School Trek - Toubkal Circuit and Ascent

A trek at moderate altitude on mountain terrain





From $1,140 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Learn about the culture of the Berber people
  • Climb Mount Toubkal the highest peak in Morocco
  • Trekking through picturesque Berber villages
  • Time to explore magical Marrakech

The High Atlas Mountains of Morocco make the perfect destination for a School Adventure, with their rugged trails, varied and picturesque scenery, lofty passes, non-technical peaks and the guarantee of a cheerful welcome from the Berber people. The Atlas range of mountains is the largest in all Africa, extending through Morocco for some 500 kilometres north-east to south-west. The pick of short treks here is the circuit around Mount Toubkal (4167m), which twice crosses the main range of the Atlas and includes the chance to climb North Africa's highest peak. Our walk takes us across the central spine of the Atlas, by way of two high passes to the surprising greenery and pleasant villages of the Tizgui Valley. We then trek to the lovely cobalt-blue Lake Ifni and cross a further high pass to reach the Neltner Refuge below Toubkal. From here, a rugged but straightforward trail leads up to Toubkal the highest point in North Africa, where we have far-reaching views across the Atlas peaks and southwards to Jebel Sahro and the Sahara. We start our school adventure in the 1000 year-old, ochre-coloured city of Marrakech, which boasts the snow-capped summits of the High Atlas as a most dramatic backdrop. Before and after the trek, we have time to explore the old Arab quarter of this fabulous city. The colourful souks (markets) of Marrakech are world-famous and an exploration on foot is a magical experience. In just a week and a half school groups can enjoy Morocco's excellent trekking, experience its exotic cultures and explore the vibrant city of Marrakech. Close to home and yet so different, this will be a school adventure holiday all students will remember. This tried and tested KE Schools itinerary can be adjusted to better fit the needs of your group - please call and speak to a KE School Groups Coordinator or email

Is this holiday for you?

The maximum altitude attained on this Morocco trek is not great and we spend only one night at just above 3000m. This means that altitude acclimatisation is not usually a problem. However this trek does involve some days with a good deal of ascent and descent and one or two of the days are quite long, although broken with leisurely lunches in the shade. This does have an effect on trekking performance. For most of the trek we follow well established trails between valleys and villages which are suitable for mules and very straightforward for trekkers. On the ascent of Toubkal and whilst trekking up to the passes on our route, we will encounter zig-zag trails on scree. You should be comfortable with walking on good trails but with some steep ascents and descents, for up to 5 or 6 hours each day and for several days continuously. The optional ascent of Toubkal although a longer day, presents no technical difficulty and should be within the capabilities of fit and active school students. We recommend a minimum age of 14 years for this School Adventure.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrakech. Airport transfers are included.
  • Morning visit to Djemaa-el-Fna. Afternoon transfer to Imil. Check-in at the gite in Ait Souka.
  • Ait Souka acclimatisation day walk in the valley of Aroumd. Return back to the gite in Ait Souka.
  • Start trekking towards the village of Tamatert and up to the cultivated areas of Ouanesekra
  • Climb to Tizi-n-Likemt (3550m) before descending to our camp at Azib Likemt (2550m).
  • Follow the Assif Tinzart stream, passing small villages before reaching our camp in the valley.
  • Trek through green valleys to Lake Ifni, where we camp beside the lake and maybe enjoy a swim.
  • Climb up to the Tizi-n-Ouanoums Pass (3650m) before trekking to the Neltner Refuge where we camp.
  • Ascent of Mount Toubkal (4167m) before descending to our gite in Ait Souka.
  • Cultural exchange at a local school. Return to Marrakech. Time to explore Djemaa-el-Fna.
  • Departure Day. Return airport transfers are included.

Land Only

The price of our trips does not include international air travel to the start location in the destination city and country. The start location for joining the trip is identified for each trip. It's usually a centrally located hotel. KE can easily arrange all airport transfers for you.

International Air Travel

Please contact us at KE for air travel advice. We will be happy to discuss the flight arrangement which best suits your group.

2 teachers FREE

The Guide Price assumes that 2 teachers will accompany the group. Their Land Only costs are covered by the group's payment.

Guide Price $1,140*
Park Fees/permits N/A
Other Charges N/A

* We give a price estimate for all of our school trips. This is based on 12-16 pupils and includes two free teacher places. If you are interested in a specific trip, we will send you a quote letter. You may wish to take extra teachers or add on additional days and this can all be included into your quote, on request.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • pass
  • trip direction
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrakech. Airport transfers are included.

    On arrival in Marrakech you will be met by a KE representative who will assist with the short transfer to the group hotel in the city. Depending on your flight arrival time, after settling in you may have the opportunity to do a little exploration. Marrakech is a friendly city and quite easy to get around and most people head for the central square of the Djemaa-el-Fna beneath the imposing tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. KE Land Only services begin with the evening meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Morning visit to Djemaa-el-Fna. Afternoon transfer to Imil. Check-in at the gite in Ait Souka.

    On our first morning in Morocco, we will have a leisurely breakfast at our hotel and then visit the Djemaa-el-Fna. Even in the morning there’s a real bustle here as people go about their daily business and orange juice stalls and colourfully-painted horse-drawn open carriages vie for business. To escape the heat we’ll walk into the adjacent souk area. The shaded passages, streets and hidden squares of the souks cover a huge area on the north side of the Djemaa-el-Fna and we will be able to explore some of the most interesting and accessible parts. Pottery, carpets and leather goods are amongst the most interesting souvenir options. Hard bargaining is the name of the game when looking to make a purchase. After lunch, we will set off on the short drive to the start point of our trek. We drive southwards out of the city, with the peaks of the Atlas ahead of us. At the bazaar town of Asni, we turn away from the main road and begin to climb into the foothills of the Atlas. Our route follows the picturesque Mizan Valley and we begin to see the clustered houses of the mud-brick villages of the Berbers. In 1995, this valley (along with the Ourika Valley to the north-east) was devastated by a flash flood and the villages, agriculture and the road itself are only gradually recovering from this event. Imlil is effectively the end of the road from here we can either walk along the jeep road to the village of Ait Souka or continue in the vehicle. The area around Imlil was used in 1997 as the backdrop for parts of the major Hollywood movie “Kundun”. The old kasbah above the village was renovated and made to look like a Tibetan temple. We check in to an excellent gite at Ait Souka and can take tea on the roof terrace, with great views of a range of peaks including Toubkal itself.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

  • Ait Souka acclimatisation day walk in the valley of Aroumd. Return back to the gite in Ait Souka.

    oday is a day for acclimatisation in and around the charming Aroumd Valley. To help with this process, we’ll take a short day walk above the village. One option is to take an easy-paced stroll back towards Ilmil before heading up a side valley to reach a col at 2660m. The walk up the Mezzik Valley gives a good introduction to the type of terrain and trails we’ll be covering on our trek. The path is stony but clearly defined and winds its way up above cultivated terraces and walnut trees to reach a col – or tizi as they are known locally. We’ll take a leisurely lunch in the shade, allowing those with sufficient energy the chance to climb on to reach a viewpoint above the col. We retrace our steps to return to the gite, with an excellent view across to our route of the following day.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hours

  • Start trekking towards the village of Tamatert and up to the cultivated areas of Ouanesekra

    Beginning our trek, we follow a trail towards the village of Tamatert. Beyond this traditional Berber settlement, a jeep road hairpins up to the Tizi-n-Tamatert (2279m) Our path cuts through the most radical of these zig-zags, leading to the pass in a total of around 2 hours. After pausing for refreshment we then follow a traversing track with good views across the Imenane Valley to the impressive Jebel Oukaimeden (3273m). To find a suitable camping place, we will need to walk up above the cultivated areas of Ouanesekra. Across the valley we can see the village of Tacheddirt, another popular base for trekking in the High Atlas where there is a Club Alpin Francais (CAF) sponsored lodge in the village.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hours

  • Climb to Tizi-n-Likemt (3550m) before descending to our camp at Azib Likemt (2550m).

    A harder day today as we start the climb to the Tizi-n-Likemt (3550m). The views improve as we gain height, passing through a landscape of multi coloured hillsides and rocky peaks, with the greenery of the valley below us. It is a 4-hour climb to the pass where we put on a couple of layers of clothes and may stop to eat a picnic lunch. Around 1000m of descent on the south side of the range takes us to the grazing area of Azib Likemt (2550m) where we camp alongside a stream. This provides the chance to cool our feet and to take a refreshing wash. There are some rudimentary huts on the Azib Likemt which are occupied in the summer months by Berber herdsmen from the lower villages. This is an unusual and quite complicated highland area, with high valleys separated by mountain ridges rising to 3500m or more.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hours

  • Follow the Assif Tinzart stream, passing small villages before reaching our camp in the valley.

    From camp we head north for a while until we can turn south to follow the stream known as the Assif Tinzart. Initially, this is a narrow and quite rocky valley, with the stream passing through a series of pools and gorges. As the valley opens out we reach a high meadow, beneath the windy col of Tizi-n-Ourai (3109m). From the col, far below us, we can see the green valley of the Assif Tizgui and beyond this, to the west, is the massive summit of Toubkal. Dropping down steadily, we pass through several small villages and finally arrive at the valley floor. The location of our campsite tonight will depend upon the season. If the terraces above the village of Amsouzart are free of crops we’ll camp here. Alternatively we’ll camp further up the valley on the edge of Agaz Ran.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hours

  • Trek through green valleys to Lake Ifni, where we camp beside the lake and maybe enjoy a swim.

    An easier day today, as we trek up through a green and pleasant valley towards Lake Ifni. There are lots of villages in this valley and plenty of opportunities to stop off for tea or coca-cola at wayside tea-stalls and lodges. A popular spot is the Café Toubkal, with tables set beneath the shade of a large walnut tree. We reach the lake after a long series of zig-zags and then take a path which traverses high above the north side of the lake to reach its western end. We arrive in time for lunch and will have time to relax by the biggest lake in the central part of the Atlas, or go for a swim to cool off. Tonight we’ll either camp near the lake shore or, water supply permitting, a further 45 minutes to an hour’s climb from the lake, thus slightly reducing our ascent the following day.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hours

  • Climb up to the Tizi-n-Ouanoums Pass (3650m) before trekking to the Neltner Refuge where we camp.

    Above the lake, we follow the upper valley of the Assif a Moursaine, heading ever upwards to one of the most spectacular pass crossings in the Atlas. The Tizi-n-Ouanoums is at an altitude of 3650m and it is a long climb of 4 to 5 hours to reach this rocky col, situated between the two highest peaks in the Atlas: Toubkal and Ouanoukrim. Turning towards the north, we now drop down steeply on scree into the upper part of the valley of the Mizan River. At the first level area, due west of Toubkal, we arrive at the Neltner Refuge. This mountain hut was constructed by the Club Alpin Francais in 2000 and has been designed to resemble a Berber fortified dwelling. We camp on one of the level sites near the hut.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hours

  • Ascent of Mount Toubkal (4167m) before descending to our gite in Ait Souka.

    A long day for those who choose to make an ascent of Jebel Toubkal (4167m) North Africa’s highest peak. After an early breakfast, we set off on the steep ascent. Our route zig-zags eastwards, directly above the hut across scree and boulders, before passing between two rocky guardian peaks to reach a high corrie which usually holds patches of old snow. We continue upwards across more scree, with the views becoming more expansive as we reach the ridge-line which drops off steeply to the east. After a total of 3 to 4 hours, we arrive at the metal tripod which marks Toubkal’s summit. There are breathtaking views of the peaks of the High Atlas away to the north-east and of the Anti Atlas and the Sahara to the south. Descending to the hut in 2 hours, we have lunch before making the long hot walk back down to our overnight accommodation in Ait Souka. On this descent, below the Neltner Refuge, we pass through the unusual hamlet of Sidi Chamharouch which is tucked under the steep mountainside, where a stream emerges from a rocky gorge. A huge white-painted boulder marks the spot where, legend has it, Saint Chamharouch lies entombed. Along the route today there are several wayside stalls where it’s possible to buy a cup of Berber tea or a cool drink. Time permitting we visit a school once we arrive in Aroumd/Ait Souka.

    • Accommodation Gite / Hostel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 hours

  • Cultural exchange at a local school. Return to Marrakech. Time to explore Djemaa-el-Fna.

    In the morning, there is the option of a cultural exchange at a school, before the 2 hour drive back to Marrakech. In the early evening we will certainly want to check out the remarkable central square of the Djemaa-el-Fna. At around 4 pm each evening this large open square becomes the focus of activities for local people and tourists alike. Troupes of Berber acrobats and musicians, together with snake-charmers, water sellers and story tellers begin their evening performances which become more and more animated as the sun sets. We could take a snack from one of the dozens of amazing food stalls which spring up as if by magic in the centre of the square, illuminated by hurricane lamps and offering all manner of mouth-watering delicacies.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure Day. Return airport transfers are included.

    KE Land Only services end after breakfast. There is a complimentary transfer to the airport to check-in for our return flight.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A qualified UK KE Schools leader
  • An experienced English-speaking local guide
  • Marrakech Airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as per the dossier
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • A full service trek including food and equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for staff
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - soft drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

Marrakech Airport transfers are included on arrival and departure. The KE School Group Leader or KE representative will meet you on arrival and assist with the transfers to the group hotel. Full joining instructions along with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with the booking confirmation.

A typical day starts with an early morning wake-up call. After breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the muleteers given their loads, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. Lunch is usually taken after around 3 or 4 hours of walking. On some days this stop will be extended into a break from walking of up to 2 - 2.5 hours to avoid walking in the hottest part of the day. We will usually reach our overnight camp well before dusk. On most days we will be walking for 6 to 8 hours, whilst on the longest day, involving the ascent of Toubkal, we can expect to be walking for 8 to 9 hours. During the day you are free to walk at your own pace, enjoying the scenery and stopping to take as many pictures as you wish. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

This expedition involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this trip you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

During this expedition you will spend two nights at a tourist class hotel in Marrakech. Away from Marrakech we spend a total of 3 nights in a gite (trekkers' lodge) in the village Ait Souka and whilst on trek there is a total of 5 nights camping. Accommodation in Marrakech and while camping is based on twin sharing and you will be paired up with another group member.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

On trek, the food is a mixture of local and Western, all purchased locally and cooked for us by our trek cooks. Breakfasts are continental style, with tea and coffee, orange juice, cereals including muesli, bread, jam, honey and cheese. A morning snack is also provided and this usually consists of a type of Moroccan “trail mix” with dried figs and dates, peanuts, sugar coated peanuts and other nuts. Lunch usually starts with the Berber speciality of mint tea, followed by a buffet of rice, pasta or cous cous, with a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas added. Hard and soft cheeses, tinned fish, olives, biscuits and bread are also on the lunchtime menu. Dinner starts off with soup and bread. The main course is usually rice, pasta, cous-cous, spaghetti or chips, with a vegetable stew (or tagine) consisting of some of the following - onion, potato, carrot, green pepper, zucchini, turnip, parsnip. green beans, peas. There will be some meat (usually chicken, lamb or beef). Meat is not prominent in the menu. All dishes come with traditional sauces which are rarely (spicy) hot. To round off dinner, there is the usual range of hot drinks.

All meals are included within the package price, from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 11.

Approximately £150 (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including tips for your trek crew. This should also be sufficient to cover soft drinks, snacks, and lunches in Marrakech if you should happen to arrive early in the day or depart late in the day. Marrakech is a great place for souvenir buying and all major credit cards are accepted. If you are intending to buy expensive items, you should budget accordingly. It is not necessary to purchase Moroccan currency (Dirham) outside the country. You can withdraw money in local currency from ATM’s in Marrakech or your travel money can be carried in the form of cash or travellers cheques. (Sterling and US dollars are easily exchanged but note that travellers cheques are more difficult to exchange and attract a higher rate of commission). Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

All KE school adventures are led by a specialist UK KE Schools leader. During the trip the leader will be assisted by an English-speaking local guide and on trek will be supported by a trek crew including a cook, camp staff and baggage animals and their handlers.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your local guides and trek crew but they are very much appreciated. Most groups will want to show their appreciation to the local staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Normally, tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. As a guide, we recommend that each pupil contributes £30 (in local currency) to these tips. Your KE School Adventure leader will help you make arrangements for a fair distribution of tips among the trek crew.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by pack animals. The packed weight of your main bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kg. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

No visa is required for travel to Morocco by the holders of the following passports: United Kingdom, United States of America or Australia. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of entry to Morocco and that this entitles you to stay in the country for up to three months. Holders of passports not on the above list should contact the Kingdom of Morocco visa information service to see if a visa is required. (Most people will find that no visa is required).

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers / sneakers or sandals for camp
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants
  • Shorts
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Thermal baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
  • T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Fleece hat or balaclava
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Lightweight thermal or fleece gloves
  • Daypack c.30 litres
  • Headtorch / headlamp and spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 2 pint (x2)
  • 3 to 4 season sleeping bag*
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Small towel
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE kit bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Thermarest (note that foam mattresses are provided)
  • Trekking poles (recommended)
  • Camera, media, batteries
  • Travel clothes
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Flavouring for drinking water eg. Vit C tablets/powdered juice (water is purified by iodine on trek, and you might wish to hide the taste)
  • Equipment hire:
  • *Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

When on trek and we start to gain height, we can expect daytime temperatures above 2500 metres being around 20 to 25ºC. At night the temperatures can fall very low but even at our highest camps, they are unlikely to fall below freezing except possibly during May. The weather is usually fine with sunny skies during the summer months. It is hot in Marrakech in the summer months. We can expect temperatures in Marrakech to reach as high as 40ºC in July and August, dropping to around 25ºC at night. In May, June and from mid September temperatures in Marrakech will average the low thirties Celsius and it can even be chilly enough to require a jacket in the evenings. However, weather in mountainous areas is notoriously difficult to predict, and rain or even short-lived storms can occur at any time of the year and you must be prepared for extremes of climate.

Lonely Planet Guide – Morocco. The Rough Guide to Morocco. The Atlas Mountains. Karl Smith. (Cicerone Press). Great Atlas Traverse – Morocco. Michael Peyron – 2 volume guide. Classic Treks – Bill Birkett. (David & Charles pubs.)

Toubkal & Marrakech. Orientazion. 1: 50,000

Detailed, water-resistant trekking map of Toubkal and surroundings. Topographic detail includes contours at 20m intervals. On the reverse is a clear plan of Marrakech at approximately 1:8,700.

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