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7 Day Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert Tour
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Our 7 Day Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert Tour will allow you to experience the two extremes of Morocco’s climate at a more relaxed pace.
This adventure tour will allow you to experience Morocco’s vibrant culture first hand. You will embark on a challenging trek up Mount Toubkal where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding valleys. You will then swap the cool atmosphere of the mountains for the heat of the Sahara Desert where your tour will allow you to experience the Gorge du Dades; explore the Todra Gorge with its 300m high gorge walls; camel trek into the Sahara Desert and stay overnight in a Berber camp; visiting ancient Kasbahs on the way. Your adventure will start with 3 days/3 nights trekking through the Azzaden valley and over Tizi n Agelzim peak before you climb Mount Toubkal. The first two days will allow you to acclimatise with the altitude before you climb Mount Toubkal peak on the third day.
Your 4 day desert trip will allow you to take enough time to visit a lot of places on the way such as Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, drive along the dirt road of Assif n Ounilla, visit the famous Glaoui Kasbah in Telouet and to complete the experience you will take part in a camel trek through the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
Camel trekking is a part of the tradition of the country as nomads have used camels as a form of transport for centuries. You will follow in their footsteps and travel by camel on the ridge of a dune in the late afternoon with nothing around you but sand, tranquillity and open blue sky. This is an experience that cannot be described or explained but once you have sampled it you will want to return in the future.
After your transfer from Marrakech to Imlil (1,780m), you will set off on a 6 hour trek out of the Imlil Valley and into the Azzadene Valley. Along the way you will pass Tizi N’Mzik at 2,450m, the refuge at Azib n’Tansoult and the Ighouliden waterfalls. You will spend your first night in the Lipeney mountain refuge at 3,000m (or before at Azib n Tamsoult, depending on your progress on this first day)
Day 2: Azib n tamsoult - Agelzim - Toubkal base camp
Today involves a fairly stiff climb out of the Azzadene Valley to the Toubkal Refuge over the Aguelzim Mountain pass at 3,560m. Lunch will be taken with spectacular views over the Atlas Mountain Range. You will spend the second night in the Toubkal Refuge (Niltner Hut) where you’ll likely be sharing a bunk room with other trekkers who plan on tackling the final part of the Toubkal ascent early the next morning
Day 3: Toubkal Ascent - Imlil
This last morning sees an early start to complete the final ascent up Toubkal (4,167m) from where, clouds allowing, you’ll have wonderful views over the Atlas Range and the Sahara Desert. Once you have taken your photo to prove you completed the ascent to the peak of Toubkal we then take the well-worn path down past the refuge and back to Imlil. This is a fairly long day with 8-9 hours of trekking, involving 900m up then almost 2,500m back down to Imlil
Day 4: Imlil - Dades Valley
You will be picked up from your accommodation in Imlil at 09.00hrs and head out over the Atlas Mountains, driving over the stunning Tizi-n-Tichka mountain pass. You’ll pass through lots of Berber villages, and once you’re in the desert, you’ll see riverside oasis and barren hillsides dotted with Kasbahs (fortified dwellings that house families and their livestock). Along the way, you will have the option either to take a break and visit the Ouarzazate Film Studios or stop for a hike. Once you reach Dades Gorge, you have the option of going for a hike, or relaxing at your hotel. You will overnight in Dades. (Total driving time 6 hours)
Day 5: Dades Valley - Todra gorge - Merzouga
After breakfast at the hotel you will transfer from the Dades Valley to Todra Gorge - a massive fault dividing the High Atlas Mountains, rising up 300 metres in a narrow valley with palmeries and Berber villages. Here, you can go for a hike to explore the palmery (a green oasis full of large date palms). After lunch you’ll head further into the desert to the gateway town of Merzouga to pick up supplies for your desert trip. You will then drive on to a Kasbah to pick up your camel.
At sunset, you’ll trek for an hour-and-a-half by camel to a Berber camp where you will enjoy a traditional Moroccan dinner, and sleep under the stars or in tents at a desert camp. (Total driving time 5 hours)
Day 6: Merzouga - Ait Ben Haddou
Wake to watch the sunrise over the dunes and then return to the Kasbah by camel. You will then have a chance to freshen up and enjoy your breakfast. Once you are refreshed, you will head out of the desert for a drive to Ait Benhaddou. This is an ancient fortified city containing countless Kasbahs and has been the atmospheric subject of numerous Hollywood blockbuster movies (The Mummy, Gladiator, Alexander, Lawrence of Arabia) You will have the chance to walk around the buildings and explore with your guide. You will overnight in a hotel close to Ait Ben Haddou. (Total driving time 5/6 hours)
Day 7: Ait Ben Haddou - Marrakech
Travel along the Ounilla Valley to the Telouet Kasbah, a crumbling Kasbah that was once an important stop for traders. Explore the Kasbah and then after lunch, you will head back over the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass to Marrakech (Total driving time 4 hours)
Return private transport from Marrakech
English speaking guide (other languages can be catered for)
3 nights accommodation in the Atlas Mountains
2 nights accommodation in hotels / 1 night in Berber tents
All meals in the Atlas Mountains
Breakfast and Dinner in the Sahara Desert
Muleteer Team in the Atlas Mountains
What’s Not Included
Lunches in the Sahara Desert
Beverages & Bottled Water
The Price will vary depending on
Age of participants
Number of participants
Length of tour requested
High and Low Season
Available all year round
All prices are based on a minimum of 2 people on the tour.