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Raiders of the Lost Kasbah
5.0 from 4 posts
Morocco, Raiders of the lost Kasbah

Raiders of the Lost Kasbah

8 days | From £545 | Guided group departures

This walking holiday in the Atlas Mountains is unique to Walks Worldwide; a journey through Moroccan history on foot. You?ll discover classic mountain passes off the beaten track and discover remote and unspoilt traditional Berber villages. To plan your 2014 or 2015 Moroccan adventure please contact one of our trekking consultants now. To check availability on this small group trekking holiday, simply click the Dates & Prices tab below.

8 days | From £545 | Guided group departures

  • A journey through Morocco's history
  • Follow the old trade route across the Atlas
  • Kasbahs, ksars and Ait Ben Haddou

This trek is unique to Walks Worldwide. Your adventure begins by following the old caravan trade route across the Tizi n'Telouet to reach the principal home of the Glaoua at Telouet itself. Here you'll visit the atmospheric ruins of the Kasbah Fortress at Telouet , which played such an important role in the history of Morocco. Moving on you now enter the almost lunar like landscape of the Adrar Taqqat before descending into an incredibly fertile valley and home to tiny ochre coloured Kasbah villages to experience authentic Berber life. You then enter a spectacular gorge and trek through terraced fields to reach another Glaoua Kasbah at Tamdakht. Next up is the iconic Ksar of Ait Benhaddou which we should enjoy before the daily hordes of day trippers arrive, and sunrise from the top of the Ksar is definitely worth getting up early for. Dating back as far as 757 A.D. the fortified town of Ait Ben Haddou is probably better known these days as the backdrop for scenes from several Hollywood blockbusters including: Gladiator, Jewel of the Nile, Lawrence of Arabia, Alexander, and The Mummy. Before returning to the intoxicating, exotic ochre city of Marrakech a visit to Ouarzazate is in order to see the Glaoua Kasbah of Taourirt and an opportunity to visit the museum of cinematography. Back in Imperial Marrakech you'll have time to explore the souks and experience the magical, vibrant evening spectacle of the world famous Djeema El Fna in the main square.



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Key / Legend for Walking and Trekking Routes on Google Maps

Day 1. Arrive Marrakech
Rendezvous at the group hotel in Marrakech.
Day 2. Drive into the Atlas and start trek
Morning transfer from Marrakech into the Atlas via the amazing Tizi n'Tichka road to Taddert. From here you trek deep into the mountains to the village of Titoula.
Day 3. Cross Tizi n'Telouet to Kasbah Telouet
Across the historic Tizi n'Telouet and descend into southern Morocco to the village of Telouet, site of the infamous Glaoua Kasbah Fortress, which you can visit.
Day 4. Walk to Assaka
Leaving Telouet you ascend the Adrar Taqqat and enter a lunar landscape before descending to the river valley and the village of Assaka.
Day 5. Walk via kasbah villages to Tizgui
Follow the river valley through gorges and canyons passing Kasbah villages en route to reach Tizgui.
Day 6. Trek to Ait Ben Haddou
Through the Assif Aounil valley to Tamdaht, site of another Glaoua Kasbah and transfer to magnificent Ait Ben Haddou.
Day 7. Visit Ait Ben Haddou kasbah; drive via Ouarzarzate to Marrakech
Early morning visit to the Ksar of world famous Ait Ben Haddou, back drop to several Hollywood blockbusters. Drive to Ouarzarzate to see another Glaoua Kasbah and then an exciting drive across the Atlas to Marrakech.
Day 8. Tour ends Marrakech
Depart Marrakech

For a detailed itinerary and more information please click the 'Trip Dossier' tab above.

History

It's 1893 and Sultan Moussay Hassan is returning with his bedraggled and depleted army from a failed punitive war with the anarchic tribes of southern Morocco. It is a harsh winter and not unlike the retreat of Napoleon's armies from Moscow, the remaining soldiers, camels and mules (as well as the Sultan himself) are suffering the terrible hardships of the bitter cold and starvation. There is still the wall of the High Atlas mountains to cross, with but three practicable passes and each controlled by a Berber warrior tribe before the Sultan can reach the southern capital of Marrakech. The Sultan determines that they will cross the pass known as Tizi nTelouet, which is controlled by the Glaoua tribe and their warlord chief Madani El Glaoui and his brother T'Hami from their Fortress Kasbah at Telouet. Not only do the Glaoua control this important mountain pass which is the main caravan route for the trade of dates, almonds and walnuts from the south, close to Telouet the Glaoua also control a salt mine, an exceptionally valuable commodity in those days with traders and their camels coming across the Sahara from Sudan, Mauretania etc to buy the salt. Thus the Glaoua are already both powerful and prosperous. History tells us that the Glaoua afforded the Sultan and his Imperial army every possible hospitality and consequently a few days later the Sultan crossed the High Atlas by means of the Tizi n'Telouet. The Sultan showed his gratitude by making Madani his personal representative (Khalifa) in the region, effectively giving the Glaoua command of all the tribes of the High Atlas and the Sahara. Probably more importantly a working, bronze Krupp cannon (the only one in all of Morocco outside of the Imperial army), as well as other arms and ammunition were presented to the Glaoua. From then on Telouet became regarded by the surrounding tribes as an arsenal of modern warfare and the Glaoua became ever more powerful.

  • Tour grade: B to C - Moderate to Demanding
  • tour code: TLKM
  • group size: Min 4, max 12
  • overeseas joining point: Marrakech
  • important: Make sure your chosen holiday is guaranteed to run before you purchase your air tickets and make any other travel arrangements
  • What is included: Transfers, accommodation, most meals, guides, mule support.
  • Accommodation: Hotel 3 nts, auberge 1 nt, camping 1 nt, gites 2 nts
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