Imlil to Setti Fadma
Known as ‘Little Chamonix’ because of its winter skiing, Imlil is the starting point for this 3-day adventure. You will depart Imlil and travel to the beautiful Ourika valley, known for its 7 waterfalls, and then over the first pass at Tamerterte (2300m) from where you can see the Imnan valley and the river that runs through it. The villages Tachdirt, Ouanskra and Tamguist are built on the river. They make for a beautiful spectacle and can be seen along with the Likmt Pass (3555m) and the Oukaimden Peak, which is popular with skiers in the winter months.
Upon reaching the second pass, at Tizi Tachdirt (3200m), you will be able to survey the Ourika valley and rest. You can then spend the night here, in one of the gites or local houses owned by the people of the village.
All treks can be altered to accommodate you and your needs. Contact Brahim and Mohamed for more details.
Day One: Marrakech - Imlil - Imnan Valley - Tachdirt
You depart from Marrakech for this trek, driving along the Tizi ‘n’ Test road, into the foothills of the High Atlas to eventually arrive at Imlil (1740m). From there, you will head to the east and upward until you come to Tizi ‘n’ Tamaterte at 2272m above sea level. Your journey will take you on through fields of wheat and orchards of walnut, apple and cherry trees, before you arrive in the village of Tamaterte.
Once through the village, there is a path that leads up through pine and juniper woods to the Tizi, a superb point to admire the Imlil and Imnan Valley. From here, you will be able to pick out Berber villages tucked into the slopes and Jbel Oukaîmeden (‘Ouka’ to the locals), which is 3268m above sea level - almost as high as the Rockies.
The next hour or so will be spent travelling to the villages of Ouaneskra and then up to Amghedoul at 2130m, where you can stop for a picnic on the plateau. Hiking into the afternoon, you will travel through the valley along mule trails until you reach the oldest Berber village in the Toubkal Massif: Tachdirt, which is set among terraces made from the slopes themselves at 2291m. There is then an overnight stay in Tachdirt, in a gite d'etape (a French phrase that refers to a Berber House with a hot shower) and whilst dinner is being prepared, there's ample opportunity to visit the village and spend time with the friendly Berber villagers.
Whilst spending time in their village, you may want to observe how they cook their meals, their breads and their soups, or maybe how they have made their houses from pise, a mixture of stone and mud.
Day Two: Tachddirt - Iaabassene - Timichi
The second day begins with a 7-hour southeastward hike, up to 1860m and the village of Timichi, situated at the head of the Ourika valley. You will get a stunning view of the Jbel Aksouâl (3842m) on the one side and Bou Iguenouane (3882m) and Angour (3616m) on the other as you hike up Tizi n'Tachddirt (3200m) with the verdant valley stretching out beneath you. The trek continues northeastwards for a further 2 ½ hours, until you reach the Berber village of Iaabassene (2030m), where you can stop for a picnic next to a spring just outside the village.
After the picnic, there is a 2-hour afternoon hike that takes you northeastward and up before cresting and descending into a valley. Here, you will find the old village of Timichi, set among ancient nut trees. This is where you will be staying for the night: a friendly, traditional Berber home in Timichi.
Day Three: Timichi - Isghouarne - Agadir n'ait Boulmane - Setti Fadma
After breakfast you set out for a 5 to 6 hour eastward hike down through the valley. The valley, or 'wadi', is full of cornfields and orange groves, criss-crossed with streams flowing down from the upper slopes.
You’ll pass through the villages of Isghouarne and Agadir n'Aït Boulmane to arrive at the end of the Ourika Valley and arrive at the village of Setti Fadma, an ancient Berber village surrounded by waterfalls and nut trees. There will be a picnic stop just outside the village before a final half hour hike to rejoin the vehicle and head back to Marrakech.
If you enjoyed this trek, you may be interested in similar adventures such as camel treks offered by Brahim and Mohamed.