Climb Mt. Toubkal and Explore the Sahara

Climb the highest peak in North Africa then head to the Sahara for an overnight camel trek to a Berber camp. 3 days off work.

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Climb Mt. Toubkal and Explore the Sahara

Climb the highest peak in North Africa then head to the Sahara for an overnight camel trek to a Berber camp. 3 days off work.

  • Morocco
  • March—November
  • Menara Airport, Marrakech (RAK)

Experience the best of Morocco from the highest point in North Africa to the wild scenery of the northern Sahara Desert. Climb Mt. Toubkal (4165m) on a 2-day trek through the rugged and beautiful Atlas Mountains. The adventure continues with a road trip to the Sahara and a camel trek to a traditional Berber camp. This trip starts and finishes in Marrakech, so save some time to explore the city too! Your hassle-free trip includes:

  • 2 days of climbing Mt. Toubkal
  • 3 days of desert adventuring
  • 4 nights of accommodation (1 mountain refuge, 2 hotels, 1 Berber camp)
  • Local, professional, English-speaking guides
  • Cook, mules and muleteers for the Mt. Toubkal trek
  • Full board on the Mt. Toubkal trek
  • Breakfast and dinners on the desert adventure
  • Round-trip camel ride into the Sahara
  • Private 4x4 or minibus transportation between locations

Perfect for:
Very active travellers who want to experience the range of landscapes Morocco has to offer and enjoy the challenge of climbing a high peak. Very good physical condition and fitness is needed, especially in winter, though no technical skill required.

What to Expect

Friday: Hike to Toubkal Refuge

You’ll be picked up at Marrakech Airport for a scenic 1.5-hour drive south to Imlil, the start of your Toubkal trek. In Imlil you’ll meet the team taking you up the mountain and rent any gear you might be lacking.

The first part of the walk takes you up the dramatic Mizane Valley, along terraced croplands and past pre-Islamic shrines. Your final destination, Toubkal itself, looms over the valley providing the inspiration you need to keep trekking.

The trail then ascends into rocky and rugged terrain until you reach the Toubkal Refuge at the snowline (3206 m). Enjoy a hot Moroccan dinner and rest up for tomorrow’s hike to the summit.

5 hours walking

Saturday: Summit Toubkal and return to Imlil

Awaken early and begin the climb to Mt. Toubkal’s summit (4165m). The trail ascends through scree and boulder fields to the ridge, then traverses to the peak’s awesome summit.

Enjoy stunning views of mountains and desert in every direction, then descend back to the refuge for a well-deserved lunch.

After resting, continue down the mountain all the way back to Imlil where you’ll sleep soundly in a comfortable hotel.

9 hours walking

Sunday: Road trip to the Dades Valley

Today is a driving day with plenty to see and explore along the way.

Begin with a scenic drive over the Atlas Mountains, then descend toward the Sahara Desert. Kasbahs (fortified homes) and oases dot the otherworldly landscape.

You have the option of stopping at the Ouarzazate Film Studios and Ait Benhaddou, famous as a filming location for movies and TV shows like Gladiator and A Game of Thrones.

The road trip ends in the Dades Valley. Hike around to explore the area or relax at your hotel.

Monday: Road trip the Todra Gorge and camel trek to a Berber camp

Begin the day with a drive through Todra Gorge, an impressive canyon with sheer 160m cliff walls. Take a short hike to a date palm oasis, then continue the drive to Merzouga.

In Merzouga you’ll meet your camels and gear up for a night in the desert. The 1.5-hour sunset camel trek will take you though the dunes to a traditional Berber camp.

Enjoy dinner around the fire, and sleep under the stars or in a comfortable carpeted Berber tent.

Tuesday: Sunrise camel trek and road trip to Marrakech

Wake up early to enjoy a sunrise camel trek back to Merzouga. There you’ll eat breakfast and have the chance to shower off the desert sand.

The rest of the day will be spent driving back to Marrakech, stopping along the way for photos, explorations and food.

You’ll arrive back in Marrakech in the evening around 17:00 or 18:00.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

For the trek you will be staying in a mountain refuge. The accommodations are basic, shared, bunk bed dorms with a social area to relax in the evening and chat with other climbers from around the world.

The hotels in Imlil and the Dades Valley are small and comfortable, providing private rooms with unique decor and ensuite bathrooms.

The Berber camp provides permanent carpeted tents with full beds, or, if you prefer, blankets for sleeping under the stars.

Dates & Prices

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Kit hire Payable Before Departure
Stoves £2.00 Per Person, Per Night
Backpack £3.00 Per Person, Per Night
Walking poles £3.00 Per Person, Per Night
Rain jacket £3.00 Per Person, Per Night
Sleeping bag £2.50 Per Person, Per Night
Walking boots £5.00 Per Person, Per Night
Pre/Post trip accommodation Payable Before Departure
Pre/Post trip accommodation £40.00 Per Person, Per Night

Trip Photos

Location

View map

Located 1.5 hours due south of Marrakech, Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa and the crowning gem of the Atlas Mountains. The surrounding terrain is dramatic, rugged, and very scenic. Snow often remains on the high peaks year round, providing a stark contrast to the surrounding desert. The valleys leading up to the peak are lush and green with agricultural fields and terraces fed by fresh snowmelt. If you’re lucky you may see a herd of Barbary sheep, or spot a Lammergeier or Booted Eagle soaring overhead!

The Dades Valley is a dramatic series of gorges in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains before the start of the desert. The fortified kasbahs that dot the landscape make it especially scenic. One of the gorges, the Todra Gorge, is particularly dramatic, narrowing to a mere 10m wide and flanked by sheer 160m tall cliff walls.

The final destination, Merzouga, is a small village 50km from the Algerian border at the edge of the dune sea Erg Chebbi. The dunes here are majestic and seemingly endless, and you’ll be grateful to have a camel helping you cross them to your remote camp.

Start point?
If you’re arriving the day the trip starts, your guide will meet you at the Marrakech Airport. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land at 10:05 or earlier.

If you’re arriving before and are staying in Marrakech, your guide will pick you up at your hotel. Your host will be in touch before the start of the trip to confirm details.

Finish point?
If you’re leaving straight after the trip, your guide will drop you off at the Marrakech Airport in the evening. You are free to get any flight that departs after 20:00.

If you’re staying longer in Marrakech you’ll be dropped off at your hotel. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) is served by regular, inexpensive flights, including early-morning non-stop flights from London on Ryanair and Easyjet. You can get any flights that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the tour price:

  • Flights to/from Marrakech
  • Lunches during the desert adventure
  • Travel insurance that covers mountain climbing
  • Accommodations in Marrakech before or after the trip
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for your guides (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 12. Please note, if there are not 4 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Our Epic Weekends are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

Meals are prepared by a Berber cook. The food is fresh and healthy, and dinners are distinctly Moroccan.

  • Example breakfast: Bread and jam or butter, cookies, fruit, juice, coffee and milk.
  • Example lunch (trek only): Salad, tomatoes, carrots, lentils or beans, rice or pasta, sardines or tuna, and fruit.
  • Example dinner: Soup, tajine, couscous, olives, nuts and fruit.

Absolutely! Just let us know at booking.

The Mt. Toubkal trek requires a moderate to high level of fitness. While the trails are uncomplicated, the elevation, loose footing and long days can be tiring. No technical climbing experience is needed. The camel trek, though a little uncomfortable, is easy for most travelers.

From April to October, daytime temperatures in the Atlas Mountains are typically warm (25 - 30°C) but it cools off considerably at night. 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.

For a more detailed look at the weather in the Atlas Mountains have a look here:
 https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Toubkal/forecasts/4167

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

In winter the mountains get quite cold and snowy, but your guides can provide you with ice axes and crampons, so this trip is available year round. In fact, snow on the high peaks just makes the scenery that much more beautiful!

All dining utensils for the trek are included. Beds in the mountain refuge are provided, or, if you opt to camp instead, tents are provided.

Here’s what your host recommends you pack:

  • 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 out)
  • Head torch *
  • Day-pack *
  • Water bottle *
  • Towel
  • Sleeping Bag *

Items marked with an asterisk can be hired locally in Imlil at the start of your trek

Start point?
If you’re arriving the day the trip starts, your guide will meet you at the Marrakech Airport. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land at 10:05 or earlier.

If you’re arriving before and are staying in Marrakech, your guide will pick you up at your hotel. Your host will be in touch before the start of the trip to confirm details.

Finish point?
If you’re leaving straight after the trip, your guide will drop you off at the Marrakech Airport in the evening. You are free to get any flight that departs after 20:00.

If you’re staying longer in Marrakech you’ll be dropped off at your hotel. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) is served by regular, inexpensive flights, including early-morning non-stop flights from London on Ryanair and Easyjet. You can get any flights that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

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