Atlas to Sahara
Running Adventures

Morocco

Get Ready For Some Time Travelling 

This is a running adventure away from our time, like getting inside a movie.  14 runners and 3 expedition leaders will become Berbers for a week, crossing the Atlas mountains from north to south.

Why?

Running adventure


A few reasons why
You should join this trip… 

What makes this adventure mind blowing?

For 6 days starting from the Northern side of the Atlas Mountains we’ll cross the Tizi’n’Timit pass towards the remote heart of the Atlas, following deep canyon south towards the Sahara desert.

On Day 5 we will be transferred to a place close to the Merzouga Dunes where we’ll spend the next two days running South through the Sahara Desert towards the Algerian border (no we won’t cross it). When we say we are going remote we say are talking about time travel.

THE RUN: 8 days - 9 nights

Everything will appear... smaller when you return home. Morocco is a geological wonderland. The Atlas Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful sites on the planet.

THE RUN: 130KM Approx.

Our running will be varied over the six days because we will be traversing the Atlas mountains, where we may encounter snow, such as over the Tizi Ait'Timi pass (3000m), sometimes we will be following mules paths, river running through the M'Goung canyon is one of my favorite parts, and we will also be confronted with dunes and sand storms when we arrive in the Sahara.

Cost

1490 €

The Atlas Mountains

I've never run through locations so far removed from this century,  some of those villages would give you the idea you're in the 9th century BC.

Runners reviews

Their experience taking part in this adventure

2011 – 2022

Stefanie
Stefanie Schwemlein
about 3 years ago

WOW. Back to normal life, and I'm still bathing in the awe of the past week a half in Morocco. What a privilege it is to be able to travel, to run, and to make friends across the world (and to eat boatloads of bomb food).

The trip was filled with hours of running through the Atlas Mountains, beautiful Berber villages, incredible rivers and gorges, and of course the majestic Sahara desert. We ate our way through all the tagine, couscous, dates, and oranges that our numerous i...See more

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Paella
Abdu Oukioud
Abdu Oukioud
July 19, 2019

The Morocco trip is a life trip you never forget.
100% in touch with the nature people living a real life experience.
the one and the only trip that cover the Moroccan nature treasure in only one week.
the atlas mountains and the Sahara desert.… See more

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Rick
Santa Van
Rick Ostroff is with Sandy Binder.
January 20, 2020

A trip of a lifetime and two of the most amazing experiences for me! I was on the January 2017 trip in Costa Rica and then the first trip to Morocco which took place in November 2017. Costa Rica was much more challenging for those keeping score, but Morocco stole my heart with its beauty. That being said, both trips were just as epic! Pablo and his group were fabulous with excellent local knowledge of Costa Rica and Morocco. 

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Oxana
Oxana Cherevchenko
about 3 years ago

Atlas to Sahara (Morocco)... an adventure... experience .... challenge. Thank you to Pablo Rodriguez, Abdu Oukioud, Brahim Nomade, Mustapha Amagar and the support crew for taking us on this journey and making it such an amazing experience! Definitely not to be confused with a “vacation” or a “tour”. Forever ♾ in love 😍 with the rugged beauty of this country and its people. Running days 1 & 2 - running to the village of Timit in the Happy People Valley, ascending to Tizi’n’Timit pass at 2,901 meters and descending to the valley below.

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Trail Runner pictures in Spain
Derek
Derek Hunter
about 3 years ago

Takes you unique places with like minded easy going people. Great itinerary and great guides. Hard to fault anything and managed the group of varying abilities (including me) extremely well.

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Matt
Oxana Cherevchenko
about 3 years ago

I did Atlas to Sahara in November 2018 and had the best time!!! It’s an adventure like no other... way better than anything I have imagined. But it all boils down to the type of experience you are looking for. If you are looking to experience the country as a local, push (just a tiny bit 😊) your physical (4 out of 6 running days are half-marathon plus) and sometimes mental limits (when was the last time you have been off the internet for more than a few hours?😋), while enjoyi...
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Jojo
Rick Ostroff
About 3 years ago

Abdu is the king of Morocco and one of the best guides you’ll meet in the world. Everyone including all the runners were friendly and supportive. A fantastic group of people whom I still keep in touch with today! I highly recommend both trips!

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What is this adventure about?

In the Atlas Mountains, my friend Abdu Oukioud gave me an open door to his universe.
These are some of the reasons why this journey is so near and dear to my heart.



This is time travelling.

I believe this is the right way to explain it; I've never run through locations so far removed from this century, and it's not because there are no people; it's because in some of those communities, there are very few things that could make you realize you're not in medieval times. 

When you see all tourist bus going in the opposite direction!

So, let's assume you're in Marrakesh and you notice a busload of tourists heading south. What do you do? Make your way east!
We will get where they are going but traversing the heart of the Atlas Mountains, don't try to explain them, they won't understand.

The landscape

From north to south, the mountain range we're traversing has become known as the location where Zeus sentenced Titan Atlas to hold up the sky for all eternity. The Atlas Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful sites on the planet.

The music

I like to say we are only running to get to the place where the music is made. 
We considered asking you to provide a video of yourself dancing, but ultrarunner Adam Jarkow proved that no prior expertise is required.

The people

Meeting the Berbers, running with them, learning a little of their language, drinking tea with them, eating their food, accepting their hospitality, and admiring their remarkable sustainable way of life is the real reason for this journey. If you meet someone from Morocco by chance when you return home, you will feel compelled to hug them; do so.

The food

The bread, oh my goodness, the bread. I remember thinking that the finest thing about Morocco was the bread when I was young and naive. Also, Moroccan tea is legendary, and we'll be drinking it several times a day. Eating is a communal activity in Morocco, as it is in many other Mediterranean countries, and it is accompanied by music.

Abdu and I (Pablo)

We met by chance, in 2014 I was with my family in Morocco, In a moment of need Abdu appeared like a angel to help.
Finding him had change my life in ways I'm still discovering.

Abdu Oukioud is probably the best guide in the whole country, and this is not only my opinion but also Wanderlust Magazine who named him 3rd best guide in the world in 2018.

Abdu is by far the best mountain guide I've ever met, he's also the best human been I know.

You'll find a full description of our adventures in the blog section.

The itinerary

After meeting in Marrakesh we will go in the opposite direction all the tourist will be going.
Runner by a Cliff area in the Atlas
1. GOING EAST INSTEAD OF SOUTH
DAY 1

* First running day, the day before we will all sleep in a nice hotel in Marrakesh Tourist buses departure South from Marrakesh, we’ll drive East for about 3 hours towards Abdu Oukioud house in Azilal where his family is going to receive us in their house and prepare a typical Berber lunch. Then we’ll keep going two hours more to our running starting point. Our destination is a place known, for a very good reason, as the Happy People Valley.

Runners in Bou Tharar
2. SNOW IN MOROCCO?
DAY 2

High into the Atlas Hussein, our last night host, will prepare us the best Moroccan breakfast we could imagine. Once a week happens to be the local market where all the nomads go to sell their products, if lucky enough that is happening that specific day, we will visit it. Today we will be facing one of the biggest challenges of this adventure, the ascension to the Tizi’n’Timit pass 2901 m high, we might or might not face some sections with snow. After getting to the top we will descend towards a valley that first looks desert but will turn into an Oasis away from everything.

3. THROUGH THE BERBER VILLAGES AND INTO THE CANYON
DAY 3

What the hell is all this people doing here in the middle of nowhere? That question will come into your mind when we start running in the morning by this extremely remote valley. Well, they’ve been living this way for hundreds and hundreds of years, free, independent from the outside world, so getting to know them, running their paths and accepting their hospitality is the highlight of... 

Runners looking at the mountains in the Atlas
4. MAKING IT OUT OF THE ATLAS
DAY 4

Our day will take us out from the canyon and back to fields and bigger villages. Close to the end, we’ll be climbing to the top of a mountain to see the views of the beautiful Berber Villages. We will sleep in Hussein’s place. Nice little warm hotel in the middle of the village. Free evening to all of you to explore the village or just rest into your room. Be ready for the dinner.

Tajine about to be opened
5. FIRST DAY IN THE SAHARA
Day 5

In the previous 4 days, we’ve crossed the whole Atlas mountain from North to South and now you will be noticing that somehow everything is starting to look desertic, this is because we’ll be getting close to our two desert run days . Today we will have a drive around 4.30 hours plus differents stops we make as for lunchtime. These hours will take us to an undetermined place in the Sahara where we will have to find our way running to our camp in the middle of the Merzouga Dunes. Today we will have 10 explosive and intesive kms to be run on the desert and dunes. You may think now this is too short, but believe us, 10 kms in the desert are not short!

Runners in Ait Ben Haddou
6. WE GO FULL SAHARA MODE
Day 6

When you open your eyes in the morning, you’ll find yourself surrounded by 200m height dunes, and we’ll ask you to follow us running South towards the Algerian border, crossing the whole Merzouga Dunes area to get to see stuff that is unreachable for most people visiting this specific zone. After a good lunch, the adventure arrives now in his end.

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Pablo and Cristina Moret, running guides