Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


Please wait …

×

Highlights

  • Exploring the exotic ‘Red City’ of Marrakech, with its vibrant souks, bustling Djemaa el-Fna square, tranquil gardens and Berber & Arab-influenced architecture
  • Enjoying a glass of refreshing mint tea in a leafy inner courtyard of your stylish riad
  • Wandering Essaouira’s white-washed streets and picking up a piece of local art work
  • Staying at Kasbah du Toubkal—unique Berber hospitality in Toubkal National park
  • Relaxing at a private hammam bath house after a rewarding day’s walk amidst the rugged High Atlas mountains

Experience colourful Morocco without the hardships traditionally associated with trips to the High Atlas. You’ll explore the must-see cities of bustling Marrakech and the relaxed coastal Essaouira before heading deep into the peaks of the Western High Atlas, dominated by snow-capped Jbel Toubkal.
Begin your tour in the popular city of Marrakech, staying in a boutique riad; a beautifully maintained traditional town house secluded from the buzz of this vibrant city. Relax in style at the end of a busy day of exploring the lively souks, peaceful gardens and ancient medina of the ‘Red City’.

Transfer to Essaouira, a relaxed and pretty coastal city overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Here you’ll find a charming fishing port and an easily-explored souk filled with art and handicrafts from local artists who flock to the city. Essaouira is characterised by its 12th Century ramparts and photogenic whitewashed streets.

Morocco’s Western High Atlas boasts several peaks that soar above 4000m, dominated by North Africa’s highest; snow-capped Jbel Toubkal. A qualified mountain guide will lead you along centuries-old paths through groves of walnut trees and past small clusters of earthen adobe Berber houses clinging precariously to the mountain side. Luxury accommodation with warm Berber hospitality awaits you in the mountains, where you can enjoy the knowledge that your stay is directly supporting the local community.

Your tour of Morocco includes 4 nights in boutique riads, 2 nights at a luxury trekking lodge and 3 nights at a luxury mountain hotel, 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, return airport transfers to Marrakech airport, transfers to Essaouira and Imlil, baggage transfer between accommodations, services of a qualified walking guide in the mountains, a detailed information pack and guide book.

Day 1: Arrive Marrakech

Vibrant Marrakech is a fascinating city, alive with bustling souks, tranquil gardens and the ancient medina (old town). The city itself is built around the 12th century Koutoubia mosque, a classic piece of Almohad architecture with its iconic minaret punctuating the city’s skyline.


Fly into Marrakech Menara International Airport for the private transfer to your luxury accommodation.


Overnight: Boutique Riad in Marrakech; Les Sources Berberes or Slitine


These riads offer a truly elegant taste of Moroccan culture in the heart of Marrakech’s medina. It is a joy to stay in such beautifully restored town houses which offer a serene and peaceful haven. Relax in a (heated) plunge pool or on a sunlit terrace. Rooms are exquisitely decorated and the caring and attentive staff will ensure your stay in Morocco is as peaceful or busy as you wish!


Day 2: Free time to explore Marrakech


Spend today delving into this colourful city’s cultural highlights. At the heart of the ancient walled medina (old town) is the Djemaa el Fna square, where storytellers, acrobats, medicine men, musicians and even snake charmers vie for attention.



The medina’s souks (markets) are the place to pick up a memento of your time in Morocco and partake in some friendly bargaining with the Berbers and southern tradesmen who gather here to sell their carpets, leather goods, jewellery and spices.



In contrast, the colonial Ville Nouvelle quarter is home to pavement cafés, boutiques, gardens and boulevards. Visit the stunning 12-acre botanical paradise of the Majorelle Gardens, owned by the late Yves Saint Laurent. Here you’ll find the intriguing Museum of Islamic Arts, the fashion designer’s personal collection of North African carpets, ceramics, furniture and doors.



You’ll be entranced by the sounds, smells and sights which play on your senses as you wander through the fascinating ‘Red City’. Morocco has plenty of delicious cuisine to tempt your palate —from food stalls to friendly cafés, or for a real treat dine in style at a sumptuous palace-restaurant.


Overnight: Boutique Riad in Marrakech; Les Sources Berberes or Slitine


Day 3: Transfer to Essaouira


After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the coastal town of Essaouria (105 miles, approx. 2.5hrs). In contrast with bustling land-locked Marrakech, this bohemian city is nestled on the Atlantic Ocean. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th Century, Essaouira is circled by medieval-style battlements yet its colonnades, blue-shuttered whitewashed dwellings lend it a relaxed and almost sleepy atmosphere.



Essaouira is Morocco’s third fishing port, and we recommend you one of the fish grill-cafés just outside the port area for a delicious lunch.


Overnight: Boutique Riad Dar L’Oussia, Essaouira



Boutique Riad Dar L’Oussia is a charming restored mansion house, found in the heart of the ramparts and within easy access of the beach and medina. The riad’s panoramic roof terrace is the ideal spot to kick back and soak up the sunshine with a refreshing glass of mint tea.


Day 4: Free time to explore Essaouira


Spend the day at leisure—take a walk along the sweeping sand beach, wander along the ramparts overlooking the fishing port or simply enjoy the view from your riad’s roof terrace.



Artists flock to Essaouira, and there are plenty of art works and local handicrafts to browse in the city’s smaller and easily-explored souk.



This evening, why not savour a plate of regional cheeses and spiced dishes at an inner courtyard table of the riad’s restaurant.


Overnight: Boutique Riad Dar L’Oussia, Essaouira



Day 5: Transfer to Imlil, introductory walk


Following breakfast, your driver will transfer you deep into the High Atlas to Imil (approx. 4.5 hrs). Dependent on your arrival time, there will be an introductory walk in the area and the chance to discuss your preferences for walks with your personal mountain guide. Enjoy a delicious dinner at the delightful Kasbah du Toubkal.


Dinner & Overnight: luxury Kasbah du Toubkal, Imlil 



Located at 1800m, the luxury Kasbah du Toubkal is set high on a rocky outcrop overlooking groves of walnut trees and stepped pastures. Managed and run by local staff, the property offers a very warm and welcoming taste of Berber hospitality rather than a typical ‘hotel service’ in the traditional sense. Guests should be prepared to share this friendly and very special place with a mixture of guests who have come to experience the incredible mountain scenery.



With stunning rooftop views in the heart of the Toubkal National Park, this is the perfect place for walkers seeking a stylish and comfortable mountain refuge infused with local culture.


Day 6: Circular walk in the Imlil Valley


Your personal mountain guide will offer you a selection of supported walks today. You may wish to choose separate morning and afternoon walks, allowing you to enjoy an al fresco lunch at the Kasbah, or alternatively take a picnic lunch and venture further afield.


Walk: 3-4 hrs



Dinner & Overnight:
Luxury Kasbah du Toubkal, Imil


Day 7: Walk to Azzaden Valley


Enjoy a supported walk of around 5 hours* with your guide, mule and muleteer to your remote trekking lodge in the picturesque Azzaden Valley. Stop in the shade of a walnut grove for a tasty picnic lunch en route. Follow the country road past tiny Berber villages such as Matat, passing clouds of juniper trees. Reaching the Tizi Oudid pass (2100m) you’ll enjoy outstanding views across jagged peaks before descending to your luxury lodge.


Walk: 5hrs *Longer walks of 6 hrs (moderate) and 8 hrs (strenuous) are also available.


Dinner & Overnight: Azzaden Trekking Lodge, Azzaden Valley


Your beautifully appointed lodge is located in the village of Ait Aissa, in the heart of the High Atlas mountains. A cosy lounge boasts picture windows and a wood burning stove, where you can drink in the views of the Toubkal Massif’s snow-capped peaks. Traditional wooden ceilings and carved doors compliment a multitude of authentic features and a small private hammam (bath house) provides a relaxing steam bath at the end of a rewarding day walking in the mountains.


Day 8: Circular walk in the Azzaden Valley


The immense Azzaden Valley is yours to explore with your personal mountain guide. Perhaps opt for a 4 hour moderate circular walk visiting the valley’s Berber villages which cling to the mountain slopes.



Other possibilities include a 5 hour walk to the south, through walnut groves of the Assif n’Ouazzaden valley to the hamlet of Tizi Oussem (1850m) and the Irhouliden Cascade/Tamsoult Waterfall (2400m).



Dependent on your choice of walk, lunch will either be served at the lodge or your guide will bring along a delicious picnic to share.


Walk: 4hrs


Dinner & Overnight: Azzaden Trekking Lodge, Azzaden Valley


Day 9: Walk to Imlil


After breakfast, depart Azzaden Trekking Lodge for the walk back to Imlil, accompanied by your personal mountain guide. Again, there is a choice of walks dependent on your ability and preference, however you may wish to take the 6 hour route which follows the Ait Ouazzaden valley to Tizi Oussem, ascending to Tizi M’zik (2450m) before following switchback mule tracks down to the Kasbah.


Walk: 6 hrs


Dinner & Overnight: Luxury Kasbah du Toubkal, Imil


Day 10: Transfer to Marrakech and onward travel


After breakfast, return by private transfer to Marrakech Menara International Airport (approx. 2 hrs) for your onward travel.

Accommodation

Your trip includes 4 nights in boutique Riads, 2 nights at a luxury trekking lodge, 3 nights at a luxury mountain hotel


Single Rooms 

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Unfortunately this trip is not available to solo travellers.


Meals

This trip is on a breakfast basis in Marrakech, and a full board basis in the mountains (picnic lunches are included when out on walks).

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day of the week between 6th of January and 20th of December. Please note that during the festival times of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr
that many restaurants and shops will be closed and this may affect your
overall experience. If you are planning on going to Morocco during these
times and your dates are flexible then you may wish to consider
changing dates. For more information and advice, please don't hesitate
to contact our specialists. The dates for Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr change
on a yearly basis.


2017 Dates


Ramadan is from 27th of May until the 25th of June


End of Ramadan Eid Al Fitr is from the 25th-27th of June

Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice of Sheep) is from the 1st until the 3rd of September

Time of Year

In the summer months between June and September the temperatures in Marrakech can soar, however remain cooler in the mountains. You may wish to note however that one of the most popular times of year to visit the High Atlas for walking is indeed during the summer months.  


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is unfortunately unavailable for solo travellers.


Grade & Terrain

The walking is graded moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you already enjoy an active lifestyle. In the mountains the route follows centuries-old Berber tracks, which can be high, steep, narrow, uneven and rough underfoot. Due to the lack of marked paths you will be supported by a local fully qualified mountain guide, and on occasion you will be walking alongside a mule who will carry your luggage. Each day you can discuss the possible walks available with your guide, and therefore adapt your plans accordingly. The tracks are often a considerable distance from any road or track which is accessible by vehicle—this is a very remote area. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this walk.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

You will be accompanied by a qualified mountain guided during your walks so you will not need to worry about navigation.


Bagagge Transfers 

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one soft-sided bag of up to 15kg per person. Your luggage will on occasion be transferred by mule, so please pack as lightly as possible.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activitiy and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to/from Morocco

Air - You can fly into and out of Marrakech Menara Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Your airport transfers are included in arrangements.

Getting to/from Morocco

Air - You can fly into and out of Marrakech Menara Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Your airport transfers are included in arrangements.

Included

  • 4 Nights in boutique riads
  • 3 Nights at a luxury mountain hotel
  • 2 Nights at a luxury trekking lodge
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches (some of which are packed lunches due to itinerary)
  • Bag transfers of one bag of up to 15kg per person between accommodations
  • Guide book
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Services of a personal walking guide as appropriate in the mountains
  • 24-hour emergency assistance

Excluded

  • Flights to / from Marrakech
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Room upgrades
  • Additional nights

Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked the following questions and we hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the accommodations do fill up quickly. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

The walking is graded moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you already enjoy an active lifestyle. In the mountains the route follows centuries-old Berber tracks, which can be high, steep, narrow, uneven and rough underfoot. Due to the lack of marked paths you will be supported by a local fully qualified mountain guide, and on occasion you will be walking alongside a mule who will carry your luggage. Each day you can discuss the possible walks available with your guide, and therefore adapt your plans accordingly. The tracks are often a considerable distance from any road or track which is accessible by vehicle—this is a very remote area. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this walk. 

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one soft-sided bag of up to 15kg per person. Your luggage will on occasion be transferred by mule, so please pack as lightly as possible.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

You can fly into and out of Marrakech Menara Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Please refer to the travel details section of the website for more information.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable/cool walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

When is the best time of year?

In the summer months between June and September the temperatures in Marrakech can soar, however remain cooler in the mountains. You may wish to note however that one of the most popular times of year to visit the High Atlas for walking is indeed during the summer months.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureMarrakech, Essaouira & The High Atlas In Style
 
5.0

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great accommodations (5)
  • Well organised (5)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (4)
  • Fun (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (3)
  • Trying something new (3)

Reviewed by 5 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

Back to top

 
5.0

A flawlessly designed holiday

By Amy Ferg

from USA

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Great Accommodations
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about macs adventure Marrakech, Essaouira & The High Atlas In Style:

      Simply amazing! We loved the structure of this holiday: a retreat to the Atlas Mountains book-ended by two exciting Moroccan cities. All of the accommodations were fantastic, especially Kasbah du Toubkal (private bungalow with a mountain view balcony was a highlight). The local company was always on time for transfers and were friendly, welcoming, and informative. We highly recommend this holiday!

       
      5.0

      Unforgettable experience (in a good way) but hard in parts

      By Frank_Alison

      from Hampshire

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure Marrakech, Essaouira & The High Atlas In Style:

        The high atlas are unspoiled, beautiful with unique accommodation & provide a fascinating insight into the Berber villages & their lifestyle.
        It's billed as moderately hard .. day 1 consisted of an eight hour day & with 1500 metres of ascent & descent... we were offered the night before a 5 hour or 10 hour loop & asked for something closer to 6-8 hours. Except that 1500 metres is like doing Helvellyn plus a half again.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        thanks

        By al sbarsky

        from brooklyn NY

        About Me Occasional Traveller

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations
        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Thrill Seeking
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Marrakech, Essaouira & The High Atlas In Style:

          we just got back from our morocco (mac's part) and paris (our part) trip

          we were very happy with mac's adventures - planning, accomodations, guides, drivers, transfers, etc

          so happy that we are considering mac's for our next vacation - and if people ask, we will give you a good recommendation

          one thing that could have been a problem turned out quite the opposite:
          originally mac's had planned for us to be in a moroccan city during Eid - which would have been diappointing for shopping, eating out etc - since a lot would be closed

          so mac's rearranged our trip so that we were trekking in the atlas during Eid

          However, even more than the cities, Eid is highly observed in the Berber villages - so we felt real bad about taking our guide away from his family during Eid.
          But - in a pretty nice turn of events, we all took the day off from trekking - and our guide had a friend in Azzaden so we all visited his friend's house - and watched as they slaughtered, skinned and cooked a sheep - freshest lamb I ever had - and a pretty good short look at village life

          For your information - Kasbah du Toubkal is probably going to shut down during Eid (a week) in the future - for the same reason - it takes people away from their famiies during a very big festival

          So my suggestion is that unless the travelers insist - to not book during that week for the mountains, and for those 1-2 days for the cities (shorter observances).

          thanks for a great vacation

           
          5.0

          Trekking in the High Atlas Mountains

          By Raul

          from Connecticut, USA

          About Me Occasional Traveller

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday

            Comments about macs adventure Marrakech, Essaouira & The High Atlas In Style:

            We had a wonderful experience with MACS Adventure from the very beginning. They explained well what to expect and were communicative and responsive. We ended up exactly with what they explained and we were expecting. All was good!

            We intend to interact with them for our next adventure/holiday.

             
            5.0

            Magical experience

            By Richard and Helen

            from Auckland

            About Me World Traveller

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Food Experience
            • Fun
            • Great Accommodations
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised

            Cons

            • Exhausting
            • More Demanding

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Relaxation
            • Thrill Seeking
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Marrakech, Essaouira & The High Atlas In Style:

            A wonderful experience, Essaouira was an unexpected treasure. We had extra days in Marrakech but should of also had them at Essaouira.
            The transfers between locations went well, the hotel in Essaouira was a wonderful gem, the Rias Slitine was an overstated hotel lacking in warmth it charm but was very well located in the Souk.
            And the Kasbah - a truely wonderful experience, demanding but rewarding treks with great food and accommodation - a truely magical experience not to be missed

            Displaying reviews 1-5

            Back to top

            ×

            View Marrakech, Essaouira & The High Atlas In Style in a larger map
            ×
            Enquire Now



            Read our privacy policy

            Book self-guided walking holidays and cycling holidays with Macs Adventure. Explore Europe, the UK and the rest of the world on our walking holidays and cycling holidays, and find out why thousands of people trust us to arrange their perfect self-guided adventure.


            Get In Touch

            lf you require more information before booking, please contact us on

            +44 (0)141 530 5464

            +1 -844-858-0740

            (USA & CANADA)

            © 2017

            Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

            | Sitemap

            Welcome to Macs Adventure

            For the best experience choose your region

            UK & Rest of World USA & Canada