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Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
An excellent trek. Well paced to build up to the altitude, early starts and big ascents and descents with more restful days following harder ones. Going to high peaks and high passes was followed by descent into valleys for the night. The first part of the trek was on less popular routes, the final few days around Toubkal were a bit busy. Toubkal summit is bit like Snowdon on a busy day, but hey, you have to do it.
Enthusiastic and efficient support team of muleteers.
Probably ascent of Anoukrim, final 4000m peak. Some impressive early morning light and sunrises. Some very nice winding paths over steep terrain.
Excellent. Friendly with a humorous attitude. Very good at pacing the day's walk and keeping the group interested. Good local knowledge and obviously enjoys being in the mountains. I had the impression he managed the support team of muleteers very well and obviously got on with them very well.
This trek is quite physically demanding but should be within the abilities of anyone who is used to consecutive big days in UK. The main challenge is making a fairly big walk every day for 12 days. Altitude effect was perceptible but not debilitating and there were few if any problems with headaches etc, due to the well planned ascent profile.
Excellent food considering the location and a very good support team.
It seemed unnecessary to subject the trek leader to the final day in Marrakech. The walking tour was good but it had a different guide and I felt his presence was superfluous and I had the impression that so did he! His mountian skills and knowledge are wasted in a city. I did not enjoy being rushed through the souk and only stopping at one shop. I think it would have been better to explain that we were going to make a rapid transit of the souk as a familiarisation and leaving us to go back later
Absolutely fantastic! Loved every second of it and couldn't of wished for better trip. The views were astonishing and the pride after completing the peaks is overwhelming, everyone should do this trip!
Reaching the top of all of the peaks is just amazing, especially to complete them with the new great friends you make on the trip.
Swimming in the lake is unforgettable, with views to die for.
The group leader was incredible, he was constantly checking up on each member of the group making sure everyone was safe and enjoying their time. He made the trip factual too and told us all about the places we visited during the walk and our time in the villages. He was just fantastic and made the trip unforgettable.
Don't waste your time thinking about booking the trip, book it now and be ready to make some incredible memories that you will never forget!
Absolutely Awesome !
The Peaks & Valleys of the Atlas holiday in Morocco as organised by Exodus was a wonderful trip. We used it as a private group of 12 and I cannot fault the organisation. The 12 day trip with three 4000 meter peaks was a tough walking trip but it was very doable and we were taken care of magnificently. Our guide Hassan was great, our Muleteers were enthusiastic and hard working, our cook was the best and provided us with great meals. The trip was well planned in that we gained lots of height slowly and descended often enough to let us get used to the high altitude. Because of this nobody suffered bad altitude illnesses and most of us completed all three 4000 meter peaks. There are many big descends involved but luckily most of our knees survived. It is recommended to take trekking poles. We camped half of the time and slept in gytes the other nights, and this variety was great.
Many inspirational moments were there on this trip. Off course to feel the achievement of going to the summits of the great peaks and having spectacular views. But also the interaction with the people of Morocco who were without exception all very welcoming and very friendly. The landscape is stunning. Special moments are also the brilliant night skies one has when camping in the middle of nowhere.
Hassan our group leader is a great guy, leading our group onto every hill. He is enthusiastic and full of knowledge. We had many laughs with him. I can't fault him in any way.
This is quite a tough trip, but if in general good health and used to lots of walking over tough terrain, this holiday is great. Because of the high ascents and descents (often 1000meter up or down) and some long walking days (max 11 hours) one has to be reasonably fit.
Make sure you do not bring too much luggage. It is not needed. Make sure you take dehydration tablrts as one sure way to enjoy this holiday is to drink plenty!. Also take tablets to clean drinking water as although bottled water is available, the environmental impact is too big to rely on these alone. Aldo keep good hygiene all the time, as a tummy bug is easily got, and would spoil the holiday.
Yes! When not staying in a hotel, you will always have a foam sleeping mat or full mattress if staying in a gite.
Danuta Janik - Customer Operations
You will need comfortable walking boots with ankle support, and something lighter for the evenings.
David Richardson - Sales
The EU recently banned the use of iodine tablets, therefore these will no longer be provided on trek. We advise you buy your own purification tablets in the UK (Biox Aqua drops are good) and take them with you. Bottled water can be purchased throughout most parts of the trip, yet please note recycling is not fully established in a lot of areas.
Danuta Janik - Morocco Operations
Expect it to be hot during the day with strong sun, mid to high 20s is the norm. However, there can be a cool breeze and you will need extra layers when you stop. As ever in the mountains be prepared for quick, unpredictable changes in the weather and have appropriate clothing for this. At night temperatures can drop to zero.
David Richardson - Sales
You may take out some gifts if you like, but do not give money - ideally take crayons, pens, writing paper etc which they can use in school.
Ian Langford - Sales
Unfortunately our local supplier does not have a reliable source through which he can secure sleeping bags so you will need to have this in advance of travelling. If you don't want to buy one, bags can be hired through TrekHireUK (www.trekhireuk.com).
Danuta Janik - Customer Operations
Anything you don't want to carry with you on the trek can be locked up at the hotel in Marrakech.
If you want an idea of the most basic refuge (Nelter refuge), you can have a look here, which should give you an idea.
Some of the refuges and gites on the mountain have sockets and electricity and there are showers (shared) at the gite but be aware they are basic and hot water isn't always guaranteed. Real soap or shower gel is fine. The beds have mattresses, so you just need your sleeping bag. They are basic but as long as you're aware of this, you should be fine.
Food & water
There are random places to buy water around the mountain, and also trekking up from the gite. On the actual ascent, you normally carry what you need from the hut, and this has been boiled and is drinkable. I didn't take any purification tablets with me and was fine. A camelbak is fine to take, although I used a water bottle. I wouldn't worry too much about purification tablets, we didn't need any on our trek.
It's also a good idea to take some snacks along, I stuffed my day bag with Snickers and energy bars before I left, which I was grateful for.
Clothing & equipment
Wearing shorts won't offend people, even in the villages. Trekkers are a regular sight on the route, so as long as it's not too revealing, it's fine. The people we met along the way were unfailingly friendly.
You might have some rain (although not that likely) but storms in summer are rare, from what I was told when I was there. A light waterproof jacket is really all you need, I would say. I took one and used it about the middle of the trip, but that was all. You could take waterproof trousers as well, but they're not essential.
Good walking boots are a must, you are climbing to nearly 4500m - walking shoes won't do it at all. The ground underfoot is rough a lot of the way, and there is lots of ascent and descent, so ankle support is essential. I don't think there's a great deal of difference between leather boots and synthetic, it's down to what you prefer yourself.
I also found a headtorch useful and would advise taking one, handy at night and for any early starts.
It's usually a 6am start for the peak. There are some steep ascents but they take it slowly, with maybe a small bit of scrambling. It's a good idea to use walking poles as well, for the steep sections and having something to balance on helps a lot, but maybe just one if that's your preference.
You can have snow at the top or earlier, and there was a lot of very late snow on Toubkal in 2011. Rain can also happen and we had one day of rain on my trip. Obviously it can vary depending on where you are and also local conditions, but expect it to be hot (20s - 30s) down in Marrakech and then a sliding scale the higher you go. Mornings and evenings will be the coolest. It's still hot on the lower slopes around the mountain but could get down to single figures at the higher reaches. You'll need a windproof/ waterproof jacket and a warm fleece, as well as the usualy layers underneath.
It's a pretty stress free trip, and the guides know what they're doing so you shouldn't have too many issues. Although the walking days aren't so long (usually 5, 6 hours max), you have a few days with big altitude gains so this can have an affect on how your calves feel the next morning.
Because they take it fairly steady, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery along the way (especially going over the Tizikert Pass), and there are some great valleys you pass through.
The guides will give advice as you go along, so listen out to what they have to say. But apart from that, trek slowly and make sure you drink about 4 litres of water per day.
You have the first afternoon there, and also an afternoon/ night/ morning at the end, so plenty of time for shopping. It's a busy city, with lots of tourists and some people do find the sellers quite pushy but I didn't mind it. The central square is constantly full of noise and shouting, people selling everything you can think of. The souks (markets) are very busy as well but not as full on.
People will ask you to come into their shop all the time but just smile and decline if not interested. The can feel pushy but have been doing it for hundreds of years and it's not just something for the tourists, it's the nature of their business!
Olly Leicester - Sales
You will find taxis everywhere but the only way to travel around the city and soak up the atmosphere is to jump in a Calesh! If there’s one thing, you do make sure you enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride around the old walled city or medina. Your hotel can arrange for a caleche to collect you pick one up from the ‘taxi rank’ at the entrance to the Djemma el Fna or main square.
Ben Roseveare - Marketing Director
Marrakech is truly a taste of Morocco at it's best. Grab a seat in the huge main square, the Djemma el Fna, and watch the world go by while sipping some mint tea. It's been a place of entertainment for locals for hundreds of years and is packed with everything from food stalls to snake charmers! The Majorelle and Menara gardens are also well worth a visit, and offer some peace in the middle of this hectic city.
At night, anyone looking for somewhere to chill out in the heart of the medina should try the Café Arabe, which has some of the best modern Moroccan food around, as well as great views from their rooftop terrace!
Kim Christie - Customer Operations
Moroccan cuisine is very diverse, with many influeneces due to the interaction of Morocco with the outside world for centuries. The cuisine of Morocco is a mix of Berber, Moorish, Mediterranean and Arab influences. The main Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous, usually eaten with beef or lamb. Chicken is also very common and the importance of seafood is increasing, especially on the coast. Vegetarians won't have any problems either, although choice can be more limited in remote locations.
The common and tasty tajine is everywhere, a mouth watering stew with meat and vegetables. Green tea with mint is the drink of choice, and you can pick up bocadillos (sandwiches) from street stalls everywhere - you won't go hungry!
Olly Leicester - Sales
The Moroccan currency is the Dirham and cannot be imported or exported, as it is a 'closed' currency. We suggest you take your personal spending money in good condition notes, either in £, Euros or US$. Local costs - it depends! - £2-4 per day to cover postcards, small souvenirs, soft drinks etc; £15 a day for food is fine (if it's not included).
Danuta Janik - Morocco Operations
You are visiting a predominantly Muslim country, therefore you should dress modestly at all times when visiting cultural sites, and there may also be times when you are asked to 'cover up'. During your trip the tour leader will always advise you on appropriate dress for each day's activities.
If you are asked to 'cover up', you'll need to cover your shoulders, arms and legs. We recommend packing lightweight trousers or a long skirt, and a long sleeved shirt. Women may also be required to cover their hair with a scarf if entering a mosque or religious quarters.
Jim Eite - Product Manager
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