Families looking to experience an inoxicating blend of wilderness and culture will love a few days exploring Morocco's High Atlas Mountains
Our treks in the Atlas use private tented camps carried on the backs of mules to explore remote mountain valleys, far from any signs of the modern world. Travelling in this way is hugely exciting for families and routes can be chosen to cater for all ages and levels of fitness. All these trips are organised privately for each family and lead by a highly experienced Berber mountain guide, likely born and raised in these very mountains.
The day begins with breakfast in the crisp mountain air - freshly brewed tea and coffee, crepes cooked in camp, plenty of fruit, toast, cereal and more. As you eat, the camp crew will begin to dismantle the camp and pack it on to the mules in preparation for the day's move.
After breakfast the walk begins and usually follows mule tracks that follow gentle contour lines beside streams, steep sided valleys and soaring mountain passes. Terraced valley floors green with immaculately tended crops contrast with the rocky landscape and thyme bushes at higher altitudes. The pace is gentle and there are plenty of stops to rest, take in the sensational views and replenish your energy with dates and nuts. A riding mule can be arranged for those who tire of walking.
Around mid-morning you'll be overtaken by the mule train as they go ahead of you to set up camp for the night. All except the lunch mule who (as the name suggests) will meet you with a lavish picnic allowing you to rest up in the heat of the day. In the evenings you'll walk in to camp to find the tents up, dinner on the go and freshly prepared mint tea awaiting you, while around camp the mules graze peacefully - free from their burdens.
How far do you walk each day?
The walks can be adapted to suit you, but in general you should expect to be on your feet for 3-4 hours in the mornings and a couple of hours after lunch. The pace is gentle though and as the trips are totally private the walk can be done at your own pace.
How old do children need to be?
We've done these walks with children as young as two years old (admittedly he was carried for much of the time in a backpack) and kids of eight upwards will manage fine if they are buoyed up by other children. In our experience the best possible plan is to travel as a couple of families as this is a great way to stave off the "are we nearly there" type questions.
If you're unsure whether your children will enjoy this, give us a call. We won't recommend something if we arent sure you'll enjoy it.