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TREK FACTS

Saffron Trek of the Southern Sirwa - 5/6 nights/6/7 days

Trek Grade: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 1

1. Arrive Afensou

2. Overnight in Les Terrasses de l’Atlas 

Day 2

1. Three hour drive to Taliouine

2. Lunch in Taliouine

3. Three hour trek along the Annamer valley

4. Overnight camp and Tajine dinner

Day 3

1. Morning - 3 hours walk to Ti-n-Idder mountain village

2. Afternoon - 1 hard walking hour up to 2200 m (3 km) and ½ hour walk along the river

3. Overnight camp and barbeque

Day 4

1. Morning - recover and enjoy thepeaceful place. 2.5 hours walk for approx 6 km distance along the river, then through a narrow gorge.

2. Afternoon - rest or option to walk and climb one or another lower peak

3. Overnight camp in high mountain pastures

Day 5 - Optional

1. Climb the Sirwa,: only 3 km distance, but 2.5 hr walk + 700 m

2. Made to measure high altitude walking (strenuous) along the 3000m crests,

3. Overnight camp at summit or wild camping place in the Sirwa cirque

Day 5/6

1. Ascent to a pass and descent (c3hrs) along the R. Assif to Aït Ou Bial through a lovely small gorge to the village of Tizgui.

2. Meet local villagers and hear about saffron production

3. Overnight stay and dinner with Berber family (or bivouac)

Day 6/7

1. Walk down saffron valley

2. Picnic lunch at foot of Jbel Sirwa.

3. Track back to the Tazenakht – Taliouine road for departure to next destination

Saffron Trek of the Southern Sirwa - 5 or 6 nights/6 or 7 days

Trek Grade: Moderate to Strenuous

The route offers a gradual approach to Sirwa peaks through very attractive landscapes with some fascinating insights into local life including visits to an agadir (Berber castle) and a Kasbah and a chance to learn about the production of saffron which may be bought from the producers.  An optional day allows sportive trekkers both to climb the Sirwa peaks and to walk in high altitudes while the others enjoy the peace of high plateaus, meet shepherds or laze in the lush valleys. The additional day is really recommended as it gives many different, amazing views of volcanic landscapes.

Day 1 : Afensou

Les Terrasses de l’Atlas. Arrive by scenic road to Afensou (in the High Atlas N of Taroudant), normally from Agadir airport (2hrs 15 mins).Half board in Les Terrasses de l’Atlas  with hammam and local music - an initiation to Berber life.

Day 2 : Afensou - Assif Annamer.

Leave Afensou at 9.00. 3 hour drive  to Taliouine.  Snack  in local restaurant in Taliouine.  The trek starts 9 kms north of Talouine at Souk Jamaa Zagmouza (souk on Monday), 1015 m. 15 km walk in 2.5 – 3hrs along the Annamer valley to the valley of “the false pepper trees” at 1350 m (climb 400 m (strenuous); no significant descent). Wild camping under the pepper trees, in a peaceful remote area, with the assistance of the 4x4. Tajine meal “du chef”, bar, fire, camping in igloo tents

Day 3 : Assif Annamer- High Pastures of Ti-n-Idder and Assif n’Wamrane.

Morning : 15 km – 3 hours walk to Ti-n-Idder mountain village and the following ones (1785 m) through a wild desertic plateau with pre Islamic graves. Climb 500 m; no significant descent. Visit of an old kasbah, still inhabited. Pass a pretty village of stone houses with terraced fields and a waterfall. Afternoon : leaving the 4x4 assistance and climbing to the high fields area by a mule path. 1 hard walking hour up to 2200 m (3 km distance). Mules carry the luggage. ½ hour walk along the river to some fields for wild camping under the fruit trees. Barbecue and fire

Day 4 : Assif n’Wamrane - Sirwa base camp.

This is the universe of sheep and goats where isolated “sheep houses” can be found along the river dominated by mountains approaching 3000 m. The idea of this day is to enjoy the high plateau, take your time and rest, with always the option to walk and climb one or another lower peaks. The last alternative is to wake up early and attempt to climb the Sirwa on the same day for keen trekkers, although for this we recommend the additional option day to really enjoy the landscape and benefit from your efforts. Morning : recover and enjoy the peaceful place. 2.5 hours walk for approx 6 km distance along the river, then through a narrow gorge. Lazing along the river is particularly pleasant. Arrival on a higher plateau, just at the foot of Jbel Sirwa. 2575 (climb 400 m; no significant descent). High mountain pastures with terraces and sheepfolds, the classic base camp for Jbel Sirwa. We prefer to camp along the river, away from the shepherds’ houses but amid the flocks and Berber women washing clothes and collecting water or, if the ascent has been made, wild camping in the mountainous Sirwa cirque.

Day 5 (optional) : Sirwa Base Camp - Sirwa peaks.

For volunteers only (the others can stay in the base camp, meet the shepherds, walk gently along the fields or laze in the sun), climbing the Sirwa,: only 3 km distance, but 2.5 hr walk + 700 m differential (strenuous)through stony and not clearly marked goat paths. 3270 m, at the very base of the twin-peak (3300 m). 360° round view on dramatic volcanic landscapes. Made to measure high altitude walking (strenuous) along the 3000mcrests, requiring fitness and strong ankles for more amazing panoramas.  Possibility, if the weather allows it, to camp at the summit, provided the trekker can carry his own camping material (no mule access from this side) : unforgettable at both sunshine and sunrise ! Otherwise, 1 hour sportive descent (3 km – negative 700 m differential) to the same wild camping place in the Sirwa cirque

Day 5 or 6: Sirwa Base Camp - Tizgui

Walk, 45 min – 2 km, to a pass (ascend 150 m).Long but quick descent (2 hrs, about 7 kms) along the R. Assif to Aït Ou Bial through a lovely small gorge to the village of Tizgui, with picnic on the way (descend 600 m).Welcome by the villagers: very simple accommodation in a Berber family’s house (no bathrooms) or bivouac on request. Meet the 4x4. Visit  Tizgui’s unique agadir and evening walk in the village. Explanation about saffron by the local producers and tasting local saffron products. Dinner with the Berber family.

Day 6 or 7: Tizgui - Taliouine

Down the saffron valley. Walk via Berber villages and terraces to the exit of the valley (7 km in 2hrs.–  descend 300 m).Picnic at the foot of Jbel Sirwa.Track back to the Tazenakht – Taliouine road, for departure to next destination.

What's included:

Half board accommodation in Les Terrasses de l'Atlas guesthouse, with hammam and music; support 4x4 for luggage and camping gear including sleeping bags and sheet liners; English speaking guides and cook; mules for luggage; full camping gear; one night stay with a Berber family; all food and non alcoholic beverages; visits and tips.

 

 

Duration
  • 5 nights/6 days
  • 6 nights/7 days
Season
October to May
Location
Taroudant
Trip Grade
  • Moderate to Strenuous
  • Altitude exceeds 2000m