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Challenging Atlas Mountain Family Trek

A challenging family holiday for children aged 12+. Spend four days trekking in the Toubkal National Park, culminating in a summit attempt of North Africa's highest mountain, followed by two days exploring the bustling medina of Marrakech.

Tailor-made 8 days

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Itinerary

Overview

  • 4 Day challenging mule-supported trek in the Atlas Mountains
  • Stay in remote Berber villages
  • Climb Mount Toubkal
  • 2 nights in a traditional riad in Marrakech
The Atlas Mountains in Morocco offer the ideal base for a family adventure. With dramatic views and varied landscapes, the trekking is second to none; from lush green valleys, to the barren peaks and the ultimate challenge of climbing Mount Toubkal, North Africa's highest mountain. As well as the far-reaching views (on a clear day you may be able to see the Sahara) you will also catch a glimpse of day to day rural life in Morocco; passing through traditional Berber villages and seeing shepherds tending to their goats in the valleys. The trekking is tough, especially on the final day when you will be walking for 10-12 hours, however, if you are all fit and strong, this will be an adventure that you will remember for a life time.

After your four day trek, you will spend the remainder of your holiday staying in a boutique riad in the heart of Marrakech. From here, you will be able to explore this fascinating city, taking in the chaotic souks, beautiful mosaics and the buzzing Djemaa el Fna, where food stalls, musicians and snake charmers congregate at dusk - grab a table with a view and sip on a mint tea as the sun sets and watch the show from a fantastic vantage point.

Day-by-day

Itinerary in Brief


DAY 1: Arrive & transfer to the Atlas Mountains
DAY 2: Trek
DAY 3: Trek
DAY 4: Trek
DAY 5: Trek
DAY 6: Transfer to Marrakech
DAY 7: Marrakech
DAY 8: Depart

Extended Itinerary


DAY 1: ARRIVAL & TRANSFER TO ATLAS MOUNTAINS
You will be picked up from Marrakech airport and transferred to the small town of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains. Your first night is spent in a friendly family run guest house where you will enjoy a traditional Moroccan dinner on the roof terrace (weather permitting)
Meals Included: Dinner
Accommodation: Dar Adrar
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 2: TREK DAY 1
Imlil – Tizi Oudite - Tiziane After breakfast, you will meet your guide and muleteer. Once you have loaded up your bags, the mule and cook set off together, taking a head-start to pick a perfect picnic spot and start cooking your lunch. Your first day of walking starts gently. Your trek follows the curve of the valley, passing through the Berber villages of Taddert, Aguersioual and Matate. You continue on to start the ascent of the Tizi Oudite mountain pass. On your way up you will find yourself in beautiful Mediterranean-esque scenery; surrounded by juniper trees, low shrubs and wild rosemary and thyme. On reaching the top of the pass you will have great views over the Azzadene valley, known locally as the valley of colour. From this point its downhill, through the Berber villages of Ait Aissa, Agouinane and Tahaliouine before reaching Tiziane, where you will be spending the night. Approx. 4-5 hours walking time (479m ascent & 850m descent)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Village gite
Transport (where relevant): n/a

DAY 3: TREK DAY 2
Tiziane – Lepiney Mountain Refuge After breakfast you’ll start the day by walking through the Azzadene valley. As you trek, you will pass through many small Berber villages clinging to the mountain sides. On walking through these functional settlements you can catch a glimpse of Berber life; children playing, neighbours chatting and people going about their daily business, from washing clothes in the river to cultivating the land on the terraces. You continue to following the curve of valley towards the high peaks until you reach the valley head where you will start your traverse to the Lepiney mountain refuge. On your way up you will pass by the scenic D’Irhoulidene waterfalls, as you ascend don’t forget to look back for some spectacular views of the Azzadene Valley. Approx. 7 hours walking (1,681m ascent)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Lepiney Mountain Refuge
Transport (where relevant): n/a

DAY 4: TREK DAY 3
Lepiney – Aguelzim Pass - Toubkal Refuge This morning you will embark on a fairly stiff climb out of the Azzadene Valley, heading towards the Toubkal Refuge where you will be spending the night. On the way you will pass back via the D’Irhoulidene waterfalls before climbing the Aguelzim Mountain pass (3,560m). Lunch will be taken in a spot with panoramic views over the Atlas Mountain Range. After taking in the scenery you’ll begin a descent to the Toubkal Mountain Refuge (Neltner Hut) at 3,200m. The dorms at the refuge tend to be crowded with other trekkers aiming to tackle Toubkal early next morning so in the summer and when the weather allows we typically camp at the Refuge. Approx. 7 hours walking (600m ascent & 443m descent)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Camping / Toubkal Refuge
Transport (where relevant): n/a

DAY 5: TREK DAY 4
Toubkal Refuge – Toubkal summit – Imlil Today you will be up early for the ascent of Toubkal (4,167m). It’s a challenging trek to the summit, but, weather permitting, you will be rewarded for your efforts with incredible views over the Atlas Range and the Sahara Desert. After the glory of the summit, you will retrace your steps to the Toubkal Mountain Refuge and then follow the well-trodden path back to Imlil, passing the holy Muslim site of Sidi Charmmharouch. You will arrive back in Imlil in the late afternoon, where you will then be able to have a hot shower and then relax on the roof terrace, taking in the views of the mountains you have just been trekking amongst. Approx. 10-12 hours walking (960m ascent & 2427m descent)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Dar Adrar
Transport (where relevant): n/a

DAY 6: IMLIL - MARRAKECH
You will be picked up after breakfast and transferred to Marrakech (about 1 ½ hours). Once you have settled into your riad, we suggest you set off and explore Marrakech's medina. You can spend all afternoon exploring the souks and taking in the atmosphere or you could relax on the roof terrace on one of the sun loungers. In the evening, be sure to head down to the main square where food stalls, acrobats, snake charmers and story tellers congregate creating an unforgettable atmosphere which is compelling for adults and children alike.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Bel Haj / Dar Thania / Dar Vedra / Riad Boussa / Riad Wo
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 7: DAY AT LEISURE IN MARRAKECH
Today you might want to see some of the main cultural sights of Marrakech, including the Medersa Ben Youssef, Palais el Badi and the Bahia Palace, interspersed with a leisurely lunch watching the storks nesting on the ramparts of the ancient city or perhaps some people watching at a cafe in the Spice market. In the evening, you might want to enjoy dinner in one of the restaurants over-looking the main square, or perhaps ask your host to book you a table at the atmospheric Foundouk restaurant, serving up delicious French & Moroccan fusion food.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Bel Haj / Dar Thania / Dar Vedra / Riad Boussa / Riad Wo
Transport (where relevant): n/a

DAY 8: DEPARTURE
You will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight home.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: n/a
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Medina Location
- Small swimming pool
- Lovely roof terrace
- Fantastic family suite

Dar Adrar

Atlas Mountains

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 2

- Homely Berber guesthouse
- Fantastic views from terrace
- Great food
- Comfortable and clean

Our rating

4/10

Price guide

Price rating 1

- Traditional villages
- Private rooms
- Very basic
- Shared bathroom
- Camping in summer

Our rating

6/10

Price guide

Price rating 1

- Wild camping
- Basic facilities
- Dorm rooms in refuges

Details

Getting there

Flying from the UK... Marrakech has an international airport (RAK) which is serviced by several airlines flying direct from the UK. The flight time is around 3.5hours. On average it takes around an hour to clear airport security and then around 15 – 20 minutes to drive to the Medina or 1 – 1.5 hours to reach the Atlas Mountains.

From the South East:
Gatwick: Easy Jet, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc &Thomson
Luton: Ryanair
Stansted: Ryanair & Easy Jet

From the South West:
Bristol: Easy Jet

From the Midlands:
Birmingham: Thomson

From the North:
Manchester: Easy Jet and Thomson

From Ireland:
Dublin: Ryanair

Price includes

Price is based on four people and includes all transfers, accommodation and trek.

Marrakech is on a Bed and Breakfast basis with one double and one twin room. The trek includes all meals, bottled water, mountain guide, cook and mule (to carry equipment and kit bags.)

When is best?

This trip can be enjoyed from May - October. If you want to climb Toubkal during the winter months, then it is imperative that you all have winter climbing experience.

Is it for me?

This is one of our most popular treks in the Atlas Mountains. It offers an excellent balance of valleys, peaks and passes giving you a taste of the high altitudes and the Berber Villages.

Toubkal is a strenuous climb, and you will all need to be fit, that said it is not a technical climb so you needn't be a hardened mountaineer. If, on the final day of your trek, some of you want to attempt a summit and others don't, the climbers can climb early in the morning and then pick the rest of the family up on the way back down.

If you are planning on tackling the mountain in the winter months (November to April), then it is imperative that you have suitable prior experience using crampons and ice axes. Your guides are experienced mountaineers usually with many years of winter ascents under their belt. They will all have undergone extensive training at the Royal Moroccan Federation of skiing and mountaineering (equivalent to the British Mountain Leader Summer scheme), however they are not qualified winter mountain leaders according to International qualifications.

As with all out Atlas Mountain treks, your cook will prepare all your meals and your baggage will be carried by mule, so you don't need to worry about carrying all of your belongings with you. Accommodation is in a mix of village guesthouses, refuges and camping, so expect basic but comfortable conditions.

Tourdust trek grading: Challenging

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 601 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • We had a great holiday. Our guide on the trek , Yousef, was brilliant. All our accommodation was good, especially the riad in Marrakech. All the arrangements went like clockwork. I am happy to give Tourdust 5/5.

    MissingDawn Helliwell reviewing Challenging Atlas Mountain Family Trek on 15 August 2013

  • The whole experience was truly fascinating and was really well organised from start to finish. We came away feeling that we had experienced the real Morocco. The accommodation and food was excellent throughout and we particularly liked Kasbah de Cigogne and the incredibly friendly staff, especially Ali! The mountain trek was invigorating and proved a highlight of the holiday - even the cold overnight stay in a mountain gite!. Credit to the guides and excellent cook plus of course the ever patient mules! We couldn't believe the quality(and quantity) of delicious hot food prepared half way up a mountain for us!
    Oh and Marrakesh - well it needs no introduction but if you need to get away from the Souks for a while, a day at the Beldi Club comes highly recommended!
    We'll be back to conquer Toubkal one day!

    MissingChristopher Scott reviewing Marrakech & Mountains Family Trek on 23 April 2015

  • We had a fantastic holiday in Morocco. Both Riad Dar Imlil and Riad Wo were lovely, the staff very friendly and helpful and both served delicious food. Please could you pass on our thanks in particular to Ibrahim who was our guide in the Atlas mountains. He was a brilliant guide, extremely helpful and considerate and a definite asset to your operation out there. All the transfers went smoothly and the little extra touches such as the pastries and water in the taxi from the airport to the mountains were very much appreciated.

    We will most certainly be recommending Tourdust to all our friends.

    MissingGavin Kearney reviewing Marrakech & Mountains Family Trek on 15 April 2015

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Enquire

Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Our most popular family adventure, combine a 3 day mule supported trek in the Atlas Mountains with a boutique riad in Marrakech.

Tailor-made Classic 8 days

Families from $623 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $247 per person economy class from London

Explore Marrakech & the stunning scenery of the Atlas Mountains. Includes guided walk, mountain biking & Berber picnics.

Tailor-made Classic 8 days

Families from $746 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $247 per person economy class from London

Fantastic holiday for adventurous families with trekking, surfing & Marrakech.

Tailor-made Adventure 8 days

Families from $787 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $247 per person economy class from London

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