Unknown South

Adventurous hiking trip through the High Atlas and Anti Atlas mountains starting in Marrakesh and finishing in Agadir.



  • The Marrakesh Medina

  • 3 day trek through the High Atlas

  • Visit the ruins of Tin Mal

  • The royal city of Taroudant

  • Explore the Anti Atlas, with its impressive rock formations, inaccessible berber villages and old fortresses.

  • Climb Jebel el Kest

  • Dive into an oasis

  • Birdwatching in Morocco’s oldest National Park

  • Relax in Agadir


Adventurous tour through relatively unknown areas in the South of Morocco. Our trip starts in Marrakesh, a lively city full of ambiance where one cannot ignore having arrived in Africa.

After spending a day in Marrakesh and having visited the highlights we drive into the High Atlas. On the first day we will do an acclimatisation hike.

The next day we start a 3 day trek accompanied by mules. On a background of snow topped mountains we wander over a mountain pass into the beautiful Azzadn valley and through ancient Berber villages.

On the last day of our trek we arrive in Ouirgane. After a lunch and maybe a swim we drive over one of the oldest passes through the High Atlas mountains. On the way we make a stop at Tin Mal mosque. On the other side of the pass awaits the Souss valley and the city of Taroudant.

After a resting day in Taroudant we drive into the Anti Atlas, to find a completely different landscape. Impressive rock walls and extended high plains divided by deep ravines will be the stage for our next hikes.

Among other things we will hike up to the highest mountain of the Anti Atlas range, visit ancient fortified granaries (agadirs) and hike into the unknown Smougen canyon.

On the way up to Agadir we visit the old silver trading town of Tiznit and walk to the Atlantic through Souss-Massa National Park.

We spend the last day in Agadir, on the beach, shopping in the souk or walking up to the old city.

During the trip we will be accompanied by our own minivan with driver. Wherever the bus can’t come we will have mules to transport our luggage.

Day to day:

Day 1: Arrival

Arrival at Marrakesh. Participants will be received by the guide at Marrakesh El Menara Airport. Depending on arrival times there is some time to get lost in the medina. In the evenDSCF0255ing we will meet up to have dinner together.

Day 2: Marrakesh

Marrakesh’s souk is not only a place where lots of things are sold, a lot of it is still traditionally made there. We wander through the medina and visit amongst others the wool painters, metal workers and leather tanneries. We also visit historic buildings such as the Ben Youssef Quran school and the old Jewish quarters (Mellah).

Day 3: Imlil

We start the day heading south toward the mountains. We drive to the village of Imlil. Here we go up into the mountains to get acclimatised with the terrain. We follow a shepherd’s track up towards a viewpoint from where there is a clear view to some of the highest mountains in North-Africa. On our way back down we pass the village of Aroumd. We spend the night in Imlil.

Walking time: 3h


Altitude: +300m -300m

Day 4: Tizi ‘n’ Mzik

From Imlil we hike up to Tizi ‘n’ Mzik pass (2489m) here we stop to enjoy the view over Imlil valley and Azzadn valley on the other side. We trek past old juniper forest accompanied by picturesque views through Azzadn valley to the Haouz plain. Our destination is a so-called Gîte, or mountain guest house.

Walking time: 6h


Altitude: +850m – 750m

Day 5: Azzadn valley

Our walk today leads down the Azzadn valley. On the way we pass adobe villages, old waterways watering terraced agriculture with a backdrop of multicolored mountains and much more. The further we go down the more the vegetation turns back from high mountain scrub and cedar forest to Mediterranean style forest. Our destination is the gîte in Marigha.

Walking time: 5h


Altitude: +250m – 650m

Day 6: Marigha – Tizi ‘n’ Test

Marigha means salt in the Berber language (Tamazight). On our way down we pass the  salt excavation wells. The lower part of the Azzadn valley is quite different from what we saw yesterday. This part is reachable by road again and is therefore more developed. The main crop here is olives, the olive oil from Ouirgane is famous throughout Morocco.

In Ouirgane we stop for lunch and possibly, in favourable conditions a swim.  Afterwards we start our drive up to Tizi ‘n’ Test pass. On the way we stop at Tin Mal mosque, one of only two in Morocco that allows non-Muslims to enter. It is also the point from where the Almohad dynasty started their conquest of North Africa and Spain, and supposedly their burial site as well.

We drive on to Taroudant in the Souss valley.

Walking time: 3h


Altitude: +100m –400m

Day 7: Taroudant

We spend a leisurely day in Taroudant. This relatively unknown fifth royal city is also known as little Marrakesh. It has very few pretenses but all the more flavor, there’s plenty of time to soak in Moroccan everyday life. Also the original fortifying wall is still standing and iDSCF0348t has a nice souk, that is much calmer than the one in Marrakesh.

Day 8: Tafraoute

From the plains of the Souss we drive up into the Anti Atlas mountains. This ancient mountain range out-dates the Atlantic ocean and is roughly where the Sahara starts.

We drive to Tafraoute from where we walk through a unique landscape strewn with granite boulders. Our goal is the painted rocks, an area south of Tafraoute where a Belgian artist decorated the landscape in 1984 using 18 tonnes of paint!

Walking time: 3,5h

10 km

Altitude: +100m – 100m


Day 9: Jebel el Kest

Today we aim for the Jebel el Kest, with 2379m the highest point in the Anti Atlas. We drive up to a little village called Taguedicht from where a small track goes up. In good circumstances the view from the top stretches back over the Souss plains to the snowcapped mountains in the High Atlas, further south we see over the Ameln valley and Tafraoute towards the desert.

Walking time: 7h


Altitude: +1000m – 700m

Day 10: Smougen canyon

From the high plains south of Tafraoute, we gradually go down into the breathtaking canyon of the Oued Smougen. Down on the bottom the arid landscape gives way to a small oasis, here we find ourselves walled in by millions of years of compressed rock. We follow the canyon down to Igmir where we spend the night.

Walking time: 6h


Altitude +100m –500m

Day 11: Rock paintings and the Agadir of Amtoudi

Following the canyon of Oued Smougen south by car we end up in the pre-saharan landscape of Jebel Bani. Thousands of years ago this was a much more fertile place of which prehistoric rock engravings testify. After a visit to the engravings we drive on to Amtoudi.DSCF0493

Here we find one of the best preserved Agadirs (fortified collective granary) in Morocco which is definitely worth the walk up.

Walking time: 3h


Altitude +250m – 250m

Day 12: Amtoudi canyon

From our guest house we follow the Amtoudi canyon. It starts out as lush oasis farmland, and leads us to a rare and valuable spring. After a refreshing dive we climb up the sides of the canyon and follow the edge of high plain back to our starting point, passing various ruins on the way.

Walking time: 4h


Altitude: +200m – 200m


Day 13: Tiznit – Massa – Agadir

From the edge of the desert we start driving back up north. We pass through the old silver trading town of Tiznit on the way and take a walk towards the Atlantic in Souss-Massa National Park, the oldest National Park in Morocco and a favorite for birdwatchers.

Walking time 1,5h


Day 14 and 15: Agadir

Agadir is one of the most modern cities in Morocco. The city lies in a beautiful bay with the old city (destroyed by an earthquake) overlooking it.

Here we spend a day on the beach, shopping on the souk, or taking a last hike up to visit the ruins of what once was.

Expectations of participants:

Adventurous hiking through little known territory. Participants are expected to have good physical condition and some previous hiking experience. Some of the walks may pose problems for people who are afraid of heights.

We usually sleep in hotels with all possible luxuries but in some remote areas there are only limited facilities available. There will always be a shower, sometimes a bit warmer than others, and it might happen that people will have to share a room. At these moments some flexibility is required, but the unique character of the places more than make up for the possible lack of luxury.

The luggage will be available to you every day. The only thing you are expected to carry during the walks is what you need during the day. The luggage will be transported by the van wherever possible, and where the road stops we count on mules.

Dates & Price:

04.04.2020 – 18.04.2020

The price for this trip is € 1348,-

This includes:

14x accommodation in shared double room

14x breakfast

9x lunch

12x dinner

All transfers and entries part of the official program

English and Arabic speaking guide

The price does not include flights. And is based on shared double rooms.

Single rooms can only be guaranteed in Marrakech, Taroudant, Tafraout and Agadir (8 nights). For a supplemental price of € 150,-


For any additional information or reservations please contact:


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