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WALKING IN THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS

from £879
Hiking in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains, see castles made of sand in Ait Benhaddou, and explore the unique and colourful city of Marrakech.

Guided Walking Holidays -Walking in the High Atlas Mountains

This is the perfect introduction not only to the High Atlas Mountains, but Morocco. The way Ramblers Walking Holidays see it, if you’re going to come to Morocco for the walking, you might as well start with the best. On this tour you will gain and insight into the eclectic and buzzing city of Marrakech along with some stunning walking through the High Atlas Mountains area. For three nights you’ll be based in the picturesque and remote village of Tighza, where your walks will begin and end.

The trip pace is relaxed, allowing you to enjoy the incredible views when your boots are pounding the trail, learn about the Berber way of life, and chance to scratch below the surface of Marrakech. For a very Moroccan experience, you’ll visit a hammam in Tighza, an experience which is dying out in the cities but one which has deep rooted customs in the Moroccan way of life.

There are five days of walking, four of these being in the High Atlas Mountains, at a maximum altitude of 2900m and an average altitude of 1900m. We have chosen each walk, so you see a different side of the areas surrounding Tighza. Each trail follows a well-worn path however, you will find yourself ascending and descending along largely undeveloped trails with rocky ground with loose scree. Your Riad in the mountains is simple and basic but views and the friendly welcoming will more than make up for it. This is after all the real Morocco.

Finish your tour back in Marrakech with a half day guided tour of the city including the medina, Bahia Palace, dye pits and more. Marrakech is a melting pot of interesting people, snake charmers, fresh juice and colourful spices, plus if you’re after a carpet then you’ve come to the right place too. There is nothing that reflects the concept of travel more than an evening visit to Djemaa-el Fna, a drink and view to watch it all unfold.

Please note that Morocco can get very hot during the summer months and whilst our departures are outside of these months, it pays to pack accordingly if you struggle with the heat.

Please note Ramadan runs from 5th May - 4th June 2019 and 23rd April to 23rd May 2020. During the month of Ramadan, our local staff (including guides) choose to work through this period although their energy levels may be a bit lower than usual. It is also noted that some restaurants may be closed. Our Ramblers Walking Holidays leader will not be adhering to Ramadan. This is a unique time to visit Morocco and interesting to watch as the sunsets and Muslims break their fast.

Come experience the majesty of the walking trails in the High Atlas Mountains, Berber culture and the rush of Marrakech and her main square at night.


Holiday Highlights

  • Walk in the High Atlas Mountains and enjoy the surrounding dramatic scenery
  • Stay in a traditional Moroccan village; remote and picturesque Tighza
  • Discover Berber traditions and culture with a local guide
  • Join a half day guided tour of Marrakech medina, the dye pits and surrounding area
  • Admire the many mosques and palaces
  • Visit a local Hammam (bring your swim suit)
  • Explore bustling Djemaa-el-Fna during when it comes alive
  • Enjoy traditional Moroccan cuisine
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Marrakech (British Airways or Easyjet)
      Airport transfers
      Accommodation
      7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 7 dinners
      Knowledgeable English-speaking local guide
      Ramblers tour leader
      All local travel and transfers
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 6

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival into Marrakech airport, you’ll meet your driver and transfer to the hotel in Marrakech. You will have a welcome meeting with your Moroccan tour guide and Ramblers tour leader at approximately 18:00. Following this, you enjoy dinner followed by a visit to the main square of Marrakech, Djemaa-el Fna, to soak up the smells, sights and sounds of this bustling city.

    Accommodation: Hotel Almas or similar 

    Meals: Welcome dinner

  2. Day 2

    Today you enter the High Atlas Mountains, a scenic road which meanders a switch-back rising sharply to Tizi'n'Tichka which, at 2260m, is the highest road pass in Morocco, before dropping sharply into the gorge and valley on the other side.

    Our stop for the night is Ait Benhaddou, located in the foothills on the southern slopes of the High Atlas in the Province of Ouarzazate. This is the most famous Kasbar in the Ounila Valley, and possibly all of Morocco. It is mainly a group of dwellings and is a wonderful example of southern Moroccan architecture. The area is well preserved, and you’ll enjoy the chance to explore the kasbah together and the magnificent views from the top. Your hotel tonight in 2 minutes’ drive from Ait Benhaddou.

    Accommodation: Hotel Ksar El Janoub

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

  3. Day 3

    Leaving Ait Benhaoou behind, you travel approximately 45 minutes, crossing Ounila Valley and Gliz, where you stop and begin your walk past local villages to Tighza and Riad Bouchahoud. This is your base for the next three nights. Views from the riad are stunning and the terrace is the perfect place to watch the setting sun. This walk is three hours and you can decide whether you want to join the afternoon hike or not, but first lunch.

    With a quick turnaround, you head out on the afternoon hike around the back of Mt n'Oughlagal (2600m) where fantastic views of the valley pave your way. It is worth noting that there is some scrambling involved on this walk, plus a steep sandy section which can be challenging during inclement weather. You’ll return to the riad in the late afternoon for dinner and perhaps the chance to watch the sunset over Tighza valley.

    Distance: 11 km / 6.8 miles

    Altitude gain: 900 meters

    Altitude loss: 900 meters

    Duration: 3 hours to riad / 3-4 hours afternoon walk

    Accommodation: Riad Bouchahoud or similar

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner  

  4. Day 4

    Today you enjoy a moderate six-hour trail which loops through the Tizi’n’Ourghsan and continues down the Ouarikt River before returning to Tighza village. The scenery changes on this walk beginning in the terraced fields of Ouarikt, before walking up through pastureland to reach the Col and views over the Ouarikt Gorge. We take our lunch close by to a waterfall before following the river back to the village where you have free time upon arrival.

    In the evening, you have an included visit to a local hammam, sadly an aspect of everyday Moroccan life which is disappearing in the cities. It is a relaxing and unique experience, especially given your location, and a chance to meet and mix with the locals. A tip of 25MD is typically recommended, and you will need to buy soap and a scrubber (20MD). After a day of walking, followed by your hammam experience and dinner, you’ll sleep soundly tonight.

    Distance: 17 km / 10.6 miles

    Altitude gain: 600 meters

    Altitude loss: 600 meters 

    Duration: 6 hours

    Accommodation: Riad Bouchahoud or similar

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner   
  5. Day 5

    The advertised hike this day is not guaranteed and does depend on the group and local conditions. It is likely the group will split into two with the Ramblers leader taking one group walk, and the local guide leading the longer hike. At 19.3 miles it is a much longer hike and includes a visit to beautiful Lake Tamda. At almost one kilometre long, it is located between the impressive peaks of Jebel Anghomar and Jebel Tamda. To get back to the riad, we walk back on ourselves again. Please note, if the guide feels the group is not physically able to complete this hike, a shorter walk along the same route will be offered.

    Distance: 31 km / 19.3 miles

    Altitude gain: 750 meters

    Altitude loss: 750 meters  

    Duration for full day hike: 9-10 hours

    Accommodation: Riad Bouchahoud or similar

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner  

  6. Day 6

    We say goodbye to Tijhza and walk down to Anmitr where your bus is waiting to take you back to Marrakech. There will be free time upon arrival, you may decide to head out and explore, or sit by the pool; after all you’ve earned it!

    Duration: 1 hour

    Altitude loss: 100 meters

    Accommodation: Hotel Almas or similar 

    Meals: Breakfast, dinner in local restaurant

  7. Day 7

    After breakfast, it is time to explore the ‘Red City’ of Marrakech on a guided tour. Starting with the medina, dye pits and Bahia palace. Marrakech is a labyrinth of bazaars, towering minarets, mosques, and street traders. In the afternoon, the city is yours to explore with free time.

    In the evening you enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant, a time to reminisce over the past 7 days in Morocco. Of course, the perfect way to wrap up your trip is to find a seat in one of the upstairs cafes surrounding Djemaa-el Fna and enjoy a good dose of people watching. Did you know the translation for Djemaa-el Fna is 'place of death', the reason being this was where the sultans used to display their enemies’ heads! Top tip is to try the fresh orange juices from the vendors.

    Accommodation: Hotel Almas or similar 

    Meals: Breakfast, farewell dinner

  8. Day 8

    There are no activities planned for the final day although there is some free time in the morning before your transfer to the airport. If you have booked your own flights and the transfer times are similar, you are welcome to join the main group airport transfer.

    Meals: Breakfast

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Marrakech (British Airways or Easyjet)
  • Airport transfers by road c.30mins (depending on traffic)
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hotel Almas

We stay in the Hotel Almas located in central Marrakech, this hotel combines traditional Moroccan style and contemporary design. It offers a terrace with views of the Gueliz district and free Wi-Fi access. Rooms at Hotel Almas are air conditioned and furnished with antique pieces. They have a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Hotel guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast, which is served each morning. The hotel has a swimming pool, sun terrace and lounging area, plus a 24-hour reception.  The Hotel Almas is 600 yards from Marrakech railway station and a 15-minute drive from Marrakech Menara International Airport. A single supplement can be purchased when staying at this hotel.

 

 


Hotel Ksar El Janoub

Ksar Ljanoub is a full-service hotel in Ait Benhaddou which opened in March 2016. From your room or from the terraces, you can experience spectacular views of the mountains and desert, but also watch spectacular sunrises and sunsets.  Taste traditional Berber & Moroccan dishes from our restaurant and relax in the swimming pool after a day of exploring the surroundings. Accommodation is simple but clean and comfortable.


Riad Bouchahoud

We are based in Tighza for three nights and staying in the simple yet cosy Riad Bouchahoud. This is a family run Riad with traditional design, plus simple yet spacious rooms (all en suite). There is a large terrace which overlooks the surrounding villages and farms of the valley below, perfect to wind down in the evening. This Riad has been chosen for its location to the trails, and unique Moroccan style and charm. Due to its size, we are not able to offer single rooms here for the three nights.

 


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