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Atlas Mountains Camping & Refuges

Our rating

4/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Wild camping
- Basic facilities
- Dorm rooms in refuges

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Overview

Where gites aren't available (outside of the villages) we use camps or refuges on multi-day treks. In remote locations, we will set a wild camp. There are some fantastic locations available although it is important to note there are no formal washing or toilet facilities. Modern dome tents are provided along with roll up sponge mattresses for sleeping on. Meals are served in a mess tent. The crew will dig a fresh hole for each visit and put a small toilet tent by way of privacy (toilet roll is provided, but we always recommend taking a roll yourselves as back-up).

At locations with refuges (e.g. Neltner at Toubkal and Lepiney at the head of the Azzaden Valley), we usually prefer to camp in the grounds and make use of the refuge facilities for washing, toilets etc. as long as the weather is reasonable. The rationale for this is that the dorm rooms in the refuges can be crowded and noisy.

In winter or inclement weather, you will need to put up with the refuges. The two Toubkal refuges stand alongside each other in a dramatic position at the head of the Toubkal / Imlil Valley. Both huts tend to be full over Easter, September and in the summer, with trekkers of all nationality swarming the place, all waking between 3 and 5am to tackle Toubkal – this isn’t the place to come for a good night’s sleep! The original Refuge du Toubkal or Neltner Hut was built and run by Club Alpin Francais. Whilst it lacks some of the nicer touches of the alternative (see below), it is a warmer building (which means it is popular with the guides and muleteers) and provides kitchen facilities for food preparation. There is a dining room, a small shop selling snacks, soft drinks and mineral water, a sitting room with a fireplace and lots of large dorms. All dorms have bunk beds, with mattresses laid side by side with barely space to fit a book between. The mattresses are tired and the bathroom facilities over-used, but the management are making efforts to spruce up the place and it can be endured.

In winter and when it is cold, we use Neltner Hut for all our Toubkal treks, in summer we prefer to camp in the grounds of Neltner.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The trip was fantastic thanks. difficult to really make any suggestions for changes.

    Everything ran smoothly from a logistics point of view and all food and accommodation was great. The owner of Pure Riads came and introduced himself while he was visiting and made some recommendations for restaurants etc.
    The mountain guide picked the ideal route for our level and was very informative on the journey.

    On the return airport pickup from Marrakesh, we initially didn't see the transfer bus and the local contact mobile number did not appear to be in service which might be worth checking but it was no issue as the driver spotted us.

    My wife is already dreaming of her next trip with a different group of friends so no doubt I'll be in touch

    Many thanks

    Regards
    Chris

    MissingChris B reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek - Value on 27 July 2022

  • Hi Lisa,

    Finally arrived back in Sydney yesterday after a great trip. We all enjoyed Morocco immensely and your organisation was top notch. Some highlights were;

    Essaouira, really enjoyed this town and a great introduction to Morocco for us with a more relaxed vibe. The riad we stayed in was fabulous and the female manager Hyat (probably misspelled) couldn't of been more helpful with both suggestions of things to do, places to see and restaurants to eat at. A very friendly team in general and a lovely lady.

    The High Atlas, again a real highlight despite the issues with early season snow & ice. The guest house in Imlil was great with again a very friendly owner who was keen to provide as much assistance as possible. The changes to our itinerary were well handled and in the case of the extra night at basecamp post climbing Mt Toubkal, worked in our favour. Only 3 of our group managed the climb due to the icy conditions and those of us who did the summit day needed crampons which were provided free of charge. We were the first group camping at basecamp that year and our preference to do so was accepted without complaint. The only issue I might raise was the lack of anything to sit on in camp, though I guess using the sleeping mats is closer to the Berber tradition. I brought my own mat along which was a good option. Our guide Mohammed was great and really helped us to adapt to the altitude despite some sickness amongst the group. He also managed to get us all through some very difficult ice & snow conditions, putting his body on the line on several occasions when people went flying out of control. This was both on summit day and the prior day when he had to contend with all 6 of us. The food was also excellent and the cook very friendly despite limited English. The whole team worked very well together.

    The desert camp was a real experience and very luxurious. Sundowners up on the dunes, the dinners & facilities available and the camel ride were highlights. A long drive was well split by our stays at the Kasbahs which were both fabulous & highly recommended. Hassan & his offsider Khalid were good drivers, friendly and helped us enjoy the whole experience. The excursions along the way were also excellent. The full second day at the desert camp was maybe too much with very high temperatures but they moved us to another cooler camp with shade & more basic facilities during the middle of the day. Again I guess we really got to experience the full nomad lifestyle with a long hiatus during the hottest part of the day.

    Marrakesh, again an excellent riad with a nice meal the first night. Good location, very friendly staff and a lovely place to retire to after a day exploring. A very interesting & bustling town.

    Chefchaouen, what a wonderful place to spend some time. Another exceptional riad with some great facilities with a perfect location. Again staff were exceptionally friendly & helpful and the city was an absolute pleasure to explore. We all loved this extension & Mustafa our driver was exceptionally helpful as well. We decided to do some trekking 1 day in the nearby Rif Mountains and he was only too happy to drive us there & back through some amazing scenery. He was always concerned for our welfare and even came up to check on us while we were out exploring Chefchaouen.

    Tangier, an interesting city and once again the place we stayed was exceptional with a very friendly & helpful French Canadian hostess. The town was a bit more touristy with some issues with touts, 2 nights were enough. Mustafa got us to the ferry up the coast in plenty of time.

    A great trip overall and one that we all enjoyed immensely. Thanks for all your organisation & efforts especially after all the Covid delays and civil war made our trip to Ethiopia impossible.

    Best regards
    Chris

    MissingChris S reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit on 27 July 2022

  • Hi lisa,

    We arrived home last Sunday morning so we've been back for a week.

    Firstly, I would like to say thank you very much for the superb arrangements that you made which went like clockwork from start to finish.

    The term part of the trip went really well and we really enjoyed this. Our guide was really helpful and friendly as was our cook/ muleteer.
    We loved the first nights accommodation and the Riad Adore in Marrakech was amazing and one of the best hotel accommodation I've stayed in.Alex

    Mountain refuges were as expected.

    All arrangements by Tourdust were just perfect right up to the moment we were collected by our friendly taxi driver to take us to the airport on our return.

    I have passed Tourdust details on to several people both in Marrakech and since our return and I hope that these result in further bookings.

    Many thanks!

    Alex W

    MissingAlexander W reviewing Toubkal & Valleys Trek on 22 July 2019

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