm welcome. 

Please note that 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. Although flight times are short they may not always be direct.

Please note Ramadan runs from 15th May - 14th June 2018 - During Ramadan, our local guides and drivers choose to work and so we continue to run trips in this period. However, the energy levels of our staff and some local guides may be a bit lower and that some restaurants may be closed during the day. Having said this, Ramadan is a special time to visit a Muslim country - each evening the streets empty for an hour while everyone breaks their fast, and there's a feeling of festivity in the air every night.

Group

There will be a local leader, a driver and local guides where needed.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Marrakech.

    Sart in Marrakech. Free transfer to start hotel. Meet the group in the early evening for our briefing. 

    Hotel Gomassine or similar

  • Day 2

    Explore Marrakech; visit the Djemaa el-Fna Square to explore labyrinth of souks with our expert guide. Free afternoon.

    The day is spent in the 'Red City' of Marrakech where we can soak up the atmosphere of the towns maze of bustling bazaars, palaces and mosques. In the morning we have a guided tour to orientate ourselves and the afternoon is free for individual sightseeing. You can choose whether to brave the haggling of the souks, visit the more peaceful Jardin Majorelle or relax in one of the hammam steam baths.

    In the evening we visit the Djemma el-Fna, the open-air central square around which Marrakech revolves. 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 snake charmers, juice-sellers, travelling musicians, acrobats and food stalls it is a place of entertainment for both locals and visitors.
    Hotel Gomassine or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Anmiter; walk to Tijhza and explore.

    Today we drive into the High Atlas Mountains. The road up to the mountains is a real switchback but very scenic. Eventually we cross the Tizi'n'Tichka which, at 2260m, is the highest road pass in Morocco. This is a narrow range of mountains and we soon drop into the gorge on the other side. It is here that we turn off into a wide valley towards Telouet where we stop to take a look at the Kasbah. This amazing fortress/palace was the stronghold of the Glaoui clan until the late fifties. On their downfall they dispersed and the castle fell into disrepair. Consequently, we can now only look at this labyrinthine mass from the outside.

    From here we travel on to Anmiter where we have lunch before walking gently uphill for an hour to our riad through lush farm land of fruits, nuts and vegetables (our luggage will be transported to the village for us).

    Riad Bouchahoud

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 5 km / 3.1 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    150
  • Day 4

    Loop through the Tizi'n'Ourghsan and back down the Ouarikt River to the village.

    A moderate 6-hour loop through the Tizi'n'Ourghsan and back down the Ouarikt River to the village. Starting in the terraced fields of Ouarikt we climb up through the high summer pastures to reach the Col with fantastic views of the Ouarikt Gorge. After a relaxing lunch close to a waterfall we follow the river's route back to the village

    Riad Bouchahoud

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 17 km / 10.6 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    600
    Altitude loss (m):
    600
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 5

    Hike up and around Mt n'Oughlagal (2600m).

    Leaving the riad and heading around the back of Mt n'Oughlagal (2600m), we are met with fantastic views of the valley before arriving back at the gite in time for a late lunch. The rest of the afternoon to explore the village, take a short a walk or relax with a book on the large terrace overlooking the Tijhza valley. 

    Riad Bouchahoud

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6.8 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    700
    Altitude loss (m):
    700
    Activity (hours):
    3 to 4
  • Day 6

    Optional harder day, with the chance to trek to beautiful Lake Tamda.

    A longer, harder day includes a visit to the beautiful Lake Tamda, strikingly azure against the stark white-rock scenery. This lake is almost a kilometre long, lying between the impressive peaks of Jebel Anghomar and Jebel Tamda. In the afternoon we retrace our steps to our start point. En route we pass our lunch stop, some clients may choose to rest here in the shade instead of undertaking the last few kilometres. 

    If the leader feels that this walk is beyond the capabilities of the majority of the group, a shorter day along the same route will be planned. 

    On our return we will visit the village hammam, built with money raised by Exodus clients. This is a truly authentic and enjoyable experience. It is very much a local hammam and you are likely to get the opportunity to mix with the villagers, which further adds to the experience. A standard treatment is included, but you will need to purchase a scrubber and soap for 20MAD (£1.50) plus customary tip of 20MAD. Refreshed, we return to the riad for our final dinner in the mountains. 

    Riad Bouchahoud

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 31 km / 19.3 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    750
    Altitude loss (m):
    750
    Activity (hours):
    9 to 10
  • Day 7

    Walk to Anmiter; drive to Marrakech across the High Atlas.

    We say goodbye to Tijhza and return to Marrakech by lunchtime leaving the afternoon free for more sightseeing such as Menara Gardens or some last minute shopping. Alternatively, you may decide to relax in the hotel and enjoy the swimming pool.

    Hotel Gomassine or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 5 km / 3.1 miles
    Altitude loss (m):
    150
  • Day 8

    End Marrakech.

    For those on group flights, these depart Marrakech in the morning and arrive in the UK the same day.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Riad Bouchahoud and Hotel Gomassine

In Marrakech will spend 3 nights in a 3-star hotel with en suite rooms and swimming pool. While in Tijhza we spend four nights in the cosy Riad Bouchahoud. This family-run property offers simple, traditional accommodation in spacious rooms, all of which are en suite. On warmer evenings we can enjoy dinner on the large terrace overlooking the farms and villages of the Tijhza valley, while during the winter months the spacious salon gives us plenty of space to relax and socialise.

Due to the size of the riad in Tijhza, we can only offer the single supplement in Marrakech. 

 

Single supplement from £50.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners included.

Breakfasts usually consist of porridge, bread and jam with coffee or tea. When eating out, meals are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about £4 (approx. US$6.50). In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal with wine will cost anything from £20 (approx. US$30) upwards. Generally dinner is likely to cost between £5-10 (approx. US$8-15) depending on what you drink. £15 (approx. US$25) a day for food should be sufficient. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices but you can pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening.

Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case during the more rural or trekking sections of the trip. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Exodus Office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some items of food with you from home. 

If you are travelling from UK we advise you buy your own water purification tablets in the UK and take them with you. Bottled water can be purchased throughout the trip. Please note recycling is not fully established in Morocco so plastic bottles are an increasing waste problem.

Transportation

For this trip we use a private bus, the size of which will depend on the group size, with a local driver. Roads in Morocco are reasonably good, and driving conditions in towns and on the plains are good. On mountain roads, the pace will be slower. Although the buses normally have air-conditioning and heating, this is not up to European standards.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

From April to June and in September, Marrakech and the north are pleasantly hot with temperatures averaging 26degC in the day and falling to 16degC at night. It is unusual for there to be much humidity so it is quite pleasant except at midday when the sun is very strong. Mountain temperatures are cooler than in Marrakech.

Weather Information

From April to June and in September, Marrakech and the north are pleasantly hot with temperatures averaging 26ºC in the day and falling to 16ºC at night. It is unusual for there to be much humidity so it is quite pleasant except at midday when the sun is very strong. Mountain temperatures are cooler than in Marrakech. In the winter months, the daytime temperatures in Marrakech are around 18 to 22ºC with night temperatures falling to 4 to 7ºC. The days should be clear and sunny offering views of the snow-covered Atlas. There is a small chance of rain and it has even been known to snow (very infrequently) in January and February on the higher desert plateaux. If this occurs it is cold at night and early in the morning on the southern side of the Atlas. Please note this chart denotes the average temperatures in Marrakech.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways or Royal Air Maroc (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure. 

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Marrakech

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Marrakech in the of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients, so no matter which flight you choose to arrive on you will be met and transferred to your hotel. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance; unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel; transfers to other hotels in the same city may attract an extra charge; transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times.

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.

Location start:
Marrakech
Location end:
Marrakech

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Hiking boots with good ankle support and tread
  • Water bottle 
  • Water purification tablets - to reduce the use of bottled water
  • Sunhat 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Day sack 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Fleece jacket
  • Towel - essential in Tijhza, where washing has to be kept to a minimum to save water for farming
  • Wet wipes 
  • Soap 
  • Torch (flashlight) 
  • Sandals or trainers 
  • Ear plugs if you have trouble sleeping

For the cooler months you will also need:

  • Warm trousers
  • Long-sleeved thermal top
  • Long johns
  • A warm hat
  • Gloves

We recommend a quick weather check before departure, as temperatures have been higher than usual from September to November.

As Morocco is a strict Muslim country, we ask that you wear suitable clothing, i.e. over the knee skirts/shorts/trousers and with shoulders covered. Additionally, women should avoid wearing close-fitting or revealing clothes.

We believe in reducing our negative environmental impacts wherever possible, this goes for when you need to spend a penny in the great outdoors! If no facilities are available there may come a time when you need to go to the loo behind a tree/bush/rock. To avoid leaving toilet paper behind we recommend taking biodegradable dog poo/sandwich bags with you. Once you have done your business you can pop the used toilet roll in here and take it off the mountain or trail at the end of the day and dispose of it when there are appropriate facilities available.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles

If you book this trip, we provide an Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in whilst on trek. If you book via an agent, it is at the agent’s discretion and you should speak directly to them to arrange delivery. 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, so if this is the case please contact us on [email protected] to let us know. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Reading List

Lonely Planet Morocco - the latest edition was published in August 2017.

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, Tetanus 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.

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

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Morocco's Timezone:
Africa/Casablanca WET (GMT +00:00)

Electricity

Morocco's Electricity:

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

220 volts AC, 50 Hz. The riad does not have shaving points but there are electrical plugs in communal areas

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. 

 

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. When changing your money, ensure that you keep hold of your exchange receipt as you may need to show it at the airport bank at the end of your holiday where it's normally possible to change any unspent Dirham notes back into Euros, Sterling or US Dollars.

Although most are included, there may be some entrance fees to certain optional historic & religious sites: allow up to £5 per person if you intend to visit them all.
Approximately £2-4 (approx. US$3-6.50) per day to cover postcards, small souvenirs, soft drinks (see Food) etc.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus and tipping is at your discretion for both the leader and the local staff. However we would like to advise that tipping is part of the local culture and generally expected. If you do wish to tip, we have found it useful for the group to have a kitty for tipping – about £15 (approx. US$25) per person, this can ease confusion and embarrassment of not knowing how much or how little to tip local staff (such as drivers, cooks and guides). If you do not wish to join in on the group kitty, do not feel pressured. Many clients also wish to tip their leaders at the end of the trip, on top of this kitty, we suggest £15 ($20) per person. This is completely at your own discretion and to be used as a guideline only.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

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 16 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.

Important Notes

Arabic is the official language of Morocco, and is spoken by virtually everyone in the plains and the larger cities. The business language is French, which is understood by almost all shopkeepers and many people in the mountains who have come into contact with foreigners. The Berbers have their own language which has several dialects and is used by almost all mountain people. English is understood by many of the shopkeepers in the main tourist towns, but seldom elsewhere.

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 www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, 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.