Morocco is a unique destination, with fascinating people, wild mountains and a dozen summits over 4,000m high. Enjoy walking through the remote and peaceful Atlas Mountains, with the support of an experienced Mont Blanc Treks UIMLA guide and a hand-picked local guiding team.
Your walking holiday of the Atlas Mountains will take you along cascading streams and dazzling waterfalls, into remote Berber villages, where you can stay in traditional gite homes. The route we’ve chosen for your Atlas mountains trek is spectacular, with dramatic stark crags and rocky trails, contrasting with terraced village gardens and ruined Kasbahs.
Trekking the High Atlas Mountains - Itinerary
Our guided walking tour consists of 9 nights in Morocco, with 7 days trekking in the Atlas mountains. Your adventure begins with taking in the marvels of Marrakesh. There is so much to offer in this city, from quiet courtyards and serene gardens, to the bustling medina and souks.
After your first day of exploring, we begin hiking in Oukaimden at 2,600m, one of the few places in Morocco where skiing is possible in the winter.
Each day offers new surprises, fabulous views and different terrain. We start with an easy ascent and each day you will be walking for 5 to 6 hours.
Although Mount Toukbal is the highest peak in North Africa at 4167m, it’s surprisingly accessible and (weather permitting), we will make this ascent towards the end of our trek in the Atlas mountains, where the views are simply out of this world.
You will also have the chance to reach the fabulous Ouanoukrim summit (4083m) a slightly lower summit than the neighbouring Jebel Toukbal but a much wilder route, and a road much less travelled than its counterpart. Upon arriving on top of Ras Ouanoukrim, you will marvel at the amazing views across rolling hills to the south and the high peaks to the North, East and West.
Before returning to Marrakesh, you will also have time to explore the Berber mountain town of Imlil, less hot and less hectic than Marrakesh! It's a great place to wander and enjoy the warm Berber hospitality.
Trekking in the High Atlas Mountains - Trek Difficulty
Whilst the trails along the route are not technically difficult, there is enough elevation gain and loss each day, to make this a strenuous and demanding challenge. We have graded this trek a grade 8.
We have built-in two ascents to summits over 4,000m (although the ascent of Ouanoukrim. Is optional) and daily elevations range from just 300m to 1,310m (4,300 feet) and descents from 353m to 1,407m (4,616 feet).
Trekking the High Atlas Mountains - Fitness Levels
A grade 8 trek with us needs a high level of fitness. You need to have mountain walking experience and must be used to exercising regularly. Practice hill walking as often as you can, so that you are used to sustained ascent and descent and take a backpack out with you each time you go out on a hike.
Trekking the High Atlas Mountains - Luggage Transfers
Morocco is more rustic than some of our treks - such as walking from Chamonix to Zermatt or hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, where you can enjoy French cuisine and fine wines in refuges along your route! Your baggage can’t be carried for you by our luggage van, but the local guides we have picked to accompany us use mules to carry all of your essentials, so that you can enjoy travelling light.
Trekking the High Atlas Mountains - Food
We know how important nutrition is to walking in high mountains - and how much enjoyment we get from tucking into hearty, wholesome food at the end of a long day trekking in the mountains! And as there simply aren’t the fabulous local eateries you find dotted along the European routes, such as the Dolomites, you will have a local chef cooking up tasty local dishes for you as you trek through the High Atlas Mountains.
Meals as you hike through the Atlas mountains are fresh, healthy and distinctly Moroccan - often prepared by your Berber cook. For breakfast, expect bread and jam/butter, cookies, fruit, juice, coffee and milk. Enjoy Moroccan salads and lunchtime, full of nutrition, such as tomatoes, carrots, lentils or beans, rice or pasta, sardines or tuna, and fruit. And at dinner after a day's trekking you will certainly enjoy the freshly cooked soups, tajines, couscous, olives, nuts and fruit.
Dietary requirements can be catered for, but let us know in advance and we can advise you what’s possible.
Hiking the Atlas Mountains - Accommodation
Morocco’s accommodation offers experiences as rich and diverse as the landscape itself. Be ready to experience Moroccan life as whatever the type of accommodation, it’s all locally owned and run as with all of our treks worldwide. Accommodation is basic on the mountains, but always friendly and safe, with hand picked Riads to spoil your senses at the beginning and end of your trip.
Riads are classic Moroccan houses that aren’t usually obvious from the street, but inside you’ll find magic, and there is nowhere better to stay in a Riad than Marrakech.
Once we are into the mountains we will stay in traditional Berber-style Gites. They’re basic but half of their charm comes from their simplicity. Low ceilings, traditional Berber artwork and locally made furniture all add to the rustic mountain beauty. Despite their simplicity, you’ll have all the essentials (like electricity!) and bathroom facilities which are usually shared.
We enjoy hiking in the Atlas mountains so much, we simply had to team up with local experts to work on this fantastic trek for you to enjoy too. We think we’ve taken the very best the High Atlas mountains have to offer, and you can be sure that we have twinned a fabulous walking route with the customer service and guiding you have come to expect from Mont Blanc treks. You’re in safe hands and we can’t wait to walk this with you in 2023!