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Strongly recommended year round, this is a fantastic trek for those not climbing Toubkal. It offers in our opinion the best mountain scenery and Berber villages within the Imlil and Toubkal National Park area. And because it stays below the snowline, it is accessible in the winter to all regardless of experience.
The area of the Atlas Mountains close to Marrakech offers some of the best trekking in the world. It offers stunning mountain scenery, snow-capped mountains topping over 4,000m, traditional earth built Berber Villages and a great trekking infrastructure. Although many people want to climb Mount Toubkal (Morocco’s highest peak), the direct route from the main trailhead at Imlil doesn’t give a lot of exposure to the diversity of mountain scenery and Berber Villages that the Atlas Mountains can offer. In that regard this trek more than surpasses the main Toubkal route. When trails are busy this route will still be quiet, passing through the Ouirgane National Park and then up through the Azzaden Valley (at the head of which sits snow-capped Toubkal and its sister mountains). Simple village Gites (guesthouses) provide charming accommodation (especially when compared to the Toubkal mountain refuge). All in all it is a fantastic option for anyone who can resist the allure of the highest peak.
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 suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness levels. It is a particularly good choice for those interested in trekking in Morocco from the months of November through to April when high altitude snows make crampons and ice axes necessary on Toubkal.
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. After your trek, we recommend a relaxing night in Dar Adrar, before returning the next morning for two days and nights in Marrakech.
Overall, Christine and I rate our experience with TourDust a 5/5... SUPERB!!
Booking - Our experience with booking was excellent,.. Rebecca, you did an awesome job making suggestions and answering all of our questions in detail and also very quickly. We felt like you captured what experience we were looking for in our trip and did a great job recommending Douar Samra as our home base.
Accommodations - Douar Samra was AMAZING!!Our room was spectacular, clean and offered stunning views of the mountains. Our hosts were wonderful and offered amazing, nutritious meals, as well as friendly service. Meeting other travelers while enjoying our meals was a plus.
Transportation from and back to Marrakech - Remembering and pronouncing Moroccan names was a bit difficult for us, so we agreed to call our driver "The Mountain Man"... sorry, I have no idea of this man's real name, but he was fantastic. He was timely with our pick up time at our hotel in Marrakech and answered many of our questions during the drive to Imlil. He stopped along the road any time we liked, so that we could snap some incredible photos of the scenery.He was polite, courteous and was a great driver in the windy roads in the mountains!
Guide - Abraham (we asked Abraham how we would let you know who our guide was, as there are many Abraham's in the mountains... he told us to mention.. Abraham.. from the army... so I hope this description finds him back!)We LOVED Abraham !!! He knew just how to push us to our limits, but not over exert us while hiking the challenging terrain. We loved learning about the mountain way of day to day living, and were totally taken back and humbled when he shared some of his own personal family stories with us. Our heart melted for him and we thank him for so many great conversations during our 3 day hiking adventure. Out of our 12 days in Morocco, we think back to our time spent with Abraham the most, and will always consider these 3 days in the High Atlas the top highlight of our trip.
Cook -Hassan was our cook, and his mule, (whom we called Sam) were also superb.We were amazed at Hassan's cooking technique while in the vast mountain ranges. The meals he prepared for us, we consider to have been the best meals during our entire trip. The presentation of the food he prepared was top notch.. it was so creative and colorful!I would also like to add that Sam, the mule, came to my rescue on Day 2 of hiking.. I just couldn't get to the summit of our hike that day.. I was so tired! So Hassan sent Sam down a little ways down the mountain to retrieve me and take me the rest of the way up the mountain!!How special is that!!! Another 5/5 experience!!
Value -I consider the cost associated with this adventure was ideal. I felt like the price paid, was in line with the experience received.
Overall Impression - I would definitely book with Tourdust again in the future.There was absolutely nothing to complain about from booking to the end of our trip.
Diane Looman reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had an absolutely fabulous time and were delighted with your arrangements. Les Jardins de Maroc was outstanding as was our stay at Kasbah Touboukal. Our guide on the hike was very professional - all in all we could not fault anything and had a truly memorable holiday.
Many thanks to you and the team at Tourdust.
Christopher Wilmot reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
From the very beginning, Tourdust was a delight. Our itinerary was ideal - and perfectly ordered given the the range of things we had wanted to squeeze into our 10-day break to Morocco. We could not fault the accommodation choices - they were idyllic and we were very well looked after in all four of our locations. Our guide, Ibrahim, in the Atlas Mountains was wonderful - especially when we struggled (mentally!) through some unseasonal rain, hail, wind, snow and blizzards on our first day. The photos the following morning made it so worthwhile. I am sure we will find something decent to enter the photography competition with! Thank you
Katherine Walton reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Jodie and I were very impressed with EVERYTHING about our holiday experience with you.
The pre-trip information and transportation to greet us at the airport and transport us to the Atlas Mountains worked like a dream (always very nervous of this when you arrive in a new country) so top marks to our driver there! Accommodation on the trek was far better than we had prepared ourselves for, visiting some lovely houses with clean sanitary conveniences (again we had packed the 'wet wipes' but were so pleased for hot showers!) Both our guide Lasan and Rashid were very accommodating and enjoyed having a laugh with us which made us feel very relaxed. I think only the 'mule' played up as she escaped one evening which caused a slight panic amongst them all!!!
Making our reservation at the Riad in Marrakesh (Dar Hanane) was a wonderful way to relax in Marrakesh.
All in all we will be contacting you again for our next trip (!) but also recommending your Services to our other friends as it was a completely stressed free, enjoyable trip.
Sarah and Jodie reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We wanted to say what a fantastic time we had with the Tourdust trek. We couldn't fault it from start to finish. At the outset from my first call you were really helpful and engaging. I had been looking at a number of different operators but decided to go with you based on the consideration you showed on what I was looking for, the detailed information you sent through in a timely manner, the value for money of the trip and quality of your service. Tourdust immediately came across as flexible in terms of trek start dates, duration and pick-up/drop off transport.
In terms of the actual trek, our guide Adil and cook Mohamad should be singled out. They always ran to schedule (from pick up and drop off to the actual schedule on each day); they were considerate and attentive; professional; kind; they were always ready to answer our questions and interested in us and what we had to say and good conversationalists. We felt very well looked after the whole time. We were met at the trek starting point by the local rep which was a nice touch and he showed us a map of our trek and had a mint tea with us making sure we got away on the trek okay.
We particularly wanted to praise the cook/Muleteer Mohamad. He catered to our dietary needs as vegetarians making fantastic food every day. He was always happy and positive and made us feel very special, making sure we were happy with our food. The catering was excellent.
We noticed other muleteers not treating their mule so well whereas Mohamad had a great relationship with our mule and it responded to his verbal prompts which was impressive.
The actual trek was breathtaking. It was a good combination of physically challenging with stunning scenery; we loved the fact that is was an alternative trek so we hardly saw any tourists and really felt we had the mountains to ourselves. The lunch picnic spots were beautiful and again we felt like a king and queen being given cushions and blankets to sit on, hot mint tea to start things off and then lots of fresh, hearty and healthy food. The length of walking each day was just right.
The accommodation (and loos), as you advised, was basic but a great experience. It did get cold at night but we were given extra blankets and the dinners and breakfasts kept us going. I liked the fact we were staying with a local family/their place in a small village rather than a touristy place. After the trek on the first day when we had quite a few hours free, Adil our guide offered us an additional walk around the village which was really nice.
The whole standard of service from start to finish was 10 out of 10. We would definitely recommend Tourdust to friends and colleagues and are already talking about coming back again.
Thank you again for all your help in making this a fantastic experience and please pass on our thanks and feedback to the local team.
Rashmi Becker reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We are very pleased with the trip we booked!
People were in time, polite, correct and keen on giving us a perfect holiday!
Jonathan Van Dyck reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
On the 20th Jan 2013 we started our 3 day valley trek from imlil in the atlas mountains.
Ibrahim Aztat was our guide and Samir was our cook/mule handler. It was a great trek up to 2300m in the snow. Over the whole of our trek Ibrahim and samir were brilliant and really looked after both of us, helping us along the way as we were not quite as fit as we should have been. They made sure we went at the right pace, stopping when required. With this help we enjoyed the trek and all the food was really great. I would really recomend this trek and would give 10/10 for ibrahim and samir. The gites are a little cold so bring plenty of warm clothing for the overnight stays.
We also stayed in dar hanane in marrakech and in casa lila in essaouira, both were brill and we were transported by mustafa from the airport to all of our locations over the 10 days. Mustafa was always there on time and did a really good job. We really had a good time with plenty of laughs with ibrahim and samir and would like to thank them again.
richard gallacher reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
This was a great trip! Great value for money and a great way to learn about the Atlas and see Morocco! I felt a million miles away from home, with the breath taking views and of course both the cook and tour guide helped to make it a great experience. We never went hungry and the food was great!
Helen Dennis reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Firstly Hassan our guide. What a lovely man, relaxed but attentive and primarily concerned with our wellbeing. On our final day we had to cope with some rather challenging conditions. Very high winds gusting on exposed paths with loose scree on either side of narrow tracks. For some of the way he hand held my partner as our ears filled up with small stones and dust,a professional job very well done top marks from us 5 out of 5.
Accommodation was good although fairly basic. A small issue would be the problem of lack of running water at our 1st accommodation especially as it was the “traditional” drop toilet. 3 out of 5.
Mustapha our muleteer and cook was also fabulous cheerful respectful and what a spread he would put on. Who else can put weight on while trekking in the Atlas? Top marks 5 out of 5.
Booking and service was good 4/5 out of 5.
Our overall impression was great. The trek itself was stunning and we enjoyed it no end and thank goodness within our capabilities another top score 5 out of 5. Thanks!
Sue Neate reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We really enjoyed the tour. We found it to be well organised (both in booking /prior to departure and during), good value for money and very accommodating - for example the fact that we were asked if we would like to postpone our taxi ride back to Marrakech (we were staying at Kasbah du Toubkal for 2 nights after the tour ended, before travelling on to Marrakech), being given the option to store our excess baggage in the Tour Dust office in Imlil and then having this delivered direct to the Kasbah on our arrival, and our guide escorting us straight to the Kasbah at the end of the tour.
I think it would be important to state that the mules aren't with you at all times, so store everything you might need for that morning/afternoon in your daypack (we were caught in a heavy rain storm without our macs because of this).
Daphne Fordham reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had the most amazing time, I really can't say how wonderful the whole holiday was as from the start to the finish we were looked after by whoever was the person at the time so beautifully! Lasen the guide is truly such a lovely man who was a shadow when he was needed by my father but was sensitive when not! So 5 out of 5 for the guide, it was the most memorable brilliant holiday!! The only slight change that did occur was that we didn't go the Riad Dar Hanane, we turned up there and they said that we were staying at the sister riad, which was called Riad Tzarra which was seriously amazing.
Camilla Drinkall reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Overall, we had a wonderful time.
The only downside was the toilets in the Gites(but we kind of expected that).
Special mention to Ibrahim, our guide, who was very good. Rashid and Hassan cooked excellent meals.
All three now know how to do the "hokey kokey"...... we weren't so good at the Berber signing and dancing!
Piers Tremlett reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had a great itme and Ibrahim (guide) and Shahera (cook) were both
Ellen Bartlett reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Tourdust did an excellent job of organizing our trip. It was completely seamless. We had an amazing experience at both the trekking excursion in the Atlas Mountains and staying in Marrakesh. An adventure that we will never forget.
Janele Taveggia reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Ben and Anna really know their stuff when it comes to Morocco and they answered all of our queries to do with our forthcoming trip out there - nothing was too much trouble. We loved the personal, friendly and expert service that we received, especially in a world of call centres and 'computer says no' type people and businesses! They are really good value too, especially considering the level of service received.
Our 3 day Atlas valleys trek was an amazing experience and one that we will remember forever - the scenery is just breathtaking with red, green and grey rock hills and mountains, cherry blossom and iris flora in the valleys, snow capped mountains against azure blue cloudless skies, stunning waterfalls and wonderful little villages dotted along the way with the most friendly and accommodating of locals to greet you. Our guide, Ilyas, was a brilliant guide too and really added to the fun and enjoyment of the trek.
The whole trip was organised brilliantly with plenty of useful and timely advice and communication from Tourdust prior to the trip and then a seamless transition from the airport to the mountains and then on to Essaouira for the next part of our holiday.
Overall, if you are looking for someone to organise all - or part - of your trip to Morocco, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Tourdust!
Kay Limb reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We have to tell you that this was one of the best holidays we've ever had! It exceeded all our expectations, and we are still reliving the many rich experiences of the week: so well planned, such spectacular scenery, wonderful people looking after us, a great introduction to a really beautiful country.
Brenda Stones reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Trip was excellent - 5/5 on all accounts. Mohammed arranged an excellent guide. We will definitely use Tourdust again and recommend you.
Luke Mallett reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
The Atlas Valley Trek was an amazing experience. The scenery in the valleys is absolutely beautiful, and staying in the villages is a great cultural experience that gives you a feeling of the authentic and local way of living. The guide was very competent, and spoke very good english. And the cook prepared the best food. I have no hasitation to strongly recommend this trip to other travellers who like trekking and also want a local cultural experience.
Christine Toessebro reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek