Day Trip to the High Atlas Mountains – Remote Berber Villages & Spectacular Azzaden Valley
Discover real Berber village life, far away from the mass tourism and commercialisation experienced in other High Atlas valleys such as Ourika and Imlil.
Enjoy an authentic Atlas Mountain experience in a truly spectacular setting based around Dar Tassa (an award-winning eco-retreat set above Tassa Ouirgane village on the western flanks of Toubkal National Park) and Kasbah Africa (a nature lodge built on the slopes of the Azzaden Valley above the river).
This day trip includes a variety of experiences: a guided walk in the Azzaden river valley, a visit to the local Berber villages of Tassa Ouirgane and Torort, an olive press and old mill plus a local bread-making demonstration.
You’ll enjoy a tasty Berber lunch in one of the most dramatic settings in the High Atlas, and have plenty of time to sit back and relax soaking up the breathtaking views and clean mountain air! Dar Tassa has a dipping pool, Kasbah Africa has a swimming pool so bring your swimwear in you fancy a swim.
|Duration||1 day (10 hours)||Tour Starts||Your hotel in Marrakech|
|Group Size||From 2 to 15||Tour Ends||Your hotel in Marrakech|
|Trip Type||Day Trip Explorer||Prices||From £45 to £65 pp|
|Operating Season||All Year Round||Private Departures||Daily|
To Dar Tassa in the Azzaden Valley
Leaving the walls of the ‘Red City’ you will travel up into the high valleys of the High Atlas Mountains. En route to the Atlas you’ll pass through the busy little town of Asni which is a buzz of activity as local Berbers ply to sell their produce and goods (Saturday is market day – a particularly interesting day to visit). The final stretch of the journey to Dar Tassa is off-road on a dirt road which twists and turns up through the fertile Azzaden Valley for 6 km.
Exploring Tassa Ouirgane Village
Before lunch you’ll enjoy a guided walk through Tassa Ouirgane village, down to the Azzaden river, learning about the local agriculture and typical village life in a community of only 40 or so families. Back at Dar Tassa you’ll see a demonstration of how local bread is made the traditional way and have chance to sample locally produced organic olive oil, wild thyme and lavender plus yummy organic honey. Lunch at Dar Tassa is a leisurely affair, ideally taken on the terrace of Dar Tassa, enjoying a home-cooked three course meal of Moroccan salad, couscous with lamb or perhaps a tasty Berber tagine, fresh seasonal fruits and tea.
Walk to Kasbah Africa & Torort Village
After lunch there’s chance to burn off the calories on a 3 km walk down through the Azzaden Valley to Kasbah Africa. Pausing at Kasbah for tea under the willow trees, some bird spotting (over 150 species of birds are native to the area) and perhaps a glimpse of the usually shy “Sanglier” – wild black pigs, there’s time for a swim and a laze in a hammock. Torort village is just 15 minutes away on foot. Here just 70 families live in adobe houses on the slopes above the Azzaden river. After a walk through the village you’ll meet your vehicle for the drive back to Marrakech.
The timings below are approximate and provided as a general guide.
0830 Depart Marrakech to Dar Tassa. Stop to visit Asni market en route (Saturdays only).
1000 Arrive at Dar Tassa where you will be greeted with fresh local milk and dates.
1030 Guided walk through Tassa Ouirgane village with its gardens and orchards.
1200 At Dar Tassa watch a demonstration of how to make Berber bread.
1230 Lunch with panoramic views of high peaks and the breathtaking Azzaden Valley.
1430 Follow a trail down along the Azzaden Valley (choice of river or valley trail).
1530 Relaxing at Kasbah Africa with chance to swim and bird spotting.
1630 Walk to Torort Berber village; explore and meet your vehicle.
1700 Depart back to Marrakech.
1830 Arrive Marrakech.
Prices, Departures & Essential Booking Information
|Prices||£45 pp (based on 4+ travellers); £55 pp (based on 3 travellers); £65 pp (based on 2).|
|Included||Pick-up/drop-off at nearest parking to your Marrakech accommodation; travel in comfort in private vehicle with professional driver (air-conditioned in summer months); English-speaking guide in the Azzaden Valley; 3 course Berber lunch (with a dramatic view), non-alcoholic drinks.|
|Excluded||Tips and items of a personal nature.|
|Booking Deposit||25% if booking more than 56 days before tour date. Full payment if within 56 days.|
|Balance of Payment||56 days|
|Price Validity||01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016|
|Departures||This day trip departs daily throughout the year and is subject to availability.|
|Packing||Comfortable shoes or closed sandals for walks, camera, sun hat and sunglasses.|
|Financial Protection||Marrakech Tours is a trading name of Specialist Africa Ltd. As Specialist Africa is a fully bonded member of the Travel Trust Association (TTA) all prices include TTA supplier failure insurance cover and safe seat plan insurance to ensure your monies are 100% secure when booking through us.|
|Travel Insurance||Travel and cancellation insurance is mandatory for all clients. Specialist Africa’s travel insurance partner is Campbell Irvine, experts in providing insurance specifically tailored to travel in Africa. See our insurance page for rates and further details.|