Great Atlas Tour Easy 22 Days from 1225 Euros per person Itinerary DAY 1 : Arrival to Marrakech Arrive in Marrakech and meet your Guide and transfer to our hotel or Riad Overnight hotel or Riad. DAY 2 : Tamzrit (2114 metres) After breakfast we depart Marrakech and drive eastwards, first through the Central Atlas foothills crossing the plain of Haouz. At Azilal we stop for refreshments and then turn south climbing into the Ait Bougmez Valley. We arrive at Tamzrit where we overnight in a Gite or village house or camp. (6 hours driving). DAY 3 : Imi n’ikkis (2350 metres) We meet our team of mules and muleteers and start trekking through a forest of old oaks. We climb past the village of Arous and up the gorge of the Arous River. A rocky path leads first through box bushes and then fields of barley, past the occasional hut with Jebel Mgoun at the head of the valley. We follow the path to the summer grazing pastures of Imi n’ikkis (2350m). Camp near Imi n’ikkis huts. (3 to 4 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 4 : Tarkeddit Plateau (2900 metres) From our camp we continue climbing through a magnificent giant “rockery garden” landscape. In the spring the hillsides are a riot of colour as yellow and purple broom burst into flower. After three to four hours of steady climbing we arrive at the pass of Tizi n-Oumskiyk (3200m), which provides tremendous views of the Mgoun peaks and down to the summer grazing pastures of the Tarkeddit Plateau (2900m). From the pass we descend to the plateau and our camp in the shadow of Jebel Mgoun. (4 to 5 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 5 : Optional ascent of Jebel Mgoun (4068 metre) A day for the optional ascent of Jebel Mgoun (4068m), the only 4000-metre peak outside of the Toubkal Region. The actual summit is Amsod (4068m), which is only one part of a long ridge, which stretches for several miles at around 4000 metres. We make an early start in the cool of the morning for the 4-hour climb to the ridge. First we cross the Tarkeddit Plateau before ascending scree and rock slopes to the summit ridge. It is then a further two hours along the ridge before reaching the summit. There are superb views from the ridge and from the summit. Look out for the fossil seashells on the final slope. This is a long day, 10 to 12 hours roundtrip but we are rewarded with a magnificent walk and superb views of multi-coloured mountains and hills. To the east the Toubkal peaks can be seen while to the south the large town of Ouazarzate can be picked out along with the huge barrage, the Dades Valley and the Jebel Sahro range stretching towards the Sahara. (10-12 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 6 : Tessaout Valley (2220 metres) The first part of todays walk is to cross the Tarkeddit Plateau from east to west, following the stream, which is the source of the Tessaout River. After passing a natural rock arch we begin climbing gradually through a beautiful rocky landscape, dotted with shepherds huts to Jebel Tarkeddit (3200m) and the end of the high plateau. From here we descend a rocky path towards the Tessaout River and the village of Tessaout. As we descend we pass withered old juniper trees while the vegetation alongside the river is lush and green. We continue down by Asdrem to reach camp near the end of the Tessaout Gorge (2220m). (6 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 7 : Megdaz (2000 metres) Todays route follows the river all day, through stark, rocky terrain, which creates a feeling of other worldliness. The descent takes us through the villages of Amezri and Ichbakene with some finely perched houses. You may have to cross the river and irrigation channels several times today, so carry your sandals. After lunch continue via the village of Ait Hamza, which has an interesting watermill beside the path, to reach Ait Ali Nito. Here we leave the Tessaout Valley and turn south away from the main valley and ascend a jeep track to reach the walnut groves of the village of Megdaz (2000m) and camp. (6 to 7 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 8 : Tamzrit (2200 metres) Megdaz is one of the most attractive Berber villages in the entire Atlas range. Here we visit Berber homes and the local school if open. We continue climbing gradually, through multi-coloured hillsides to Tizi n’ Megdaz, which provides stunning views back towards the Mgoun massif. Our trail ahead can be picked out towards the peak of Jebel n’Anghomer. The descent to the Taggourt Valley (200m) is through barley fields, farmed by the people from Megdaz. We continue down the Taggourt Valley, following the streambed to the point where the valley becomes a craggy gorge. Here we leave the valley and begin climbing to the Fedrhate Plateau. We cross a series of ridges and climb through a hillside of old oak trees. The colour of the hillsides is constantly changing from red to brown to green to black and all shades in-between. From the Tizi n’Fedrat Pass we descend to cross the road coming from Demnate before climbing gradually to the Tamzrit springs (2200m) and our camp. (8 to 9 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 9 : Anfergal (1980 metres) From camp it is a steady climb of one hour to the Anghomer Pass (Tizi n’Timlilt, 3100m) and tremendous views south towards Ouazarzate and the Jebel Sahro range. The path continues to climb steadily across the hillside before descending steeply on scree to the valley floor, a rocky riverbed. At the end of this valley is a natural lake. The lake’s water is clear and refreshing and contains fish. Here we will stop for lunch with time to relax and wash! After lunch we descend through a “grand canyon” style landscape of sandstone cliffs and caves. If we are lucky we will spot ground squirrels as we descend. From here it is an easy 2 to 3 hour walk to the green pastures of Anfergal and our camp. (4 to 5 hours walking). Overnight camp. DAY 10 : Telouet (1900 metres) The trail follows the path to Animiter, passing over a grassy plateau, which overlooks the Telouet Valley. We camp in a small grassy side valley. In the afternoon there is time to explore the town of Telouet and the Kasbah of the Glaoui Family. (3 to 4 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 11 : Adrar Mahboub (2650 metres) Walking past small villages we cross to the opposite side of the valley and follow a watercourse through a ravine, which opens out onto a high grazing area. Our path contours around a ridge to reach our camp high on the flanks of Adrar Mahboub with superb views south towards the Sahara. (4 to 5 hours walking) Overnight Camp. DAY 12 : Azgour (1450 metres) Today’s walk is incredibly varied and we start by dropping down to the Tizi-n-Tichka highway, one of only two roads that pass the entire Atlas Range. We enter the Tichka Gorge with its black rock scenery before climbing to the head of the broad, green, enchanting Afra Valley, nestled at the foot of the Ardrar Tircht (3578m). Our camp is beside the river near the village of Azgour (1450m). (7 to 8 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 13 : Azgour (1450 metres) At last, a well deserved rest day. Our camp is in a lovely location and there is every opportunity for washing and relaxing. Overnight Camp. DAY 14 : Yagour Plateau (2300 metres) Our route climbs steeply along a mule track onto the Yagour Plateau, passing shepherds summer huts and a small tarn. This area is well known for rock carvings and etchings and we should be able to see these along our route. We camp on this fantastic high pasture that has been used for centuries as summer grazing. (6 to 7 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 15 : Timichi (2050 metres) Today begins with a climb to cross the Tizi-n-Ghell (2330m), which provides more wonderful views of the High Atlas peaks. We descend into the Ourika Valley, which we now follow to the busy pilgrimage centre of Setti Fadma, a straggly riverside village, set with grassy terraces and a backdrop of High Atlas peaks rising on three sides to over 3600m. We continue upstream through steeply terraced fields of the Ourika Valley to our camp at Timichi (2050m). (9 to 10 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 16 : Ouanesekra (2300 metres) A long, slow climb to cross the Tizi-n-Tacheddirt (3172m), a pass between the summits of Bou Igeunouane (3615m) and Angour (3616m), taking us into the Imenane Valley. There is time to enjoy the fantastic scenery before an easy descent to our camp near to Ouanesekra (2300m). (7 to 8 hours walking). Overnight Camp. DAY 17 : Aroumd (2000 metres) We cross the Tizi n-Tamatert (2279m) pass before descending steeply on a zigzag trail into the Mizane valley to the village of Tamatert. From here it is around 40 minutes to the large village of Imlil. Imlil is a busy and colourful trailhead with plenty of cafes. Here the Mizane River supports a thriving rural community, as their extensive cultivations and terraced fields indicate. Centuries of laborious irrigation by the Berbers have resulted in these terraces and walnut trees growing among the barren rocks. From Imlil we ascend on a zigzag path towards the Kasbah du Toubkal. This was used as a Tibetan temple in Kundun, the movie about the Dalai Lama. It is now a hotel. Our path climbs through groves of walnut trees and crosses a bridge to join a dirt road, which we follow to Aroumd, the highest permanent settlement in the valley (5 to 6 hours walking). Overnight camp or village accommodation. DAY 18 : Neltner Refuge (3207 metres) An early start for the long, slow ascent to the Neltner Refuge (3207m), the base camp for Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. Leaving the green fields of Aroumd we follow the Mizane valley past the holy shrine of Sidi Chamharouch, a place of pilgrimage for many Moroccans. We must respect the local customs and non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the shrine. There are a number of small shops where we can purchase refreshments. After a picnic lunch by the river we continue the climb to the Neltner Refuge. Overnight camping near Neltner Refuge (3100m). (7 hours walking). Overnight camp. DAY 19 : Ascend Mount Toubkal (4167 metres), return to Neltner Refuge / Aroumd (2000 metres) The ascent of Mount Toubkal (4167m) is technically straightforward although the loose scree and the altitude make the going quite tiring. The climb to the summit takes about three and a half hours from our campsite. After an early breakfast we set off traversing over grass and rocks, then a short scree scramble leads up to the base of the South Cwm. We continue the ascent to Tizi-n-Toubkal (3941m), and then traverse a rising crest to the summit plateau and the metal tripod, which marks Toubkal’s summit. Mount Toubkal is the highest peak in the High Atlas and North Africa at 4167 metres. The views from here are magnificent, an unobstructed view in every direction. To the northeast are views of the High Atlas and to the south lies the Anti Atlas and the Sahara. We have time to savour the summit views before descending to the Neltner Refuge. Here we take a rest and have lunch before descending the valley to Aroumd. (8 to 10 hours walking). Overnight camp or village accommodation. DAY 20 : Marrakech (450 metres) It is a short walk down to Aroumd and Imlil for the drive back to Marrakech (1.5 hours) where we check in to our hotel. The afternoon is free for sightseeing or relaxing by the pool. It is well worth spending some time in the Djemma-el-Fna, the busy main square of Marrakech. Each evening this large open square becomes the main focus of attraction as acrobats, musicians, snake charmers, water sellers and storytellers begin their evening performance. Cafes and restaurants surround the square and many people choose to eat in one of these or from one of the many barbeques and food stalls offer all kinds of mouth-watering food including fish and chips, kebabs and chicken. Overnight hotel. DAY 21 : Marrakech A free day for sightseeing and shopping. The souqs (markets) of Marrakech are particularly good for products that are made of wood and leather, but you will find plenty of interesting items including dates and walnuts. You may wish to return to the Djemma El Fna, the central square in the city, which at night takes on vibrancy and personality that is unique in the world. Overnight hotel. DAY 22 : Depart Marrakech Transfer to the airport for your flight back to your home land.