Exploring Morroco – Marrakech, Jebel Toubkal and Essaouira

Mt Toubkal stands firm at 4167m above sea level and commands superb views of the High Atlas Mountains. Our route passes through remote villages that offer an insight into the life of the Berbers, a culture that has hardly changed for centuries. The views across the Jebel Sahro and towards the Sahara are well worth the effort.

Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-18th-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world.

KEY INFORMATION FOR EXPLORING MOROCCO-MARRAKECH, JEBEL TOUBKAL AND ESSAOUIRA:

  • Group Size: 5-10 people
  • Specialty Category: Hiking&Trekking, Cultural Experiences
  • Difficulty (for the alpine ascents): T4-Alpine Hiking
  • Duration: 13 days
  • Following expedition: 30 September-12 October, 2018
  • Tour Customizable: No (Yes, for groups of minimum 5 persons)
  • Meeting place: Henri Coanda International Airport – Bucharest or Menara International Airport – Marrakech

Prices for 2018 trips:  950 euros / person

Price includes:

  • Airport transfers;
  • Land transfers from/to Marrakech (including the transfer to/from Essaouira);
  • 2 nights accommodation in a hotel/riad in Marrakech (breakfast included);
  • 1 night accommodation in a hotel/gite in Imlil (breakfast included);
  • 5 nights accommodation in gites / refuges;
  • 1 night accommodation in a hotel/riad in Sidi Kaouki;
  • 3 nights accommodation in a hotel/riad in Essaouira;
  • services provided by Romanian mountain guide and local (Moroccan) mountain guide;
  • Mules & muleteers (during the hiking in the mountains);
  • A cook & cooking equipment (during the hiking in the mountains);
  • Full board during the trek;
  • Camels hiring in Essaouira;

Price DOESN’T include:

  • Airfares;
  • Tips for local mountain guide, cook, drivers and muleteers (50 euros/person);
  • Entry fees at the touristic objectives (20 euros/person);
  • Dinners & Lunches in Marrakech, Essaouira and Imlil (10-20 euros/person/meal);
  • Mineral water and beverages;
  • Insurance;
  • Other expenses that are not included;

TOUR DESCRIPTION

marrakechDay 1: Arrival to Marrakech. Transfer to the hotel (Riad) where we’ll have provided our accommodation. Our Hotel/Riad is located in the proximity of Medina, close to the famous Jemaa el Fna square; so, for diner, we’ll choose a restaurant in the area, where we can try for the first time Moroccan cuisine (I strongly recommend you tajine), mint tea and/or Nof-Nof cofee.

marrakeckDay 2: After breakfast we’ll have a full day for exploring Marrakech: there will be plenty of time to walk around Jemaa el Fna Square and Koutoubia mosque, to visit museums or the amazing gardens or just to explore the souk. Check below Top 10 Attractions of Marrakech:

toubkalDay 3: No doubt we will wake to the sound of the Islamic calls of the muezzins beckoning the faithful to the city mosques. After breakfast we’ll meet again Mohamed, our local guide, and we’ll have the transfer to the small Berber village of Imlil (1740m), a drive of about 1.5 hrs. Here we meet our muleteers, load our bags onto the mules and head off! Our trek takes us over Tizi Mzik which at just over 2400m gives great views of Angour and the surrounding peaks of the High Atlas. We descend to the traditional Berber village of Tizi Oussem where we spend the night in our comfortable gîte with great views of tomorrows route. ( 5 hours)

toubkalA gite consists of a village house with simple dormitory accommodation, each with space for approximately 6-8 people. Furnished in traditional Berber style; low couches (beds), tables, carpets and cushions. Showers are usually available, sometimes hot!

toubkalDay 4: Tizi Oussem – Lepiney Refuge. After breakfast we trek up to CAF Lepiney (Tazaghart) refuge at 3000m altitude (4-5hrs). The trail takes us through summer grazing settlements and orchards, past waterfalls and most of all we are always surrounded by stunning scenery and high peaks.

toubkalDay 5: Lepiney Refuge – Toubkal (Neltner) Refuge (3207m) We move on from the Lepiney refuge to the Neltner refuge (3207m) situated at the base of the highest mountain in North Africa (4-5 hours).

toubkalDay 6: Toubkal (Neltner) Refuge – Ouanoukrim – Toubkal (Neltner) Refuge For a better acclimatization, today we’ll make an ascent of Ouanoukrim (4089m.), a straight forward climb with a final scramble to reach the summit. After that we’ll come back to Toukal (Neltner) Refuge (5-6 hours).

toubkalDay 7: Neltner Refuge (3207m) – Toubkal Summit (4167m) – Neltner Refuge (3207m). Today we rise early to attempt Jebel Toubkal (4167m), the highest peak in North Africa. There is a choice of route which will be governed by the group’s energy, ability and the weather but whatever we climb we should be rewarded by superb views from the summit. On a clear day it is possible to see the outline of the Atlantic coast to the west and the sands of the Sahara Desert to the east. The climb of just over 950m to the top and back will take us about 7-8 hours round trip.

toubkalDay 8: After a final breakfast at the refuge we trek down to Imlil stopping half-way at the Sidi Chamarouch shrine for a mint-tea break. On arrival in Imlil we will have lunch and we’ll explore the village. Accommodation will be provided in Imlil.

sidi kaoukiDay 9: Transfer by car, from Imlil to Sidi Kaouki, a small berber village, located at about 18 km to Essaouira. This area is very popular for surfers being one of the best kept secrets of Morocco. Accommodation will be provided in a hotel/riad in Sidi Kaouki.

sidi kaoukiDay 10: After breakfast we’ll ride the camels along the coast (the prize of the day). After a nice picnic lunch on the beach, we’ll drive to the beautiful city of Essaouira. Accommodation will be provided in a nice comfortable hotel riad in Medina.

essaouiraDay 11: It is dedicated to the visits of the city. First of all, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Medina (the old town, surrounded by the walls of the fortification). After that we’ll still have enough time for exploring the local souk for buying some more souvenirs.

essaouiraDay 12: It’s a free day, without any established program. The decision will be all yours; you can spend it on the beach, or for exploring the city even more.

Day 13: Transfer to Marrakech (Menara International Airport) and returning to your home country.

 

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