The Jebel Saghro Winter Trek route detailed is a tried and tested, well-balanced circuit undertaken by countless numbers of trekkers over the years. It concentrates on the scenic central region of Jebel Saghro. This itinerary can easily be tailored to include additional nights either in Marrakech or El Kelaa M’gouna. This route is flexible enough to be adapted to local conditions as required.
A Typical Day on a "Specialist Morocco" Trekking Holiday:
- Wake-up shortly after sunrise
- Light breakfast
- Pack luggage (not accessible for rest of day)
- Take down tents
- Luggage loaded on to mules
- Commence walking until lunch break
- Regular photo stops on route
- Dried fruit and nuts distributed by guide at regular intervals
- Picnic or cooked lunch in the shade usually around noon
- Continue walking until reaching our village or wilderness accommodation for the night – either camp, village house or perhaps a gite
- Erect own tents
- Help local crew set-up camp or prepare food (speeds things up)
- Dinner served around 19:00 (usually traditional Berber cuisine of couscous, tasty tagines, fresh fruit and mint tea)
- Perhaps a spot of star-gazing before turning in for the night.
Day 1: Joining day. The tour starts in Marrakech. In the early evening your local trek guide-leader will be available to meet and brief you on arrangements and logistics for the forthcoming trip. Overnight at Riad Omar.
Day 2: With a wide range of attractions in Marrakech, today is completely at leisure. For first time visitors, a great way of getting to grips with this magical city is to perhaps hire an informative city guide and take a walking tour of some of the major attractions such as the Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret, the medieval square of Djemma el Fna and the Saadien Tombs. You can of course tailor a walking tour to suit your interests. A choice of optional experiences are also available. Overnight at Riad Omar.
Day 3: An early start from Marrakech takes us on a scenic journey into the High Atlas mountains on an ascent to the high point of our route today, the Tizi n'Tichka Pass (2260 meters). Berber villages cling to the steep red earth slopes and fossil traders vie for passing tourist trade. We reach the sizeable town of Ouarzazate in time for lunch before heading further east along the "Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs" to El Kelaa M'gouna, a town famous for its roses, near the start point of our trek on the edge of the Jebel Saghro mountains. Tonight we will make any necessary pre-trek preparations. Overnight at Kasbah Itran.
Day 4: After breakfast we store any excess luggage at our accommodation, then make a short transfer to the start point of our adventurous wilderness trek at Ait Youl village. Mules for carrying luggage and camp equipment await us, together with their "muleteers". We cross the Dades Valley and head into a remote and rocky landscape. Our plan today is to head for Afoughal. Overnight at camping in Jebel Saghro.
Day 5: Around 5 hours walking today as we continue south across the valley of Amalou n’Ouchchene and make for the isolated village of Tagmout. After time to relax and explore the village there is an opportunity for a short optional walk later today. Overnight in a simple Berber village house.
Day 6: The scenery just gets better and better as we head further into the Jebel Saghro. The dramatic, contorted, landscape of table mountain mesas and bare plateaux provide many a wonderful photo opportunity. Fine views of Tine Ouaiyour are also revealed today. Our planned place to stay tonight is Tamou, around 4 to 5 hours on foot. Overnight in camping in Jebel Saghro.
Day 7: Today is a long day of around 7 to 8 hours walking. The terrain becomes much more arid as we head to Irhazzoun n'Imlas village via Akerkour. The surrounding landscape is as spectacular as ever as we get our first glimpse of the Tadaout n'Tablah mountains and an amazing upright rock pinnacle named "Bab n'Ali" - translated as the "Gates of Ali". Our next camp is for two nights and lies close to the village. Overnight in camping in Jebel Saghro.
Day 8: There is an option today to make a full day walk to the Bab n'Ali (around 7 to 8 hours). You may prefer to enjoy a rest day and relax around camp or head into the nearby village. The choice is yours. Overnight in camping in Jebel Saghro.
Day 9: Our destination today is the Berber village of Riche, a walk of around 7 to 8 hours. After hiking along a scenic dried-up riverbed we then pass through a gorge. The surrounding landscape today is twisted and contorted with strange formations, dramatic pinnacles, spires and rocky outcrops. Look out for one shaped like a camel's head as you marvel at the naturally carved shapes. The views from the plateau of Taggourt are also spectacular. Overnight in camping at Riche village in Jebel Saghro.
Day 10: A shorter walk today of around 5 to 6 hours as we make an ascent of the Plateau of Abid (1798 meters) for amazing panoramic vistas of the whole Jebel Saghro mountain range. We descend down a picturesque gorge and make for our planned camp in a ruined kasbah at the village of Irhissi. Overnight in camping at Irhissi in Jebel Saghro.
Day 11: We continue north to reach the highest point of our trek today at Tizi n’Tmighcht (2180 meters). Both the Sahara desert and peaks of the High Atlas are visible from here. After a walk of between 5 and 6 hours there is time to rest and relax with the option of a short walk later in the afternoon. Overnight in camping in Jebel Saghro.
Day 12: After a 5 to 6 hour walk on which we descend a valley and pass by several Berber hamlets we reach our final camp at Bou Ouadador. A short optional walk is possible later in the day. Overnight in camping in Jebel Saghro.
Day 13: This morning we walk for around 2 to 3 hours, descending the Bouizergane Valley, until we reach the Dades Valley once again. Our trek ends back at the village of Ait Youl from where we transfer back to our accommodation at El Kelaa M'gouna. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Kasbah Itran.
Day 14: Today we retrace our route back to Marrakech over the Tizi n'Tichka Pass and the High Atlas mountains. During our journey we will take the opportunity to visit the spectacular ruined Ksar of Ait Benhaddou, scene of many a movie photo shoot, and listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site of cultural significance. A choice of several places to eat also make this place an ideal lunch-stop. Overnight in Riad Omar.
Day 15: Services end upon check out from your accommodation in Marrakech.
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