Peaks and Valleys of Jebel Sirwa

A winter sunshine trekking holiday off the beaten track in Morocco




From $820 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Spectacular summit panoramas from Guiliz Peak and Jebel Sirwa
  • Trek across the Tizi-n-Test and the Tizi-n-Tichka
  • Step back in time by hiking through charming Berber villages
  • Explore magical Marrakech and The UNESCO Djemaa el Fna

Lying between the High Atlas and the Anti-Atlas, the extinct volcano of Jebel Sirwa is the high point of a rarely visited mountainous area that boasts some of Morocco's finest trekking. Home to the Ait Ouaouzguit Berbers, famed for their hand-woven rugs, this region has a distinctive landscape of high ridges and deep valleys, with flower-filled pastures, superb dry-stone villages and terraced fields of barley and saffron. Starting out on the south side of the range, this winter sunshine trekking holiday walks via Tislit and Aghbalou Tizgui to the summit of Guilliz (2900m), then down to a camp close to the summer shepherd's encampment at Azib Tagrara. Continuing amongst splendid rock formations, the holiday culminates in an ascent of Jebel Sirwa (3305m), where the views include many of the High Atlas peaks. A get-away-from-it-all holiday with six days of varied walking in a spectacular corner of Morocco where the Berber way of life has changed little for centuries.

Is this holiday for you?

The maximum altitude attained on this short walking holiday is relatively modest (at 3305 metres) and we will not be camping above 2500 metres. This means that no-one should have any difficulty with acclimatisation to the altitude. However, the trek does involve a reasonable amount of ascent and descent and there are a couple of days that will involve up to 7 hours of walking. We visit the Jebel Sirwa early and late in the year, when the weather should be ideal for trekking, not too hot. For most of the trek, we are following well-established routes between valleys and villages which are suitable for mules and very straightforward for trekkers. On the ascent of the peaks, we will encounter rough trackless conditions and zig-zag trails on scree. The final 25 metres of Jebel Sirwa involves scrambling, with a short exposed section. It should only be attempted by those who are experienced and confident on such terrain. Because this is a short trip and at low altitude we advise that you should be fit enough to trek for between 5 and 7 hours per days for several consecutive days

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrakech. Complimentary transfers to Marrakech Airports are provided.
  • Spectacular drive to the Jebel Sirwa region. Afternoon trek through a superb gorge to Tislit.
  • Trekvia traditional the clifftop grain store ofTizgui. Ascend to AghbalouTizgui.
  • Superb ascent to Guiliz Peak (2900m). Trek through a land of Berber shepherd huts to Tagragra.
  • Trek through a desert landscape and green valleys to the summit of Jebel Sirwa. Descend to Tissouitine
  • Descend to Tomahakout via Assif N`Izine and the saffron-growing area of Ait Ighmour and IDoughagh.
  • Trek to Tamazight. Drive back to Marrakech via the Tizi n'Tichka. Afternoon at leisure to explore.
  • Departure Day. Complimentary transfers to Marrkech Airport are provided.
Sat 07 Nov - Sat 14 Nov Code JES /14/15/ Adult$820 Status Limited Availability Book now
Sat 05 Mar - Sat 12 Mar Code JES /01/16/ Adult$790 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 02 Apr - Sat 09 Apr Code JES /02/16/ Adult$790 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 16 Apr - Sat 23 Apr Code JES /03/16/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 30 Apr - Sat 07 May Code JES /04/16/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 14 May - Sat 21 May Code JES /05/16/ Adult$790 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 28 May - Sat 04 Jun Code JES /06/16/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 11 Jun - Sat 18 Jun Code JES /07/16/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 03 Sep - Sat 10 Sep Code JES /08/16/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 01 Oct - Sat 08 Oct Code JES /09/16/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 22 Oct - Sat 29 Oct Code JES /10/16/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 05 Nov - Sat 12 Nov Code JES /11/16/ Adult$790 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 04 Mar - Sat 11 Mar Code JES /01/17/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 01 Apr - Sat 08 Apr Code JES /02/17/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 15 Apr - Sat 22 Apr Code JES /03/17/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 29 Apr - Sat 06 May Code JES /04/17/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 13 May - Sat 20 May Code JES /05/17/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
Sat 27 May - Sat 03 Jun Code JES /06/17/ Adult$790 Status Available Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Marrakech Airport, which is approximately 15 minutes drive away from the group hotel in downtown Marrakech. Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' section of the holiday dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Marrakech. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester & Glasgow, Thomson Airways who have flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol & Glasgow and Ryanair who have flights from London. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrakech. Complimentary transfers to Marrakech Airports are provided.

    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 taken at the group hotel. The trip leader will give a briefing during dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Spectacular drive to the Jebel Sirwa region. Afternoon trek through a superb gorge to Tislit.

    Our journey to Jebel Sirwa takes us on one of Morocco's most spectacular roads, across the Atlas by way of the high pass of the Tizi n'Test (2130m). We pass through the Asni Valley, with its red-earth buildings and pretty fields of wheat tucked into Atlas foothills. Beyond the striking village of Ouirgane, the road climbs a further thousand metres to the pass, zig-zagging dramatically. Dropping down into the Taliouine region, famed for its argan wood oil, we are in a relatively unknown area
    between the Anti Atlas and the plain of the Souss which extends towards the Atlantic coast. We will stop for lunch at a wayside restaurant in Aoulouz and finally turn off the tarmac, to make the short piste road approach to the village of Tazount. Here, we will meet our trek crew and set off on a short afternoon of walking, through rough, cultivated fields and then into a splendid gorge. We camp below the main village of Tislit, in a pretty valley which shelters a number of small settlements.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 hrs trekking

  • Trekvia traditional the clifftop grain store ofTizgui. Ascend to AghbalouTizgui.

    At first arid and austere, the landscape gives way to the verdant valley of Assif n'Ait Oubyal, with its fields of barley, wheat and saffron. We pass through the villages of Ait Esine, Ait Marouf and Ait Amrane and can expect to attract a certain amount of interest from the local Berber people who see only small numbers of visitors to their mountainous homeland each year. After lunch amongst shading trees at Tagouyamt, we start to climb more markedly and soon reach the deep gorge (waterfall early in the year) and ancient 'agadir' or shared grain store at Tizgui. Built into a deep cleft in the cliff (and looking more like a Ladakhi monastery or an Anasazi cave dwelling) this is an impressive building, now disused. This is a great day to learn a little about the way of life of the people of this part of Morocco. The villages are special, some clinging to the valley sides, and others built in the valley bottom, their dry-stone and earthen
    walls illuminated by brightly painted windows and doors. We will see the local women working in the fields, colorful scarves on their heads and dressed in layered and multi-coloured long skirts. The menfolk often wear
    a headdress like a turban, along with their long woollen, hooded cloak known as a burnous. They are usually to be seen with their donkeys, often laden with dry branches destined for the kitchen, or attending their
    herds of sheep and goats. A zig-zagging path takes us steeply up to Tizgui and then across a low col into a high valley with a number of stone-built shelters and terraced fields.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 900m

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Superb ascent to Guiliz Peak (2900m). Trek through a land of Berber shepherd huts to Tagragra.

    We start out today with 2 hours of easy walking on a mule track alongside a permanent stream that maintains a pleasant strip of vegetation on its banks. Then, the ground steepens and we zig-zag upwards between
    spiny clumps of vegetation to reach the summit of Guiliz (2900m). There are great views in all directions across the Jebel Sirwa region and we can clearly see the route that we have followed over the last 2 days. We drop
    back down into the valley in an hour and continue our route which is, at first, dry and rocky. Then, we reach a number of superb shepherd's huts, some isolated and others grouped together near springs. Some have well
    laid-out gardens and terraced fields. The Berbers come here in the spring to work the land and sow the barley. Then, at the end of summer, they are able to harvest their crop. We set up our streamside camp near the
    caves at Tagragra (2600m), which are inhabited by shepherds from the tribe of Beni M'Zguid.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 500m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 300m

    • Time 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek through a desert landscape and green valleys to the summit of Jebel Sirwa. Descend to Tissouitine

    A very varied day, through picturesque gorges and by way of a lot of wild rock formations. This area presents a mix of arid desert landscape and occasional green valleys. It takes us a couple of hours to reach the start
    of the ridge leading to the top of Jebel Sirwa. Again, our trail picks its way easily between spiky scrub vegetation and amongst huge blocks of impressively eroded stone. Finally, we reach a broad saddle before the first of 2 rocky prominences. We work our way around the lower of these and then tackle the tricky 30 metre scramble up to the true summit. This is exposed in the middle section and should only be attempted by experienced and confident scramblers. There are amazing views from
    here, extending across the High Atlas, the Ouarzazate Plain and the Anti Atlas. Descending, we find more superb rock formations, then an area with tiny fields scraped out of the mountain, then more and bigger fields, arranged in terraces and growing the usual crops of corn and saffron. We set up our streamside camp next to the attractive collection of shepherds' houses and sheep folds at Tissouitine (2450m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 700m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 800m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Descend to Tomahakout via Assif N`Izine and the saffron-growing area of Ait Ighmour and IDoughagh.

    We make a short descent of the Assif n'Izine, a beautiful valley with a reasonably permanent stream. Irrigation channels provide water for the villagers' crops and there are lots of well-made houses and sheepfolds, some of them built against large boulders. These are genuine 'alpine' hamlets. One part of each house is for the family, with adjoining stable areas for the sheep and goats. We then make the 165 metre ascent to a col on the north side of the valley, where we can look back to the rounded peak of Tisfeldat and forwards to the peaks of the High Atlas, before continuing our descent on a good path which winds through a gorge and into another saffron-growing area above the villages of Ait Ighmour and Idoughagh, where huge walnut trees shade our path through the wadi. This is a great day's walk, with the steep and rugged valley sides gradually being replaced by a more rounded landscape, covered in
    places by scrub vegetation and red flowering oleander. We arrive at our camp close to the village of Tomahakout which is situated at the foot of rocky peaks.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 340m

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 840m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Tamazight. Drive back to Marrakech via the Tizi n'Tichka. Afternoon at leisure to explore.

    Two hours of pleasant walking, through a rocky landscape, with views back to the prominent summit of Jebel Sirwa, takes us down to the village of Tamazight, where we meet our vehicles. After saying goodbye to our muleteers (who live locally), we set off on the journey back to Marrakech. Heading north, our drive takes us across the Atlas again, but on a different road and via the famous pass of the Tizi n'Tichka (2260m) with its rugged mountain scenery. On arrival, we check in to the group hotel and have the remainder of the afternoon free for independent sightseeing. There is plenty of time for buying last-minute souvenirs in the souks and to experience the remarkable central square of the Djemaa
    el-Fna. At around 4 pm each evening this large open square becomes the focus of activities. Troupes of Berber acrobats and musicians, together with snake-charmers, water sellers and story tellers begin their
    evening performance. This evening we will have a celebratory meal, usually taken at a local restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure Day. Complimentary transfers to Marrkech Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only services end after breakfast. For those clients with evening flights, the remainder of the day is free to explore the streets, souks and colourful sights of Marrakech. A popular option is to simply sit and watch
    the world go by from one of the restaurants overlooking the Djemaa el-Fna. Complimentary Airport transfers are provided

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced professional local leader
  • Marrakech Airport transfers (on the first and last days of itinerary)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • A full service on trek including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

During this trip the group will spend two nights at a tourist class hotel in Marrakech. While there are several more expensive hotels in Marrakech, we try to strike the right balance of a comfortable and conveniently located hotel while maintaining a really good value holiday. Whilst on trek there is a total of 5 nights camping. Accommodation in Marrakech and while camping is based on twin sharing. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. For the hotel nights in Marrakech single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Marrakech are also available. For hotel prices and single supplement costs, please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

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

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8.

On trek, the food is a mixture of local and international, all purchased locally and cooked for us by our trek cooks. Breakfasts are continental style, with tea and coffee, orange juice, porridge and cereals including muesli, bread, jam, honey and cheese. .A morning snack is also provided and this usually consists of Moroccan 'trail mix' of dried figs and dates, peanuts, sugar coated peanuts and other nuts. Lunch usually starts with the Berber speciality of mint tea, followed by a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas, rice, pasta or cous cous 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 and peas. There will be some meat (usually chicken, lamb or beef). All dishes come with traditional sauces which are rarely (spicy) hot. Desserts usually consist of fruit, some fresh but more likely tinned, including pineapple, apricot, pears, peaches or mixed. To round off dinner, there is the usual range of hot drinks.

All clients arriving on Day 1 and departing on Day 8 of the itinerary will be provided with complimentary airport transfers. Clients booking a Land Only Package should let us know if Marrakech Airport transfers are not required and MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. If you intend to make your own transfer arrangements at Marrakech Airport, taxis are available outside the arrivals hall at all times. They are equipped with meters but most taxi drivers are reluctant to use them and you should either insist on a meter or agree the fare before setting off. The standard fare to the city in a "petit taxi" should be no more than £6 though you may have to pay a little more if arriving late at night. The airport is approximately 4 miles from the city and the journey takes 10 - 15 minutes.

A typical day starts with an early morning wake-up call. After breakfast, during which camp is struck and the muleteers are given their loads, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. Lunch is usually taken at a shady spot after 3 or 4 hours walking, and on some days this stop will be extended into a long break of up to 2-2.5 hours to avoid walking in the hottest part of the day. The afternoon session tends to be shorter than the morning and we will usually reach our overnight stop with plenty of time to explore before dusk. On most days we will be walking for 5 to 7 hours at a reasonably leisurely pace which allows time for stops and to take pictures. 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.

An English-speaking professional local leader will accompany the group throughout the holiday. In addition the group will be supported on trek by a team of cooks and camp staff, baggage animals and their handlers.

Approximately £100 (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. This amount will cover tips for the trek crew, soft drinks, snacks, and also possibly a lunch in Marrakech if you should happen to arrive early on Day 1, as well as a final lunch in Marrakech on Day 8 if needed. It is not possible to obtain or exchange Moroccan currency (dirhams) 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, US dollars and euros are easily exchanged, but note that it can be difficult to exchange travellers cheques at banks in Morocco). Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your trek crew we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We will provide guidelines on how much to tip the local staff along with your joining instructions but it should be remembered that this is your ‘thank-you’ to the crew and the final amount should be decided by the group. We estimate that approximately £30 per group member should provide an appropriate level of tips. However, for the KE leader, we leave the tipping amount totally at your own discretion.

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 kgs. (33 pounds). It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

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.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at 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.

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
  • Lightweight thermal or fleece gloves
  • Socks
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket or jumper
  • Base layer shirts (short sleeve & long sleeve)
  • Shirts or T-shirts (wicking)
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants
  • Underwear
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2) / 1 quart (x2)
  • 3-season sleeping bag (4-season March and December)*
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Wash bag and toiletries
  • Small towel
  • Toilet roll
  • Water purification tablets
  • Daypack c.25 litres
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Head torch / headlamp with spare batteries
  • 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:

  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Thermarest (note that foam mattresses are provided)
  • Duvet (down) jacket (especially March and December)
  • Gaiters (useful when walking through thorny sections)
  • Trainers / sneakers or sandals for camp
  • Spare laces
  • Shorts
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Travel clothes
  • Wet wipes – biodegradable (note that water for washing can sometimes be scarce)


  • *Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel.

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.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Morocco

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Morocco is the Dhiram.

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

It makes a lot of sense to get some additional exercise before coming on a trekking trip. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking for up to 7 hours on a number of consecutive days. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. It is also a good idea to read up on the culture and history of this part of the world before coming on trek.

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.

It will generally be warm during the day even in the period from October through to April. We can expect daytime temperatures to reach a pleasant 20 - 25°C, dropping to 7 – 10°C at night. Note: during the March and December departures, the night-time temperature may fall as low as 0°C or even a few degrees below freezing. While crossing high passes and climbing the highest peaks, we can expect the temperatures to be in the range of 10 to 15°C. Evenings at our highest camps can be quite cool and you will want a fleece jacket. We are unlikely to experience any rain in this arid part of the world, but all mountain regions can generate storms and you should be prepared for the occasional downpour.

Lonely Planet Guide – Morocco. Rough Guide to Morocco A Hedonist's Guide to Marrakech. Paul Sullivan A Year in Marrakesh. Peter Mayne

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