Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Toubkal and Sleep in the Sahara

Trek across the beautiful Atlas Mountains to North Africa's highest peak (4167m) and sleep in the desert

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Trip Ref #10148

Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Toubkal and Sleep in the Sahara

Trek across the beautiful Atlas Mountains to North Africa's highest peak (4167m) and sleep in the desert

DURATION

6 nights

LOCATION

Morocco

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

April—Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Marrakech Menara Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Traditional riad · Mountain hut · Hotel · Campsite

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

No technical experience required, but a very good level of physical condition and fitness is needed.

Experience the best of Morocco - from the highest point in North Africa, to the wild scenery of the northern Sahara

Climb to the summit of Mount Toubkal and be rewarded with the sunrise of a lifetime

Take a road trip to the desert and trek by camel to a Berber village to sleep surrounded by rolling sand dunes

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Douglas, October 2022

    This trip is such a good time, so well organised and run, and you'll be glad you went. I am.

    Pedro, October 2022

    Overall a very good trip, the trek was slightly more demanding than expected but a welcomed challenge . Accomodations were excellent, only the Riad in Marrakech was below par! The group that went made the trip an unforgettable experience. If you want to get out of your comfort zone in every way I suggest you go for it.

    Ellie, October 2022

    The trip to Morocco was superb. The group was full of interesting people who were a pleasure to be with. Our guide Ibrahim was brilliant, and the experiences were far better than I had expected. It was so much more than a holiday and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Much Better Adventures. I will definitely book another trip soon.

    Matt, October 2022

    Awesome trip, really well organised with great guides. A lot of experiences packed into a short time. Blessed with a great group and good weather, so was easy to throw yourself into it and enjoy soaking it all in. Would recommend!

    Aidan, October 2022

    Fantastic week and seen many different sides of Morocco. Our local guide was great and the group got on really well!

    Karlis, October 2022

    Didnt get to climb mount Toubkal because of bad weather but overall it was nice trip

    Matt, September 2022

    I had a great 6 days. I am 60 so was worried if my body would cope but the guides were so experienced that they kept the group (av age 30) going and all got to the summit and down safely. The refuge hut was basic (no drying our wet clothes) and most of us had headaches in the altitude, but I think it was a good experience should we wish to climb higher. The local communities were both polite and helpful and the guides gave us every confidence. In fact, our guide - Ibrahim - was a natural leader and inspired confidence throughout the trip. He knew all the areas through the mountains to stop, handling any potentially awkward situations with sensitivity. The Sahara extension was the icing on the cake. I had a smile on my face from beginning to end. Absolutely 5 star for me and will be back next year.

    Mihaela, September 2022

    This was the best trip I ever had. Very well organised, the guides very experienced and keen to share their culture and experience! I would recommend this trip to anyone that is up to adventure and good time!

    Andrew, October 2022

    The three of us had a fantastic trip, we are all around 56 old and made it up the mountain, we had really clear views, but the groups either side did not, so can be hit or mis. We also has the first snow of the season in early October so made it a bit more challenging coming back down. All of the accommodation was great, refuge was better than I was expecting, but very cold. Desert trip is great and was not expecting the glamping. It did feel a little rushed as a lot of time spent in the minibus. But overall good value for money trip.

    Julia, September 2022

    Was a wonderful trip, enjoyed every minute of it. Ibrahim was a super guide who knows what he is doing and knows the area really well. Our group got along from the beginning. The climb is challenging but doable. The rest of the trip was a bliss, they took care of everything. Would 100% recommend this trip!

    Included

    Guides

    Local, professional, English-speaking guide

    Accommodation

    2 nights in a riad, 1 night in a mountain refuge, 2 nights in hotels and 1 night in a Berber camp

    Meals

    All meals in the mountains and breakfast and dinners in the desert

    Transfers

    To and from the airport and everything in-between

    Porterage

    Mules and muleteers to carry your overnight luggage during your climb

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Tips for your guides

    Some meals as described

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Marrakech Menara Airport

    Arrive anytime on Day 1

    Ends

    Marrakech Menara Airport

    Depart anytime on Day 7

    Transfers

    Private transfers between the airport and your Riad are included for any time (and day) you choose to arrive or depart.

    Travel options

    There are regular flights to Marrakech from airports across the UK and Europe.

    Day 1

    Traditional riad · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 5

    Campsite · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 6

    Traditional riad · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 7

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Moroccan food is a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours. Local specialities include tajines (a stew cooked in an earthenware pot), couscous, and pastilles (flaky pastries stuffed with meat and dusted with cinnamon and sugar). Food is often spiced with cumin, turmeric and ginger.

    Meals on the trek are fresh, healthy and cooked by your Berber muleteers. Breakfast will usually feature bread, jam, cookies, fruit, juice, coffee and milk, while lunch will feature salad, tomatoes, carrots, lentils, beans, rice or pasta, fish (sardines, tuna) and seasonal fruit. Dinner meanwhile, will usually include soup, a classic Moroccan tajine, couscous, olives, nuts and fruit.

    Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Marrakech

    In Marrakech, you'll stay in a beautiful riad - traditional Moroccan houses with an interior garden or courtyard. The exact riad you stay in will be confirmed nearer the time based on availability and group size. All are chosen for their excellent reputation, location, beautiful decor and welcoming service.

    The Atlas Mountains

    You'll stay in a mixed dorm in a mountain refuge en-route to the top of Mount Toubkal. Facilities are basic, however, there is a fun, social area where you can meet other climbers from all around the world.

    Imlil and the Dades Valley

    You'll stay in a twin room in small but comfortable hotels with unique decor and ensuite bathrooms.

    The Sahara

    You'll stay in a traditional Berber camp in the desert in permanent, carpeted tents with full beds, or, if you prefer, blankets for sleeping under the stars.

    Upgrades

    For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and single tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability). This is only available for the nights in Imlil, Dades and in the Berber camp, not for the night spent on the mountain.

    Day 1

    Check out the sights and smells of Marrakech

    Your host will meet you at the airport and take you to your traditional riad accommodation in Marrakech’s historic medina. You'll then get the chance to spend the day exploring the city’s colourful souks, wander the UNESCO-listed main square and indulge in some amazing Moroccan food.

    Day 2

    Hike to the Toubkal Refuge

    Hiking

    5-6hrs · 10km · 1540m up · 130m down

    Wake up early and drive through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains to Imlil, where you'll meet your support crew and start your trek. Ascend the dramatic Mizane Valley, passing Berber farming villages and stop for lunch on the trail. In the afternoon you’ll arrive at the refuge where you can settle in, meet other hikers and refuel with a well-earned dinner cooked by your support crew. Sleep well before your summit attempt tomorrow.

    Day 3

    Summit Mount Toubkal

    Hiking

    10hrs · 17km · 1130m up · 2530m down

    Wake while it’s still dark and begin your ascent. Reach the final ridge and finish the climb to the top (4167m) in time to watch the sunrise over the mountains and the distant Sahara. Rest up and then begin the descent back to Imlil where you’ll sleep soundly in a comfortable hotel.

    Day 4

    Road trip to the Dades Valley

    Driving

    6-7hrs

    Take a scenic drive over the Atlas Mountains and descend toward the unworldly landscape of the Sahara Desert, passing Kasbahs (fortified homes) and oases. You'll also have the option to stop at the Ouarzazate Film Studios and Ait Benhaddou, famous as the filming location for movies and TV shows including Gladiator and Game of Thrones. Arrive in the Dades Valley and take a hike to explore it or just relax back at your hotel.

    Day 5

    Road trip to Todra Gorge and camel trek to the Berber camp

    Driving

    6hrs

    Drive through Todra Gorge, an impressive canyon with sheer, 160m cliff walls and then take a short hike to a date palm oasis. Rendevous with your camels in Merzouga, gear up and ride into the desert. Arrive at a traditional Berber camp surrounded by dramatic dunes and enjoy dinner around the fire before sleeping under the stars or in a comfortable, carpeted Berber tent.

    Day 6

    Sunrise camel trek and road trip back to Marrakech

    Driving

    10hrs

    Wake early and enjoy a sunrise camel trek back to Merzouga. Eat breakfast, shower off the desert and then drive back to Marrakech, stopping along the way for photos, exploration and food. You’ll arrive at your riad in the early evening in time to find a restaurant for couscous or a tasty tajine before collapsing into bed.

    Day 7

    Time to go home. What a week.

    Relax over your last Moroccan breakfast, explore the town some more if you have time, then transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What's provided?

    • Sleeping bag (you can bring your own if you'd rather)

    What do I need to bring?

    • Warm jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Warm hat and light gloves or mittens
    • Light-weight, breathable hiking shirts and trousers
    • Broken-in hiking boots of hiking shoes
    • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sun block)
    • First aid kit
    • Personal toiletries
    • Sanitary supplies (toilet paper, wet wipes, and ziplock baggies to carry stuff out)
    • Head torch
    • Day-pack
    • Water bottle
    • Towel
    • Sleeping bag liner

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

    Payable Before Departure

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

    Per Night

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

    Payable Before Departure

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

    Per Night

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 419kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    No technical climbing experience is needed, however, the elevation, loose footing and time involved in climbing Mount Toubkal means a moderate to high level of fitness is required. The camel trek, though potentially a little uncomfortable, is easy for most travelers.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    From April to October, daytime temperatures in the Atlas Mountains are typically warm (25 - 30°C) but cool off considerably at night, and the higher you go, the cooler it gets. In the winter, daytime temperatures are still warm (10 - 20°C), but nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. Afternoon storms are always possible, but the amounts are small and generally don’t prevent anyone from enjoying the trek.

    View detailed weather for the climb here on Mountain Forecast

    The desert is considerably hotter than the mountains, though nighttime temperatures drop significantly and can even approach freezing in the winter.

    If you have extra luggage and would like to leave it in Marrakech your host will look after it for you.

    We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

    For current advice about travelling in Morocco, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

    Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however we suggest a minimum of 200 - 250 Dirham per person.

    Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    There is a lot of distance to cover on this trip, Morocco is a big country! The driving times listed include stops for sightseeing and eating however so most find it pretty easy going and a nice time to relax having climbed a mountain in the first part of the trip.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

    You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

    Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

    Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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