Marrakech is an adventure in itself so we recommend you arrive a day before the trip starts to explore the spice markets, gardens and beautiful mosques. After your welcome meeting at the hotel, head out to dinner in the buzzing Djemaa el-Fna square with your fellow cyclists. Here you’ll find a unique thriving energy, with snake charmers and henna painters just beyond your table.
This morning you’ll head out for a test ride, to ensure your bike fits and everything is in working order. The test ride will be more like a tour of Marrakech, as you will be riding along the main avenues, and quieter backstreets. On your way, you’ll have the chance to visit the Koutoubia Mosque and its 12th century minaret, as well as the Marrakech Medina. Tonight embark on a journey to Tangier using the night train, which although basic, is comfortable and definitely an experience worth having.
Known as the gateway to Africa, Tangier has a history of attracting foreigners, artists and spies due to being a semi-independent international zone. However, nowadays the coastal city is alive with flair and investment, which makes for an exciting blend between old and new. Cycle to iconic areas of Tangier, including the Caves of Hercules, the lighthouse offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean in Cap Spartel and Tangiers Mediterranean port. Finish the day with a mint tea on the rooftop of cafe Salon Bleu.
Hop in a private vehicle transfer to the start of today’s ride in Azla, a beach town. Your cycling route takes you along the winding, undulating coast, past the sparkling Mediterranean and steep mountains to the fishing town of Oued Laou. Perhaps even take a refreshing dip in one of the beaches during your lunch break? Your destination for the evening is the famous Chefchaouen. Upon arrival, relax in one of the prettiest places in Morocco, by taking a stroll, shopping at the Medina or sipping coffee at a cafe.
Give your legs a rest, as today will be out of the saddle. Get to know the vibrant Chefchaouen, with its alleyways coloured blue and doors like artwork. Visit the 15th century Grand Mosque to admire it’s fantastic architecture (it is closed to non-Muslims), the walled fortress of the Kasbah in the Plaza. If you enjoy hiking, why not head into the close by Rif Mountains for a few hours?
Begin cycling South of Chefchaouen, on the outskirts Beni hmed village. You’ll make your way up an undulated road to Tabouda alongside the majestic El Wahda Dam for 37km before returning to the support vehicle as the roads get busier and hotter. Arrive in Fes, a colourful and noisy place brimming with life. At every corner let your curiosities go wild, after all, this is the cultural and spiritual heart of Morocco.
Set aside your bike for the day, and free your legs in the labyrinth streets of Fes. Join the guided walking tour that will take you on secret shortcuts, into the middle aged Medina and restored Medersa Bou Inania. You’ll learn a lot, and feel a lot closer to Morocco’s vibrant culture as a result. In the afternoon, get lost in the alleyways, and experience the prayer calls echoing through the city as you watch the sunset over the Medina.
Your first ride of the day takes you deep into the Atlas Mountains, heading toward Ifrane. Built with Swiss architecture and surrounded by greenery, Ifrane is known as the ‘Switzerland of Morocco’. After a coffee stop, from here you’ll travel through the Ifrane National Park where Atlas Mountain views line the road. Lunch will be provided next to the clear blue Aguelmame Sidi Ali Lake before carrying onward by car to the traditional Midelt. Meet the local Berber women at the local embroidery co-operative or watch a traditional Berber music performance.
Wake up early to a long vehicle transfer that takes you into the expansive Sahara, however the landscape when you arrive is definitely worth it! Stretch your legs with a descent from the incredible Tizi n Talrhemt Pass to Er-rich, where a coffee awaits you. After cycling to the beautiful Ziz River, re-board the vehicle and visit the desert town of Erfoud, which has been featured in the film, ‘Spectre’. Your camping destination for the night in Merzouga is set amongst towering sand dunes, where you will be treated to a camel ride into the Saharan sunset.
Today, experience the incredible Todra Gorge, which is a series of limestone river canyons that offer dramatic scenes of spectacular natural sights. Ride from Tinghir along the Todgha River into the canyon, then as you reach its heart, hop off your bike and use your legs instead to explore the surrounding area. We recommend joining the walk through farmland and ruins of a village, after which you’ll settle down for the night in your gorge-located Kasbah.
Ride the famous (and very picturesque) Dades Gorge hairpins as you cycle through the Dades Valley. At the foot of the Atlas Mountains, and dotted with hillside villages, the Dades Valley is an incredible experience. Later on, you will have the unique chance to interact with a traditional local nomad family over a cup of tea. Your leader will be there to translate to ensure you gain a genuine understanding of their fascinating life. Tonight, enjoy a delicious Moroccan goat dinner at the mountain gite accommodation.
Begin your route to Ait Benhaddou today at the grand Lake El Mansour, which is situated amongst sandy rocks and luscious greenery just outside of Ouarzazate. Pass by ancient Kasbah ruins, former colonial military outposts and looming mountains, as well as an opportunity to visit the Atlas Movie Studios. You will also visit the Horizon Association for People with Disabilities that helps rehabilitate and empower people with disabilities. Upon arrival in Ait Benhaddou, admire the ancient Kasbah, which is a World Heritage site and has been featured in ‘Game of Thrones’.
This morning you will say goodbye to the Sahara, and cycle your last leg into the Atlas Mountains. Take in the fresh air and gorgeous grandiose of the area before jumping back in the vehicle at the town of Anmiter to avoid some serious climbing. On your final drive back to Marrakech, have your camera ready for the iconic Tizi n’Tichka Pass at 2260m. The road nestled into large deep orange mountains is a truly breathtaking scene. Once back in Marrakech, you are free to explore this magical city and head to dinner with your newfound friends.
Today is the day your Moroccan adventure comes to an end. You are free to leave at any time, so if there are still activities you want to do independently in Marrakech, now is the time to do them!
Your experience of Morocco will encompass varied landscapes, from the coast to the mountains and everything in between. Each city has its own personality, however one things for sure, they are all full of life, vibrancy and fascinating cultures. From the colourful blue labyrinth of Chefchaouen to Fes, the cultural and spiritual heart of Morocco, a unique world of mystery and magic awaits. Be excited at the chance to cycle through Morocco’s most beautiful gorges, the Todra and Dades gorges, ride into the heart of the famous Atlas Mountains and hitch a ride on camels in the Sahara.