Through the Gorge of M´Goun River and the Valley of Happy People
Morocco is a truly a country with many faces. On one side booming cities with modern lifestyle, on the other side ancient Berber villages approachable only by crossing wild mountains, rivers and canyons. During this eight days trek we will explore one of the most unknown parts of Central Atlas – the astonishing Valley of M´Goun River.
Driving towards the South we spend a night in Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou and get an impression how life used to look like on the other side of High Atlas a thousand years ago. In the so called “Valley of Roses” we set off for a couple of days trekking following the river. From time to time our path cross the water and so do we. An extra pair of shoes is necessary for this trek!
Progressing through the green and fertile valley we can observe life at the river that remained untouched for centuries. Traditionally dressed woman descending to the river to collect water for their daily needs or mules transporting goods to the villages up the river. For many of those settlements, the river is the only connection towards the main road. Finally, we reach the spectacular Gorge Achabou, the narrowest pass of the river. We continue for few kilometres only through the water which can reach up to our knees. Around us only silence and mountains surmounting to 3,000 m. Once leaving the Gorge behind we land in the scenic valleys of Ouzighimt and finally Ait Bouguemez, known for its beauty and natural richness as the “Valley of Happy People”. After spending one day in this fairytale landscape we make our way to the Waterfalls of Ouzoud and finally to Marrakech.
Photo by BerberTrekking.com
Photo by BerberTrekking.com
Overnight stay at UNESCO Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou
Four and half days of walking in one of most amazing Morocco’s landscape
Relaxing day in Ait Bouguemez
Visit of Waterfall Ouzoud (110m)
Licenced English speaking guide
Accompanying support team with mules for luggage transport, cooking etc.
Accommodation in traditional and atmospheric
Daily walking time approx. 5-6 hours
Wonderful panorama views – mountains, valleys, sees, villages…
Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou (sightseeing - Kasbah Telouet and Ait Ben Haddou) (1xD)
Leaving Marrakech early morning towards the south, we cross the High Atlas Mountains at an altitude of 2,260m via the spectacular Tizi n´Tichka pass. There are many Berber villages on the way with opportunities for small stops, taking pictures etc. If suitable we stop at Kasbah Telouet, visit this extraordinary building and eat lunch in the village. In the afternoon we arrive in Ait Ben Haddou, an old fortressed city and once an important crossroad of caravans on their way to Timbouktou. The Kasbah originates from the 11th century and was put on UNESCO list in 1987 as one of the first Moroccan sights. After checking in the hotel we explore the ksar (village) with its narrowed streets and visit a traditional house.
Day 2: Ait Ben Haddou – Tabarkhacht (start of the trek) – Bou Taghrar (1xB, 1xL, 1xD)
After breakfast we drive approx. 2 hours to Qalaa MGouna, a city known for producing of rose water and oil. In Qalaa we leave the main road and soon after in Tabarkhacht we meet our accompanying team (mule guides and chief). Loading the baggage at the mules and after picknick lunch start of the trek towards Bou Taghrar. Walking next to the river in the heart of Valley of Rose. Fields, Kasbahs and picturesque villages on our road. Overnight in Bou Taghrar, in a gite or tent.
Approx. 4 h walk
Day 3: Bou Taghrar – Tizguine – Aguerzaka (1xB, 1xL, 1xD)
Today we will get feets into the watter. Starting from Bou Tagrar in the morning we follow the river upstream. From time to time the river needs to be crossed and this is especially in the summer a nice refreshment. We pass picturesque village of Tizguine with centuries old clay houses. Picknick lunch and after short rest continuing towards the village Aguerzakam from where beautiful view towards the gorge opens. Overnight in the village (gite/ tent).
Approx. 5 - 6 h walk
Day 4: Aguerzaka – Tiranimine – Gorge Achabou – Imi Nirkt (1xB, 1xL, 1xD)
From Aguerzaka through the village of Tiraniminie. The river is narrowing and landscape becoming wilder. Finaly through narrow and wide cervices that can reach a height of 200 m at times we enter the Achabou Gorge. We walk along imposing limestone formations. There is no place for path hence we walk in the water most of the time. Shorts are a good choice today because the water can sometimes reach up to your knees. Overnight in Imi Nirkt (tent) or in Igherm Izdarn (tent).
Approx. 7h walk
Day 5: Imi Nirkt – Taghreft – El Mrabitine – Talat Rirhan (1xB, 1xL, 1xD)
We continue through the beautifully green Valley of Ouzighimt towards the west. In this fruitful valley we will pass many traditional villages. The high buildings with small windows are called Agadirs and in the past they were jointly used by the village inhabitants to protect their harvest against attackers. During the day we will meet many locals working on their terraced fields. This area is still fairly unexplored by the tourists and you will experienced the welcoming culture of the locals.
Approx. 5 - 6 h walk
Day 6: Talat Rirhan – Tizi n´Ait Imi – Ait Imi -Tabant – Agouti (1xB, 1xL, 1xD)
The day starts from Talat Rirhan (2,250,) and ascend to the Tizi n´Ait Imi (2,910m). Picknick lunch close to the Tizi with beautiful view over the M´Goun Massiv. Before the road through Tizi n´Tichka was built this pass was an important caravan road which connected the southern oasis of Dades with the royal city of Fez. The Berbers of Ait Bouguemez profited from the commercial road and the whole area flourished so that the French started to call the area as the Valley of Happy People.
Long descend from the Tizi to the source of Arhbalou n´Ait Imi and further to the village of Ait Imi (1900m). We continue our way through the Valley of Ait Bouguemez, pass at two pyramid mountains and finally arrive in Agouti where we stay in a comfortable guest house.
Approx. 7 h walk
Day 7: Relaxing day in Valley Bouguemez/ “Valley of Happy People” (1xB, 1xD)
Relaxing day in heart of beautiful nature of Bouguemez Valley. Take a walk through the walnut and apple orchard or drink mint tea in one of the local cafés.
Day 8: Agouti – Ouzoud Waterfall (visit of waterfalls) – Marrakech (1xB)
In the morning drive through the magnificent mountains of Central Atlas toward Azilal and further to Ouzoud Waterfalls (2,5 h). We spend some time around the waterfall, eat our lunch and continue to Marrakech, arrival around 5pm.
season from June till September
What is INCLUDED in your price?
Licenced English speaking mountain guide
Mules/ muletiers for luggage transport
9x breakfast (tea, coffee, bread,butter, cheese, jam…)
10x picnic lunch (salad, vegetable or meat tajine, bread, nuts, olives, fish, tea…)
9x dinner (soup, meat tajine or couscous, fruit, tea)
Vegetarian option possible
9x night in the tent in a bivoac/ mountain gite or guesthouse
Private transport from and to Marrakech (possible to agree on other start places)
Pick up and return at your hotel
What is NOT INCLUDED in your price?
Bottled water/Soft drinks
Hotel in Marrakech
Tip for the cook, guide (just if you are satisfied with service, tipping is very common practice in Morocco)
2 person 740 EUR p. P.
3 person 685 EUR p.P
4 - 5 person 570 EUR p.P
6 - 8 person 505 EUR p.P
Please, contact us if your group is bigger.
COMBINE THIS TREK WITH...
Trip to Sahara desert
During the entire tour you will be accompanied by a licensed and experienced guide and his local mountain support team which will take care of your luggage and catering. The tour is technically not difficult, but you should be a little bit used to walking cross-country and not mind that your feet will get wet, but in summer this is a very pleasant and refreshing feeling. Good trekking shoes together with another pair of solid shoes for the water are highly recommended.
We will spend nights in the simple but atmospheric mountain refugees or tents and have lunch or tea at local Berber places. Of course, we will also benefit from the culinary skills of our well experienced Berber chief cook.
This tour is only possible during summer months from June till approx. September when the water level in the Gorge is low. During the rest of the year the water level exceeds one meter and walking is not possible.