9 days explore the Atlas & Sahara desert: on our amazing Atlas to Sahara mountain bike tour, taking us from Marrakech to the High Atlas Mountains, then descending along the Draa Valley to the fringes of the Sahara Desert, we cycle through numerous traditional Berber villages, on the way visiting the ancient Kasbah Telouat & Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou and making plenty of mint tea stops to experience close-up the legendary hospitality that has risen up from the remote outposts of the desert offering you a journey of a lifetime. ..
Adventurous mountain bikers looking to explore the High Atlas Mountains & the Sahara Desert of Morocco.
Trip length : 9 days / 8 nights
Group size : Min 2, max 12 persons
This bike adventure takes place in the South of Morocco, 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 off road 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 south of Morocco offers you a multitude of breath-taking landscapes. Besides the panorama of wild mountains in the Atlas mountains range, you will discover the expanse of the Sahara with its Bedouin villages and admire the incomparable starry sky. Palm groves and avenues of almond trees line the road. For sure you won’t miss the mysterious atmosphere of the 1001 nights in Marrakech and the Bedouin towns… This bike tour has many surprises in store for you!
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.
Day 2: Marrakech – Kasbah Telouat – Kasbah Ait Ben haddou
This morning you depart Marrakech for the UNESCO designated world heritage village of Ait Ben-haddou. Travelling by 4-wheel drive from Marrakech via the Tizi N’Tichka mountain pass (2260m) as far as Telouet, you visit Glaoui Kasbah before setting off on your adventure bicycle tour of Morocco. From Telouet you take to your mountain bicycles, fully supported by your Berber Treasures driver and vehicle. Cycling through scenically situated small Berber villages and the Ounila Valley you make your way to the stunning Kasbah village of Ait Benhaddou. Overnight in Ait Benhaddou.
Day 3: Oases of Skoura
Ait Ben-Haddou is a fortified city at the foot of the High Atlas. The entire old village center has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1987. In the morning we visit these cultural cities and immerse ourselves in what is probably the best preserved clay building settlement in Morocco. Ait Ben-Haddou and the nearby film studios of Ouarzazate served as a film set for “Game of Thrones” in 2012 and “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962. After short transfer takes us to the small village of Ghassate, where we start our bike tour. We follow a dirt road through the stone desert to our destination for the day, ride through the Skoura oasis. Discover life in the palm grove of Skoura, Visit Kasbah Amridil.
Day 4: Kelaa Mgouna – Dades Gorges
Leaving the Palm Oases of Skoura via the beautiful Taslmante Valley and Boutgherar you visit an ancient troglodyte settlement and may see nomadic Berbers living in caves handed down through generations of families. It may be possible to visit one of these Berber families, share a refreshing cup of mint tea and learn about their unique lifestyle. The final leg of today’s Moroccan cycling adventure takes you to the interesting Dades Gorge. Overnight in Ait Youl.
Day 5: Jbel Saghro – N’kob
Today you cycle to the Berber oasis town of N’Kob. Setting out your route takes you through the Dades Valley which lies between the High Atlas Mountains and Jbel Saghro Mountains (Jebel Saghro). Making your way into the Jbel Saghro Mountains you cross the Tizi N’Tzazert pass (2200m) all the while enjoying stunning panoramic views in every direction. Continue onto the Berber oasis town of N’Kob which lies at the foot of the Jbel Saghro Mountains. Overnight in N’Kob.
Day 6: Draa Valley – Zagora
We leave the desert town of N’Kob and bike on gravel roads through beautiful rocky landscapes. As long as our route runs along the river, honey and watermelon fields line our way. Even if we move only a few hundred meters away from the river, the landscape becomes dry and barren. After lunch we will have a coffee break in Zagora, the provincial capital. Zagora used to be the starting point for caravans, which covered the 1,600-kilometer route across the Sahara to Timbuktu in Mali in 52 days. Further south we change from our cars to dromedaries ourselves. The short, leisurely ride gives us an idea of how difficult this journey must have been. The dromedaries take us to the authentic desert camp in the middle of the sand dunes, where we spend a night under the starry sky.
Day 7: Draa Valley – Agdz – Ouarzazate – Marrakech
Biking from oasis to oasis through the Draa Valley Today the last bike stage and another scenic highlight are on the program. We bike under thousands of palm trees in the Draa valley from Oasis village to Oasis village. The Draa River flows from the Dades Valley through the reservoir in Ouarzazate to south-west Morocco over a length of over 1100 kilometres into the Atlantic Ocean. In spring, vegetables are grown in the fertile Wadi Draa. In autumn we nibble on the various sweet and ripe dates. After lunch, a transfer takes us back to Marrakech via Ouarzazate.
Day 8: Explore Marrakech
It’s a bike-free day, taking a tour of Marrakech, the Southern Pearl of Morocco, to learn more about the city’s rich history and culture. Discover the Palace, Next we visit Saadiens Tombs, we 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.
Day 9: Transfer to the Airport
Breakfast in the Riad, if you have spare time before the transfer to the airport, you can finish your visit to the city or going shopping in the souk, then transfer to the airport of 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, Airport Transfers, 2 Night hotel in Marrakech on BB, 1 Night in Desert Camp 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, 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 hotels & riads, but we can also update the accommodation suits your needs.