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Climb Mount Toubkal: The Circular Route

Explore Marrakech and summit Mount Toubkal (4167m), the highest point in North Africa, via the lesser-trodden Circular Route

This trip is no longer on sale

Trip Ref #8405

Climb Mount Toubkal: The Circular Route

Explore Marrakech and summit Mount Toubkal (4167m), the highest point in North Africa, via the lesser-trodden Circular Route

DURATION
4 nights
LOCATION
Morocco
ANNUAL LEAVE
3 days off work
SEASON
May—Oct
GROUP SIZE
Up to 14 people
MEETING POINT
Marrakech Menara Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Riad · Mountain hut

OVERALL RATING

4.7

Based on 79 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

Climb Mount Toubkal

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 Azzaden 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 Azzaden 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

Climb 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

Panorama of Marrakesh and Old Medina

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

Riad · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

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?

Inside a riad in Marrakesh
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.

Climb Mount Toubkal
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 you choose to arrive on day 1 and depart on day 5, or if you have booked additional pre or post trip accommodation with your host.

If you are making your own arrangements to extend your stay in Morocco, private transfers between Marrakech airport and Marrakech city are not included but can be arranged with your host for an additional cost. Please see Optional Extras for details.

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 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
  • Electrolytes/rehydration solutions (especially if travelling during the summer)
  • Personal toiletries
  • Sanitary supplies (hand sanitiser, 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.
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

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

Private transfer between Marrakech Airport and Marrakech City (per vehicle)

Payable Before Departure

Private transfer between Marrakech Airport and Marrakech City (per vehicle)

Rachael

I went on the mount Toubkal trip in September when the earthquake hit. The company was very organised, friendly and efficient. Unfortunately we didn't get to summit due to it not being safe. The guide Mohamed and his team looked after us so well and I can't thank them enough. They still looked after us , cooked us every meal and gave us a place to stay when they didn't even know if their own family's were alive. Apart from the earthquakes the trip was great as we got to hike with beautiful scenery and had an amazing team. I will be there next year to summit! 🙌

Kieron

Fantastic trip, if your thinking about doing this trip then I could t recommend it enough. From when you land to when you finish is organised faultlessly. Hosts and guides are welcoming and work there socks flof to accommodate l. Food was lovely, there is also plenty of food is enough to have 3 plates full at each meal. The climb is high to the mountain but the route is gradual, IE alot of zig zagging to gain height. The last day is the toughest out of the 3 but well worth it. The accommodation on the mountain Had alot more facilities than I expected, shower and power for charging,

Aithne

Communication by MBA and the local tour guides was unparalleled. Our trek guide, Mohammed, was exceptional. 100% would recommend. Note that the last day of walking is a big day out so ensure to bring plenty of snacks and take lots of breaks to appreciate the views!

Nicky

This was a fabulous trip - amazing scenery and delicious food, and our guides Mohammed and Ahmed were professional and looked after us well. Do not under estimate the fitness and stamina that's needed for this trek though. Not only will you be walking at altitude, but the last day is long and hard going with a 12km hike after summiting to get back from the refuge to Imlil. Well worth it though!

Lewis

Brilliant trip , if you haven't climbed a mountain outside of the UK before MT Toubkal is a great challenge to start with , local guides are great and the Atlas mountains provides views that will take your breath away.

David

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.

Fiona

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.

Chris

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

Claire

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!

Alicia

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!

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

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 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. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

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 views make the effort more than worthwhile!

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Spring and autumn temperatures in Marrakech average 10 - 25 °C, and it rains a small amount roughly 7 days each month. From June to September it gets quite hot in the city, averaging 15 - 35 °C, and it only rains a few days each month. In the height of summer, daytime temperatures in Marrakech have been known to approach 45°C on occasions so please ensure that you come prepared with sun protection, light and airy clothing and electrolytes/rehydration solutions if travelling at this time of year.

In the Atlas Mountains from March to October daytime temperatures average 25 - 30°C but it cools off considerably at night, and the higher you go the colder it gets (you may even need gloves on a summit day in August!) Nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing at and above the mountain refuge. Afternoon storms are always possible, but they are usually quick and generally don’t prevent anyone from enjoying the trek.

View detailed weather for the climb 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 budgeting for a minimum of 300 Dirham per person, to be split and offered directly to the following individuals: Guides: MAD120 Cook: MAD40 Muleteer: MAD100 Drivers: MAD20 Riad staff: MAD20 (total)

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 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 for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

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 always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

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

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

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