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Authentic Morocco by Bicycle
Located on the northwesternmost stretch of Africa and a gateway to Europe, Morocco is one of the most vibrant cultural and commercial crossroads of the continent. In the saddle, explore the rugged hills and valleys of Morocco's Atlas Mountains. Venture into these highlands inhabited by the Berbers and be delighted by their proud traditions that have been passed down for millennia. Roll and pedal up and down the sea of red massifs and take in the captivating views of snow-capped peaks just a few miles further from the unforgiving desert, a contrasting picture of unparalleled beauty.
- CategoryCultural & Historical
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration8 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level3 - Intermediate
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance164 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance32.9 miles
- Day 1Marrakech
Having arrived at the riad, after a trip briefing, it's off on a trip briefing and city tour to visit the Medina of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its maze of shops and stalls of succulent food and exquisite handicraft, before returning for a welcome dinner. After the explorations there will be dinner in a restaurant near the Jemaa El Fena Square.
- Day 2Marrakech – Kasbah Telouet – Kasbah Ait Benhaddou
Drive via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2,260 m (7,410 ft) to visit Telouet, home of Thami El Glaoui, Lord of the Atlas, and start biking to Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring a 17th-century fortified complex. From Telouet the ride takes you through scenic tiny Berber villages, and through the Ounila Valley where you wind your way to visit the stunning Kasbah village of Ait Benhaddou, where we stay the night in one of the many riads.
- 29.2 miles
- -1,676.5 ft
- Day 3Kasbah Ait Benhaddou – Dades Gorges
Rise early today to ride the longest yet most exhilarating leg of the biking expedition. Leaving Ait Benhaddou behind, you will transfer for 90 minutes, stopping on the way to visit an ancient troglodyte settlement. Start riding from Kalaat M'gouna on dirt roads and you will likely see nomads tending their flocks as the group makes it way to Dades Gorges, which lies between the High Atlas Mountains and Jbel Saghro Mountains (Jebel Saghro). The cycling route will take you through by dozens of kasbahs, or fortresses built by the Berbers for defense purposes, perched precariously on the cliffs. You will also come across Berbers who are living in caves that have been handed down for generations. If invited you can stop for a refreshing cup of mint tea and learn more about their culture. The day ends in the stunning valley at a riad.
- 26.7 miles
- 390.4 ft
- Day 4Dades Gorges – Jbel Saghro – N'kob
Today, cycle to the Berber oasis town of N’kob. This scenic route snakes through the Dades Valley as you wind the way into the middle of the Jbel Saghro. You'll climb to cross the Tizi n’Tzazert Pass (2,200 m), or get a lift up to the top, all the while enjoying stunning panoramic views in every direction. Rest your legs a little here before cruising downhill to spend the night at the lush Berber oasis town of N’kob, which sits at the foot of the Jbel Saghro Mountains and abounds with palm plantations.
- 43.5 miles
- -1,692.9 ft
- Day 5N'kob – Draa Valley
Today's ride is through Morocco's largest date palm groves of the Draa Valley. In the heart of the oasis you will explore, on local dirt tracks, serene Berber villages lining the banks of the Draa River, and spend the night with a local Berber family.
- 46 miles
- -374 ft
- Day 6Draa Valley – Tizi-n-Tichka Pass – Marrakech
After breakfast. the group will drive to explore and witness the beauty of the Draa Valley. There will be a transfer for 25 minutes to Ait Saoun, where you get in the saddle and ride for 30 km through one of the most scenic valleys of Morocco, the ride takes you past a succession of traditional villages lying in green oases. After lunch, the group will transfer back to Marrakech via the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass, 2,260 metres above sea level, a spectacular piece of engineering by the French that is often listed as one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Dinner is on your own in vibrant Marrakech.
- 18.6 miles
- 203.4 ft
- Day 7Marrakech
It's a bike-free day and your muscles can relax by taking a guided tour of Marrakech, the Southern Pearl of Morocco, to learn more about the city's rich history and culture. Discover the Palace of Bahia built the late 19th century. It consists of 160 rooms and was aimed to be the grandest palace of the time. Next we visit Saadian Tombs, the exquisitely decorated and sculptured mausoleum of the Saadi Dynasty members, who ruled Morocco from 1554 to 1659. And you will continue the tour to the 69-metre Koutoubia Mosque, the city's most famous and largest mosque and the nearby square Djeema el-Fna, a bustling square full of shops and stalls where you can practice your bargaining skills. The tour concludes with an exploration of the souk (market) filled with mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets, ceramics, hand-made leather goods, and other tantalising food stalls. Lunch is on your own but everyone will meet up for a farewell dinner to reminisce this magical time in Morocco.
- Day 8Departure
Transfer for your onward flight. There will be one arranged transfer to the airport based on flight times.