Hiking the happy valley – Adventure in my home

Tentative itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Individual arrival in Marrakesh or flight from Germany. If you have booked air travel with us, a Moroccan, German-speaking guide will pick you up at Marrakesh airport and will take you by bus to the Riad in the old town of Marrakesh. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan mansion with a very individualistic character. The rooms of a Riad always face the courtyard. As soon as you leave the Riad and venture into the streets, you will find yourself in the middle of bustling life in the pink city of Marrakesh.

In the evening there will be a shared meal of all particpants to get to know each other. (D)

Day 2: Marrakesh – Agouti

After breakfast, our journey to the High Atlas starts. By minibus, we will drive into the mountains of Morocco for about two hours to reach Demnate. A varied trip will lead us from the flatlands to our first destination, the natural bridge of Imí´n Ífri at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. After a short hike (about 45 minutes) and another hour driving, we will be looking forward to a typical Moroccan lunch. Later, we will complete a 1.5-hour drive to Agouti in our minibus. Depending on our time of arrival, we will take walk around the little village as a group, drink our first cup of tea, and check into our accommodation.

On the roof terrace of our first accommodation, the Flilou guest house, we will enjoy a magnificent view before dinner.

Day 3: Agouti – Ibaqalliwn/Rbat

We will start our day with a famous breakfast and our hiking adventure begins. Today, we will meet our mules and their guides, who will from now on accompany us on our tour and will take care of our luggage. Apple trees, plantations, and walnut trees will be our main impressions on today’s hike. We will walk up the river through green fields, stretching into the fertile high plateau. Our first stop at lunchtime will be in the green region of Tabant, where our cook will be waiting with our lunch under some walnut trees. In the afternoon, we will continue to follow the river to our destination.

Day 4: Ibaqalliwin/Rbat- Zaouit Oualmzi

After breakfast we will start our second hiking day with a light ascent and the crossing of Adazen Pass (2100 m), which is the highest point of our hike. From there, we will have a good view of the second highest mountain of the Atlas Mountains, the peak of M’Goun (4068m). We will have time for a short moment of marveling. From then on, we will hike downhill to the river at Ifrane (which means “caves” in the language of the Berber). There, our cook and his team will be waiting to serve a delicious lunch. We will take a short break here and enjoy our meal. Depending on our fitness, we will have hiked for about four hours in the morning.

In the afternoon, a light stage will follow with about two hours of hiking through flat areas along the river. Alternatively, you can choose to ride this part of the trip on a mule. The destination of today’s hike is the village of Zaouit Oualmzi – which is the last village in the Ait Bougouemez Valley.

Our host for the next two nights is an Ecolodge, a little treasure in the middle of the mountains.

We will have done enough exercise today – therefore we will stretch, relax, and meditate with a nice view of the village.

Day 5: Zaouit Oualmzi

Again, we will welcome the new day. In the morning, we will hike to Lake Izourar at the foot of Azourki. We will walk on a high plateau, which is very barren and extensive. It reminds us a bit of steppe landscapes. It is inhabited mostly by nomads with their herds of animals and their tents. In the summer, the lake is often dried up – but because of the fertility of the soil, the region is highly valued by the Ait Atta nomads, who will come here in the summer from the far away Jebel Sagrho mountains across the High Atlas to allow their goats, sheep and camels to graze here. After a picnic at the lake, we will hike back to our fantastic Ecolodge in the afternoon.

Alternatively, you may spend today relaxing at the Ecolodge, if you so choose.

Day 6: Zaouti Oualmzi – Imlghas

Rested and relaxed, we will start the day with a view of the villageon the roof terrace of the Ecolodge. On our light day hike, we will pass original and authentic villages of the valley, which blend seamlessly into the landscape with their brown houses made of stone and clay. We will then hike to Imghlas through the Valley of Ait Hkim. Our way leads us along hidden paths of farmers, along small rivers, past apple and walnut trees. We will travel deep into the Valle de Ait Bougouemez. In the villages, it is still custom to build houses using traditional clay and stone architecture. Students of architecture from a German university have done projects here and have campaigned for the continued existence of this building tradition.

Our cook will surprise us with a delicious lunch en route.
Today’s accommodation, the Dar Itrane in Imghlas, is a traditional inn in a local building and offers us the opportunity to relax in a Hammam after this long day.

Day 7: Imghlas – Agouti

Today, we will take it easy and will reflect upon our impressions. How am I feeling? What is the impact of nature and the walking on me? Have my thoughts calmed down?

From our inn, we will go to the Granary of Sidi Moussa. Many legends have been woven around this storage fortress, which is located on a conical mountain peak. It is well preserved and still maintains a small collection of traditional tools on display. Until just a few decades ago, the residents of the valley stored their harvest and family heirlooms in small chambers there. Up there, we will enjoy a magnificent view of the valley.

From now on, we will walk downhill to our next campsite for the night. On our way, we will meet with a women’s cooperative who expects our visit. These women weave and knot Berber carpets in the traditional way and work with dyes made of plants. We can ask them to explain everything about the colors, the motifs, and their way of weaving. This cooperative is not only their place of work, but also and mainly a meeting point to laugh, talk, and discuss.

For lunch, our cook and his team will indulge us with their culinary arts. This is when we say goodbye to our fantastic team of helpers.

In the afternoon, we will have some time to relax and sunbathe before we meet a family who will teach us how to cook authentic Moroccan-Berber food. The cooking class will teach us how to prepare regional and local specialties – perhaps we can learn something from the delicate Moroccan cuisine for our own cooking at home. Of course, we will eat our prepared meal for dinner.

Day 8: Agouti – Marrakesh

After many days of nature and hiking, our mind is free. Before we make our way back into the hustle and bustle of the cities, we will treat ourselves to one final and last wistful view of the valley and the mountains.

We will drive back to Marrakesh from our small Berber valley by minibus, full of unique impressions and unforgettable experiences. After about two and a half hours on the road, we will reach the Ouzoud Falls. These waterfalls are one of the most magnificent natural wonders of Morocco, which also makes them a huge magnet for tourism. The view of the more than 30 foot cascading waterfalls will make up for the teeming mass of people there. We will find it hard to return to reality after that. With a bit of luck, we will be blessed with a rainbow on top of the waterfalls. In the vicinity, there is always a small population of very inquisitive and friendly Barbary apes.

On our way, we will stop for a shared lunch at the waterfalls. After that, you will have some free time to go for a walk, to relax, or even to take a boat trip directly to the waterfalls.
In the afternoon we will drive the remaining 140 km by minibus, in joyful anticipation of our Riad in Marrakesh. After arrival in Marrakesh, we will check into our rooms. You can freshen up in the pool if you like. After a short yoga lesson, you are free to explore the lively city. Let yourself wander, and enjoy dinner in one of the more than 2000 restaurants in Marrakesh.

Day 9: Marrakesh

Today we will get to know the exciting and lively city of Marrakesh. After breakfast, we will set the mood for the day with a sun salutation. Our tour guide will pick us up and guide us on a trip through time.

Marrakesh – the red city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site with thousands of years of history. A special recommendation is to visit the Sardinian Tombs, Bahia Palace, the Royal Palace, Jemaa-el-fna Square, from which the numerous ramified alleys of the Souk branch off, Kotoubia Mosque, and the Jewish Quarter.

Our tour will end at a central square, leaving all afternoon to yourself. There is enough time to stroll the old town and to buy souvenirs (it is essential to haggle!). Or you might want to visit one of the many many public gardens of Marrakesh. Menara Gardens, André Heller’s Anima Garden, or Jardin Majorelle by Yves Saint Laurent … You can also choose to relax next to the pool. Whatever your heart desires.

In the evening, we will meet for our final shared dinner in the heart of the old town.

Day 10: Departure

Now it is time to say goodbye to a country full of life and contrast. If you have booked the travel package that includes the flights, we will take you to Marrakesh airport for your flight after breakfast. Alternatively, your trip will end after breakfast with your individually arranged departure from the hotel.

Important notice: Due to unforeseen circumstances and local events, this itinerary may have to be changed on short notice.

(B/L/D) = included meals breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Price per person not including flight starting EUR 1049,-

Surcharge for single occupancy: EUR 280,- (only applicable for 8 nights; for 1 night obligatory accommodation in double or multi-bed room)