Morocco offers school groups the challenge of trekking in the spectacular Atlas Mountains, exploring the markets of Marrakech, and see where desert meets the sea on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast. Experiencing a variety of landscapes from desert to high mountain passes and deep gorges, this is a perfect programme to develop young people's experience and knowledge of the world.
On this expedition, pupils are challenged in a variety of different environments and activities, with the itinerary designed to improve awareness of regions within Morocco. Included is a four day trek through the Mid Atlas Mountains, to test stamina and working together as a team. The three day community project will improve village life and enables pupils to live and work as part of the community, and our exploration of the coast, plus a camel trek, will bring new experiences to take part in. Finally, exploring Marrakech offers intriguing sights and sounds found in this fascinating city.
Day1: UK to Marrakech
Fly from the UK to Marrakech and stay overnight in a hotel a short walk from the centre. After checking into your hotel, and having dinner, there should be time to enjoy the evening activities that take place in the Djemma El Fna, Marrakech's central square.
Day2: Trek from Ouirgane to Tiziane
After breakfast, transfer by road from Marrakech to Ouirgane, where you will meet the local support team. After lunch, start trekking through the Azzaden valley to Tiziane.
Day3: Trek to Aremd
Today, you will continue the trek through Berber villages to Tizi Oussem and hike the pass, zig-zigging your way to the mountain village of Aremd. Here, you should be able to enjoy spectacular views across the Atlas and spend some time meeting the friendly locals who live in the village.
Day4: Day trek from Aremd
After breakfast you will spend a full day trekking from the village of Aremd and descend on the trails past the village and up to passes with great mountain views, including Mount Toubkal (the highest mountain in North Africa) and the valleys below.
Day5: Trek to project village
Today you will descend from Aremd and hike on the trails up to Aït Soukha village and onto Tizi n’Tamatert, from where you can enjoy great view of the mountains and valleys
After lunch, continue your descent into the Imanene Valley to reach the village of Ouanskra, home to your community project for the next three nights. In the evening, enjoy a traditional welcome from the villagers.
Day6: Community Project
Today you will set about working with the village locals to improve infrastructure in the area, working outdoors to help repair roads and trails into the village. In the afternoon, you will spend some time with the women and children of the villages to learn about the traditional way of life, learning how to cook a traditional tagine, and playing games with the children.
Day7: Community Project
Another full day in the village, working on the project and improving local infrastructure for the community. In the evening, you will help prepare the farewell dinner and learn some traditional dances and songs.
Day8: Transfer to Essaouira
After saying goodbye to new friends, trek back to Tizi n’Tamatert and then transfer by bus to Essaouira.
Essaouira is a coastal town, with a long golden sandy beach and markets to explore. In the afternoon you can visit the historic medina (Old Town), the markets and the port to see the traditional sailing ships and catch of the day! There will be time to relax here after the previous day's schedule and enjoy the cooler temperatures found on the coast.
Day9: Camel Trek & Desert Camp
After breakfast, transfer to Sid Mbark, a desert area popular for camel trekking. Meet the camel handlers and take a trek into the desert to our a traditional Bedouin style camp.
After arriving at camp, everyone will help put up tents and prepare dinner under the stars. The desert at night is specular and you can look to the night sky to spot shooting stars, satellites and perhaps meteors.
Day10: Return to Marrakech, afternoon city tour
After a short trek, you goodbye to your camels and their handlers and meet the bus to return to Marrakech.
In the afternoon, take a guided city walk in the city, explore the medina and the markets. There is plenty to see and experience in the maze of stalls and bazaars and you can try haggling to get the best souvenirs. In the evening, visit a rooftop restaurant for a farewell dinner, overlooking the main square.
Day11: Fly to the UK
After breakfast, transfer from hotel to the airport. Fly back to the UK
This suggested itinerary is based on personal recommendation and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Extend your school's trekking challenge in Morocco by spending time living and working with a Berber community in the Atlas Mountains to improve conditions in the village.
Snow-capped peaks, deep valleys and rugged mountainsides make up the Atlas Mountains. From remote villages in the west to old trade routes in the east, there is so much to experience.
One of the major cities in Morocco, Marrakech will be the start and end point of your treks and community projects, allowing time to explore the vibrant palaces, souks and Djemma el Fna.
A vitally important city throughout history, Essaouira was the heart of historic Atlantic trade and is now a stunning place to relax after trekking the Atlas Mountains or taking part in community projects.