Sart in Marrakech. Free transfer to start hotel. Meet the group in the early evening for our briefing. *Hotel Gomassine or similar*
The day is spent in the 'Red City' of Marrakech where we can soak up the atmosphere of the towns maze of bustling bazaars, palaces and mosques. In the morning we have a guided tour to orientate ourselves and the afternoon is free for individual sightseeing. You can choose whether to brave the haggling of the souks, visit the more peaceful Jardin Majorelle or relax in one of the hammam steam baths. In the evening we visit the Djemma el-Fna, the open-air central square around which Marrakech revolves. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Now, with the snake charmers, juice-sellers, travelling musicians, acrobats and food stalls it is a place of entertainment for both locals and visitors. *Hotel Gomassine or similar*
Today we drive into the High Atlas Mountains. The road up to the mountains is a real switchback but very scenic. Eventually we cross the Tizi'n'Tichka which, at 2260m, is the highest road pass in Morocco. This is a narrow range of mountains and we soon drop into the gorge on the other side. It is here that we turn off into a wide valley towards Telouet where we stop to take a look at the Kasbah. This amazing fortress/palace was the stronghold of the Glaoui clan until the late fifties. On their downfall they dispersed and the castle fell into disrepair. Consequently, we can now only look at this labyrinthine mass from the outside. From here we travel on to Anmiter where we have lunch before walking gently uphill for an hour to our riad through lush farm land of fruits, nuts and vegetables (our luggage will be transported to the village for us). *Riad Bouchahoud*
A moderate 6-hour loop through the Tizi'n'Ourghsan and back down the Ouarikt River to the village. Starting in the terraced fields of Ouarikt we climb up through the high summer pastures to reach the Col with fantastic views of the Ouarikt Gorge. After a relaxing lunch close to a waterfall we follow the river's route back to the village *Riad Bouchahoud*
Leaving the riad and heading around the back of Mt n'Oughlagal (2600m), we are met with fantastic views of the valley before arriving back at the gite in time for a late lunch. The rest of the afternoon to explore the village, take a short a walk or relax with a book on the large terrace overlooking the Tijhza valley. On our return, we will visit the village hammam, built with money raised by our passengers. This is a truly authentic and enjoyable experience. It is very much a local hammam and you are likely to get the opportunity to mix with the villagers, which further adds to the experience. A standard treatment is included, but you will need to purchase a scrubber and soap for 20MAD (£1.50) plus customary tip of 20MAD. Refreshed, we return to the riad for our final dinner in the mountains *Riad Bouchahoud or similar *
A longer, harder day includes a visit to the beautiful Lake Tamda, strikingly azure against the stark white-rock scenery. This lake is almost a kilometre long, lying between the impressive peaks of Jebel Anghomar and Jebel Tamda. In the afternoon we retrace our steps to our start point. If the leader feels that this walk is beyond the capabilities of the majority of the group, a shorter day along the same route will be planned. *Riad Bouchahoud*
We say goodbye to Tijhza and return to Marrakech by lunchtime leaving the afternoon free for more sightseeing such as Menara Gardens or some last minute shopping. Alternatively, you may decide to relax in the hotel and enjoy the swimming pool. *Hotel Gomassine or similar*
For those on group flights, these depart Marrakech in the morning and arrive in the UK the same day.
* 4 nights riad, 3 nights 3-star hotel with en suite facilities and pool * 4 days centre-based walking * Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs * Altitude maximum 2600m, average 1900m * Travel by private minibus
All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners included. Breakfasts usually consist of porridge, bread and jam with coffee or tea. When eating out, meals are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about £4 (approx. US$6.50). In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal with wine will cost anything from £20 (approx. US$30) upwards. Generally dinner is likely to cost between £5-10 (approx. US$8-15) depending on what you drink. £15 (approx. US$25) a day for food should be sufficient. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices but you can pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case during the more rural or trekking sections of the trip. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Exodus Office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some items of food with you from home. If you are travelling from UK we advise you buy your own water purification tablets in the UK and take them with you. Bottled water can be purchased throughout the trip. Please note recycling is not fully established in Morocco so plastic bottles are an increasing waste problem. We encourage you to bring water bottles and a means of purifying, filtering or sterilising water (see packing section) in order to be able to drink cool water from mountain streams. Bottles of water are available but we strongly discourage buying these as it contributes to plastic waste.
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