Authentic Morocco by Bicycle

Day 1 Arrive in Marrakech

Upon arrival in Marrakech, we transfer to the riad and meet up for a trip briefing. We then take a city tour to visit the Medina of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring a maze of shops and stalls selling succulent traditional food and exquisite handicrafts. After our explorations, we have dinner in a restaurant near the Jemaa El Fena Square.

Riad Africa

Day 2 Marrakech - Kasbah Telouet - Kasbah Ait Benhaddou

This morning we leave Marrakech early and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, an ancient fortified community and trading post that features pre-Saharan earthen architecture dating back to the 17th century. Driving via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2,260 m) to Telouet, where we start our mountain biking adventure, stopping to visit Glaoui Kasbah of Telouet, the home and stronghold of the Lord of the Atlas during the French occupation, Thami El Glaoui. From Telouet, the ride takes us through scenic tiny Berber villages and up and down the Ounila Valley. We wind our way to visit the stunning Kasbah village of Ait Benhaddou, where we stay the night in one of the many riads.

Riad Maktoub
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 47km

Day 3 Kasbah Ait Benhaddou - Dades Gorges

We rise early today to ride the longest yet most exhilarating leg of our biking expedition. Leaving Ait Benhaddou behind, we transfer for 90 minutes, stopping to visit an ancient troglodyte settlement. We start riding from Kalaat M'gouna on dirt roads and will likely see nomads tending their flocks as we make our way to Dades Gorges, which lies between the High Atlas Mountains and Jbel Saghro Mountains. Our cycling route will take us by dozens of kasbahs, or fortresses, built by the Berbers as defenses, perched precariously on the cliffs. We will also come across Berbers who are living in caves that have been handed down for generations. If invited, we'll stop for a refreshing cup of mint tea and learn more about their culture. Our day ends in the stunning valley at a riad.

Hotel Panorama Dades
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 43km

Day 4 Dades Gorges - Jbel Saghro - N'kob

We cycle to the Berber oasis town of N’kob. This scenic route snakes through the Dades Valley as we wind our way to the middle of the Jbel Saghro. We climb to cross 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.

Hotel Nakhil
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 70km

Day 5 N'kob - Draa Valley

Continuing our bike exploration of the Moroccan desert, we ride to the lush and seemingly endless date palm groves of the lovely Draa Valley – the largest date palm groves in Morocco. Following local dirt tracks, we make our way into the heart of the oasis to explore the palm groves and the small Berber villages lining the banks of the Draa River, the lifeblood of this fertile area. We will spend the night with a local Berber family.

Kasbah Itrane
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 74km

Day 6 Draa Valley - Tizi-n-Tichka Pass - Marrakech

After breakfast, we drive to explore and witness the beauty of the Draa Valley. We transfer for 25 minutes to Ait Saoun, where we get in the saddle and ride for 30 km through one of the most scenic valleys of Morocco. The ride takes us past a succession of traditional villages lying in green oases. After lunch, we transfer back to Marrakech via the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass. At 2,260 m above sea level, it is 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.

Riad Africa
Breakfast, Lunch
Ride 30km

Day 7 Marrakech

It's a bike-free day, and we relax our muscles 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 meant to be the grandest palace of the time. Next, we visit the Saadian Tombs, the exquisitely decorated and sculptured mausoleum of the Saadi Dynasty members, who ruled Morocco from 1554 to 1659. And we continue the tour to the 69-m Koutoubia Mosque, the city's most famous and largest mosque, and to 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 tantalising food stalls. Lunch is on your own, but we will meet up for a farewell dinner to reminisce on our magical time in Morocco.

Riad Africa
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 Departure

Transfer for your onward travels.