Atlas Mountain Retreat

Tin Mal Day Hike (1 day)

 Tin Mal – One day hike

This gentle one day trek takes you into charming hidden valleys and remote Berber villages. You will visit decaying fortresses and learn of the ancient warriors battles for control of this region. Discover one of only two Moroccan mosques that permit non Muslims to enter, then enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch on the riverbank. As you walk take in the sight of natures produce all around you with olive, cherry, walnut, apricot and juniper trees lining your path. On your trek you will not only enjoy the fabulous natural scenery but will gain a great insight into life in this remote region from ancient times to the present day.

 

Route
  • Tassa Ouirgane
  • Ijoukak
  • Kasbah Goundafa
  • Tin-Mal Mosque
  • Mouldikht
  • Tassa Ouirgane

 

Itinerary
Your Atlas Trek begins as you meet up with your mountain guide in Tassaouirgane. From here you will be driven to the Berber village of Ijoukak . Set out at the juncture of the Oueds n’Fis and Agoundis for your 16km hike. You head off down a country lane in the foothills of the Jbel Erdouz on the way passing the Berber villages of Souq Ijoukak, Tagountafte, Souk Lara and Ikhfe N’Boul.

You arrive at the riverside tribal kasbah which was once the home of a powerful feudal chieftain Sultan C Goundafa. The inner part of this now decaying palace- fortress, with storks nesting on the ramparts, still retains traces of its original Hispano-Arabesque decoration. This area is the traditional land of the Berber Goundafa tribe, one of several powerful tribes who strove to control the High Atlas Mountains in the 19th century. This feudal warrior constantly waged war with the neighbouring Glaoui clan, who burned down his kasbah of Ta’at n’Y’oub and as a result, this castle of Agadir n’Gouf was built. It was here that the Scottish author R.B Cunningham Graham had been detained at the Sultan’s convenience. In the 1920s, this became an outpost of the French Foreign Legion.

Walk on to the partially ruined Goundafa stronghold of Tal’at n’coub. Then continue on an easy descent alongside the river, following contours of the high valley of the Assif Nfis. You walk amidst stands of olive, walnut and almond trees until you come across the hauntingly-beautiful hidden Valley of Ijoukak, with its cool, clear stream full of trout. Come to the small, remote stronghold settlement of Tin-Mal high up on the opposite bank of the river. Visit the fortress (and one-time state treasury) which is the sole survivor of the once holy 12th century city. Built by the founder of the Almohad (Unitarian) dynasty, Mehdi Ibn Toumarte, this is the only mosque in Morocco (other than the new mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca) into which a non-Muslim may enter – except on Fridays. Inside we witness the fine examples of the ancient, intricate Almohad décor of rosette, scallop and palmette. Cedar from Azrou is now used for the ceilings; a special lime has been imported from Spain; no cement or concrete is being used and the several cupolas have been restored in some areas with richly decorated stalactite plaster.

In the actual village there is another small kasbah in ruins, a Medersa and an old water tank which produces a regular supply of the French gastronomic delight – edible frogs. You may buy a litre of Tin-Mal olive oil from the olive press and mill down towards the river. Here you picnic on the river bank. Then set off towards the south, down the valley of the Oued N’Fis through stands of juniper, Barbary fig, apricot, cherry and walnut tree. You by pass many Berber hamlets on the lower slopes of the Adrar Adafelt until we reach the town of Mouldikht at the beginning of the corkscrewing road up through the Tizi n’Test (3080m). Here your Atlas Trek ends as you rejoin the vehicle for a short drive back up the delightful valley to Tassaouirgane.

 

Essentials
Price Guide Contact us for latest prices
Duration / Grade 1 day – Graded Easy – 5 1/2 hours walking
Accommodation None included
Included Meals 1 picnic lunch
Transport Includes transfer from Tassa Ouirgane to walk start and back.
Local Support Crew Specialist Morocco local Atlas trek leader/mountain guide
Is This Trek For You? This one day trek is suitable for everyone of reasonable fitness. You walk up and down a maximum of 600 metres – walking is not at all strenuous. Visit charming hidden valleys and meet the mountain Berber families in their own environment and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Equipment needed Good trainers or walking boots, rambler pole (optional), hat, sunscreen, nibbles, hygienic wipes, filled water bottle

 

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