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High Atlas Trek HA

Visiting: Morocco
Trip Duration 10 Days

Reviews for High Atlas Trek

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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High Atlas Trek reviews verified by reevooReevoo

12 reviews

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High Atlas TrekScores 8.8 out of 10 based on 12 reviews
(8 out of 10)


You do need to be reasonably fit for this tour and with the right equipment/clothing for the time of year as the weather can vary considerably. Highlights are the wonderful views along the valleys from the tops of the mountains and cols; the Berber villagers and their daily lives; the support provided by the leader, cook, muleteers and mules; the history and architecture of the towns and cities.
The Gites and camp sites are basic, with everything needing to be carried by mule, so expect to be flexible and fit in with what's required to get the best from your experiences. Some Gites, I found, were well used but with very limited facilities, that I wondered whether any investment was finding its way back into the community by upgrading the site using local labour, or being creamed off by its owners?
Confirmed traveller: 09 October 2016
Published on: 18 October 2016
(7 out of 10)


The highlights would be walking through the Juniper trees, the sense of achievement climbing to the passes. I think I was lucky in that it was a fun group to be with which made up for the fact that I did find some of the walking difficult. This was because in some sections there was a lot of scree coming down and narrow ledges with steep scree either side. This was made worse my by my injuring one if my toes on my right foot.
My tips would be that this is more a challenging than moderate trek although I accept that's my view. I would advise people to be prepared for a lot of scree and narrow ledges. Having said that the guides were excellent at helping me and others at all the difficult stages. I would recommend some trekking gloves for gripping the rocks as some of the are sharp.
The food was amazingly good on the trek. The accommodation on the Trek was much better than expected. There were only 2 places we stayed where it was more than 2 to a room although we were told that was partly luck because there were empty rooms.
It was fun travelling on the Mule I hired because of my injured foot.
Confirmed traveller: 25 September 2016
Published on: 30 September 2016
(10 out of 10)


West Yorkshire
Marrakech and the High Atlas lived up to my expectations. An unexpected bonus was the insight gained into the lives of the Berber people.
Confirmed traveller: 25 September 2016
Published on: 29 September 2016
(10 out of 10)


A great trek. Not easy walking by any means - be prepared for steep scree and long walking days. Beautiful scenery though and a great leader in Mohammed.
Confirmed traveller: 25 September 2016
Published on: 29 September 2016
(10 out of 10)


The trip was better than i thought...longer days than i thought with more km than shown on iternary because of zig zags which was great..accomadation was great...and our leader was the best leader i have been with in all the years off traverling.....
Confirmed traveller: 25 September 2016
Published on: 29 September 2016
(10 out of 10)


We began our trip at the beginning of Eid. It was fascinating to observe the culture in the small villages in the mountains.
Amazing lunches provided by Ibrahim and his team.
Wonderful support from the Mulerteers.
Tour leaders, Mohamed and Khalid were professional, knowledgable, funny, entertaining. Safety was paramount to both leaders on trip and they made you feel secure and safe. I have been on a few Explore trips these two guided by far the best.
Confirmed traveller: 25 September 2016
Published on: 29 September 2016
(7 out of 10)


I had always fancied hiking in the Atlas mountains and, although I normally plan my travel independently, I felt that an organised trip would be the appropriate choice in this somewhat less developed region than what I was used to in Europe, Turkey and the US.

The organisation of the trip was excellent. Everything worked perfectly; one should not underestimate the amount of organisation needed to have our daily walking dovetail so neatly with the mule train carrying our bags and the cook producing three meals a day for us.

The value for money was remarkable, I thought. For £500 (without flights), I had a two-week holiday with, essentially, all accommodation and meals included and with the support of a professional guide, a cook, and between three and five muleteers and their mules.

Apart from an irritating habit of pouring tea from an exaggerated height, our guide was excellent. He was knowledgeable about the birds, mammals and reptiles of the Atlas but, much to my disappointment, had essentially no interest in the butterflies.

The highlight of the trip was summiting Toubkal at 4167 m.

The accommodation was somewhat mixed. The hotel in Marrakesh was very average; I stayed one night in the hotel immediately next door (Hotel Akabar) and, although also not great, I felt it was somewhat better and only £24 a night. (Of course, a Riad would be better still, but then you have to brave the Medina.) Some of the village houses in the Atlas were clearly run with some pride (Aremd, Tizi Oussem) but others (Ouansekra, Aguersioual and Iabassene) were dirty and unsatisfactory. I was aware in advance that I would be staying in some basic accommodation but would never equate basic with dirty, as perhaps our guide tried to do. I have stayed in basic village houses in Turkey and they can be clean and charming. Interestingly, of course, in relatively liberal Turkey the village houses are run mostly by women whereas in rural Morocco one sees only the men. In a couple of places (e.g., Iabassene), we were watched like a hawk by an old man in case we took a bottle of water or had a shower (both usually 10 dirhams extra each) and I felt that his time could have been more usefully employed by him grabbing a cloth and a bucket of hot soapy water and starting to give his establishment a good clean. I feel if Explore and its representatives in Morocco said to (e.g.) the proprietor of the village house in Iabassene "We will not come here again unless you give this place a good clean and then keep it cleaner" then one would soon see improvements. None of the villages houses provided towels (unlike in Turkey); one must bring one's own.

Our trekking started on Monday and by Saturday we were a couple of kilometres from where we had started and about 100 m lower in altitude. Basically, we spent the first six days going round in a circle. I am not saying that I didn't enjoy those first trekking days but I found the lack of a sense of overall direction or progress rather frustrating. The second week was better, as we started to climb towards Toubkal. If I had my time over again, however, I would choose one of the shorter trips, 5 days or a week, and do Toubkal more efficiently.

Our daily lunch breaks ranged from 45 min in duration to 2 h 15 min. I found these to be far too long, especially as we often began to get very cold from sitting around in the shade at high altitude. I do not know why we had to have such long lunch breaks. I would have preferred a later start to the day and more time during the walk itself to stop and take pictures of (e.g.) butterflies. But perhaps there was some reason to do with the work load of the mule train? Overall, I was somewhat bemused by the great emphasis given to food and eating on the trip. I signed up because of my passion for mountains, wildlife and walking - not because of any interest in Moroccan gastronomy!

On some days, I found I was exceedingly bored. I am used to hiking solo, map and compass in hand, making my own decisions, sometimes getting very lost. On this trip, I was told what time I was getting out of bed in the morning, what time I was having breakfast, when we starting walking, etc. All I had to do each day was follow in the footsteps of our guide and this did not provide me with enough mental stimulation. The Atlas mountains are very arid and hence there was not much wildlife around to provide any distraction from the daily trudge.

There were four other people in my group, all male. At the start, I was disappointed by the small size of the group and by the lack of women, although it did make us a very efficient unit after the first couple of days. But a larger, more varied, group would have provided a wider range of social interactions during our two-week trip. To my surprise, my companions were not particularly experienced mountain walkers; indeed, a couple of them had virtually no experience. I did wonder why one would sign up for a two-week trek in the High Atlas if one had never even climbed Scafell Pike or Ingleborough. But, glossing over a few minor hiccups, this lack of experience did not really cause us a problem. Potentially more serious was the fact that a couple of our group had turned up with completely inadequate footwear. Again, would one not take a good look at one's boots before going on a two-week trek in the High Atlas? However, thanks to the application of vast quantities of superglue, we somehow got through the fortnight without our plans having to be disrupted.

The trip notes had warned me that I would be asked to provide about £20 tipping money in advance by our guide. In fact, he asked for £25. Then, at the end of the trip, he said he needed more and we each gave him an additional £7, making £32 in total. My fellow group members then wanted to tip our guide. Personally, I did not want to do this as I considered him to be a "professional", like myself, and "professionals" don't accept tips, in my opinion. However, I was swayed by peer-group pressure, of course. But I was not happy that I ended up paying out nearly 50 quid in tips; a ridiculous amount, I feel, especially in a relatively poor country like Morocco.

Some of the Moroccan and Berber people we met were lovely; others were rude and only interested in our money.

Top tip: take some clothes pegs and a secret stash of loo roll. Oh, and a good book to stave off boredom.
Confirmed traveller: 05 June 2016
Published on: 14 June 2016
(9 out of 10)


Highlights were the summit of Toukbal, the amazing range of landscapes and the waterfalls. The catering was excellent with beautifully cooked lunches and evening meals.
Confirmed traveller: 23 August 2015
Published on: 08 October 2015
(8 out of 10)


This was our 7th holiday with Explore. We always choose Explore as we have never yet had a bad experience with them and the guides are always first class.
Confirmed traveller: 23 August 2015
Published on: 30 September 2015
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

This was a fantastic trip and very good value for money. I would recommend it The scenery was the highlight along with meeting the local people. I got to see parts of Morocco I wouldn't have been able to see if I had travelled there myself.The tour leader and assistant guide made it a memorable experience. The food was amazing throughout. I don't know how the cook managed it. Moha was an excellent guide full of local knowledge and willing to share this with the group. He made sure everyone was well looked after and was constantly checking that everyone was ok. The pace he set was just right for me and he always made sure that the slower members of the group weren't left behind. He joined us for the majority of meals and told us about Berber culture. Every night he made sure that there was boiled water for us to fill our water bottles and he pointed out springs etc on walks so that everyone could refill their water bottles while we were trekking if they wished. Moha was friendly, well organised and treated everyone with respect. I can't imagine a better leader. It was his skill that made this a memorable trip for me. I had an amazing time.
Confirmed traveller: 06 July 2015
Published on: 12 March 2016