(7 nights / 8 days)
This mountain trek will take you to a region in the High Atlas which is not yet frequented by tourist groups. Here you will witness the traditional life of the Berbers in their mudbrick villages, working the land with primitive tools and tending their herds of sheep. At the Yagour Plateau you will discover prehistoric rock carvings which were made on flat rocks about 4000 years ago. The trek ends in the lush Ourika Valley where water abounds. You will be accompanied by a mountain-guide and mules will carry your luggage.
Starts Marrakech / Ends Marrakech
Trek Grade: B – moderate what is this?
Day 1. Marrakech
- After your arrival at Marrakech airport you will be transferred to your hotel in the centre of town. You can spend the rest of the evening roaming around the exotic Jmaa-El-Fna square where you can see plenty of open-air foodstalls, musicians, acrobats and storytellers. Hotel. (No meals included)
Day 2. Afra (1800m)
- Accompanied by your mountain guide you will leave Marrakech in the morning. The minibus or jeep takes the road to the highest pass in Morocco, the Tizi n’Tichka. The road winds through forests and agricultural land with little Berber villages perched high against the rocks. The views are magnificent. In the village of Taddert your luggage will be loaded on mules. The muleteers will take a different path to the campsite. After a quick break the minibus will continue to a mountain hut at 2150m just before the pass. Here your trek will start. Surrounded by high mountains the path winds along with the slope. Deep down a clear river finds its way through the valley. The path descends at first and then rises to an upland plain where wheat is being grown. All year round you will see busy farmers working the land. You cross the vast plain to the brick stone village of Afra where women and children dressed in colourful clothes will welcome you with a smile. Just after the village the camp will be installed under ancient walnut trees, near a water source. 2 hours walk. Camp. (BLD)
Day 3. Azgour (1300m)
- After your first open-air breakfast you follow a mule path through a wide valley surrounded by multi-coloured mountains where the geological folds are clearly visible. There will be time to look around in the Berber village through which you pass. It is perched high on a rock and you can witness everyday village life. After the village you enter the Zat Valley, which narrows into a gorge. You will have lunch in the shade of walnut trees near a source. After lunch you continue through a side-gorge where you will either take the mule path or try to find your way down through the gorge, depending upon the water level. Either way will take you to the village of Azgour where you will bivouac under huge fig trees by the side of a clear river. In the afternoon you can refresh yourself in the river and/or visit the old village. 4 hours walk. Camp. (BLD)
Day 4. Azib ‘n Ikkis, Yagour Plateau (2350m)
- Today’s goal is at 2350m. You face an ascent of several hours leading you at first to a lunch stop with a view at Ouarzazt (1900m) where children will be watching you with curiosity. Then the route continues along a wide trail up to the Yagour Plateau. On this vast upland plain you will see sturdy dwellings which are inhabited by shepherd families every August. Their herds of sheep find plenty of green meadows and water. Camp will be set up for two nights as the day after you will need time to explore the plateau to search for prehistoric rock carvings. 5 hours walk. Camp. (BLD)
Day 5. Azib ‘n Ikkis (2350m)
- Around 2000 B.C. animals like elephant, lion, antelope and giraffe must have roamed the impressive Yagour Plateau as you can see on the rock carvings that tell a tale of long ago. With sharp utensils, the shapes of animals, weapons, chariots, warriors and symbols for the sun and the seasons were carved in flat rock surfaces. Once you know how to recognize the sites, it is fun to investigate the area near the camp site or to go for a walk and find other sites further on. The bivouac is at the same spot, surrounded by impressive mountains. Camp. (BLD)
Day 6. Marrakech
- The trail continues westwards along the Yagour Plateau, in the vastness of the plain where wild flowers abound. Then you follow a mule path along the valley slope. Deep in the valley you see ochre coloured Berber villages and agricultural terraces. At a distance the huge shape of Mount Angour looms up. After a trail along a mountain ridge with views to both sides you descend into the green Ourika Valley. Before returning to Marrakech by minibus, lunch will be served by the side of the river near a traditional hanging bridge. Here you will say goodbye to your muleteers. A 50km drive will take you back to Marrakech. 4 hours walk. Hotel.(BL)
Day 7. Marrakech
- A day to yourself to explore this interesting Imperial City. Your hotel is located near the Djemaa-el-Fna Square, the vibrant heart of the city. The activities on the square are continually changing – you’ll see snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and storytellers. In the evening open food-stalls are set up with delicious kebabs and salads. Your senses will be reeling in the narrow streets of the medieval medina. Fully loaded donkeys walk back and forth through the narrow streets, which smell of herbs, leather and meat stalls. You will be overwhelmed by the exuberant mix of colourful carpets, fruits, herbs and dyed skeins of wool. In the courtyards the tanners are busy working. Small gateways provide an entrance to the beautifully constructed and decorated sultan’s tombs, old palaces and Koranic schools. Hotel. (B)
Day 8. Departure
- Transfer to Marrakech airport for your onward flight. (B)
Best season: from June until mid-October
Extend your stay
You might like to extend your visit to Morocco by adding additional destinations to your itinerary. Some suggestions:
- extend your trek for a greater challenge – continue trekking westwards from the Ourika Valley to Imlil, and include a summit of Mount Toubkal (4260m) on the way. This extension will take 7 days.
- a few days to relax on the Atlantic Coast at the old Portuguese fishing port of Essaouira.
- combine this trip with our ‘Highlights of the Imperial Cities’ tour (8 days – can be modified to fit) either before or after your trek, and explore some of Morocco ‘s other great cities.
Prices per person:
based on a party of 2
based on a party of 3
based on a party of 4
For parties with an uneven number of persons, a single room at hotels will be necessary and a single supplement will be charged.
Tents during Trek
Any client paying the standard single supplement for a single hotel room, will also have a single tent during the trek.
Should a client who is sharing a hotel room prefer to have a single tent during the trek, this can be arranged for a supplementary charge of € 25. This should be requested at the time of booking.
Prices will includes:
- Staff: an English-speaking mountain guide, muleteers, a cook (parties larger than 5 people)
- Meals as indicated in itinerary: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner
- Transportation: minibus or jeep for all transfers, mules for luggage during trek; arrival and departure transfers in Marrakech
- 3 Nights accommodation in tourist-class hotel on twin share basis, 4 nights in two-person tents equipped with foam mattresses
- Camping and cooking equipment (except sleeping bags)
- Special rates apply for larger groups
- Accommodation is in well-situated tourist-class hotels. Rooms are equipped with a bathroom. During the trek you will be camping in two-person tents, with limited facilities.
Upgrade your stay:
Should you wish to upgrade the hotels and accommodation for your trip, we have a selection of traditional-styled riad and kasbah hotels that can fit with this itinerary. In some places you also have the choice of deluxe or luxury accommodation. Please enquire for a tour price with a different standard of accommodation. (Camping during trek still applies.)
- Flights, visas, airport taxes
- Other meals not listed in the itinerary
- Tips, drinks, laundry, souvenirs and other personal expenditure
- Entrance fees, local sightseeing guides
- Personal travel insurance
- Sleeping bags for mountain trek