“Mount Toubkal trek in a weekend, with expert mountain guides, staying in mix of hotels and mountain inns and huts.”
Trek to Mount Toubkal summit | High Atlas Mountains | Imlil | Toubkal Base Camp refuge | Marrakech | Full porterage trekking
Description of Short break to climb Mount Toubkal in Morocco
One of the speediest journeys into a completely other world, this short break to climb Mount Toubkal in Morocco is about the most exhilarating long weekend you can have within a few hours of home. A challenging few days, this is an expedition for experienced and fit trekkers, climbing to a height of 4,167m to the highest peak in North Africa.
You spend three days in the mountains, starting in Imlil and following ancient mule trails through dramatic mountain valleys to Neltner Hut at Toubkal Base Camp (3207m). From here it’s an early morning start for the summit the next day, and when we complete our ascent we celebrate with unforgettable views out across vast plains to Marrakech in one direction and the pre-Sahara in the other. With one more night in a mountain gite at Arroumd on the way back down, we descend finally back into Marrakech for a free day to explore this magical and vibrant city, as well as one night to enjoy its plethora of cafes and restaurants. You will have earned a feast by then.
The weather can affect this trip in different ways, with risks of snow in April and October, during which time crampons may be needed as snow can be a feature during these times. And although there is full porterage, do please be aware that mountain experience and fitness is required, as well as a confidence of walking at high altitude, which can cause sickness. We do offer week long versions of this trip, which will allows more time to adjust to the altitude.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.
Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Responsible tourism: Short break to climb Mount Toubkal in Morocco
Activity: Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. Even though this is a short trip, it still offers some good opportunities to benefit the local community. Passing through Berber villages up in the High Atlas Mountains, staying in local gites, using markets and local mule transport has a positive impact on the local economy.
Water: Water is a really important issue with walking trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Lack of recycling is already a massive problem in Morocco so we suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Since the EU banned the use of iodine tablets, we are no longer able to provide these on trek. The recommended alternative of Biox Aqua drops is not available in Morocco, therefore we also advise you buy your own purification tablets in the UK and take them with you.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation and Meals: We will spend two nights in a hotel, one in a mountain gite and one in a shared refuge. Our local operators generally prefer to select accommodation which is locally owned in order to support smaller businesses and their employees. This ensures that most income generated is reinvested into the area and the community. Where meals are supplied, seasonal, fresh food is used wherever possible. Most vegetables come from the region of Sous; meat is locally supplied by butchers and fruits can be found at markets or farms in the countryside. The main Moroccan dishes most people are familiar with are couscous, meat and vegetable tajines, fish chermoula and bocadillos, which are available from street stalls almost everywhere.
Local Craft and Culture: On our final afternoon, there is free time in Marrakech to explore the wide variety of sites and activities in this major city. Clients are advised to head to the souks for souvenirs, take a ride in a traditional Caliche, or to visit the world renowned Marjorelle gardens. These tranquil gardens are decorated throughout in indigo blue and there is a small and charming museum of Islamic art in the grounds. In the evening, the Djemma el Fna central square comes alive with musicians, snake charmers, travelling acrobats and food stalls. This is the perfect opportunity to interact with local people, purchase locally produced handicrafts and to support small street vendors by trying authentic food. There will be other chances to do so on the trip at local markets, which are awash with bright images, animated characters and the smells and sounds of food being made and sold.
Campaigning for Change: In conjunction with Baraka Community Partnerships, we have sponsored the development of a small village called Tijhza for many years with a variety of projects. These include supplying a pipeline system and water tower to the village and a toilet block for the school. Thanks to our volunteer groups, Tijhza now also has electricity and an annual medical clinic, which has had a hugely positive effect on the welfare of the village. More recently, we have achieved our aim of building a Hammam to alleviate some of the hygiene issues in the area and to provide a sustainable source income for many inhabitants. Unfortunately, devastating storms struck in November2014, leaving much of the village severely damaged. We were able to raise emergency funding to provide supplies and to re-build many of the homes affected.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
1 Reviews of Short break to climb Mount Toubkal in Morocco
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 04 Jan 2017 by Doug Hain
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Reaching the summit of Mt Toubkal after leaving the base camp in the dark. By the top the sun was shining, the sky was blue with the snow glistening. The views and sense of achievement made the hard climb well worth it!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If doing it in winter has a thermal tube for your water bladder as the tube freezes!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We used local porters and mule riders and bought things from local co-operative shops so helped the community.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
A great challenged but full on, only in Morocco for 120 hours and climbed a mountain and had great Marekesh experiences.