9 days Atlas mountains to Atlantic coast mountain biking tour: Mountain biking tour through beautiful Morocco. The tour starts in Marrakech and then heads to the wonderful Atlantic Coast stopping at the coastal cities of Essaouira, Ride through the Atlas Mountains to the Atlantic coast Morocco’s Atlas Mountains are an undiscovered labyrinth of picturesque switchback roads. Using our knowledge of this magical country we have crafted the perfect drop bar cycling trip which winds its way from the bustle of Marrakech, through lush green valleys, over isolated high mountain passes and down long flowing descents all the way to the ocean. If you are after an alternative cycling challenge …..
Adventurous mountain bikers looking to explore the High Atlas Mountains and Atlantic Coast.
This bike adventure takes place in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, just a short drive from the vibrant city of Marrakech. The High Atlas Mountains are a spectacular setting for a mountain biking trip with hundreds of miles of dusty singletrack just waiting to be explored. With many years of experience guiding in the region, your local hosts can help you explore this region’s hidden riding potential.
The scenery makes for an impressive backdrop to your journey. The rugged and remote terrain has resisted the pressured of the modern world and feels like a window into a bygone era. Dramatic valleys offer vivid contrasts with the lush green irrigated fields along the valley bottom set against the barren rocky scree slopes that lead up to the snow-capped peaks.
At the south Atlantic coast of Morocco, you are always likely to enjoy at least some terrific weather most of the year. The cities of Agadir and Essaouira are considered the main attractions of the region.
Agadir is famous for its sunny weather throughout the year as well as its beaches, which extend for more than 10 km and are lined with first-class resorts. Essaouira has a hippie feel and is known for its wind and the numerous music festivals it hosts.
What to Expect
Day 1: Marrakech
We will be waiting for you at the airport in Marrakech. We then transfer you to the hotel/Riad in the heart of the Medina. You can spend the afternoon visiting Marrakech.
Day 2: Marrakech – Imlil – Imi’oughelad
Transfers from Marrakech to Imlil Valley at the foothills of Mount Toubkal, this is the start of the riding on the first day. We start with a climb! Not a tough one but good enough to put pressure on the pedals to make sure everything is working. At the top of the pass (2300m) we usually stop for mint tea and biscuits before heading for the first real singletrack through the villages of Tacheddirt, Tamguist and Amssakrou. This is good, flowing singletrack for a couple of hours which drops us into the riverbed for lunch. After a good, long lazy lunch we’re off again. A short climb which turns into a single-track descent. At the end of this technical singletrack descent we stop at Imi Oughlad where you spend the night.
Day 3: Imi’oughelad – Azzaden valley
From Imi Oughlad we start a tough climb to the head of the second pass of the week. The climb is optional and uplift can be arranged for those not wanting the challenge of it. There is an easier and faster singletrack than on the first day. At the bottom of this singletrack there is a shop where we can grab a coke and cake before setting off again on the next climb. At the top of this climb we drop into a short section of very technical singletrack. From here we drop into the Gite where we will be staying for the night and have lunch. Enjoy the rest of the evening visiting the area and its landscapes.
Day 4: Azzaden valley – Amizmiz
This is a day of singletrack. The Guest house is at nearly 1800 m in altitude and today is the day to ‘cash in’ on the altitude! This path links three or four villages as we traverse from one to the other. There are a couple of little climbs of 3-400m which catapult us into incredibly fast sections. We stop for lunch in a secluded wooded part of the riverbed where mint tea is waiting for our arrival. After lunch we’re off again. A short warm up of 1.5-2km and we’re crossing a large dam to find the entrance to yet another incredible ribbon of singletrack to a spectacular gorge. This is truly breathtaking scenery to match some of the best singletrack in the world! From here we have a gentle ride to the gite 10km outside Amizmiz (1005m)
Day 5: Amizmiz – Imouzzar Ida Outanane
Today is another tough great singletrack challenge day with some great climbing and challenges all morning! From the top of this challenge we have a traverse and singletrack descent back into a riverbed on the other side of the valley for another, very technical ascent. From the top here there is a fantastic singletrack descent for your reward before our way until lunch. After lunch transfers to Imouzzar Ida Outanane. Where will spend the night.
Day 6: Imouzzar – Imessouane
This could be another of your favourite days of riding as we cycle a quiet road from the mountains to the sea, another spectacular day biking through contrasting landscapes. We ride by some unexpected waterfalls and wind down the road along the superb Targant Valley; a first good climb will take us to some high plateaus where local Berbers graze peacefully their herds of goats and camels. As we ride west, the smell of the sea announce our imminent approach of the Atlantic Coast! We reach Imessouane where memorable bike Adventure ends a good occasion for a little swim. Overnight at Imessouane.
Day 7: Imessouane – Essaouira
A superb morning ride along the Atlantic coast before a good section inland, bearing witness to majestic mountains, valleys and villages with huge houses which sit like thrones on top of the mountain flanks, as well as terraced fields with almond trees which are in blossom. Our amazing Bike Adventure ends at Sidi Kaouki, a good occasion for a little swim and a rewarding picnic lunch. We take our car for a short drive to Essaouira.
Essaouira is famous for its artisan shops, European feel, and several kilometers of sandy beaches. We’ll join a local historian exploring the medina here, where the maze of tiny streets reveal spice markets, marquetry workshops, ancient hammam and more. You we’ll stay at the nice Riad, located in the heart of the medina.
Day 8: Essaouira – Marrakech
There may be an opportunity to explore the Medina & walk along the beach before departing to Marrakech. Afterwards, well visit the city’s sites including El Bahia Palace; as dusk sets on the extraordinary Jemaa El Fna, we’ll watch as snake charmers, acrobats and street performers of every kind imaginable entertain. We’ll stay at a wonderful Riad near the historical neighborhood in the Medina for our final night.
The distance between Essaouira and Marrakech is 170 km.
Day 9: Airport
According to your flight times you will be transferred to the airport by your guide, who will also assist you with the paper work formalities before you board your flight out. Fly back to your destination with sweet memories of Morocco!
Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.
What Includes, Airport Transfers, 2 Night hotel in Marrakech on BB, 1 Night hotel in Essaouira on BB, Private Transport from/to Marrakech, English Tour Guide, Accommodation during the trip, All meals during the trip, Assistance car during the trip
Does not Include, Travel Insurance, Tips, Any Private Expenses, Drinks and Items of personal nature, Meals in Marrakech, Meals in Essaouira, Bike hire (Full Suspension) + Helmet (available to rent from our bike shop)
Bookable Extras, Umbrella, Sunscreen, T-Shirt, Entrance Fees
We recommend packing the following items:
- Normal daily clothes
- Padded cycling shorts and gloves
- Breathable top or cycling jersey
- Sunglasses/eye protection
- Stiff-soled shoes suitable for cycling
- Waterproofs and long cycling trousers
- For the earlier departures you may need some warmer layers
- Sun cream
- Water bottle or Camelback
Energy cycling gels offer a quick form of crabs replenishment. Most contain the simple crab sugar, which is the fastest form of energy to replace glycogen. It’s suggested that people who cycle at a moderate intensity for more than 90 minutes, need to replace between 30g and 65g of carbohydrates per hour and we would thoroughly recommend bringing some of these with you, as well as some energy bars.
During this bike adventure, you will be staying in a Guest house, hotels & riads, but we can also update the accommodation suits your needs.