Atlas Mountains winter trekking holiday, Morocco

“A week of winter trekking in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, with one ascent of Jebel Aklim (2,531m). Point to point walking, camping along the way.”


Agadir | Taroudant | five days of trekking in Anti Atlas Mountains | Tizi'n'Touzlimt Pass | summit Jebel Aklim | Aklim Circuit | City of Cats | Tizgue Pass

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

Travel Team

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20 Apr 2019
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12 Oct 2019
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26 Oct 2019
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02 Nov 2019
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21 Dec 2019
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

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?
Big experiences
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?”
Valerie Parkinson
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.
Roshan Fernando
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

Responsible tourism: Atlas Mountains winter trekking holiday, Morocco


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.

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 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.

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.

3 Reviews of Atlas Mountains winter trekking holiday, Morocco

4.5 out of 5 stars

In depth story review

“It was only eight days, and in some ways it felt like more, as it was just timeless in the middle.”

Reviewed on 22 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The stars at night - no light pollution. Having lunch on the highest peak thanks to our trust mule, Kasha.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take the warmest sleeping bag you have. Be prepared to put on weight - the food is amazing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fabulous - a great experience.

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The mountains were superb! Haven't ever seen anything like them before.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you have a good down 4-season sleeping bag as it gets really cold at night. There was frost on our first night!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent!!! In all areas - walking, food (in the middle of nowhere was amazing), the rapid pitching and dismantling of the camp, Mohammed (the guide) was superb and friendly - everything was smooth and seamless. I would recommend this holiday without a doubt.

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Tea with Fatima, great group atmosphere, wonderful scenery, simply just getting
away from it all!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It really can get cold at this time of year so do bring warm clothing :-) And
protection from the strong winds.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Conservation - not applicable. Reduced environmental impacts - walking rather than travelling around by bus all the time. Camping rather than using resource-draining hotels. Local people - lots of smiles and laughter with the villagers we met.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful, just want I needed and a great experience for my first group travel.
Thank you to all the staff in the UK and Morocco.

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