Stay for Dinner, and See the Sunrise in the Atlas Mountains
We highly recommend this two day overnight excursion. Many people who have taken our day trip excursion tell us at the end of the day, “I wish we had stayed overnight.” If you have the time to spend a night, this excursion will give you an unforgettable experience of the beauty of Berber culture.
This excursion will give you the opportunity to see
firsthand the daily life of a Berber home—especially the importance of
meals and food in Berber culture. There is ample time to make some
personal connections with those you'll meet.
With two days of hiking, you also receive an excellent survey of the High Atlas mountains and the geography surrounding the Berber villages you visit.
If you would like to learn more, read our “Frequently Asked Questions” at the bottom of the page. There we tell you more about what you can expect and what to bring. Also consider taking at look at some of our customer testimonials, several of which describe the two day excursion.
Still have a question? Feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you soon.
Two Day Itinerary
Here is a standard itinerary for the two day excursion, but it can be adjusted based on your desires and fitness level. The villages listed below can be found on our villages map.
|Depart from Marrakech.
|Arrive in Amizmiz, have tea in a café, and prepare bags/packs for excursion.
|Start the hike towards the area of Tidli.
|Lunch stop at Tidli at the home of a local Berber family. After lunch, we climb a couple of hills walking through some small villages of Amezi, Zaouit, and Tigoudar.
|Arrive at the top of the hill and have a break by the maison forestière (forest ranger's house). After break, we continue towards our final destination for the day.
|Arrive at the village of Ait Irghit and the Berber home where we will be staying for the night. Have tea and a snack with the family.
|We go out to explore the village and possibly visit some other homes along the way.
|Return to the house to assist the family in the kitchen and to see how they prepare meals. It is also possible to help the family in the preparation of dinner.
|Have dinner, and then tea afterwards.
|Breakfast, then prepare for the day's trek.
|We start our hike through a pine forest towards the village of Sidi Hssain. We pass through Tafgart and then downhill to Sidi Hssain for lunch.
|Arrive at Sidi Hssain and stop for lunch at a family home.
|After lunch we continue our way towards Amizmiz through the village of Tamazirt.
|Catch transport from Amizmiz back to Marrakech.
|Arrive in Marrakech
Frequently Asked Questions
We know our excursions are different from those of other companies, so we recognize you may have some questions. Everything below is also available on a printable info sheet. If you have a question that isn't answered below, please contact us and we’ll get back to you soon.
Clothing should be relatively modest and cover the legs, shoulders, and upper arms (Moroccan villages are not like the big cities where you might see more Western-style dress). For women, that generally means long trousers that cover your legs completely and no sleeveless shirts. For men, long trousers are normal, but shorts in the summer months are also acceptable. Everyone should be wearing a good, comfortable pair of walking shoes or hiking boots.
If there is a threat of rain, a waterproof jacket/shell or even an inexpensive plastic rain poncho will be necessary. In the colder months, you should also have a warm fleece/sweater/jacket (not necessary in summer months).
We have separated things into three categories: the necessary, the recommended, and the voluntary.
What to Bring – Absolutely Necessary
You’ll need to have the following:
- a good, comfortable pair of walking shoes or hiking boots
- for women: long trousers that cover your legs completely (in summer, something still relatively cool)
- for men: long trousers are normal, but shorts in the summer months are acceptable
- shirts that are modest and cover at least your shoulders and upper arms; no tank tops
- a waterproof jacket/shell or even an inexpensive plastic rain poncho (in case it is raining while we’re hiking out to the village)
- a warm fleece / sweater / jacket / long underwear for cold months (not necessary in summer months)
- sunblock cream for skin protection
- a small hand towel to dry off your hands / face when washing
- normal toiletries (toothbrush, etc.)
- any prescription or over-the-counter medications you use
- soft luggage/duffle bag/backpack that can be loaded on to a donkey/mule (it’s difficult to load large hard suitcases)
What to Bring – Recommended
These items will make your excursion a bit more comfortable…but aren’t necessarily required:
- a hat and sunglasses (they’ll make your time in the sun much more comfortable)
- sandals for when we arrive at the home where we’ll be staying (you probably won’t want to keep hiking boots on all night)
- a small personal torch / flashlight (if you have to get up at night)
- a small backpack / daypack for the hike out to the villages ( if you want to carry anything with you personally rather than leave it in your bag that is on the donkey/mule)
- hand disinfectant gel (for use before eating / after toilet use)
What to Bring – Volutary
None of the following is needed, but some travellers might want these extra items:
- sleeping sheet and pillow case (see accommodations section)
- a water bottle (we’ll provide bottled water, but it comes in large 1.5 litre containers that might be a bit big to carry while we’re hiking)
- any snacks you particularly love
- camera (there will be lots of opportunities for photos, but ask before you take shots of people)
- small star chart (it’s very dark at night…you’ll see everything in the sky)
- small binoculars
- a small pack of wet wipes (sometimes they’re nicer to use than toilet paper)
- small gifts for the Berber family – possible suggestions include soaps, hand towels, school items for children, T-shirts, toys (even used ones), torch/flashlight, souvenirs from your country, biscuits/cookies, or chocolates (this is completely optional and up to you…no one is expecting it as a norm)
To hike out to the Berber villages, we’ll be taking established trails/roads used by locals. The hikes will not include any “mountain climbing,” but there are some parts that have steep inclines and you will need to be in good physical condition. We’ll normally have a donkey or mule with us to carry your bags and the bottled water. Let us know if you have good backpacks and would like to carry everything on your own…that gives us a bit more flexibility. There will be about 4-5 hours of moderate walking/hiking each day between Amizmiz and the villages you visit, plus time on foot seeing each village itself. If you ever need a break, let your guide know…no problem!
To stay healthy during your excursion, drink plenty of water, especially in the summer months when you’re walking out to the village. Wearing a hat and sunglasses also protects you from the sun, as does sunblock cream applied beforehand.
Your guide will have a basic first aid kit, but there won’t be oral medications in it. So if there is something you think you might need (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, allergy pills, etc.), please bring it with you. In the winter months, it can get very cold at night. Make sure you’ve got warm clothes to sleep in.
All of your meals will be provided for you during the excursion. You should consider having a good breakfast the morning of the first day before coming to Amizmiz, however. All food for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners is purchased locally, and thus meals depend upon what is available at the time.
Breakfast often includes bread with olive oil/butter (sometimes jam) and tea/coffee. Major meals like a “tajine” normally include meat and vegetables and often bread. For these types of meals, you will need to eat using the bread—we’ll show you how. Couscous with vegetables and meat is often eaten with spoons. Vegetarians should let us know ahead of time whether they are okay eating vegetables cooked in the same dish with meat; if not, we’ll need to make arrangements for separate, strictly vegetarian meals.
We’ll bring along bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth.
Do not expect running water or normal bathroom facilities. Most of the homes have a “squat” toilet where you squat (not sit) over an opening and then (if you wish) rinse with soap and water. We’ll have toilet paper as well. If you need a toilet during the hike out to the village, you’ll have to settle for a “natural setting.” There won’t be the opportunity to shower/bathe at the Berber home, but of course you can wash yourself.
We’ll be staying at the home of a Berber family, so we won’t be “camping” or sleeping in tents. At the Berber home, you will have a room where you will be able to put your bags and where you’ll sleep at night. Normally, the family will provide you with rugs and/or blankets for sleeping (and maybe a hard pillow). If you want, feel free to pack a sheet and pillowcase, but don’t feel you have to. After the family has gone to bed, please keep noise to a minimum so they can get to sleep. Some families where you’ll stay may have small children, so it’s best to keep your personal items in your bags (rather than sitting out in the living area) so we don’t have to worry about curious young boys or girls.
Our excursions are meant to give you the opportunity to personally experience the life and culture of the Berber people. Therefore, it is important to respect that culture during the time you come in contact with it. Clothing should be relatively modest and cover the legs, shoulders, and upper arms. Taking photos is an important part of the excursion and encouraged, but please ask first before you photograph someone; some don’t like being photographed.
During your time in the village, please remember that you’re visiting someone’s home. As much as possible, try to be aware of rubbish/trash and/or dirty shoes.
Even for married couples, public displays of affection (such as kissing) are considered inappropriate and will cause the family and villagers to avoid us. You should refrain from this in public.
Young children may approach you and ask for things. Consult your guide. It may be best to give to their parents if you’re so inclined (though it’s by no means necessary).
We want to make it very clear that our stated price includes everything for the day. You will not need to spend any money beyond the cost of transport and our excursion price. Nor will we ever take you to a merchant and pressure you to buy something—you can be 100% certain of that. However, we are occasionally asked, “But what if I want to tip the host family, guide, or donkey owner? Is that acceptable?” Culturally, and according to our company policy, yes. But no one is expecting it and there will be no awkward moments or pauses in anticipation of one. We’re simply happy to have you come on one of our excursions.