Venture up into the High Atlas Mountains and through Berber homelands for your Gold DofE Qualifying Expedition. Then it’s back to Marrakech to experience the sights and sounds of the souks!
Day 1 London / Marrakech / High Atlas Mountains
We fly to Marrakech and immediately depart for our drive into the mountains. Our wonderful destination valley is situated in the Toubkal Massif area and is full of fascinating Berber villages with spectacular mountain scenery. Excitement levels are going to be high as we look forward to the start of our DofE Expedition, where we will be trekking in the superb High Atlas Mountains. We’ll camp tonight under the African stars.
Day 2 Familiarisation Day
Today we will meet our local guides and familiarise ourselves with this beautiful area.
We will have the opportunity to trek around some of the local routes and get a feel for the type of terrain. Our leader will be able to talk us through the group’s planned routes and we will also have the opportunity to revise the skills we will need.
We’ll camp locally tonight and we may have the opportunity to share traditional Moroccan tea with some of our new friends.
Days 3-6 Gold DofE Qualifying Expedition- High Atlas Mountains
Today we start our qualifying Expedition phase. After a final check of our kit we will begin our personal challenge in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains. The High Atlas region is a mix of fertile valleys and soaring, barren, snow-capped peaks offering stunning trekking.
On our route we will pass through age-old traditional Berber stone and adobe villages which blend almost seamlessly into the mountainside. As we trek through the luscious valleys, we will encounter Berber communities hard at work making their living through agriculture. The valleys here have complex irrigation channels and neatly terraced fields. We will see an abundance of walnut, cherry and apple trees and maybe see mules at work threshing wheat. Over the next 4 days we will get a real feel for life in the Atlas Mountains. The Berber people are very friendly, so do remember to say ‘Salam Aleykum’ which is a friendly ‘hello’.
Later we climb higher into the mountains, and we head over steep mountain passes where ancient junipers still grow despite the nomadic flocks grazing on the vegetation all about. From the tops of these passes we are rewarded with fabulous views across the Atlas Mountains, including possibly Mount Toubkal, Morocco's highest mountain. We descend on routes which can be rocky and steep. We continue through the fields and irrigation channels of the local Berber communities.
Each night we will camp, using only what we have carried on our backs during the day! The evenings will be spent recounting each day’s great adventure, telling bad jokes and falling asleep under the stunning night skies of the Atlas Mountains.
We finish our Expedition with a camera full of exceptional photos, and the memories of a once in a lifetime experience!
Day 7 Return to Marrakech
In the morning we travel to our Riad in Marrakech, after which we are free to explore. Our Riad is situated in the very heart of this ancient and beautiful city which is home to the 800-year old Koutoubia Minaret, the most perfect Islamic monument in North Africa.
Marrakech is a vibrant and beautiful city, with a unique market place where the Southern tribesmen and Berber villagers bring their goods to buy and sell.
We may have the opportunity to see the famous Jamma El Fna Square, in the centre of the Medina. This is the stage for long-established rituals where groups of acrobats, drummers, pipe musicians, dancers, storytellers and comedians entertain the crowds. The team might also see snake charmers!
There may be a chance to visit the amazing souks (markets) selling beautiful Moroccan, African and Asian crafts and clothes. We can try our bartering skills for family presents and souvenirs as we wander around the souks.
Day 8 Return to London
Today we’ll transfer to the airport for our return flight to the UK, with wonderful memories of our expedition.
From Saharan dunes to the peaks of the High Atlas, Morocco is an exotic and captivating country that is filled with one exciting adventure after another. With spectacular and contrasting landscapes, an expedition can include: a challenging trek over spectacular mountain passes, ‘wild camping’ under the clear Saharan night skies, or an exploration of the Kasbahs on the ancient southern trade routes. Morocco’s unique fusion of cultures and histories is both exciting and inspiring, and this generous country will leave you wanting more, such are its endless offerings.
Morocco is home to the dramatic Atlas Mountains, including North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal. Explorers will have the chance to ascent this, as well as complete exhilarating and rewarding treks throughout this region, with the opportunity to achieve the DofE Gold award as well. The vibrant Moroccan culture provides young expeditioners with a fascinating insight into a different way of life, and time spent in a remote Moroccan Berber Village is a wonderful place to experience this. A worthwhile community project and cultural exchange is a valuable way to give something back to a warm and welcoming community. Morocco provides the perfect combination of adventure, culture and community and remains one of our favourite and most popular destinations.
Fly to Marrakech High Atlas Mountains
Gold DofE Qualifying Expedition
Return to Marrakech
Free time in Marrakech
Return to London
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Christopher Short, Managing Director of Far Frontiers Expeditions
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Written on Monday, 13 February 2017
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