From the centuries-old souks and medinas of Marrakech, swap the city for mountainous terrain and journey south to the quiet village of Imlil. Hike in the High Atlas Mountains through the breathtaking valley of Ait Mizan and settle in for the night at base camp. Rise at dawn the following morning to summit mighty Mount Toubkal. Your efforts will be rewarded with unbeaten panoramas of Morocco laid out before you; the fertile plains of the Maghreb to the north, and the wild rugged landscapes of the pre-Sahara to the south. After your descent, continue to the Atlantic coast where the fortifications and bustling harbours of laidback Essaouira await.
This is just a suggested Itinerary. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
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• Explore the bustling souks of Morocco
• Admire the views from the summit of Mount Toubkal
• Relax in laidback Essaouira
These are just suggested inclusions. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
9 x breakfasts, 3 x lunches, 2 dinners
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Marrakech for your first night in Morocco. The rest of the day is at leisure.
After breakfast today, you will meet your local guide who will take you on a morning tour of the old medina, through the bustling souks that are the lifeblood flowing through the city. Explore tranquil courtyards filled with the scent of orange blossom, and the many salons and chambers that make up Bahia Palace. This splendid mansion was built in 1866 for a former slave who rose to power within the government. Continue to the Marrakech Museum, itself a former palace, which houses a fine collection of Moroccan art and sculpture. Stop by the Koutoubia Mosque; its famous minaret is the prototype for others of its kind around the world, including La Giralda in Seville. Then walk back through the streets of the old medina to the Djemaa el-Fna.
After breakfast today, you will learn how to cook one of the most famous dishes: the tajine with the help of the Dada (traditional Moroccan cook). At the end of the workshop, you will eat what you have prepared.
After breakfast you will journey to Imlil in the tranquil Atlas Mountains. From there you will be continuing on foot to Aroumd which is a short walk of approximately one hour. After lunch, you follow winding mule tracks for another 5 hours. This is a stunning walk through the breathtaking mountain scenery of the valley of Ait Mizan. You may also have the opportunity to stop for a visit to the Marabout of Sidi Chamharouch before continuing on to Toubkal Base Camp (3207m) for dinner.
You start early for our Toubkal ascent, walking over rocky paths as there is less vegetation at this altitude. Once you pass the 4000m point, you can enjoy the magnificent panoramic views across the tranquil valleys and lower summits of the High Atlas Range. The achievement of standing on the summit is unforgettable and the views from the summit are simply magnificent. To the north you can see the fertile plains of the Magreb and Marrakech, and to the south, the wild rugged landscape of the pre-Sahara. All around you are the many jagged peaks of the High Atlas stretching into the distance.
You will then descend to the refuge for lunch, before continuing down to Arroumd and your gite for the night. This is a long but extremely rewarding day of walking.
The short walk down to Imlil is followed by the drive back towards the Atlantic Coast and the old fishing town of Essaouira, a city where the medina brushes up against the Atlantic Ocean. Sandstone walkways contrast with whitewashed houses, bright blue sky and the sand of the surrounding beaches and dunes. This artists' town was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations, and its charm has seduced people like Orson Wells and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s.
Today, join a local guide for a walking tour through the old medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). Afterwards, use your free time to get under the skin of the town. The narrow streets of Essaouira are ideal for casual exploration. Their size discourages cars, and on a walk through the town it feels as though little has changed since the days of sea pirates. The fishing port is a serious commercial operation and there’s much fun to be had observing the daily catch and its subsequent auction. A freshly-cooked plate of the day's catch is highly recommended.
Browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries that make this little town a particularly pleasant place to unwind for a few days. It has a growing reputation for its unique art and is becoming even more famous for its burled Thuya wood, delicately formed and inlaid in tiny shops that are built into the thick walls of the Portuguese ramparts. The scent from the oils used to polish the richly coloured wood permeates the air and makes walking down the streets incredibly pleasant. If you’d prefer to relax, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a hammam or local-style bath.
Today you will head back to Marrakech for your final night in Morocco before catching your flight back home. Upon arrival you will have the rest of the day at leisure so you might want to do last minute shopping.
At an appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your departing flight.
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