Trekking in Style
~ 2 nights in Marrakech, 2 nights in Essaouira and 5 nights in the mountains
Staying at Dar Imlil in the village of Imlil (or upgrade to The Kasbah du Toubkal) and at the Kasbah du Toubkal’s trekking lodge in the remote Azzaden valley with a personal mountain guide per couple to allow you to do as little or as much walking as you want.
All the trekking is fully supported with a guide and a mule to carry your luggage whenever needed.
Imlil is 40 miles from Marrakech but the peace, quiet and seclusion are so complete the city seems a million miles away.
The High Atlas Mountains, so important to Marrakech, can often be seen from the city and the views are magnificent. However, a whole new experience awaits those who venture into them. Treat yourself to a trip to the Atlas and visit the home of the Berbers, the original inhabitants of North Africa.
The tranquility of Berber village life provides the perfect contrast to the hubbub of the city. The area we visit is beyond the main road system. From the village of Imlil, footpaths and mule tracks mount through lush, irrigated terraces, apple orchards and walnut groves to other villages where the way of life has changed little for centuries and traditional values and hospitality are unaffected by the outside world.
This area was formerly the preserve of the mountaineer or the intrepid traveler. Now with The Kasbah du Toubkal, Dar Imlil in Imlil and the Kasbah du Toubkal’s remote lodge, for the first time, the discerning visitor can stay without the hardship historically associated with visits and walking to this spectacular region.
Marrakech is a fascinating city that has long been high on the list of places to visit by the discerning traveller. It comprises the ancient medina and the new town of Guéliz, with its neighbouring suburbs, which play host to modern restaurants, fast-food chains and big brand stores.
Marrakech is built around the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque whose beautiful minaret dominates the skyline and can be seen from almost every approach to the city. Any visit to Marrakech must include a visit to the medina and its colourful souks (marketplace) where you can barter for carpets, leather goods, jewellery, lanterns and spices. Another must-see is the frenetic Djemaa el-Fna, the busiest and most famous square in Africa, where snake charmers, storytellers, acrobats, medicine men and musicians compete for your attention.
There are several places to visit including the late Yves Saint Laurent's Majorelle Gardens, the Menara Gardens, the Saadian Tombs, the medieval Medersa Ben Youssef (Koranic university) and the Musée de Marrakech.
Accommodation in Marrakech is on a bed and breakfast basis giving you the opportunity to dine at some of the superb restaurants available.
Essaouira, 105 miles from Marrakech, is a magical fortified coastal town on the Atlantic ocean, built by the Portuguese in the 17th c. In total contrast to Marrakech, the pace of life here is relaxed and slow. Essaouira was made famous by Orson Wells who filmed Othello here and more recently, by residents like Jimmy Hendrix and the Rolling Stones. Unlike Marrakech and Fes, there are no single places of major historical note to visit but Essaouira in itself becomes an historic location and is not to be missed. The fishing port creates a backdrop to the white painted buildings of the Medina. The souk is small by comparison to Marrakech and easy to navigate without a guide.
Essaouira is a haven for artists and handmade works of art are abundant. Being a fishing port, fresh fish is readily available and lunch on the port is a must as the day’s catch is cooked in front of you. The wide sweeping beach offers windsurfing, kitesurfing, camel and horse riding and quad bike excursions.
Price per person based on two sharing: 1416.00 euro (price info)
|~ ITINERARY ~|
First 2 Nights in the city of Marrakech
Private transfer from Marrakech Airport with a driver where you will check in at your 4-star hotel or luxury riad (you choose). Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis giving you the opportunity to dine at many of the superb restaurants that Marrakech offers.
After breakfast, the day is free for you to explore the fascinating and vibrant city of Marrakech. Luxury accommodation at your hotel or riad.
Followed by 2 Nights in the coastal town of Essaouira
After breakfast your driver will take you to the city of Essaouira, 105 miles from Marrakech, approximately 2.5 hours, where you will check in at your luxury riad. Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis giving you the opportunity to dine at many of the superb restaurants that Essaouira offers. This magical fortified coastal town is in total contrast to Marrakech and offers many photographic opportunities.
After breakfast, the day is free for you to explore the seaside town of Essaouira. Luxury accommodation at your riad.
Followed by 5 nights in the High Atlas Mountains,
After breakfast, depart Essaouira - Arriving in Imlil (approx. 4 hours driving time) you will settle into your comfortable accommodation for 2 nights in Dar Imlil, a sister property to the Kasbah du Toubkal and managed by the same Berber team. Depending on your arrival time there will be an introductory walk to the area. Dinner and night in Dar Imlil. You will meet with your mountain guide and be able to plan the next few days.
This is your time, so you choose either to relax and enjoy free time in the Imlil area, or have your personal guide accompany you on a hike either within the Imlil Valley (full day or 2 half days), or for a longer hike to an outlying valley. Depending upon your choice, lunch at Dar Imlil or as a picnic. Dinner and night in Dar Imlil.
After breakfast the supported trek to Kasbah du Toubkal’s Trekking Lodge, in the remote Azzaden valley starts. This is a special place beyond the reach of the modern world.
Anyone who is capable of walking for 3 to 4 hours can walk to the lodge. Alternatively, you could use a mule. Experienced walkers find the route relatively easy and people who have described themselves as ‘not complete couch potatoes’ have completed the walk with some effort but with a feeling of exhilaration on arrival. A picnic lunch will be served on the walk and a mule will carry your baggage. Dinner and night in Remote Trekking Lodge.
Breakfast at the Azzaden Trekking Lodge. Your personal guide will be on hand to take you on the walk of your choice. This can be anything from a moderate walk amongst the villages of the Azzaden Valley to a taxing (7 hours +) circular route passing the Lepiney refuge hut and the Tizi n’Tzikert col at 3000 metres. Other options of a similar length include the slightly easier and very beautiful 7-hour circular walk passing the Col Teouti at 2250 meters and the Col Tougdalt at 2700 meters. A picnic lunch will be taken on these full days walks, otherwise lunch will be served at the Trekking Lodge. Dinner and night in Trekking Lodge.
Breakfast at Azzaden Trekking Lodge. Return trek via a route of your choice with your personal guide. A picnic lunch will be served on route back to Imlil. Dinner and night in Dar Imlil.
After breakfast say goodbye to your guide and return by private transfer to Marrakech Airport.