Atlas Mountains winter trekking holiday, Morocco
Optional single supplement from £170 - £180.
Minimum age 16.
Description of Atlas Mountains winter trekking holiday, Morocco
This week long winter trekking holiday in Morocco takes place in the Anti Atlas Mountains, where we hike for five full days. Flying into Agadir, we transfer to Taroudant, an ancient walled town in southern Morocco before starting our trek near the Tizi'n'Touzlimt Pass (1820m).
Trekking between 13-22km every day, we journey through dramatic valleys and tiny mountain villages, camp atop plateaus with panoramic views, and look out to the snow covered peaks of the High Atlas. On day three we take on the ascent of Jebel Aklim, one of the Anti-Atlas highest peaks at 2531m. From here we trek the Aklim Circuit, passing through traditional Berber villages such as as Irtem and M'dint, aka City of Cats, which appear like colourful oases surrounded by palms, almond or olive trees.
We also trek over the dramatic Tizgue Pass, before heading back to Taroudant for our last day, where you have time to shop in the impressive souks, or just soak. In an equally impressive hammam
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4 Reviews of Atlas Mountains winter trekking holiday, Morocco
In depth story review
Reviewed on 14 Nov 2019 by Duncan WattThe most memorable part of the trip was climbing Jebel Aklim 2531m. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Jan 2019 by Catherine Evan-JonesThe most memorable part of the holiday was the stars at night - no light pollution. Having lunch on the highest peak thanks to our trust mule, Kasha. Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Jan 2018 by Jayne GriffithThe mountains were superb! Haven't ever seen anything like them before. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Jan 2016 by Linda SankeyThe most memorable parts of the holiday were tea with Fatima, great group atmosphere, wonderful scenery, simply just getting away from it all! Read full review
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. The trip also 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 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.
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.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We will spend five nights wild camping and two nights in hotels. 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. By spending the majority of the trip camping, we also reduce our carbon footprint and effect on the environment. 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 tagines, fish chermoula and bocadillos, which are available from street stalls almost everywhere.
Local Craft and Culture:
We visit Taroudant, which has been dubbed Marrakech in miniature, where there is the opportunity to visit the souk and haggle for locally crafted souvenirs or relax in a traditional Hammam. Upon first arriving, we go on a brief tour and have time to stop for a coffee or traditional mint tea in the square, which is often filled with story tellers, snake charmers, musicians and vendors. We pass several villages with friendly and accommodating locals, although Ighrem is a highlight in terms of craft. This copper town has survived for centuries on its production and trade of ceramic pots and water urns with the Saharan caravans. Here clients can purchase handicrafts and other items like olives and confectionaries.
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.
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.