Five of our favourite treks in Morocco
Morocco is home to some breathtaking landscapes, ranging from dramatic shorelines and windswept beaches to gorges and, of course, beautiful mountain ranges. For clients that are not restricted on time, we suggest including the contrasting elements of the city, coast and mountains – and can design hikes for all ages and abilities. We can make it as comfortable as you would like, providing private guides, waiters and chefs, Bedouin tents and even mules or donkeys, if required. Here, we have selected six incredible treks that can be enjoyed from the vibrant cities of Fez or Marrakech:
Best for: an adventure
For a long-distance challenge on foot, we recommend a truly spectacular five-night hike in the High Atlas Mountains, taking in the 4,167m summit of Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak. We can organise for you to travel from Marrakech to Kasbah du Toubkal, a stunning retreat in the village of Imlil, from where you would commence your journey. You would be accompanied by a mule and muleteer to carry your luggage and can choose to sleep under canvas or stay in Berber settlements, mountain huts or lodges.
Best for: meeting local communities
If you are tight on time, there are countless other options from Imlil. One of our favourites is a day trip from Marrakech, where you would explore the area on foot, stopping by some of the nearby Berber villages and working cooperatives. These initiatives, established through independent and government funding, allow the region’s women to be independent as well as providing them with an education. This interesting walk is an insightful experience of traditional rural life and you can even take part in rolling your own couscous. For lunch, we can arrange an authentic Meshwi barbecue with a Berber family, where marinated lamb or beef skewers are slowly turned over charcoal flames in deep pits in the ground, surrounded by some of North Africa’s highest peaks.
Best for: luxury
For unparalled style just two hours south of Marrakech, nothing beats a hike from Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot. There are plenty of possible walks, which can all be tailored to you. We would urge keen walkers who enjoy their creature comforts to combine one or two routes over several days, using this amazing hotel as your base. Our top recommendation is the three-hour scenic Anfa Trek, which features a gradual ascent through juniper and oak forests to the peak of Asloun (1,700m) and includes a fantastic Berber lunch overlooking the Asni Valley and snow-capped Atlas Mountains. We also suggest taking a stroll around the hamlet of Asni, particularly on market days.
Best for: families
For the perfect expedition for the whole family, we would recommend a day trip from Fez into the foothills of Mount Zalagh, just half an hour from the city. From the Medina, Mount Zalagh’s peaks are visible, yet the serenity of the mountains feels a world away from the bustle of Fez. We can design two- to six-hour journeys on foot, depending on the children’s ages, passing through pine and cedar forests and fig, almond and olive orchards. We can even provide donkeys for the little ones to ride. The trek would take you through a Berber village built in the traditional adobe style, where you would learn about the culture of this mountain people and take part in the daily chores – from baking bread and making tagine on coals to milking the goats and brewing mint tea. We would, of course, include a delectable picnic lunch in a scenic spot along the way, a memorable experience in itself.
Best for: history lovers
Another superb day hike, just three hours from Fez, is a circular route from the holy pilgrimage town of Moulay Idriss, at the foot of Jebel Zerhoun, down to Volubilis, a magnificent, partly excavated Berber and Roman city. You will traverse olive groves, pine forests and the Berber settlements of Sidi Ali, Hamraoua and El Meghafyin. For the grand finale, you will be treated to a sumptuous private lunch or dinner at Scorpion House, owned by Mike Richardson, proprietor of the acclaimed Café Clock in the Fez Medina. Set high on a hillside, overlooking sacred Moulay Idriss with the ancient ruins of Volubilis beyond, it is a wonderful place to relax and refuel before your return journey to Fez.
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