Morocco

6-Days Mt Toubkal & Sahara Desert

28

Hike North Africa's Tallest Mountain and sleep under the stars of the Sahara Desert on this 6-day adventure.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Marrakech and drive to the Atlas Mountains (Imlil)

You will be picked up from Hotel Ali cafe in Jamaa Elfna square at 19h30. Often, we also make a stop at Menara airport (at 20h00) to grab the rest of the group. We then drive to Imlil (approx 1hr30) which lies at the foothill of Mt Toubkal. Our local team welcomes you followed with a freshly prepared dinner and trek briefing. You will stay in triple and quadruple rooms with showers.

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You will have breakfast around 7h30. Around 8h30, we begin the trek. You’ll give your main bag to the muleteers, and then hike for 3 hours to the tiny settlement of Sidi Chamharouch. Here your cooks will serve lunch. Fresh orange juice is available from one of the local stores. Afterward, you continue for another 3 hours to Toubkal Refuge, our accomodation for the night.

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Today we get started very early. At around 5am, you will have breakfast. After this, we begin the hike as we slowly and steadily make our way upwards. It takes 2-3 hours to reach the summit of Mt Toubkal (4,167m), we aim to get there at sunrise! You can look down from the snowy summit to the green Anti-Atlas mountains and vast Sahara desert! After taking some time to enjoy the views, we’ll head back to Imlil. This is a long , 6 hour, trek but it is all downhill.

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After breakfast, we drive towards the south east of Morocco. Along the way we will visit Ait Benhadou Kasbah, Ouarzazate City and Rose Valley. By the end of the day will arrive at Dades gorges. We spend the night here in a hotel.

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Today you'll make your way to the true Sahara Desert. You will be able to hike or ride a camel across the dunes of Merzouga. In the late afternoon, you'll arrive at your traditional Berber camp in the desert, and sleep under the stars.

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Today you will have breakfast at sunrise. It's then time to return from the dunes to the main center. Meet your minibus for a long but spectacular drive back to Marrakech, where your tour ends. We should arrive back in Marrakech by 8pm.

What's Included

Included
  • Airport and in-country transfers.
  • Certified guide and porters for Toubkal trek.
  • All meals during the Toubkal mountain trek.
  • Accommodation in Imlil & Toubkal refuge.
  • Accommodation in Dades Valley hotel (this is in triple and quadruple rooms with dinner and breakfast included).
  • Driver guide for Sahara trip.
  • Accommodation in tent in Merzouga dunes with dinner and breakfast.
  • Mineral water (1.5 L per client per day).
  • Camel ride.
  • Visit of Ait Benhadou Kasbah.
Not Included
  • International and local flights.
  • Lunch meals during the Sahara portion of the trip.
  • Winter climbing equipment (see FAQs for the difference between summer and winter Toubkal climbs).
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Travel insurance.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

Rated 5.0

28 verified reviews

Paul
Paul

(Feb 2024)

Couldn't recommend this trip more. Omar was an amazing guide and such a nice person! Will definitely look to do it again in the future!

Pawel
Pawel

(Feb 2024)

Excellent organisation, nice and professional guides, breathtaking views and amazing food! Can totally recommend.

Lennart
Lennart

(Feb 2024)

Absolute great trip in the mountains and dessert. Going up the mountain was an amazing experience, we had super great guides who took care about us. I am usually not a mountain traveller. I reccomend to use a stick when walking up the mountain to improve safety and to support your knees. I am scared about heights but i made it to the top thanks to the support from the guide. I think it is important to note that going up the mountain is not risk free and requires fitness and concentration. The dessert part was also amazing, especially the accommodation on day 4 was amazing (felt like 6 star hotel). At any point during the travel we had enough supplies (drinks and food), never were hungry. The trip is an adventure and is exhausting due to the tight schedule.

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Eric
Eric

(Nov 2023)

What an incredible experience! I've been to 30 countries and this is one of the best trips I've ever done. Toubkal is a difficult climb but the feeling you get as you approach the summit as the sunrises is simply indescribable. It is a stunning view and such a great accomplishment to summit the tallest peak in north Africa. The service from the team was incredible and Jawad was an amazing guide throughout the Toubkal portion. The 3 days to the Sahara are a long trip in the van but watching the sunset and rise the next day over literal mountains of sand is a sight you will never forget. If you are thinking about doing this trip, I wouldn't hesitate!

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Anthony
Anthony

(Oct 2023)

My recent completion of the 6-Day Mt. Toubkal & Sahara Desert trek has left me with a sense of awe and fulfillment. As I unwind for a day in the vibrant city of Marrakesh before my flight home tomorrow, I find myself reflecting on the incredible experience, and there's one individual who truly stood out amidst this adventure: our driver from Mt. Toubkal to the Sahara, Mohammed. It's no exaggeration to say that Mohammed is the epitome of a safe and reliable driver in all of Morocco. Throughout the winding and often challenging mountain passes, I never once felt a sense of worry or anxiety, all thanks to his steady and expert driving. Mohammed's competence and reassuring presence significantly contributed to the overall enjoyment of this exceptional trek. The journey itself was filled with remarkable highlights, with two unforgettable moments standing out: conquering the summit of Mt. Toubkal and riding camels through the Sahara under the starlit sky. Climbing Mt. Toubkal was an adventure in itself, and reaching the summit was an achievement that brought a profound sense of accomplishment. The breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains from the top were absolutely worth every step of the climb. Riding camels through the Sahara Desert by the light of the stars was a surreal and magical experience. The vast, silent dunes illuminated by the celestial canopy created a sense of wonder that words can hardly capture. It was a journey through time and a connection with nature that left an indelible mark on my memory. For anyone considering embarking on this unforgettable journey, I highly recommend requesting Mohammed as your driver. He not only ensured our safety on the road but also added an extra layer of comfort to our entire expedition. His attention to detail, knowledge of the terrain, and friendly demeanor made this trek not just adventurous but also stress-free. I can't thank him enough for making this trip an extraordinary and memorable experience, one that will undoubtedly stay with me for a long time.

FAQs

Before you go

The summit day on Toubkal can be 9-12 hours (with lots of breaks) so you do need a good level of fitness. In the run-up to your trip, we recommend training with jogging or sport at least 2 days a week.

See the section above for a full list of exclusions and inclusions.

Documents • Passport & visa if needed • Travel insurance details • Boarding passes for flights • Wallet • Pen for filling in arrivals form Clothing • 2-3 base-layer t-shirts (e.g. running t-shirts) • Fleece/soft-shell jacket • Waterproof jacket • Insulated jacket for warmth, if possible (from e.g. Rab, Alpkit, Mountain Equipment) • Spare clothes for Marrakech • Underwear • Base-layer trousers (optional) • Trekking Trousers • Waterproof trousers • Shorts • Swimwear for Marrakech (optional) • 4 thick wool mountaineering socks • Warm Gloves and Hat • Walking Boots • Footwear for Marrakech Other • Large rucksack for the mules/porters • Daysack (25-35L) • 3L of water bottles (Minimum) • Sunglasses • Suncream • Sunhat • Insect repellant • Glasses/contact lenses (if needed) • Sleeping bag (2-3 season) • Bathroom items including travel towel • Electronics - Head torch, travel adaptor (French plug style), phone & charger • Lipsil • Book/mp3 player (optional) • Walking poles (optional -Available to rent for €3)

Absolutely! We get lots of solo travellers on the trips. Once you sign up you'll also be added to a private Facebook group, where you can meet all the other people before you go.

We recommend you check up-to-date advice from the National Health Service before you travel to Morocco. There's a useful link below.

The currency used in Morocco is Moroccan Dirham (MAD). You can take out cash at ATMs in the airport, as well as various locations on the trip. Please check with your bank that your card is accepted in Morocco before travel, and we highly recommend bringing two cards in case you have any issues.  Please note: your bank may charge transaction fees when you use your card in Morocco.

The minimum age for this trek is 18 years, or 16 years with a parent/guardian.

Yes, we can cater for most dietary requirements. Please indicate this on the trip form before you go. We will also check with you on arrival.

On your trip

The local guides use mules to carry your main bag, so that you can just carry a small bag with water, sun cream and waterproofs whilst trekking. Your belongings that will be taken by mules should be packed in a flexible duffel bag and weigh no more than 8kg.

Winter season (Nov – Mar) Winter can be quite cold on Mt Toubkal, with temperatures on the summit going as low as -20 °C. March starts to warm up with a higher chance of rain. Early/late season (Apr– May & Oct) Temperatures at lower altitudes can reach 26°C, with little chance of rain. The summit can still go as low as -10°C with wind chill. Summer (Jun – Sep) June has a higher chance of rain, but still stays warm. July to Sept are the hottest months with temperatures at the lowest altitudes reaching 30 °C. The summit of Toubkal can be as low as -10°C with wind chill.

You will follow a sensible acclimatisation plan that works well for most participants. This includes regular breaks and a gradual increase in the altitude at which you sleep. Altitude affects everyone in different ways. However, the key is to mention if you are experiencing any symptoms to your guide (headache/nausea) as soon as you feel them.

You stay in a hostel in Imlil and Ouarzazate, A camp in the desert, and a mountain refuge on the mountain. The hostel offers shared rooms, with intermittent internet and warm showers. The mountain refuge is very basic with dormitory-style rooms. The showers do not always offer warm water and there are basic style toilets. The mountain hut does sell snacks. It is worth taking small denominations of cash, as they sometimes do not have change available. You'll camp in the desert with very basic facilities.

Maximum group sizes are 12.

The guides will provide you with 1.5L of water each day. Water is also available from natural springs and at various village stores along the way. You may want to consider taking purification tablets with you for use in the spring water. 

Start: we meet you at Hotel Ali Cafe at 7:30 PM or at the airport at 8:00 PM, then drive to Imlil. End: around 8:00 PM in Marrakech's famous square.

Wifi is available in the hostels, however it can be unreliable given the remote location. There is no internet available in the mountain refuge, and phone signal can be poor.

Other FAQs

Basic accommodation: - Hotel Ali - Riad Omar - Hotel Imilchil Luxury accommodation: - Riad Africa - Riad Anya

Climbing Toubkal in winter (November- May) is a very different experience from the warmer months. Depending on annual conditions, snow covers the mountain top which brings additional challenges to the route. We usually expect snow from early January to mid-May but some years, the snowy season lasts longer or is shorter than usual so it's hard to predict exact conditions. The main difference if you are planning to trek during the winter months is that you will need additional equipment. Crampons and icepicks (which can be rented) become necessary to safely navigate the snow and ice-covered mountainside. This makes the trek somewhat tougher. We generally recommend winter treks for those with some prior mountaineering experience. You will also need additional, warm clothing layers.

Solo travellers will be paired with other solo travellers of the same sex. If this is not possible (for instance you are a woman and there are only men on your trip) you will get your own room, at no extra charge. Solo supplements are sometimes available for all/ part of this trip. Please enquire about this directly with your local host- to do this simply click "message your guide" from your dashboard (after booking) and they'll arrange all the logistics for you. You can then pay on arrival. Note that the refuge on Toubkal is primarily set up with dormitory-style rooms (typical of almost all high-altitude refuges ). This means that single rooms are often not available.

Morocco has a strong tipping culture. Tipping is at the discretion of the guest and depends on your personal experience. At the end of your trip, if you feel that your guides and porters did an outstanding job, then tipping is greatly appreciated. A good rule of thumb is around 50 – 70 Euros per traveller (split between the Mountain and desert teams).

Your head guide is Lahouceine

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Atlas Vertical, based in Asni.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Lahouceine