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04-24-2010, 04:48 PM
http://travel.viamigo.com/img/t/p_o_s_t/325/quick-escape-to-mgoun-massif.jpgHigh Atlas Short Breaks BOUGUEMEZ VALLEY Tour title: The Secluded Mountain Kingdom Tour code: BVS The Atlas Mountains is the country where the existence of a splendid afterlife is undoubtedly agreed upon. The Bouguemez valley, nicknamed ‘Happy Valley’ for the purported disposition of its inhabitants, remains by all accounts Morocco’s most stunning high-altitude destination besides the Toubkal National Park just south of Marrakesh, which would usually be mobbed with trekking-minded tourists at summer times. The Bouguemez Valley is, on the other hand, described as “the best-kept secret in Morocco.” Trip-dossier: The Bouguemez valley resembles the secluded mountain kingdom of the travellers’ imagination. The land is intensely cultivated in precise geometric patterns that form intricate mosaics on the fertile valley floor. Scattered here and there are clusters of fortified houses made from the same red clay that they rest on and stacked like blocks turned out from a child’s sand bucket. WHERE TO STAY We will be staying in some of these kasbahs/ gite d’etapes or guesthouses in the village. Remote though it is, the Bouguemez valley has hosted trekkers for years, and they mainly have lodged in the simple Berber-style gites or guesthouses, sprinkled along the valley. This is to say that, while it’s very charming and comfortable, it is still a simple, unpretentious place, surrounded by hollyhocks, walnut and fruitful trees. BOUGUEMEZ BEST VIEWS Sidi Moussa Granary/ Shrine ** Climbing a nearby cone-shaped hill to a circular granary that is also a shrine to Sidi Moussa, a local holy man whose healing powers are said to be especially effective in cases of infertility offers some of the gorgeous sights of the entire landscape. The keeper of the shrine who climbs the hill every morning to assume his duties is nearly 120 years old. After making us tea, he handed out candle stubs and we climbed to the upper floors of the turreted granary to admire the 360-degree views of the valley. Dinausorus Footprints *** A journey back in time exploring some ancient foot prints of the Atlas giant lizard – Atlasaurus imelkai- which roamed the area more than 165 million years ago is a must. The creature 15 meters long is believed to have weighed some 22 ˝ tons. Despite the fact that the skeleton is in Rabat’s archaeological museum there are evidences and footprints worth a close visit at Ibaqiliwn and Aguerd N’ouzrou. Valley Strolls *** - 3 days walks/ 2 nights stay: a ballade along the fertile valley, riversides and mud brick villages perched on the hillsides Grade: moderate – 4/5 walking hours Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers Accommodation: auberges/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses Full board option: yes Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture Itinerary: Aarous- Imelghas- Zaouit oulmzi - 2 days walks: 1 night stay Grade: easy – 3/4 walking hours Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers Accommodation: auberges/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses Full board option: yes Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture Itinerary: Agouti- Imelghas - 4 days walk/ 3 nights stay: Grade: moderate to difficult – 5/6 walking hours Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers Accommodation: Camping/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses Full board option: yes Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture Itinerary: Zaouit- imelghas- Aarous- Abachkou/ Iguelouane Stay with a family **** Live the day to day eventful journeys amongst the locals is not permitted to everybody. Since we come from this same ground we made forays into the best and most suitable places that would not mind hosting strangers. It is new close look up at the lifestyle of these communities, their way of thinking and a real taste of rural Morocco. It is an exclusive invitation for those who seek for a travel back into time for some truly riveting experiences. Mgoun summit Ascent – 5 days - **** Grade: strenuous 6/8 walking hours Assistance: guide/ cook / muleteers Accommodation: Camping/ gite d’etapes/ guesthouses Full board option: yes Activities: walks/ mule ride/ workshops/ culture Period: May- end of September Itinerary: Aarous- Tarkeddit- Mgoun summit- Igli- Imelrhas 4wd drives **** 5 Days drive away: Itinerary: Marrakech- Zaouit Ahansal- Bouguemez (2nights)- Marrakech Period: May-November Group size: max 4 people/ 1 4wd Accommodation: gites d’etapes/ auberges/ Kasbah Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture Meals: full board during the journey Distance: 510 km 3 Days drive away: Itinerary: Marrakech- Bouguemez –Skoura- Marrakech Period: May-November Group size: max 4 people/ 1 4wd Accommodation: gites d’etapes/ auberges/ Kasbah Assistance: guide/ driver/ cook Activities: atlas safaris/ walking/ culture Meals: full board during the journey Distance:470,00 km

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