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Morocco Snow and Sand 2018-01-11T17:56:44+00:00

Project Description

SNOW AND SAND TREK, MOROCCO

SNOW AND SAND TREK, MOROCCO

Trek to the Highest/Coldest and then the Lowest/Hottest

A unique, rare and exciting trip combining the snow of the highest and coldest point in North Africa (Mt Toubkal) with the lowest and hottest – expansive sands of the vast Sahara; all in 9 days.

Highlights

  • Unique trip that encompasses extremes of climate; alpine and desert
  • Summit the highest point in North Africa and then drop 12,000 feet to the Desert
  • Sub zero temperatures on Toubkal to over 40°C in the Sahara
  • Time in the ancient city of Marrakech

Morocco is a land of amazing contrast and no better demonstrated on this trip. Having spent a night in Marrakech on arrival, the mountain phase begins the next day. It takes just 2 days to trek up to the imposing alpine refuge at Neltner, summit Mt Toubkal (4167m) (amazing views) and descend down to Lac D’Ifni.

The transfer to the desert takes approx 6 hrs, through Ouarzazate and the Draa Valley.

Once you hit the desert, the contrast will be immediately apparent and the sheer open space and remoteness becomes a reality. There is nothing here except the tranquil sound of silence. By now you will have descended over 12,000′ and the temperature risen several notches.

The desert phase is longer enabling you to reach Erg Zaher (nicknamed ‘Eric’), the highest dune in amongst the Erg Chigaga chain. Enjoy this temporary minimalistic existence and the hospitality of your Berber hosts.

On completion, it’s a well earned hot shower and overnight stay in Ouarzazate before heading back to Marrakech.

At A Glance   

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £1250
Land Only, from £1050
Trip Duration 11 Days UK - UK
Trek Length 8 Days
Max Altitude 4167m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Riad, Refuge, Tents
All meals, B'fasts hotels

Trek to the Highest/Coldest and then the Lowest/Hottest

A unique, rare and exciting trip combining the snow of the highest and coldest point in North Africa (Mt Toubkal) with the lowest and hottest – expansive sands of the vast Sahara; all in 9 days.

Highlights

  • Unique trip that encompasses extremes of climate; alpine and desert
  • Summit the highest point in North Africa and then drop 12,000 feet to the Desert
  • Sub zero temperatures on Toubkal to over 40°C in the Sahara
  • Time in the ancient city of Marrakech

Morocco is a land of amazing contrast and no better demonstrated on this trip. Having spent a night in Marrakech on arrival, the mountain phase begins the next day. It takes just 2 days to trek up to the imposing alpine refuge at Neltner, summit Mt Toubkal (4167m) (amazing views) and descend down to Lac D’Ifni.

The transfer to the desert takes approx 6 hrs, through Ouarzazate and the Draa Valley. Once you hit the desert, the contrast will be immediately apparent and the sheer open space and remoteness becomes a reality. There is nothing here except the tranquil sound of silence. By now you will have descended over 12,000′ and the temperature risen several notches.

The desert phase is longer enabling you to reach Erg Zaher (nicknamed ‘Eric’), the highest dune in amongst the Erg Chigaga chain. Enjoy this temporary minimalistic existence and the hospitality of your Berber hosts.

On completion, it’s a well earned hot shower and overnight stay in Ouarzazate before heading back to Marrakech.

At A Glance

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £1250
Land Only, from £1050
Trip Duration 11 Days UK - UK
Trek Length 8 Days
Max Altitude 4167m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Riad, Refuge, Tents
All meals, B'fasts hotels

Highest & Lowest points
Coldest and hottest
Unique and rare experience

Summit Trek

No compulsory Single Supplement

All meals on trek

Hotels/Camping

ATOL Protected

Trip Information

Trip Information

Day 1. Depart UK, fly to Marrakech

Day 2. Drive Marrakech to Imlil, trek to Neltner

Day 3. Toubkal (4167m, summit day), Trek out to Lac Ifni

Day 4. Meet Transport, drive to Desert, Short trek

Days 5/6/7/8. Desert trek

Day 9. Short trek, Transfer to Ouarzazate

Day 10. Transfer to Marrakech

Day 11. Depart for London, B

Day 1. Depart UK, fly to Marrakech
For Land Only packages, your trip starts on arrival in Marrakech (meet at the hotel).

Fly from London on a direct flight to Marrakech. On arrival in Marrakesh, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel/Riad. Once you have settled in, you will want to experience the famous Djemaa el Fna square. Your first experience of the square is one of a senses explosion; entertainers performing, a myriad of food stalls all lit up with the smells to accompany them, and the general melee of activity.

Day 2. Drive Marrakech to Imlil, trek to Neltner
After breakfast, you will depart and drive into the High Atlas mountains to the town of Imlil (90 mins). Once you have met your trek crew, complete with mules, you will be on your way. It will take between 5 and 6 hrs to reach the Refuge; a steady climb throughout the day. Get lots of rest for tomorrows big day. BLD

Day 3. Toubkal (4167m, summit day), Trek out to Lac Ifni
A pre-dawn start for the ascent of Mt Toubkal (4167m). The terrain varies and can be steep in places. You will also highly likely cross patches of snow, which tends to lie throughout the year. There is also some scree, trekking poles can be useful here. It’ll take about 4 hrs to reach the summit and some may experience some discomfort as the altitude increases (it will subside quickly once you descend). If you experience some difficulties, speak to your Guide. There are some great views from the infamous triangle that marks the summit. The descent is by the same route, have a rest before descending further to Lac D’Ifni. A long day – approx 12 hrs. Overnight camp. BLD

Day 4. Meet Transport, drive to Desert, Short trek
An early start to have breakfast and a short trek to meet the transport. Say goodbye to your mountain crew (the Guide stays with you all of the time). It takes approx 6 hrs to drive down to the Desert, through Ouarzazate and Zagora. It’s a beautiful drive through the Draa Valley; lunch en route. If you wish, we can safely store some of your clothing/equipment in Ouarzazate that you don’t need in the Desert. Your start point is M’Hamid, where you will meet your Desert trek crew (including camels) and head out into the sand for a short trek to the first night’s camp near Nsrat. BLD

Days 5/6/7/8. Desert trek
For the next 4 full days, you will enjoy some fantastic and remote trekking in the vast Sahara; very different from the mountain terrain of just a day or so ago!
The dunes will be low level to begin with, mixed with the hard baked ‘hamada’ underfoot. This whole area is based on the Draa river.
There are no formal campsites, it literally is open desert. Your first night’s camp will be in an area known as Tidi.
The 2nd full day is a big one as you head out into the high and impressive chain of dunes known as Erg Chigaga. These dunes can reach 1000’ upwards and you will camp in amongst them. In the distance is a mountain ridge that marks the border with Algeria.
Your final full day will leave the bigger dunes behind as you head towards Ras ‘n Akhl.
By now, you will be well and truly used to living a very spartan and simple life. There are no radios, no TV, no newspapers, just silence and a sea of sand. BLD

Day 9. Short trek, Transfer to Ouarzazate
Your final 1-2hr trek will take you to the finish near M’Hamid to meet your transport. Say a fond farewell to your trek crew before the 5 hr road journey back to Ouarzazate.
It’s time for a well earned shower and change of clothes! BLD

Day 10. Transfer to Marrakech
A 5 – 6 hr road transfer back to Marrakesh, over the High Atlas mountains.
Just after you leave Ouarzazate, there is a visit to Ait Ben Haddou, the place where a lot of the ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ was filmed.
Check into the hotel; the remainder of the day is free. B

Day 11. Depart for London, B
At the appropriate time, you will be transferred back to the airport for your return flight home.

Note – B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner

Dates & Prices

Dates With Flights Without Flights
13 - 23 Sep 2018 £1250 £1050

Deposit – £250

Group Size: 2 – 12 + the Guide(s).

Sole Occupation – see tab below.

What the Price Includes

  • International flights London – Marrakech – London
  • Return airport transfers in Marrakech
  • An experienced and qualified English speaking local guide
  • All land transfers involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as described in the itinerary
  • All meals on trek and B&B in hotels
  • Local porter assistance on trek (mules and camels as appropriate)
  • All necessary trek and National Park access permits

What the Price Does Not Include

  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Lunch & evening meals in Marrakech and en route to the desert (itinerary shows full meal plan)
  • Optional trips and sightseeing tours
  • Guide and Crew gratuities

What the Price Includes

  • International flights and airport transfers in Morocco (flight inclusive)
  • An experienced and qualified English speaking local guide
  • All land transfers involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as described in the itinerary
  • All meals on trek and B&B in hotels
  • Local porter assistance on trek (mules and camels as appropriate)
  • All necessary trek and National Park access permits

What the Price Does Not Include

  • International flights
  • Airport transfers in Marrakech
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Lunch & evening meals in Marrakech and en route to the desert (itinerary shows full meal plan)
  • Optional trips and sightseeing tours
  • Guide and Crew gratuities

If Sole Occupation is requested – £90.

This includes: 2 nights hotel Marrakech, 1 nights hotel/Riad Ouarzazate, all nights in a tent on trek.

If you a lone traveller, you will be not be charged any form of ‘single supplement’ by default but placed into a twin room (same sex). If there happens to be an odd one out, someone gets sole occupation at no cost.

If the above group dates do not suit, you can request alternative dates to suit you. Read more>>

brochure
book
key information

It’s All In The Detail

Passport – Must be valid for the duration of your stay. Information source is the FCO Travel Advice Morocco.

Visa – No visa is required for the purpose of tourism for up to 3 months.

Flight Tickets – paper tickets are rare these days; all e-tickets. All you need to check in is your passport and PNR Reference No (which we provide you with). From that your boarding passes are provided. We either provide your boarding passes (by email) or you check in on line yourself (or at the airport).

Travel Insurance – Mandatory on our trips. We will ask for proof of cover. We do not sell travel insurance. Go to our Information webpage for our unbias advice and tips.

This trek is classed as Challenging. The ascent to the summit of Toubkal is a significant one and also takes into account the altitude. The summit day (ascending, descending to the Refuge and then further to Lac D’Ifni) is a long one. The desert phase may appear easier underfoot and without the ascents but the heat and sand will bring its own challenges.

An average to good level of fitness is required.

In the UK, if you can walk for 5 – 6 hrs per day, on consecutive days, over undulating terrain (with normal rest stops), carrying a daysack weighing approx 6kg, then you should be perfectly capable of completing this trek.

After booking, you will be asked to complete an Emergency Details Form which will include your medical history. If we have any doubts about your ability to take part in the challenge, we may ask you to provide a letter of fitness from your GP, therefore we would recommend that if you have any concerns, you speak to your GP prior to booking.

Fitness Concerns? – Call us on 01529 488159 or 07725 943108

Food

  • B’fasts in hotel, all meals on trek.
  • Drinking water is supplied throughout the desert phase.
  • Breakfasts are a choice of cereals, porridge, bread, spreads, etc.. plus hot drinks.
  • Lunches are salads or hot meals + breads, drinks, fruit, etc…
  • Tea/coffee/biscuits are served on arrival into camp.
  • Evening meal is 3 courses: soup followed by a tagine or rice, pasta, lentils, vegetables, etc.. + desert (usually tinned fruit). Hot drink.

Please inform us if you are vegetarian.

Accommodation

  • Marrakech – good quality hotel, twin share, same sex.
  • Ouarzazate – good quality traditional Riad, twin share, same sex.
  • On trek – tents, twin share. There is a Refuge at Neltner (mountain phase). It may be used in some circumstances as opposed to tents.

Our default flights are:

International Flights – London – Marrakech, direct flights. We will use indirect flights (1 stop) if we need to due to late bookings or similar circumstance.

London not convenient? – Other UK regional airport options are possible. We appreciate the potential inconvenience of London if you live far away. Whilst using regional airports may attract supplements due to higher flight costs, that cost may be offset by the cost and time of travelling to London. Please ask for advice on 01529 488159.

The advice here is given in good faith from trusted sources; we are not medical professionals. Check with your Medical Practice if you are up to date with the primary courses.

Vaccinations:

FREE Vaccinations – the following are usually FREE on the NHS as they are considered the greatest risk if brought into the country:
Cholera, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus and Hep A (be aware some of those are combined vaccinations).
Information source – http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1071.aspx?CategoryID=67

The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is the currency of Morocco and you cannot obtain the currency outside of Morocco.

You can change money either at the airport or the Money Changers (booths on the street). Please be aware of your arrival timings. If arriving late for example, the Money Changers may have closed for the day and you will leave before they open in the morning. The airport is potentially your best option.

There are ATM’s available.

We recommend either carrying additional spare cash OR a debit/credit card as a back up. The latter (credit card) should always be carried for emergencies.

Further generic information on subjects such as travel insurance and high altitude trekking can be found on our Information webpage.

Anything missing? – Ask A Question