Walking in the Atlas Mountains

21st - 28th Oct 2015
Marrakech

Highlights

  • Guided tour of Marrakech
  • Visiting the magical souks and Medinas
  • 4 days guided walking in the Atlas Mountains
  • Experiencing Berber life
  • Visit to the local mosque and Koranic school

What's Included

  • Flights and transfers from the UK
  • 3 nights 4 star accommodation in Marrakech
  • 4 nights in a Kasbah in the Atlas mountains
  • All breakfasts
  • 5 Lunches
  • All Dinners
  • Specified excursions and walks
  • Services of a local tour guide
  • Services of a mountain walking guide
  • Services of a Socialeyes tour manager

Excursions

  • Full day Marrakech guided city tour
  • Demnate day walk
  • Moroccan village walk
  • Waterfall walk
  • Dinosaur footprint walk (Optional Excursion)
  • Camel Ride (Optional Excursion)

*Please not, a general level of fitness is required for this trip as it is geared to people who are capable of and enjoy walking for 3 to 6 hours every day. Some walks will involve shorter but steeper sections; others will include more gentle, but longer ascents and descents of up to 700 metres (approx, 2000 ft). There is the occasional steep section but there will be no scrambling or climbing.

Morocco, ancient and mysterious land of great geographical and ethnic diversity, is rich in culture and characterized by a mountainous interior, Mediterranean coastline and large expanses of beautifully unspoilt desert. The first part of our tour is based in Marrakech, most important of four former imperial cities. The second half centres on historic Demnate, amid the splendid Atlas Mountains and surrounded by traditional Berber villages and uniquely beautiful scenery. The REAL Morocco... revealed by Socialeyes.

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Day 1: Wednesday 21st October
Marrakech
We arrive in Marrakech where we'll have the day to relax and explore at leisure.
Dinner included, overnight in Marrakech

Day 2: Thursday 22nd October
Full Day Tour of Marrakech
We begin our North African experience with a full-day guided tour of the enchanting city of Marrakech. In the morning we'll be visiting the magical Bahia Palace and the architectural remains left by the 16th century Saadian royal dynasty. The Bahia Palace, a grand structure dating back to the late 19th century and surrounded by luxuriant gardens, was constructed with the intention of creating the greatest palace of its age. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in the attractive medina district, an old town quarter which is packed with market stalls and overlooks Djemma El Fna square. This whole area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and it positively buzzes with colourful activity which includes remarkable street performers, countless orange juice stalls, mesmerising snake charmers and water sellers in colourful costumes carrying traditional Moroccan goat leather water-bags and brass cups. At dusk each day the whole scene transforms into a nocturnal food market where a diverse array of traditional produce is displayed and prepared.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included. Overnight in Marrakech.

Day 3: Friday 23rd October
Marrakech – Demnate
Today offers a free morning in Marrakech, or an alternative chance to take part in an optional camel riding excursion. In the afternoon, we'll be transferring to the wonderfully unspoilt central Atlas mountains, to our second base, the historic market centre of Demnate. Demnate is the oldest city in the south, and for many centuries was an important linking point between South Morocco and Marrakech. The Berber villages which cluster attractively around Demnate remain delightfully rich in cultural tradition and are surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the entire southern region. Today we'll be meeting our mountain guide for a brief description of the walks which we'll be taking over the next few days.
Breakfast and Dinner are included. Overnight in Demnate Kasbah.

Day 4: Saturday 24th October
Demnate Day Walk
We begin the day walking through beautiful mountain terrain and alongside sparkling rivers, with an opportunity to explore the natural travertine bridge of Imi N'Ifri. The two sides of this bridge are traditionally said to represent two young lovers whose families insisted upon keeping them apart. The story goes that this Moroccan equivalent of Romeo and Juliet joined hands and then turned to stone, thereby forming the bridge as we see it today. On the southern side of the gorge is a spring which dispenses water that's particularly rich in natural mineral salts. We take a relaxing walk through the finely cultivated fields and olive groves of the Atlas Mountain region, calling into a Moroccan mountain village to meet the local inhabitants, an experience which provides a revealing insight into indigenous village life, much of which has remained unchanged for centuries. We continue our walk through extensive apple orchards and olive and fig groves, arriving at another mountain village where there's the opportunity to visit authentic local features such as the local mosque and a Koranic school. This is followed by a picnic lunch, after which we continue, making a short ascent to experience a truly panoramic view of ancient Demnate and the impressive surrounding vista of the mighty Atlas Mountains.
(5/6 hours walk)- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included. Overnight in Demnate.

Day 5: Sunday 25th October
Moroccan Village Walk
Today we take an all-day walk from our attractive Kasbah base, venturing through Demnate and into the surrounding area. Our walk begins with a meander through lush pine woodlands, en-route to the small Moroccan village of Aghry, from where we continue through cultivated fields to Demnate and then pause for a picnic lunch stop. Here there's the opportunity to visit the local souk (marketplace) and to become entranced by the aromatic sensations of fine spices. This is followed by a visit to the Mellah, the historic Jewish Quarter. Our walk resumes with a delightful wander through splendidly mountainous countryside, which eventually leads us back to our welcoming Kasbah for dinner, convivial conversation and a well earned overnight rest.
(5/6 hours walk)- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included. Overnight in Demnate.

Day 6: Monday 26th October
Free day or optional Dinosaur Footprint Walk
This morning there's the option to join the fascinating historical dinosaur walk.
Commencing at the local town of Louaridene, we begin our day-hike, passing through Berber villages on our ascent to the Jbel Ghat mountain, world renowned for its prehistoric stone carvings. Our walk continues through apple orchards and olive groves as we make our way to an attractive riverside location for a picnic lunch. There's also an alternative opportunity to experience lunch in a traditional Berber house, for a real taste of the local lifestyle. After lunch, we continue on to Louaridene to investigate the astonishing remains of stegosaurus footprints which date from 170 million years ago. In the evening we return to our Kasbah for a final night of warm, authentic hospitality.
(5/6 hours walk)- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included. Overnight in Demante.

Day 7: Tuesday 27th October
Waterfall Walk
After breakfast, we'll be setting off on our journey back to Marrakech.
On the way, there'll be an opportunity to visit the three beautiful waterfalls which comprise the Cascades d'Ouzoud. We enjoy a local cafe lunch before spending an afternoon amid the realm of nature with a chance to do some swimming a little way downstream, among the small pools which line the banks of the river Ouzoud. Later, we'll return to Marrakech for our last evening, to enjoy dinner and overnight rest at the hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included. Overnight in Marrakech.

Day 8: Wednesday 28th October
Return home
After a final breakfast amid the delights of old Marrakech we must transfer for our return flight.
Breakfast is included.

For centuries, the name 'Morocco' was largely known in the west only for the fine Morocco leather used to bind the world's finest books, each being covered with the luxurious skin from Moroccan goats and always proudly marked in gold with the words: 'Morocco Bound'. In today's more accessible world, the world traveller is now able to experience this beautiful and timeless place in person, a land where fine mountains and inspiring deserts have many secrets to reveal, history to intrigue, geography to fascinate and an ancient culture to share with every intrepid traveller who takes the camel trail of destiny.... to old Marrakech. So join us as, to quote from the old Hollywood movie song, "Like Webster's Dictionary...we're Morocco bound!

UK Travellers from £799 per
person
Including flights & transfers

Non-UK Travellers from £599 per
person
Excluding flights & transfers

For a flight quote from your local airport, please click Quote me and our team would be delighted to provide you with a flight quotation. Alternatively, you may arrange your own flights.