Morocco holidays, Atlas Panorama

“Enjoy four days walking in the High Atlas Mountains where you'll become part of a typical Berber village and sample simple pleasures prior to living it up in Marrakech.”

Highlights

Marrakech | Jardin Majorelle | Djemma el Fna | Menara Gardens | cross the Tizi'n'Tichka | 4 days walking in the High Atlas Mountains | Ouarikt Gorge | Animiter | Tizi'n'Ourghsan | Mt n'Oughlagal | Jebel Anghomar and Jebel Tamda | plenty of free time to explore Marrakech at leisure

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 Marrakech’s 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 won’t be erased for a long time.

Travel Team

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18 Oct 2020
£799
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20 Dec 2020
£849
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28 Feb 2021
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Our top tip:
This is a hiking holiday and comfortable walking boots are required as well as plenty of layers to counteract colder mountain temperatures. Also, bring a pack of cards or travel games to play at the gite.
Trip type:
Small group. Average group size 12. Minimum age 16.
Activity level:
Moderate. Four solid walks with shorter or longer options.
Accomm:
4 nights basic gite, 3 nights en-suite hotel with swimming pool.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, listed activities, tour leader throughout.
Meals:
All breks, 3 lunches, 4 dinners.
Solos:
Single rooms available at a surcharge in hotel only.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
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. 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:
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.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation 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.

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.

Climate

7 Reviews of Morocco holidays, Atlas Panorama

4.5 out of 5 stars
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In depth story review

“I felt like a child that had found a secret place… I found it hard to believe I was just a four-hour flight from the UK.”
“It was probably the day that we hiked around Mt n'Oughlagal, which gave us just amazing views across the mountains and valley.”

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2020 by

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


Walking in the mountains, discovering Morocco for the first time, it was all exciting. Our guides, hosts, assistants and muleteers all were memorable for their hospitality welcome and care.

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


Be prepared for exposure to fierce sun. Drink loads of water. It was hotter and dryer than I imagined for 1st March. But unforgettably wonderful all the same.

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


I hope so. We were shown a school in the village that had benefited from the operators contributions, and a water tower and a Hamaam which we sampled. I hope the presence of tourists in the village helps the sustainability of the mountain way of life and the prosperity of the people. A future project might be for us to pick up and bag some of the plastic rubbish strewn into rocky gullies around habitations. Not bad at present but will spoil the area if it goes on.

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


Outstanding. 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.

Reviewed on 02 Mar 2020 by

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


Hiking in the Atlas mountains

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


The hiking is often along trails with loose rocks and some scree. Bring a walking stick or poles

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


The gite in the Atlas mountains was locally owned and provided income for that family. The tour leader was definitely very
aware of the environment, but the tour participants weren't necessarily

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


Highly enjoyable, both in the mountains and Marrakesh

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2019 by

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


Lots of big memories, especially the hiking. But I will particularly remember the cosy family run riad that was our accommodation in the village of Tijhza
(population 300). Fantastic food, authentic style and wonderful hospitality.

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


Definitely try the village hamam.

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


The Tijhza locals told us that responsible tourism was an increasingly important and locally controlled element of this mostly subsistence economy

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


Wonderful. I would do it again in a flash.

Reviewed on 16 Apr 2018 by

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


Waking to snow, walking in snow, seeing the beautiful effect of snow in the valley.

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


Do not assume you will be in summer clothes.

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


Yes, particularly the use of local labour

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



Reviewed on 20 Nov 2017 by

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


Trekking in the Atlas Mountains was the highlight but it was all fantastic.

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


Don't expect amazing cuisine - it is generally wholesome but you have to go to the more upmarket restaurants for really tasty food.

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


Yes. We had a local our guide who was a longstanding employee of the tour operator. He was very knowledgeable. I felt like we were benefiting the local people rather than exploiting them.

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


Excellent from start to finish.

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2016 by

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


Sitting on a terrace high above the square in Marrakesh listening to the calls for prayer.

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


You only need one warm jacket! I took that plus a fleece...cut down on clutter! Take a good torch. A walking pole is a must for the scree on Mt Toubkal.

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


The tour supported the locals by employing them as guides, cooks and accommodation providers. They were fantastic. The tips they received would benefit them and their families.

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


It was excellent from start to finish! Really well organised. Food fantastic....healthy and fresh. I really don't know how they did it!

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2012 by

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


trekking in the mountains, particularly the 10 hour hike to the lake

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


Although the trip is graded moderate and the hiking isn't overly strenuous, the days walking can be quite long so be prepared - this IS a hiking holiday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - the benefits (economically) were shared out across the community and local villages with different families involved in different ways.

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


Great - just what I needed.

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