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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

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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

4 nights
3 days off work
Up to 14 people
Marrakech Menara Airport

Riad · Mountain hut



Based on 79 reviews

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


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


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


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


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.



Expert, English speaking Berber guides


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


Munch on tasty food throughout


To and from the airport and everything in-between


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




Day 2 – Day 3

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm




Day 4

Riad · Twin share




Day 5

Departure day




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?


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.


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




Marrakech Airport (RAK)

Arrive any time on Day 1


Marrakech Airport (RAK)

Leave any time on Day 5


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(September 2023)

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(May 2023)

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(May 2023)

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(May 2023)

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!

- 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.

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 2023 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 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 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 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 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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