Guided Walks, Adventure Tours

and Self Guided Walking Holidays

Ph: +353(0) 87 7849 599     Email: info@hilltoptreks.ie

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With ascent to Jebel Toubkal (4168m) and relaxation on Atlantic beaches of  Essaouira.
Date:
May 29th - June 5th 2016 - Cost: €745pps.

DESCRIPTION & FEATURES OF THE TOUR - 8 Days
Exotic and fascinating, colorful and authentic, Morocco will spoil all your senses with its stunning variety of landscapes and architecture, with smells and sounds of the ancient medinas, with the vibrant life in the famous "Jemma El Fna" square and the peace and beauty of the Atlas mountains.  In this corner of the North Africa you will find a dazzling combination of the Berber, Arab, European, Jewish and African influences, ancient towns, snow-capped mountains and sandy beachmorocco mountainses, lash green fruit gardens set in the beautiful valleys and the freshest sea food in the Atlantic coast.

Many adventures are awaiting the traveller who is looking for places off the beaten track. 
Our Moroccan trekking holiday will start in the famous city of Marrakesh, and will bring you to the Berber villages of the High Atlas, from where we start to summit the highest mountain of the North Africa – Jebel Toubkal.  Ascend to the summit of Jebel Toubkal is challenging, but reguires no special mountaineering experience, you just have to be reasonably healthy to be able to make this climb.  You will definitely enjoy the experience!
For a few days we will be enjoying  trekking in the different  valleys,  tasting amazing moroccan food, and if the weather permits, will take a bath in the waterfalls and after the summit, we can relax in an authentic Berber hammam in the village.

After days spent in the mountains, we will come to the Atlantic beaches in the delightful city of Essaouira, where you can have a long stroll by the beach, lose yourself in the narrow streets of the old town, and watch colourful spectacle of the fishermen boats returning to the port, with their baskets full of fish.
Essaouira is a remarkable city, with its fortifications and ancient medina, where in the souk you will find the best craftsmen work in Morocco, products from argan oil and antiques from many parts of sub-Saharan Africa.  Try some freshly-caught grilled fish in the port, and take surf or kite surf lessons in the beach, or have a horse riding trip to the surrounding areas. There are so many things to do in Essaouira! 

Here the ocean breeze will awaken your senses and stimulate your energy, and you will fall in love with this place

Cost: €745pps, Single Supplement €85 (only available for 1st night in Marrakesh and 2 nights in Essaouira) There is a 3% booking fee

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Includes:
• Double accommodation at  4 star Hotel  in Marrakesh (1 night);
• Accommodation in guest house in Armed (3 nights);
• Accomodation in the mountain refuge (1 night);
• Half board (breakfast and dinner buffet  in Marrakesh, day 2);
• Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) days 3-5, breakfast on 6.
• Transfer from Marrakesh to Imlil.
• Certified mountain guides days 3-5;
• Mules for carrying your luggage to refuge;
• English speaking group leader during all holidays
• Group transfer from Imlil to Essaouira
• Accommodation in the private riad – house in Essaouira (Day 6-8)
• Breaksfasts

Not included:

• Flights; Ryanair fly striaght to Marrakesh.
   Recommended flights for this trip are FR 7378 and FR7379
• Transfers from Marrakesh airport to the hotel (around €7 by taxi);
• Transfer from Essaouira back to Marrakesh
• Meals that are not mentioned.

ITINERARY:

DAY 1:  ARRIVAL TO MARRAKESH.
Arrival in Marrakesh. Accommodation at the hotel.  In the evening we will have our first group meeting and an introduction to our forthcoming holidays, after which you can enjoy your first evening in the famous Djemma el Fna square, with colourful crowds, fakirs, acrobats, and gnawa musicians.

DAY 2:  MARRAKESH – ATLAS Matlas mountains moroccoOUNTAINS – ARMED.
In the morning you can lose yourself in this fascinating city. We can organize a guided trip for you, visiting the most famous places, as Koutubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs and Mellah (Jewish quarter).  And you cannot miss to spend your evening in the action-packed Djemma el Fna square with its street theatre, which was declared by Unesco a “Masterpiece of World Heritage”.

In the afternoon, we are starting our mountain adventure, driving direction to the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.  It is a beautiful and fascinating drive; we will stop in the Berber mountain villages  to drink some fresh orange juice and to admire the impressive scenery.  Arriving at the village of Imlil (1740m) we will enjoy our lunch in the shadows of the walnut trees by the river, have a glass of sweet Moroccan mint tea, and visit local artisan shops.
Imlil – is a typical Bereber village of the High Atlas, for centuries living from agriculture, growing walnuts, apples and cherries.  But in the recent years because of it’s strategic position, this village became the centre of the mountain tourism, as here is the start point to summit of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa.

After our picnic we continue walking through the walnut and apple trees gardens, following the Imnan river stream, heading to the next village. We will stop at the Bereber village of Armed, were we will have our base for the next few days in the mountain guest house build in the hill, overlooking beautiful Ait Mizane Valley.
 
DAY 3:   Trekking in Imlil Valley. Duration: Approx 4 – 5 hours; Distance approx. 10km
We will wake up watching sun rising over the Atlas Mountains.  Today we have a beautiful mountain trek in the mountains surrounding the confluence of the Tamatert and Imlil valleys. During our trek we will enjoy the beautiful views of the valleys, have a lunch in the mountains, and at the end of our trek, we can refresh in the waterfalls.
After the trek we will have free time to discover the villages and their life, to visit local hammam or may be just chill and relax in our ter ramorocco yogace taking sun and enjoying the views.
Our meals will be made from the fresh local products, and you will definitely appreciate the taste of Moroccan tagine – typical Bereber  food  prepared from the vegetables and lamb meat.

DAY 4: Armed – Mountain Refuge Neltner. Duration: 5 hours, Distance approx 12 km, Ascent 1000m.
Early morning after breakfast we are starting our route to the summit of Jebel Toubkal.  Our heavy backpacks will be carried by the mules to the refuge.  The first part of our trek will follow the river, in a beautiful Ait Mizane Valley, and will bring us to the Holy stone of Sidi Chamarouch.  Here we will stop to have some fresh orange juice and water, to continue our way to the refuge.  From here we starting a steady climb, our path is snaking up to the valley, were we stop in the comfortable mountain refuge for overnight. 
In refuge our Moroccan chef will prepare a dinner and a fresh Moroccan mint tea.

DAY 5: Refuge - Jebel Toubkal – Armed. Duration: 8 hours. Total ascent 1000m, Descent  2000m.
Early morning at around 5am we are starting our climb to the summit of the highest mountain in North Africa.  The first part of the climb is reasonably steep, and you will enjoy the view of the sun rising over the Atlas Mountains.  Coming closer to the summit the view are opening, and you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking views.  At the summit, at 4168m altitude, the whole Atlas range is below your feet!!  In a clear day you can see the Marrakesh plains in the north and the distant spaces of  Sahara in the south.
After enjoying the views, we start to descend to refuge, where dinner is waiting for us!!  We continue walking down to our base in the village of Armed, where we can have a shower, and to celebrate our climb with a nice Moroccan tagine and music!

 

DAY 6 - 7: Armed – Essaouira (or Marrakesh)
After breakfast we are ready for a short walk back to the village of Imlil.  From here we are driving to the sea side town of Essaouira.  
Fresh Atlantic wind and seagulls will meet us in Essaouira.
We will stay at a private hotel – house, close to the beach. Our house will be given to our group especially, for us to enjoy it´s privacy, the beautiful Moroccan design with wooden and ceramic craftwork in rooms and the private garden.   You will love this house! In the Riad next door you will have one of the best restaurants in town, with freshest sea food, Mediterranean and Moroccan food. At this Riad you can enjoy poolside bar and swim in the pool with sea water.
The Blue City OF Essaouira.
Full day to enjoy the fascinating historic town of Essaouira, with its old medina, beautiful  Portuguese fortress and endless sandy beaches.  Lots to see, try the fresh sea food, lose yourself in the medina or in the numerous art galleries or get some argan oil treatment  in the Moroccan hammam.  Surf lovers can enjoy different beaches in Essaouira and around.

DAY 8: End of our Tour.
It´s time to say goodbye to your new friends and to your Moroccan adventure with us.
For those who would like to extend their stay in Morocco, we can arrange your accommodation and suggest some additional trips.

 


Accommodation:
In Marrakesh and Essaouira we are staying at charming hotels Riads with restaurants and swimming pools.  In the mountains we are staying at the new spacious guest house (altitude of 2100m), in the simple but nice shared rooms, 2-3 in room.  Facilities are shared, there are 4 showers and 4 toilets in the guest house, all with hot water.  Everything is new and immaculately clean. There are 2 big terraces for sunbathing, 2 big salons for meals and group reunions. In our mountain guest house our cooks will prepare for us delicious Moroccan meals and during our days there we will be treated by our host with delicious sweet mint tea and locally grown fruits.

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Insurance:
It is condition of booking with us that you are adequately covered by comprehensive travel insurance for the full duration of your trip.  You allow us to inspect your travel insurance upon arrival.

Visa and Passport:
EU citizens, US and Canada citizens require NO visa to enter Morocco for up to 90 days.  At the point of entry you have to fill in a form stating personal details, purpose of your visit (tourism), and you will get your passport stamped by the authorities.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry.  You will need one blank page in your passport for the entry stamp.


Health and Vaccination:
There are NO mandatory vaccines for travellers in Morocco, but we are advising you to check with your doctor before travelling to any foreign country.
For minor health complaints, visit to a pharmacy is likely to be sufficient.  Moroccan pharmacists are well trained and dispense a wide range of drugs.
Be advised not to drink tap water.  Use only bottled water.


Local Currency:
The local currency in Morocco is dirham, and 1 Euro makes approximately 10 – 11 dirhams, and the rate is steady. Remember that you will get money out of an ATM in dirhams!


Security and Local Customs:
Morocco is one of the safest African countries for travellers.  The great majority of Moroccans are friendly and hospitable  people.  But just like in any other popular touristic places, in Marrakesh you have to be aware of the unofficial guides who approach you in the streets, offering to show you the sights, or to sell you some kif or hashish.  Do not accept any offers from strangers.
General advice for women travellers:
Dress modestly.  Long trousers and long sleeves are appropriate.  A head scarf will earn you respect, particularly in the countryside during our journey.
In Muslim countries, it is generally considered unacceptable for women to smoke, so it would be a good idea not to smoke in public areas.

 

GETTING THERE:
The simplest way to get to Morocco is to fly
The low cost company Ryanair has direct connections from Marrakesh with many European cities.
As we are starting our journey in Marrakesh, the best option is to fly to Marrakesh.  Upon confirmation of your journey we will send you the name of your hotel in Marrakesh, and the taxi ride from Marrakesh airport to the hotel will cost you around  7.00 Eur.  

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOUfez-medinajpg

JUST A GUIDE TO HELP YOU ALONG YOUR WAY…

Light comfortable clothing to wear during the day;
Casual warm wear for fresh mountain evenings, like pullover or cardigan and long pants,
Long comfortable trekking trousers;
Light windproof and waterproof jacket;
Light trekking wear like shorts and short-sleeved blouses;
Canvas hat, or any hats for sun protection;
Light trekking shoes;
Sandals or flip flops;
Sunglasses  - category 3 or 4 for maximum protection;
Light backpack for trekking and to go around;
Sunscreen – SPF 50;
Your own medicine and hygiene kit;
Travel adaptor;
Photo camera with extra batteries and memory cards;
Swim wear;
Personal document folder – for Passport, tickets, credit card, medical details and emergency contact details etc.


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There is a 3% booking fee

Cost: €745pps, Single Supplement €85 (only available for 1st night in Marrakesh and 2 nights in Essaouira)

25% deposit required at time of booking.

Booking and Deposit:
A non refundable 25% of total cost deposit must be paid upon booking.  We will then invoice you for the remainder of the cost separately, which you must pay not later than 4 weeks before departure.  If you book less than 4 weeks before departure, full payment must be made on booking.
Deposits are non-refundable, at the discretion of the Company. 

Cancellation of Your Booking:
If you cancel your booking after you have paid in full the following cancellation charges will be made:
CANCELLED MORE THAN 4 WEEKS BEFORE DEPARTURE – 25% OF TOTAL COST (YOUR DEPOSIT AMOUNT)
CANCELLED BETWEEN 2 AND 4 WEEKS – 50% OF TOTAL COST,
CANCELLED LESS THAN 2 WEEKS (OR NO SHOW) – 100% OF TOTAL COST OF YOUR JOURNEY.

 

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