Morocco holidays, Atlas Panorama
Optional single supplement from £130 - £140.
Minimum age 16.
Description of Morocco holidays, Atlas Panorama
If you are moderately fit and have a moderate budget, this week long walking holiday in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco is far from moderate on the experience and exquisite scales. Starting in Marrakech, we stay in a three star hotel and enjoy the sights, sounds and all things aesthetically pleasing about this fine city.
From the other worldly culture of Marrakechs souks and bazaars, we head up into the High Atlas for another worldliness of a natural kind. Swapping hotel for mountain gite and more basic accommodation, the scenery of our daily hikes every day is five star, all the way. Such as a six hour loop through the Tizi'n'Ourghsan or a hike out to Lake Tamda, perfectly poised between the imposing peaks of Jebel Anghomar and Jebel Tamda.
We take time to visit a community project that we support in Tijhza and take a traditional hammam there, meet the local Berber people who are ever welcoming to walkers, as well as one last day in Marrakech, with the hotel pool making a welcome finale to wash away the mountain dust. Although away the memory of those dramatic landscapes wont be erased for a long time.
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7 Reviews of Morocco holidays, Atlas Panorama
In depth story review
In depth story review
Reviewed on 11 Mar 2020 by Mary DobbingOutstanding. Really can't find superlatives to fit. I loved every minute. It was a last minute whim to go and I could never have predicted how good it would be. Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Mar 2020 by Hilary MacKenzieHighly enjoyable, both in the mountains and Marrakesh Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Apr 2019 by Christopher GreenWe came back home with lots of big memories, especially the hiking. But I will particularly remember the cosy family run riad that was our accommodation and its fantastic food, authentic style and wonderful hospitality. Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Apr 2018 by Margaret PattersonThe most memorable moment was waking to snow, walking in snow, seeing the beautiful effect of snow in the valley. Read full review
Reviewed on 20 Nov 2017 by Martin BradshawTrekking in the Atlas Mountains was the highlight but it was all fantastic. Excellent from start to finish. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Aug 2016 by Jan GardnerIt was excellent from start to finish! Really well organised. Food fantastic....healthy and fresh. I really don't know how they did it! Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Jan 2012 by Kerrie BuhagiarGreat - just what I needed...the benefits (economically) were shared out across the community and local villages with different families involved in different ways. 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. Even though this is a short trip, it still offers some good opportunities to benefit the local community. By including Berber villages on our route, using local gites for accommodation, using markets and local mule transport, we have a positive impact on the local economy. Particularly as we stay in Tighza, which is remote and still recovering from damages, our presence is really appreciated. Many clients like to leave behind items such as reading and writing materials and winter clothes which are taken in and re-distributed by a local association.
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 three nights in a hotel, and four nights very simple, rural accommodation in Tijhza village. Our local operators 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. Food in the village is bought from the market of Telouat, which is supplied predominantly by local producers and farmers. 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.
Campaigning for Change:
In conjunction with Baraka Community Partnerships, we have sponsored the development of 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 November 2014, 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.
Local Craft and Culture:
At the beginning and end of the trip, 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.
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.