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Undiscovered Atlas

A six day hike over a spectacular mountain range few people ever get to see and a stay in Marrakech

On this hike you’ll explore the Jebel Saghro mountain range—a dramatic landscape situated between the High Atlas and the Sahara that’s been sculpted by millions of years of volcanic activity. Over six days you’ll cross the Tagdilt Plateau and Tizi n’Kouaouch, climb to the summit of Jebel Kouaouch and walk along Taoudacht Valley. Along the way you’ll camp under the brilliant night sky in Almou n’Ouarg, cast your eyes upon some fantastic red-black volcanic rock formations such as the Elephant, the Camel’s Head and Bab n’Ali, and maybe even share a pot of mint tea with some Berber nomads. This extension of the Anti Atlas is rarely visited by outsiders but with wild landscapes, peaks of over 2,700m and spectacular views as far as the eye can see, this undiscovered corner of Morocco is perfect for the intrepid traveller!

Trip Itinerary

We’ll pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your Marrakech hotel.

We’ll pick you up from your hotel in the morning and drive to Ouarzazate—the “Hollywood of Morocco”—via the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka (2,260m)—one of the highest drivable passes in Morocco. In Ouarzazate you’ll stop for lunch before passing through the Valley of Roses and the thousand kasbahs of Dades Valley to the Jebel Saghro village of Tagdilt. Here you’ll spend the night in a Berber guesthouse.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

From Tagdilt you’ll begin today’s 5.5 hour walk with a hike to Eferd, where you’ll stop for lunch. Along the way you’ll cross the Tagdilt Plateau (1,900m), soaking up some amazing panoramic views of Dades Valley and the High Atlas. After lunch you’ll begin your 1.5 hour walk to Almou n’Ouarg (2,300m), where you’ll spend the night camping under the stars.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

You’ll begin today’s 5 hour walk by hiking up to Tizi n’Kouaouch (2,400m) and the peak of Jebel Kouaouch (2,600m)—the second highest in the Jebel Saghro mountain range. When you reach the summit of Kouaouch you’ll have a short break to enjoy some spectacular views of the High Atlas, before heading down to the oasis village of Igli (2,100m). Along the way it’s likely you’ll encounter some Berber nomads, a people known for their warm hospitality and inviting travellers to their camp for a cup of fresh mint tea. In Igli you’ll spend the night in a tent.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today you’ll walk for 6 hours, beginning with a walk up to another plateau—this one providing the viewing point for one of the highlights of this trip. From here you’ll see the fantastic rock formations of the red-lack volcanic peaks dominating the Jebel Saghro landscape, including the legendary pinnacles and natural gate of Bab n’Ali. In the area around the rock formations you’ll camp for the night.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning you’ll begin today’s 5.5 hour walk with a walk along a dry river bed to the village of Ighazoun. From Ighazoun you’ll follow Taoudacht Valley down to a peaceful little spot where you’ll stop for a picnic lunch, before walking on to the village of Handour. Here you’ll spend the night in a Berber guesthouse.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today you’ll return to your Marrakech hotel, arriving in the evening. In the morning you’ll pass through the rocky landscapes of the Draa Valley and Ouarzazate before reaching Ait Ben Haddou. Here you’ll have lunch on one of the many new town terraces overlooking the ancient settlement across the river. This fortified city is so famous for its 17th century kasbahs that it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. It’s even served as a filming location for Hollywood movies such as The Gladiator and Jewel of the Nile, and more recently the tv series Game of Thrones. After lunch you’ll continue along the scenic roads of rural Morocco, once again crossing Tizi n’Tichka on the way back to Marrakech, passing many a beautiful landscape and Berber village along the way. Your evening is free to spend as you please.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Your day is free to explore Marrakech and its surrounds… why not try one of our optional activities listed under the Trip Details section below?

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

We’ll pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions:

  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation (hotel x 3 nights, Berber guesthouse x 2 nights, tent x 3 nights)
  • Late model transportation with A/C
  • Most meals (breakfast x 8, lunch x 6, dinner x 5)
  • Mules and muleteers during hike

Note: Travelling companions will be roomed together in hotels unless they request separate single rooms. For a single room there is an extra charge of €20 per person per night. Travelling companions will also be roomed together in Berber guesthouses. It is not possible to book a single room when staying in a Berber guesthouse.

Exclusions:

  • Aeroplane ticket
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Note: This trip starts when you arrive on Day 1 and ends in the morning on Day 9. If you would like us to arrange accommodation, optional activities or anything else before, during or after your trip, please let us know as we are more than happy to do this.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Begin your experience with an early morning transfer from your Marrakech accommodation to your balloon’s launching site. Upon arrival hop in the basket and gaze away as this sunrise flight takes you soaring over the foothills of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Touch down for a freshly prepared Berber breakfast before returning to Marrakech in your 4×4 vehicle. At the end of the day take home a flight certificate as a souvenir of your experience.

Price: €195 per person.
Duration: 5 hours (1 hour in-flight).

Majorelle Garden

Visit this enchanting garden in the heart of the city, designed by French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886–1962). Stroll along the shady paths past exotic trees and plants, streams and pools whilst watching the numerous birds who call this peaceful paradise home.

Price: €5 per person.

Marrakech City Tour

Discover what lies behind Marrakech’s ancient red walls on this guided exploration of the city’s old town. Begin by visiting Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace and the old Jewish Quarter. Then stop off at Djemaa el Fna. Here you can sit down and enjoy a well-deserved cup of mint tea whilst gazing out over Marrakech’s central square—a vibrant meeting place for young and old. You’ll see acrobats, fortune tellers, musicians, snake charmers and traders all coming together in one truly amazing spectacle. Finally, wander the narrow, aromatic alleys of the spice souk. And if at the end of the day you’re a bit peckish and still feeling adventurous, why not visit one of the many restaurants showcasing traditional Moroccan cuisine located just a stone’s throw away?

Price: €25 per person (minimum 2 persons required).
Duration: 4–5 hours.

Tagine Cooking Class

Get ready for the ultimate tagine experience during this one of a kind activity in Marrakech. Begin by learning the Arabic for the key ingredients of Morocco’s most famous dish as you join your teacher in the souks. Here you’ll mix with the locals when shopping for your meat, vegetables and most importantly, spices. Head back to the traditional riad kitchen and learn how to brew a pot of refreshing Moroccan mint tea, before following your teacher’s step-by-step instructions to prepare your very own mouthwatering lunch. At the end of the day take home a copy of the recipe as an everlasting memory of your authentic Moroccan cooking experience.

Price: €55 per person (minimum 2 persons required).
Duration: 4–5 hours (including 50 minute walk).

The list below is a suggestion of what you might find useful to take on this trip. It is not an exhaustive packing list. If you need further advice, please contact us or consult your nearest outdoor store.

Clothing & Footwear:

  • Thermal underwear
  • Comfortable walking clothes that are suitable for layering
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes for campsite/gite
  • Down/fleece jacket
  • Lightweight raincoat/windbreaker
  • Lightweight rain trousers
  • Well broken-in hiking boots with good ankle support
  • Sandals/shoes suitable for walking through water
  • Synthetic/woollen socks
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Sarong/scarf/loose cotton trousers that can easily be pulled on over shorts to cover shoulders/legs when walking through villages

Equipment:

  • 3 season sleeping bag (compulsory)
  • Daypack
  • Pack raincover/poncho
  • Trail snacks
  • Water bottle/hydration bladder
  • Water purification pen/tablets
  • Walking pole
  • Penknife
  • Sunglasses
  • Head torch
  • Camera, memory card and charger
  • Spare batteries
  • Personal items (including hand sanitiser, lip balm, microfibre towel, sunscreen, toilet paper, toiletries, wet wipes etc)
  • Medicine and copy of doctor’s prescription which states medication and quantity carried
  • Personal first aid kit (including blister tape, insect repellant, oral rehydration salts, plasters, tweezers, diarrhoea tablets etc)
  • Small repair kit (including duct tape, extra shoelaces, needle, thread etc)
  • Rubbish bag

Note: Please bring a soft backpack weighing less than 20kg as mules will be carrying your luggage during the hike.