Atlas Mountains trekking and Marrakech

Price
1241To1301 excluding flights
Duration
8 Days
Type
Tailor made
Reviews
More info
Trip reference: DLDM Full board at The Kasbah B&B in Marrakech Includes all transfers MARRAKECH STANDARD RIAD OPTION 1241 euro per person 924 euro single supplement MARRAKECH UPGRADED RIAD OPTION 1301 euro per person 1044 euro single supplement
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Description of Atlas Mountains trekking and Marrakech

Price information

1241To1301 excluding flights
Trip reference: DLDM Full board at The Kasbah B&B in Marrakech Includes all transfers MARRAKECH STANDARD RIAD OPTION 1241 euro per person 924 euro single supplement MARRAKECH UPGRADED RIAD OPTION 1301 euro per person 1044 euro single supplement
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Morocco walking
Anyone who has swerved their way through a sweltering Marrakech souk might not guess at the peaceful walking trails and cool, unspoiled scenery that l...
Atlas Mountains

Vacation information

Dietary requirements:
We can cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Reviews

2 Reviews of Atlas Mountains trekking and Marrakech

5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
2
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Reviewed on 27 Jun 2022 by

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


We expected the mountain scenery to be as glorious as it was and the sights and sounds of the Medina also lived up to our expectations in Marrakech. The more unexpected memory we will take from it was the friendliness of the people. We obviously got to speak to our guides, drivers and the Riad and Kasbah staff - and our guide kindly took us to his home to meet his wife and children and arranged for us to visit another, more modest home - but the most memorable interactions were those accidental ones with local people, both in the mountains and Marrakech.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


First, just go! And go now - for all sorts of reasons! We wanted to see the 'real' Morocco not the westernised, tourist version/sights - we told of Marrakech guide that and he dutifully did so (and DO get a guide, both in the city and the mountains)! But we were struck by how quickly this country is modernising: the contrast between the Imlil Valley now, 25 years after the arrival of a road and electricity, and the Azzaden Valley (a road last year, electricity 2 or 3 years ago) only 3-4km away was striking in terms of both the volume of houses, cars and tourists. So, if, like us, you want a real experience, the second piece of advice is to be prepared to put yourself out and go find that experience.

The walking isn't easy but, if you are fit and agile, as we were, nor was it very hard. The heat in June was not as oppressive as we feared (hard to understand why so many Europeans choose not to go in June - we had both the Riad in Marrakech and The Kasbah almost to ourselves! - although we understand August may be very different), even in Marrakech, but it was warm: the cooking was good if a little repetitive (this isn't a 5-Star, Hilton, Room Service Menu experience), the trekking lodge rooms are not huge (it is a Trekking Lodge!), our digestive tracts took a beating (Imodium is a must!), but what a time we had!

Our third tip would be to give yourself to the people, be they the guides or the locals. Be respectful but don't be too hung up on the dress code! Trust them, speak to them (the guides speak English well but French is the best language for the locals), be inquisitive and smile - we learned so much about both the Islamic faith, dispelling even our quietly held and educated fears.

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


It's a question that really relates to the mountains, not Marrakech. We'd like to think that by purposely interacting with them, we 'built bridges': in the Azzaden (where they see a tourist once a week, unlike once every 5 minutes in Imlil), if we stopped in a village faces would appear over roof tops and walls, chatter would begin, smiles exchanged and so on. But perhaps the honest answer is 'Not as much as perhaps we expected or would have liked'.

Whilst in the Kasbah there is plenty of signs about there being 5% levy donated to the local community and literature about the work for the Education For All Charity, it wasn't forced upon us: we walked past co-operatives selling local artefacts but the guides were at great pains to point out we were not obliged to look, let alone buy. There were also plenty of signs about not littering (slightly surprisingly, none that we can recall about water conservation) but if you are sensible and responsible it should all come naturally. As parents - and one of us being an ex-teacher - we'd really like to have had the chance to visit a school (a possible optional extra?): maybe there is scope to offer the chance to make a one-off donation at the end of the stay, or see more of how the 5% levy is being spent (if the guest is interested)?

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


We're a newly retired couple, either side of 60, who have had our fill of relaxing by pools and on beaches - we're absolutely not back packing, hostel living teenagers, even if we want the next few trips to be more about both seeing the places we've never seen and, above all, 'doing', 'meeting' and 'experiencing'. So we had a great time!

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2020 by

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


great trekking

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


bring a water bottle

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


The guides were local which was great, however, our guide did not really tell us what to expect, what options we had for hiking (going this way or that) and was
not very knowledgable about local issues (!). Spent most of his time chatting with the various mule guides during the hike.

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


Fantastic

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Eben
Thank you for your feed back which we really value and allows us to try and maintain our very high standards. I am glad that overall you thought your vacation with us was fantastic and you were generous to give us a 5* rating thank you. I am sorry your guide was not as good as he should have been and I will be looking into what happened here as it is certainly not what is normally the case as can be seen from the feedback we get. I apologise that your guide fell short of the standard we usually provide.

Thank you again for your feed back which is really appreciated. Wishing you well Mike McHugo and All the rest of team

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet

1. Village labourers used traditional building techniques and local materials in its construction, with everything having to be carried in by hand or on the backs of mules. Power tools could not be used, as electricity didn't arrive in this remote region until 1997.

Perched on imposing outcrop 1,800 metres above sea level, the kasbah crowns Imlil Valley with its population of around 5,000 mostly subsistence farmers, whose own fields and walnut, cherry and apple orchards flourish below.

2. Trying to reduce plastic waste. Please help us to make this a reality.

As in many countries, Morocco has a waste disposal problem which here in the inhabited Toubkal National Park can be more noticeable. Rubbish, particularly plastic rubbish, that does not decompose, is one of the main culprits.

Accordingly we are trying to reduce the use of plastic bottles at the Kasbah, as we believe these are unnecessary. We are in the very privileged situation of having safe spring water as our water supply, so we are instigating a new system at the Kasbah based on 2 of the R’s, Reduce and Rethink in relation to plastic water bottles.

Our ultimate aim is that we and our guests will not be a source of plastic water bottle waste. We believe this is possible, as we have a source of safe drinking water and hence bottled water serves no useful purpose.

A NOTE ABOUT ANIMAL WELFARE: We work closely with “SPANA” a British charity working for the Protection of Animals abroad.
We only use mules whether ours or hired in that are in good health have Spana bits, are loaded with 60 to 80 kg of baggage and muleteers are discouraged/banned from riding when the mules are loaded. We worked with Spana to produce this website www.imlilvalley.com and associated pdf brochure for use by everyone involved in tourism to encourage good practice in several area’s of sustainable tourism including mule welfare.

People

1. Education for All Morocco Limited EfAM is a charity established in 2006 by Discover Ltd and other friends in Marrakech. EfAM was set up to build boarding houses near to secondary schools in Morocco, providing accommodation and care to girls from remote mountain communities in the High Atlas mountains, enabling them to further their education through the Moroccan state system. Primary education in Morocco is compulsory and readily available to both boys and girls between 7 and 14 years old. However, it is unusual for girls in the High Atlas mountains to continue their education beyond primary level. This is because the nearest secondary school may be over 20km away, and impractical to travel to each day. Many families do not have the financial resources to support their daughters through secondary education. Those that do may lack a family network near to a secondary school to whom they can entrust their daughter. Girls from these communities deserve the opportunity to continue their education.

“We believe that if you educate a girl, you begin to educate the next generation.”

Education for All and Discover Ltd organise community work and service projects through which you and your students can make an essential contribution to our ongoing work in Morocco. We have already built 3 boarding houses, which between them accommodate over 100 girls. Through fund raising and practical community work or service projects.

2. All our invoices will incur a 5% charge this is in favour of the local Village Association “Association des Bassins d’Imlil” and Education For All. The Association Bassins d’Imlil covers the whole of the surrounding valleys. This association provides the ambulance that you see in Imlil which provides a service to the local population and visitors, other community projects that have been undertaken include the rubbish clearance system and the provision of the village Hammam. Education For All helps provide college education for girls from the rural High Atlas.

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