"We have done a half dozen trips with Ryder Walker and this was our favorite!"- T. Lane.
"We loved the trip. It was very well organized and we really enjoyed Morocco & the Atlas Mountains. With all the RW trips we've done, its one of my favorites. Staffan and the local guide, Abraham, were excellent. In fact, can we please have Staffan for our Dolomites trip?"- Suzanne Beers
Climb Jbel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa.
Sip tea on the veranda of Les Mouflons, a climber’s hut on the flanks of Jbel Toubkal.
Visit the port city of Essaouira, famous for its fortified medina, “old city”— a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Morocco, the Atlas Mountains rise against the burnt-orange sunset, violet rays radiating across the wide desert plateaus, bleached white beaches, and pastel medieval buildings. As you walk across the sand, through the busy markets bustling with wild sounds, colors, and smells, through small mountain hamlets seemingly carved into the peaks, you can feel the antiquity of the land beneath your feet. To travel to Morocco is to be overcome by the strength and power of the landscape, the history, and the people.
The Atlas Mountains Trek begins in the walled imperial city of Marrakesh, founded in the eleventh century. The wall surrounding the city spans nearly 12 miles, with 200 watchtowers spread across its length, alternating between red and pink hues. To begin our journey, we travel to the mountain hamlet of Imlil, with its green terraced farms, renowned as the perfect spot to begin any trekking trip through the Atlas Mountains. Next we lead you on a hike to the Adrar Tamalroute, an 8900 ft summit. The following two days are hikes to two rugged mountain huts preparing for the ascent of Toubkal (13,671 ft), the highest mountain in North Africa. Afterwards, we travel to Essaouira for two nights of pure bliss watching the sunset over the Atlantic and the western shores of Africa. Enjoy beach walks, relaxing and shopping in the markets full of local treasures. A morning shuttle to Marrakesh on day 10 wraps up this amazing journey.
A Ryder-Walker representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Meet your guides and group for a brief orientation and dinner. We overnight in a charming hotel in the bustling city of Marrakesh.
Transfer to the picturesque village of Imlil. Along the way the scenery transitions from city to country. Enjoy an easy acclimatization hike before returning to our hotel in Imlil for dinner.
Distance: Up to 6 miles.
Elevation gain/loss: up to 1500 ft.
Today we head east and cross the mountain pass, which connects the valley of Imlil to Tacheddirt, the highest settlement in the Atlas Mountains. After a refreshing drink at the pass, we continue up on a mountain path to the summit of Tamalroute. Enjoy the stunning views of the high Toubkal range shaped by long river valleys, which feed the desert fields of Marrakesh with fresh water. Descend on the country road for a deliciously prepared lunch at the Toubkal Guide headquarters – locally known as Jamal’s place.
Distance: 7 – 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2400 ft.
Today we hike through a gorgeous mountain pass close to the summit of Tasserimoute. When we arrive for lunch, the porters and mules, as well as a local cook, will already be there with an elaborate spread of local produce served up and ready for our enjoyment. Continue on for a night at the Refuge Azib Tamsoult.
Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain: 2700 ft.
Our journey continues through the mountains until arriving at the Refuge Les Mouflons, named after the bighorn sheep that are native to the region. Les Mouflons is a rustic refuge on the flanks of Toubkal.
Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain: 5000 ft.
Ascend Jbel Toubkal (13,671 feet), the highest mountain in North Africa. This is a non-technical ascent on a good, but rocky, trail the entire way, and you are truly on top of the world at the summit. Descend via the same route back to your refuge. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the hut or visit a nearby waterfall.
Distance: 5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3150 ft.
Begin our descent from the high country by following an excellent trail along the Isougouane River. Stop for tea at the Sidi Chamarouch. Continue to Imlil and an enjoy a final lunch with our porters and cooks.
Distance: 7 miles. Elevation loss: 4600 ft.
Transfer by van through the desert to the port city of Essaouira. The atmosphere of Essaouira is truly spellbinding. The breeze along the Atlantic shore is invigorating and the shopping is the best of the trip. We dine in a superb local restaurant. Overnight in a four star hotel.
Enjoy a morning beach walk with the group and the afternoon relaxing by the ocean, going for a camel ride on the beach or shopping at the markets. Although not as big as Marrakesh, you will find the same popular merchandise. Our final dinner together will be at a favorite local eatery.
Ryder-Walker will provide one shuttle transfer in the morning to Marrakesh Airport.