Climb Mount Toubkal - Circular Route

Explore Marrakech and summit Mount Toubkal (4167m), the highest point in North Africa, via the lesser-visited circular route

From

Trip Ref #8405

Climb Mount Toubkal - Circular Route

Explore Marrakech and summit Mount Toubkal (4167m), the highest point in North Africa, via the lesser-visited circular route

DURATION

4 nights

LOCATION

Morocco

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

May—Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Marrakech Menara Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Classic

Traditional riad · Mountain hut

OVERALL RATING

4.8

Based on 75 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Challenging

Full days of scenic hiking, loose footing, altitude - you'll need a fairly good level of fitness for this one.

See the sunrise from the top of Mount Toubkal - the highest point in North Africa!

Hike through the Azzaden Valley alongside Berber guides and your very own mule train

Stay in a classic Marrakech riad and scenic mountain refuges built in incredible locations

Day 1

Explore Marrakech

Fly into the colourful city of Marrakech and head to your traditional riad in the historic medina. Spend the day exploring the souk and the unforgettable main square/ever-changing show that is the Jemaa el-Fnaa – a place that’s been beguiling and entertaining travellers for centuries. Finish the day with some amazing Moroccan food in a local restaurant.

Day 2

The foothills of the Atlas Mountains

Hiking

5hrs · 12km · 700m up · 200m down

Drive through the lovely Moroccan countryside and into the foothills of the Atlas mountains. Meet your guides at the Imlil trailhead and follow the less-trodden path through the ravishing Azzadene Valley to the Ighouliden waterfalls. After lunch in the middle of a juniper forest, continue to the Lipeney mountain refuge (3000m) where you’ll spend the night beneath a huge mountain sky filled with stars.

Day 3

The Aguelzim mountain pass

Hiking

6-7hrs · 17km · 1300m up · 350m down

After breakfast, climb the steep and challenging section out of the Azzadene Valley and over the Aguelzim Mountain pass (3560m.) After lunch with a spectacular view across the Atlas Mountain Range, spend the night at the Toubkal Refuge ready to summit North Africa's highest peak in the morning.

Day 4

Summit Mount Toubkal

Hiking

9-10hrs · 18km · 960m up · 2350m down

Leave in darkness and climb to the summit of Mt Toubkal (4167m) arriving in time for a beautiful sunrise over the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert. Rest up, bag some epic pics and begin the descent back to Imlil. If you’re struggling, hitch a ride with a donkey before making your way back to Marrakech in the early evening.

Day 5

Departure

Relax over a last Moroccan breakfast and if you have time, explore the city some more, before heading back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Included

Guides

Expert, English speaking Berber guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a mountain refuge and 2 nights in a Marrakech riad

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Porterage

Your very own mule train

Not Included

Tips for your guides

Travel insurance

Flights to and from the meeting point

Visas where required

Day 1

Traditional riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Traditional riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

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 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

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

On the trek

You'll stay in the Lipeney mountain refuge located at 3,000m, or just before it at Azib n Tamsoult. On The second night, you'll stay in the Neltner mountain refuge. Facilities are basic, with bunk-bed dorms, however, there is a fun, social area to relax in the evening and chat with other climbers from all around the world.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge for the nights in Marrakech, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability and they are very limited due to the layout of traditional riads).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Marrakech Airport (RAK)

Arrive any time on Day 1

Ends

Marrakech Airport (RAK)

Leave any time on Day 5

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 daily flights to Marrakech from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Sleeping bag

What's available to hire?

  • Warm jacket
  • Hiking boots or hiking shoes
  • Head torch
  • Day-pack
  • Water bottle

What do I need to bring?

  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Warm jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Warm hat and light gloves or mittens
  • Light-weight, breathable hiking shirts and trousers
  • Broken-in hiking boots or 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
  • Travel towel
  • For April departures, there is a chance that there will still be snow on the ground, so a set of thermals and an extra fleece/layer will come in handy. Warm gloves and socks will also be well used.

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

- Alicia(October 2022)

Fantastic trip. Our local guides were amazing and so so helpful. Can't fault them.

Accommodation in the refuges is basic (as expected). Expect cold showers, 7-25 people sleeping in a room and simple food. Each night there was bread, tagine of some sort and a western style pasta (spaghetti). If you have a sensitive stomach bring cereal bars etc to snack on. Kendal mint cake was a life saver for the nausea caused by altitude sickness! Bring earplugs and wet wipes! Our climb in October was pretty chilly with minus temperatures reached on summit day - don't skimp on the cold weather clothing! Painkillers and anti-altitude sickness tablets were a life saver.

The hike itself it totally doable if your generally active! The last day is the toughest but the guides will bend over backwards to help you get to the summit. Large groups make pacing a bit of a challenge.

If you're thinking of booking it - do it!

- Chris(October 2022)

Cannot recommend MBA and this trek highly enough. Great choice of local hosts and guides. Was well supported all the way through the trip, will definitely take mother trip with them in the future

- War(October 2022)

The trip was very organized, meals and accommodation are better than my expectations, guides paced us well during the hikes in order for all of us to reach the summit...

- Tanja(October 2022)

The trip was amazing. Very well organized with really good and healthy food. The guides were extremely nice and helpful and always looked out for us. I can highly recommend this trip to everybody who wants to climb a 4000m summit.

- Peter(October 2022)

Very well organised, easy transfers and communication. Fantastic trip from start to finish. High quality refuges for rest between long days. Good food, funny guides, great views, endless tea.

- Fiona(October 2022)

Fantastic experience, the guides are amazing, knowledgeable and strong as an ox (or a mule!) as they carried the bags for those who weren’t feeling great. They looked after us well and fed us regularly with yummy snacks. The scenery was stunning and it felt so good to reach the top. If you’re just going to climb the mountain I’d totally recommend either a day before or a day after to venture into Marrakesh to see the city too. It’s an experience! The Riads were beautiful, the mountain huts were much bigger than expected, but don’t expect luxuries like hot water or electricity, or high levels of cleanliness.

- David(October 2022)

Super trip! Three days of hiking between mountain refuges, led by local Berber guides who introduced us to the landscape and Berber culture. The walking got progressively harder, and we acclimatised to the altitude gradually. Summit day was a real tough slog through snow but the views from the top were sensational.

- Claire(October 2022)

This is an excellent trip and I would definitely recommend. The mountains were beautiful, the guides were experts and extremely helpful. If you can, extend your stay to experience more of Morocco. You definately need to be physically fit to do this trip and make sure you bring lots of warm layers for the last day if you are doing this in autumn or spring - coldest I have ever been!

- Elizabeth(October 2022)

Would definitely recommend - well organised, safe, with friendly knowledgable guides! Food was of a much higher standard than expected. Had a fantastic time!

- peter(October 2022)

My first trekking trip, thoroughly enjoyed it.

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 222kg 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.

Full days of scenic hiking, loose footing, altitude - you'll need a fairly good level of fitness for this one. The walking, however, is of a moderate difficulty and relatively straightforward and the views make the journey more than worthwhile!

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

In the summer months, Marrakech is very warm, with temperatures regularly exceeding 35°C. The temperature in the mountains is a lot cooler, averaging 10 - 15°C and dropping below 10°C at night.

View detailed weather for the area here on Mountain Forecast

Mules will carry your main overnight luggage during the trek and you will need to carry your daypack with your daytime essentials (extra layer, snacks, water etc.). For the welfare of the mules, please ensure your main overnight luggage is in a soft-sided bag and weighs no more than 15kg.

Absolutely! We recognise that you may want to leave some of the kit you bring to Morocco somewhere safe before you start your ascent of Toubkal. When you reach Imlil, you will be able to leave any non-essential items you don’t want to take up on the hike with you at your local guides base there.

Your host works with Muleteers who collaborate with local charity, Spana, (The Society for the Protection of Animals and Nature) on the AMI program (Aid to the Mules of Imlil). The charity provides training, guidance and incentives to mule owners to encourage and support good care for their animals in all aspects of their working lives. The program also provides a monthly clinic which offers free veterinary care to the animals and the distribution of humane tack.

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 150 - 200 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.

Ramadan will take place from 22nd March to 20th April 2023 and 10th March to 8th April 2024. The national holiday of Eid ul-Fitr will follow for 2-3 days. Ramadan is an Islamic festival where the religious do not eat or drink during daylight hours. While this is a really interesting time to travel, especially to witness celebrations where the fast is broken in the evenings, you can expect some business hours will be shortened, alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and some restaurants will be closed during this festival period. Activities for local people tend to be limited during the day and the nights are very active in cities with lots of different foods being sold and consumed. Ramadan will not affect the inclusions on your trip although you should be aware that dinners will be served after locals break their fast in the evenings.

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.

From

Full Financial Protection

Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

Similar Trips

From