3 days Atlas Mountains enduro biking tour: Discover the scenic trails of the Atlas Mountains during your for days mountain biking tour from Marrakech, and take a swooping downhill route through the rugged scenery of the Atlas Mountains
A challenging 3 days atlas mountains singletrack heaven, could be one of the highlights of your entire trip in Morocco, explore the Atlas Mountains by bike. The ride itself is just spectacular endless descents of fast gravel off-road single track and donkey tack, we offer an unrivalled off road experience through striking landscapes of jogged mountains and gorges.
Adventurous mountain bikers looking to explore the High Atlas Mountains & Berber villages outside of Marrakech, Beginner with a reasonable level of fitness will enjoy this adventurous ride as much as experienced riders.
Trip length : 3 days / 2 nights
Group size : Min 2, max 12 persons
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.
The area is dotted with the villages and towns of the Berber people; their characteristic stone houses nestled picturesquely into steep hillsides. This region of Morocco remained isolated until the early 20th century and for a long time the fiercely independent local people resisted French colonisation. To this day the Berber people retain a strong sense of their unique identity and operate in many ways independently of the Moroccan government. The regions rich cultural heritage makes it the perfect destination for an adventure.
What to Expect
Day 1: Marrakech to Ouirgane via Asni
After a relaxing morning building up bikes and checking our kit we load the 4×4 roof racks and leave Marrakech, driving for 1 hour to arrive in Asni, a great little town that truly feels like the gateway to the Atlas. Here we can enjoy our first tagine, a Moroccan speciality slow cooked in a clay pot over an open fire. We begin biking after lunch with a steady climb from Tamadout village, gaining height easily and then descending on a fun, rocky single-track that is regularly used by villagers on the way to and from their fields. Heading towards Tisert, the trail gets rougher, and requires some good trail skills and a careful choice of line. This is our first taste of an off the beaten track Atlas village, spell-binding in it’s simple, genuine nature and the friendliness of its people. From here the trail, still mostly downhill, becomes easier, and we cross a traditional salt mine to arrive at n’Ouisadene. Heading south west we pass through the villages of Toror, Anraz and Angoini, sometimes on dirt roads, and sometimes on entertaining little singletracks between the garden terraces. Descending into Ouirgane for the first time we enjoy the panorama of the lake and wooded foothills, heading down through the village centre to reach an asphalt road, from where an easy 4km homeward stretch brings us happily to our Eco Lodge- home for the next 2 nights and a welcome sight. An easy first day’s ride, but not without it’s fair share of fun or challenge!
Overnight Hotel, Ouirgane
Day 2: Ouirgane
Day 2 starts with a steady zigzagging ascent up a dirt road. You’ll get fantastic This is a big day! We have breakfast at 07.30 and then drive for 1 hour on a rough dirt road to the remote village of Ameslane at 1800m. The 4WD ride is exciting enough in itself! The day starts with a steep double track climb through lush green high mountain scenery, climbing to 2100m and then hitting an incredible downhill singletrack section that takes us from high plains to green gardens and down onto rocky mule tracks above the thriving village of Tizgui. We stop briefly here, before beginning the first part of the day’s big climb- there are some hike a bike sections but in general it’s ride-able.
We meet with the mules before the climb gets too steep, and walk together for about an hour, up over a pass and down through a rough canyon. The biking resumes again on a unique stretch of fast, loose, pea gravel with plenty of grip and a wide target- free of the worry and concentration requirement of other trails on the tour. We meet the support car in Assif Zagzawne, and after a good lunch have a short section of relaxing downhill “piste” before the singletrack starts again in earnest! Now comes an 8km descent on well graded, fast and flowing singletrack through the forest high above Ouirgane- the views and the terrain are truly remarkable. Arriving in Tikhfist village, the trails don’t let up, and we manage to stay on solid gold trails all the way down to the lake shore at Ouirgane, from where it’s an easy 4km on asphalt back to the hotel. What a day!
Overnight Hotel, Ouirgane.
Day 3: Ouirgane back to Marrakech
Our last day’s ride is relatively easier, but offers amazing views over much of what we’ve covered over the week’s course- an elevated position atop the Kik Plateau making for incredible photo opportunities and some tremendously fast, and fun terrain. We have a short 20 minute transfer uphill to Moulay Brahim and begin riding on the plateau, cutting across country to join rough dirt road that runs parallel with the edge of the plateau. We follow this into open, sweeping meadows that are awash with flowers after rain, or in the early season. The views over to the Toubkal range are also superb. There is a great descent on rough, wide singletrack with plenty of smooth jumps, fast rolling berms and smiles all round. After a picnic feast in Agdour we continue on dirt road, becoming rough at Tadcherte, where we skirt the valley head. From there we ride around the canyon edge to enjoy awesome views, before heading downhill on a fast descent to Tagenchoute, with some rough, fast switch backs. Our support car is waiting at the bottom of the descent and transfer back to Marrakech.
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, Private Transport from/to Marrakech, English Tour Guide, Bike hire + Helmet, 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
Bookable Extras, Umbrella, Sunscreen, 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 in the Berber village, but we can also update the accommodation suits your needs.