Walking Holidays in Morocco - Morocco - History & Culture

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Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Guided walking holidays          

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Morocco is on the continent of Africa but its culture and religion is Middle Eastern and its future is seen as European, so a great country to visit, and relish in this diversity. Home to 36 million Moroccans in a country almost the size of France there is plenty of space, however a large percentage is uninhabitable desert or high  Hiking High Atlas Mountains, Moroccomountains. The cities including Marrakech are busy bustling places steeped in history with souks (markets), mosques, palaces and museums to explore. The countryside by contrast feels like it is standing still, with mules slowly walking along country roads or mountain tracks, with their burden of farmers’ crops or products for a distant market, as they have been doing for centuries.

The Guide and Walks 

You will be guided whilst in the mountains by a local licensed mountain guide. The guides all know the mountains well having been born and raised in the area. He will speak good English and will probably be fluent in French, Arabic and of course Berber. Your guide will be dedicated to you and therefore will have some flexibility to adapt the walks to your needs. He will be knowledgeable on local customs as well as flora and fauna. He may well pass his house and will often introduce you to his family and show you Berber hospitality. Packed lunch is provided on walking days, as is any local transport required. The walks can be tailored to your needs but will normally be 4-6 hours and 8-12 miles.

Extend your stay on the coast

Extend either of the two itineraries with a relaxing stay in the coastal town on Essaouira. We will take you from your last walking centre to Essaouira, 4 hours, and then return you at the end to the airport in Marrakech, 3 hours. Essaouira is an exotic town with its own magnificent beach as well as an old walled town with an ancient Medina. There is a fishing harbour which will guarantee that whichever restaurant you choose will have access to fresh fish. The Medina is smaller and more manageable than Marrakech so less daunting for shopping. We offer a choice of hotels both just outside the Medina and opposite the beach. Both hotels we arrange on a B&B basis so you have the choice to select one of the many restaurants in the town or along the beach. 

7 nights 

(for 9 nights see below)

Day 1 Arrive in Marrakech and we transfer you to your choice of hotel in Marrakech. Dinner provided.

Day 2 Day to explore this historic, fascinating city. Free to select a restaurant to have dinner (not included). Overnight Marrakech.

Day 3 Leave the bustle of the city as you will be transferred to the mountain village of Imlil (1 ½ hours) right in the centre of the High Atlas at just over 1700m. Either spend the morning in Marrakech first or set off earlier for Imlil where you will have time to visit the village (known as Morocco’s Chamonix) and explore the surrounding area and enjoy the fantastic setting. Dinner and overnight Imlil.

Day 4 Today you will meet your guide and take your first walk into the mountains. You will walk up the Tamatert Valley and through Berber villages to reach Sidi Chamharouch, a Berber village set beside a beautiful waterfall and small stream, with its ‘pise’ homes built chaotically one into another. This village is a place of pilgrimage for devout Muslims and is where there is a Marabout shrine, forbidden to non-Muslims, said to be a relic of a pre-islamist religious and naturalist cult. After a picnic lunch in full view of Jebel Toubkal, at 4167m the highest peak in North Africa, you return slowly back down the other side of
the valley to Imlil. Dinner and overnight Imlil.

Day 5 You set out today through fields of wheat and walnut, apple and cherry orchards until you reach the village of Tamatert (1810m). Once through the village you shall take a path which then leads up though pine and juniper woods to a stop at the Tizi to admire the panoramic view of the Imlil Valley. Then continue south under the watchful eye of the Jebel Aksoual (3842m). Stop for a field picnic on the Tidli plateau and then
continue south to the village of Aremd (1843m), a rather singular village in the Assif Ait Mizane valley, seemingly built house upon house on a large moraine spur, overlooking ancient irrigated terraced fields of barley, corn and vegetables, surrounded by almond and walnut trees. Then turn North and cross the Imlil Valley towards Tamatert and your hotel. Dinner and overnight Imlil.

Day 6 Transfer (1 hour) to your second walking centre at Ouirgane and after leaving your bags at your new hotel set off on a guided walk through fields of corn and flowers. You follow alongside a river’s course up and down small hills dotted with red juniper, passing by isolated Berber hamlets until we reach the salt mines at Marigha. Here the Berber peoples have been mining salt by their traditional method, unchanged for centuries. From here enter the immense Tassa Ouirgane Valley through more fields and orchards of apple, peach, cherry and apricot and near the vast forest of Takherkhourte until you reach your picnic spot at the village of Tassa. After lunch set off down the slopes to ford the river and take the small path on the other side of the Valley through stands of juniper and tall fir trees to the foothills of the Adrar Takherkhourte (2309m) and on now towards the northwest through orchards of peach, plum and pomegranate and vineyards to go through the villages of Tourourd and El Khémis and onto your hotel. Dinner and overnight Ouirgane.

Day 7 You set off south along mule tracks near a salty stream down to Imareghan Noufla with its age-old stone oil presses still working in its traditional way. Walking through scattered fields of maize, wild flowers and olive trees you will see occasional Berber hamlets. You will then be surrounded by the mountains and come to centuries old salt mines. These are cavernous well from which the locals draw water into large salt flats to evaporate out the water. On leaving the mine, you follow a donkey track, crossing the dirt road from time to time, to reach the village of Tinzert. You walk upwards through the narrow village streets to a rocky and steep donkey track leading up to an extensive plateau, the Terabzeg plateau, of stony fields. Beyond the fields, the path continues through a small juniper forest in the centre of which is a small national park house and then descends, slowly at first, until ahead you see the Imlil valley, with the village of Tamarsits immediately ahead and Tamzouart below.  Continue across an arid landscape before dropping steeply into the village to meet your transfer back to Ouirgane.

Day 8 Transfer (1 ¼ hours) to the airport for your flight home.

9 nights

Day 1 - 2 as above

Day 3 In the morning we transfer you to Ourika (1 hour) a tranquil valley amongst the mountains. You will leave your bags at the hotel and set off on your first walk. First descend then climb gently to the Oaouzart Pass. There will be ample opportunity for you to stop and capture lasting memories of these spectacularly unique surroundings. Continuing through a red Juniper and Oak forested area, from the plateau you have panoramic views and this is where you shall rest for a while to enjoy your field picnic. Onward you are now descending toward a river and cultivated wheat fields, passing an old salt mine on route. Dinner and overnight Ourika.

Day 4 After crossing the Ourika River you ascend through apple and olive orchards to the village of Tafza. Now the climb is in the shade of the Pine Forest until you reach the sunny Amassine Pass. Then a tranquil walk to the village of Lkhmasse where you will picnic with panoramic views over the Oukaimden plateau. Continue on your walk with picturesque views over the traditional Berber villages clinging to the hillsides, witnessing inhabitants going about their daily chores. Finally you descend across the Ourika Valley for a second time to return to your hotel mid afternoon. Dinner and overnight Ourika.

Day 5 Today you will be transferred deeper into the mountains, to Imlil (1 hour) right in the centre of the High Atlas at just over 1700m. You will have time to visit the village (known as Morocco’s Chamonix) and explore the surrounding area and enjoy the fantastic setting. Dinner and overnight Imlil.

Day 6 - 10 as 4 – 8 above.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Standard Graded Hotels

Here are details of the standard graded hotels in Marrakech, in the walking areas and in Essaouira.

Dinner is included every night except Marrakech on your second night and Essaouira.


Higher graded hotels

Here are details of the higher graded hotels in Marrakech, in the walking areas and in Essaouira.

Dinner is included every night except Marrakesh on your second night and Essaouira.


Availability Information

Our multi-centred walking holidays in Morocco are available all year. However July and August can be excessively hot in Marrakech (40C) and though cooler in the mountains it could still be over 30C. In January and February there is a possibility of snow on high ground, but our walks, if affected, can be amended to stay at lower altitudes. The best time is spring and autumn.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit.

When to book your walking holiday in Morocco - Morocco - History & Culture

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