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This is the ultimate High Atlas trek, a 6 day circular trek in a broad circular route around Mount Toubkal. With a number of spectacular passes, stunning campsites and of course the summit of Toubkal to contend with, this isn’t a trek for the light hearted. The rewards are immense though, as you strike out into the wilderness from the relatively populated valleys around Imlil.
The Atlas Mountain range runs through much of the length of Morocco, but is at its most spectacular around the trailhead town of Imlil, just 90 minutes drive from Marrakech. There are at least fifteen peaks above 3,800m in a concentrated area around Mount Toubkal, which itself is the highest peak in Northern Africa at 4,167m. The area is perfect for trekking with an expansive network of mule trails and traditional Berber Villages providing hospitality in simple village gites.
This 6 day / 5 night circular trek around Mount Toubkal includes the summit of Toubkal, but the real highlight is in getting away from the crowds into areas of mountain wilderness. Lake Ifni, a deep blue water lake at an altitude of 2,312m is the only lake in the mountains. Passes at Tizi Likemt (3555m), Tizi n’Ououraine (3,120m) and Tizi n'Ouanoums (3,664m) afford incredible views of the Toubkal massif and Ifni Dome. Stunning campsites on the shore of Lake Ifni and at the riverside in Tacheddirt provide peaceful resting spots whilst stays in Gites in traditional Berber Villages give you an insight into the Berber culture.
If you would like us to arrange your entire stay in Morocco, including airport transfers, two nights in a lovely Berber guest house in Imlil either side of your trek and two nights staying in a boutique riad, please select the Trek & Accommodation Package in the drop down box at the bottom of this page.
This trek is our longest in the Atlas Mountains, and whilst at no point does it require technical skills (unless you plan on doing it in winter) it is for keen trekkers with a reasonable level of fitness. You’ll spend a number of days at altitudes above 3,000m so altitude sickness is a threat. Having said that altitude sickness is notorious for its impartiality regardless of fitness – so the itinerary is designed to give you appropriate acclimatisation time. We’d recommend this trek for those who prefer solitude to busy trails.
Tourdust trek grading: Challenging
Note: Departures are available any day (except dates overlapping with Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha) for a minimum group of 2 people. Quoted price is for a group of 2-4 people. Click through for prices for larger group sizes.
Treat yourself to a stay in a stylish, boutique riad in Marrakech and let us take care of your entire trip to Morocco. The optional package adds return airport transfers, two nights in a simple homely Imlil guesthouse and two nights in a boutique Marrakech Riad.
We will pick you up from the airport and whisk you out to the Atlas Mountains with your first night at Dar Adrar. You'll be able to head out on your trek the next morning from the door.
The last day of the trek is usually a long one, so we recommend a relaxing night in Dar Adrar, before returning the next morning for two days and nights in Marrakech.
First and foremost, the trip was fantastic. Well planned, well led and no problems whatsoever.
We arrived quite late in to Marrakech due to Ryanair flight delays but were met by our escorts to Dar Adrar in Imlil. The driver was nice and had a small box of biscuits for us which I thought was a very nice touch and very welcome since Ryanair don't provide food. We drove to Imlil in the dark which was good because we didn't have any idea of the sheer scale of our surroundings until morning!
The guesthouse was brilliant as were the staff who'd laid out a spread for us late at night on our arrival.
We were straight into the 6 day trek the next morning and our guide Yousef was perfect. He is a mountain marathon runner and says we were the fittest group he'd ever taken. To that end, he modified a lot of the trip based on our ability which was tough but very welcome by us.
And having such a good rapport with the guide meant that we learned more about local custom and culture.
The muleteer and cook were both nice and professional. Though we didn't actually interact with them all that much.
The only other thing I could mention is that there seemed to be a lot of other things offered in Marrakech; like dirt bike/atv/horse riding and excursions to oases etc. We learned a lot of what was on offer in Marrakech whilst we were there and didn't pre-budget a lot of stuff offered.
Elliot Thornton reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
The trek was impressive and enjoyable, our guide Youssef was excellent and made for good company throughout the trip. The muleteers and Cook were also very good and the food was excellent. Transport and pick up from\to my Riad at the start and finish were spot on, all in all I would not change anything and would recommend\use Tourdust for this kind of adventure in the future.
Kevin Rowe reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
All was so well and thoughtfully organised. Our guides were wonderful, friendly, adaptable, generous, everything you would want in such a foreign country. The muleteers were the same and a lot of fun! And Mohammed who stayed in Imlil is wonderful too.
CECILE BARRAL reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
We had a wonderful week staying in Dar Adrar. We were looked after exceptionally well by Mohamad and his staff, Homad and Omar. The accommodation was very comfortable and we felt we were given first class service. The meals were always presented beautifully, were nutritious and very tasty. The staff were always friendly, helpful and caring. We were able to go for a short walk each morning and returned to a cooked lunch each day. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Imlil at Dar Adrar and were quite sorry when our week ended.
William (Ian) Starkey reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
We had a great deal of fun with our guides and muleteers, who not only made sure we were well looked after but also had a terrific sense of humour and fun which made some challenging trekking much easier. The accommodation in Imlil was very comfortable and enjoyable, great food and pleasant staff. The tents on the trek were roomy and good quality which made our time in the mountains very comfortable. Food on the trek was plentiful, tasty and nutritious which also helped us manage some challenging walking. We had a terrific time - the landscape was amazing, the walking challenging and satisfying but most of all the cultural experience was unforgettable and priceless. A great insight into the Berber culture and life style, from the guides and muleteers and the local people we met along the way, plus the villages we passed through.
I am very pleased that we did the 6 day circuit as it provided a much richer experience than just doing an ascent and decent of Mt Toubkal.
Julie Jones reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
The trek was absolutely fantastic .....can't fault anything at all .the whole team were fun and entertaining. Guides were absolutely the best !! Food was superb .... Beautifully presented in our fabulous eating tent with the beautiful carpets and comfy mats to sit on .the cooks were absolutely amazing at what they produced with the so many surprising extras they kept turning out. Nothing was too hard.
My special food needs were well and truly catered for... They always went out of their way to ensure our comfort throughout the whole trip. Our accommodation in the Gites and hotel in Imlil were both excellent.
A truly wonderful experience and one I shall not forget!!! The stay in Marakech at Dar Hanane, at the end of the trip, was certainly a wonderful end and lovely experience!
Berenice Torstensson reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Just came back from Morocco
We loved our track and I really have to make your company (and Mohammed) a compliment: organization was PERFECT, the driver picked us up 5 minutes before 9 and everything went just right. Food was surprisingly good (taking into account that those guys cooked on a little gas-stove for us and had to carry everything up the mountain), trek was very hard, but beautiful, overnight-spots were adorable (my favourite: on a small plateau on 3.500m altitude with approx. 100km view...), our guide Ibrahim (goooood guy!) was very considerate and (as we had a group of 2, which was wonderful) let us define the pace.
Really, there is no nameable criticism that I could think of. Maybe the last day’s schedule of 10 hours walking-time: due to the strenuous descend that is very long and hard – fortunately our guide Ibrahim gave us an option the day before and we split the last 2 days of the trek a bit differently.
Thanks for a memorable and very well organised trek (including all the info in advance)!
joe drexler reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Everything about the 6 day trek was - well, perfect is not the word as some of the ascents into the thin atmosphere, zig-zagging up (& then down!) steep scree were painful - but it was a tremendous adventure. All the staff who looked after us not only did a superb job but were very enjoyable to spend time with.
The trek was challenging but full of interest, with marvellous landscapes & plenty regarding the physical & human environment: fascinating contrasts between the bare scree slopes & the green of barley & walnut trees in the valleys.
Terraced fields & irrigation systems; toiling up & down steep stony paths under the hot sun with endless views fading into technicolour horizons.
The camp sites - all of them but especially the meadow by the river at the end of Day 2, Day 3 when we stayed in a village gite at Amsouzerte & the windy corner of the steep ravine above Ifni Lake on Day 4.
But what made all of that physically (& psychologically) manageable was the care & attention of Rashid, Mohammed, Mustafa & Ibrahim. They did their job - giving us a good time! - with endless good humour, charm & a quiet, unobtrusive skill. Rashid our guide was attentive to our pace, encouraging & helpful, patient. He checked regularly that we had water, timed breaks well & carried snacks to keep us going. His English is not as good as his French I think, but he shared his knowledge of the environment with us & was always ready to listen to our thoughts & ideas.
Mohammed produced satisfying & interesting meals - what more to ask for from your cook?! especially as we were fish-eating veggies... although I can't say I am in a hurry to eat another veg tagine (or boiled carrots, potatoes etc in any form!). I guess we had less to do directly with the muleteers but enjoyed their efficiency & good humour as a bonus - & they seemed as delighted as we were in our accomplishment. It is of course easy to be cynical with the prospect of a tip in view, but to us it all seemed genuine.
Impressive customer care from 2 guys aged 25 & 2 younger.
Excellent place for a break in contrasting countryside (Tuscan we thought) so we enjoyed not only the pool & (2 of us) the spa, but also a wander down the road in the evening.
We wished they had served some vegetables or salads. it wasn't brilliant for vegetarians although the cuisine for meat eaters looked high class.
We arrived quite late - about 7.30 - & were told dinner was at 8.30. Outside, cool, good atmosphere, we sat & watched for 30 mins or so while the tables were laid - by one very hard-working man, which I think is the problem: they were understaffed.
When the food did begin to arrive it was a series of small dishes: a tiny pizza tart, pumpkin soup, a compact tablet of compressed salad with small pieces of chicken dominating the other tastes, a plain quiche or chicken, "brown sugar tart" for dessert. All quite interesting - perhaps a bit heavy on pastries - but we never knew what to expect & it was after 1030 by the time we finished!
This long drawn out process was repeated the next evening. At the end of the meal 3 of us went to bed & one waited for tea - but gave up after 20 mins!
On the 3rd evening we ate in the dining room - cool & windy outside - & it was all much quicker.
At breakfast we would be offered eggs after we had consumed two kinds of pikelets, pain au chocolat etc.
So the problem was not the food but as I said above, that the one guy serving (& cleaning the toilets, carrying bags to the rooms, etc. etc. with unfailing good humour) was just one man.
The guides didn't get food until the other guests had all finished so they ate even later.
Kasbah Dar Illam
Yes we certainly did use & enjoy the pool - & it was marvellous that we did not have to check out of our room until our car to the airport (the same driver as Marrakech-Imlil & out to Dades - great continuity) was at the door.
It seemed a rather sleepy hotel although the service was attentive & pleasant enough; the food (dinner & breakfast) was OK. We wouldn't have wanted to stay longer as it is pretty much remote from everywhere else but for a final day of relaxation it was good.
Thanks for sorting it for us & please pass our feedback to Mohammed, Rashid, Mohammed, Mustafa, Ibrahim, Larsin & the hotels.
Gordon Parker reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
The trek was great.
The organisation was superb. We were picked and returned to Marrakech with ease. The guide Lacsen and muleteers, Hamid and Mustaffa, were fantastic. They were super friendly and good fun and gave us great insights into the mountains, their language and culture. They really made the trek special for us actually; hanging out with them gave an extra dimension. They cooked excellent food and worked hard to keep us on schedule. Hats of especially to Lacsen who did all the waking without a single drop of water due to Ramadan.
The trek itself was well put together. Good itinerary to ease us in to the longer days at the end of the trek and acclimatize us to the altitude. The views from Toubkal were spectacular. The evening stays in Berber villages and by the lake were also really cool.
Christian Bugge reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Our guide really was wonderful, calm helpful and very good company - he also took care of us incredibly well along with our two other companions and their mules.
Everything was as we had expected - and the mountains were wonderful.
Elena Isayev reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
I really enjoyed the trip despite the rotten weather. The guide, Mohammed, could not have been better - he was competent, friendly, informative and had a great sense of humour. He rose to every challenge that the weather posed and looked after us extremely well; definitely a 5. The accommodation at Imlil was exactly as I expected, the staff and the food were great. The Bel Haj in Marrakech was better than expected, the room was luxurious and the staff were all friendly and efficient, the manageress coming in to see me, suggesting places to visit etc. Once again a 5 for accommodation. All services prior to departure were also worth a 5 as was my overall impression. Thank you for an extremely well arranged and managed holiday
Warwick Hardy reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
We did this trek during September 2011 and had a fantastic time. The transport to Imlil from Marrakesh was excellent and as described in the pre-trek info. We met with our guide Mohammed who was really helpful and knowledgeable. The camping out at night was a treat and the food was great... our muleteers really took care of us and nothing was too much trouble. The food was like eating in a good restaurant which is amazing considering that it is all cooked over one gas burner. We could really recommend this to anyone ~ the walking was hard at times but the scenery was fanstastic ~ well worth the stiff legs! Everything went to plan and the coordination of the trip was perfect. The whole tour was beyond our expectations. Will definitely be booking with Tourdust again.
Robert Bould reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Guide: Mustafa was an excellent guide
He was attentive and perceptive of the groups needs and abilities. He was interesting and knowledgeable in relation to the information he gave on the local area. His company was enjoyable without being intrusive.
Food: This was one of the highlights of the trip.
I was constantly amazed and delighted by what was served up in the most difficult locations. The cook was imaginative and his food was varied and plentiful.
Grand taxi: Efficient and punctual
Overall impression: Very satisfied with the trip and the way it was organised.
My weather could have been better as a 4 hour trek in relentless rain was not fun.
anne sherriff reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Last week we returned from our trip to Morocco. Here's my story....
Originally we had booked the 6 day circuit of Mt Toubkal. On arrival, we met our guide and were informed that we were unable to do the circuit as the snow was too deep in places over the high passes and posed a problem for the mules. Luckily this didn’t come as a surprise as Tourdust had already informed us, during the booking process, that this could be a possibility (good services guys). So with an alternative route selected we set off..... Now I have to mention that my wife and I have done many trekking holidays, including Nepal a few times, Peru and Argentina. We have never booked through a tour agent, nor had a guide...However when we decided to go to the Atlas Mountains it was apparent that trying to trek alone would be "challenging" to say the least. Searching the internet for a possible tour company to book through we both agreed that large trekking groups were out of the question. Naturally, all the big names came up...prices were ridiculous and numbers were 12-16 per group...until we came across Tourdust. It seemed too good to be true..our own private guide and muleteer for a fraction of the cost ?
...back to the trip......
Our guide mentioned that another group of 4 would also be doing the same route as us, all with their own guide and muleteer. - we would meet them later on that day.
After a few hours walking we stopped for lunch and we had our first taste of the infamous Berber tea AKA Berber whiskey!..Tetleys eat your heart out!! The tea was amazing...but what was equally amazing was the food that was prepared by our muleteer, Mohammed. The guy is incredible. After a short nap under a walnut grove we set off for the afternoon leg of our first day. Our lodging in a Gite that night was basic but more than adequate, hot showers and comfortable mattresses made for a good night’s rest. I have to mention at this point, we met the group of 4 later that afternoon. *Sigh* Now I’m not sure if they had read anything regarding Morocco and suitable dress code, but the 2 woman had mini trekking skirts and crop tops on…along with a good portion of oversized muffin tops to go!...even I felt awkward and found myself staring at my feet alot!
As the trip progressed the group of 4 were a constant source of entertainment for the two of us and 3 basic rules should be adhered to at all times:
1) Always listen to the guide
2) Always keep up with the mule carrying the food
3) Never try outsmart your guide
Every village we stayed in, Lashon took us on a tour and it became clear that he was well known throughout the valleys. As a result we were lucky enough to be invited in to a locals house for tea with freshly made bread and local olive oil…mmmm….(not something you are likely to experience in a group of 16) Unfortunately my wife and I were unable to converse with the home owner other than some rudimentary hand gestures, so instead he turned on the TV and switched to an English Muslim channel and beamed from ear to ear. Very bizarre
On day 3 our lodging was at the base of a pass which crossed over to the Mt Toubkal refuge. We got word earlier that day that the lodge was experiencing a few roofing problems i.e. If it rained during the night we were in trouble. Luckily it did’nt rain and we had a wonderful evening with an open fire, scarlet sunset and a golden glow from the surrounding peaks..best of all we were the only ones there. (our group of 4 complained to the lodge owner about the plumbing at this point!!!) It has to said that the accommodation is basic throughout the trip, some better than others, but unlike other trekking holidays we’ve been on, you do get a hot shower at the end of each day.
Day 4 we said good-bye to Mohammed and his mule as the pass was too dangerous for the mule. We would meet up with them later that day as they took much longer alternative route around. The pass proved to be an interesting day…icy bare foot river crossings, hail, snow, rain and sunshine all in 6 hours. (our guide found it highly amusing that we paid money to do this)
The climb of Mt Toubkal on day 5 was perfect. Lashon insisted that we wear crampons for the ascent as practically the entire mountain was still covered in snow and ice. We saw many people trying to do the ascent without suitable footwear and all I can say is THANK YOU Lashon! We summited without incident and were greeted with the most incredible panoramic views of the High Atlas…a superb ending to an awesome trekking holiday.
If you are reading this review and are doing the same Google searches we did trying to find a Tour company. Look no further!..Even though Tourdust’s prices are well below the likes of Exodus for example…the personal experience we got from the local company (Mohammed Aztat Trekking Company) they use is first class. Our guide was safety conscious, never made a rash decision…our muleteer made sure that we were always fed and did an outstanding job catering in some fairly challenging places and best of all they were both very friendly and informative.
Right from the outset Tourdust has been fantastic, recommendations by Anna and Ben were spot-on and any complications that arose were swiftly dealt with and sorted out. It was a memorable holiday…So a big thank you Tourdust.
One recommendation that we have, is that a bag weight limit should be recommended/ imposed. (15kg max)
Andrew Matthews reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit