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Holidays

Morocco - Ride the Kasbah

Morocco, Marrakech
3 reviews
Available Departures: Feb, Mar, Apr, Oct

8 days from

US$1,640

without flights
Cycle
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

A sensational cycling holiday in Morocco`s desert world - Jebel Sahro

Trip Code: JEMB
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Morocco - Ride the Kasbah

Highlights
  • Mountain biking to the Tazazart Pass, Draa Valley and Todra Gorge
  • Morocco, one of the best winter-sun cycling destinations
  • Journey across the Atlas Mountains to the amazing landscape of the Jebel Sahro
  • 2 nights in Marrakech and the chance to visit the UNESCO listed Djemma el-Fna

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 12
  • 5 days biking
  • 310 kilometres
  • 60% off-road
  • 100% vehicle supported
  • Max altitude - 2615 metres
  • Join In Marrakech

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

This is a classic adventure cycling holiday in Morocco's arid Jebel Sahro region. With the snow-covered peaks of the High Atlas to the north and the Sahara to the south, the climate of the Jebel Sahro in southern Morocco is the perfect place for cycling outside the summer months. From the intoxicating city of Marrakech, we drive across the Atlas Mountains to Tinerhir and begin biking in the magnificent Todra Gorge, whose towering walls attract rock climbers from all over the world.


Following surfaced roads and then hard-pack jeep tracks, we find ourselves in a remote mountain area, with nomadic Berber shepherds and views of the Atlas peaks. Crossing the Tamtattouchte Pass (2615m), we drop down into the beautiful Dades Valley, the so-called 'Valley of the 1000 Kasbahs'. Our journey continues, largely on 'piste' (hard-pack and gravel) roads, through Boulmane Dades and passing close to the striking rock formation of Bab n'Ali (Ali's Gate) to N'Kob. A fantastic and newly-introduced dirt road ride then takes us directly across country to the oasis town of Zagora on the very edge of the Sahara. With its flexible itinerary and time to explore the souks and sounds of Marrakech, this great biking adventure is perfect for anyone looking to make a winter escape to Morocco and the pink and ochre coloured mountains of the Jebel Sahro!

explore international

Explore International. This holiday is part of our Explore International range. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

British Travel Award for Best Holiday Company to North Africa

Award winning tour operator for holidays in North Africa

In November 2016, KE proudly won a British Travel Award for ‘Best Holiday Company to North Africa’. For almost 15 years we've been taking our customers to Morocco which is a country close to our hearts.  With the majority of KE staff having travelled to this fascinating country, KE are the true Moroccan experts.

ADVENTURE CYCLING. The Jebel Sahro is a great place for an adventurous cycling holiday. Mountain bikes with front suspension work best on a mix of tarmac, hard-pack 'piste' roads and loose gravel tracks. Cross-country tyres suitable for dry conditions and offering reasonably low rolling resistance are recommended. The route is never technical, but there are enough climbs to offer a challenge, especially on the first couple of days, as well as some great, fast descents. We stay in comfortable hotels each night. This holiday is suitable for weekend mountain bikers with a reasonable level of fitness, who are comfortable on rocky jeep roads and forest road double-track. The ride distance on each of the 5 days of cycling averages out at 60 kilometres and after the first day (with around 1550 metres of ascent) the days become progressively easier. Four-wheel-drive vehicle support accompanies the group throughout. EXCELLENT BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.

Why KE?

Jebel Sahro Experts

We have been riding the gravel roads and village tracks of the Jebel Sahro for a decade. No-one knows it better and no other company is offering a largely off-road cycling holiday in this fascinating region of Morocco.  What's more this is a holiday that offers Great Value For Money. It's fully inclusive of transfers, guiding, vehicle support, 7 nights hotels and all meals!

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Itinerary

Your holiday starts at the group hotel in Marrakech. Transfers from Marrakech Airport are provided. Depending on your flight arrival time and after settling in you may have the opportunity to do a little exploration. Marrakech is a friendly city and it is quite easy to get around. Most people head for the central square of the Djemma el-Fna close to the imposing tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. If you have brought your own bike, you should reassemble it today.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

Those who have hired bikes will pick them up this morning. Then, after loading up the support vehicle, we will set off on the drive up into the High Atlas Mountains. The high point of the drive is at the Tizi n'Tichka (2260m) beyond which we make the long descent into the rain-shadow of the range. After 4 to 5 hours, we reach Ouarzazate, where we’ll stop for lunch and then continue our journey for a couple of hours more to the oasis town of Tinerhir which is sandwiched between the Atlas to the north and the Jebel Sahro. Tinehir is the gateway to the spectacular Todra Gorge, a rocky cleft which is becoming something of a Mecca for rock climbers. Overnight at a simple hotel close to the entrance to the gorge.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

The starting point of this challenging first day of cycling is the magnificent Todra Gorge, which divides the High Atlas Mountains from the Jebel Sahro to the south. The first 20 kilometres of today’s ride is on tarmac as we climb easily through the gorge and towards the High Atlas. The early morning sun illuminates the rock walls of the gorge, painting them a range of colours, from rose pink to deep ochre. As we proceed into the gorge, we gain superb vistas of distant snow-capped peaks and rolling foothills. Arriving at the village of Tamatattouchte we say goodbye to the tarmac and follow a good, hard-pack jeep track into a remote highland area. The route climbs steeply at first on an interesting rocky stairway, before levelling out in a high valley where nomadic Berber herdsmen tend their vast flocks of goats. The final climb to the pass (2615m) is via a series of hairpins, set at a reasonable gradient and on an excellent surface. From the col, it’s a long and at times rough and rocky descent to the village of Msemrir, where we pick up a short transfer to our hotel in the spectacular Gorge du Dades.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1550 M

Descent

1020 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs cycling

Distance

65 KM

There will be many stops for photos this morning, as the first 20 kilometres of our ride follows the snaking, tarmac road through the spectacular Dades Gorge. The rock formations are astounding and there are some impressive kasbahs framed by almond and fig trees. Before leaving the road we can ‘take five’ on the terrace of a roadside cafe and admire the views ahead. An undulating jeep track winds through a stunning wilderness of red mountains and arid plains and after a further 16 kilometres we go back in time as we arrive at the fantastic village of Bou Thrar. Here, we will take our lunch on the rooftop terrace of an old riad and enjoy the views of neighbouring kasbahs and the surrounding, dramatic mountain scenery. It will be hard to tear ourselves away from this endearing village, but ahead of us looms the ascent to a pass at the head of the valley. Zigzagging out of the valley, we can look back to the towering, snow-covered, peak of Mgoun, Morocco’s third highest mountain. At the pass itself there are exhilarating views in all directions. A final blast takes us across the extensive plains to El Kelaa M’Gouna. Here, we rendezvous with our support and have a short road transfer (approx. 30 minutes' drive) to Boulmane Dades and our hotel for the night.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1000 M

Descent

1200 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs cycling

Distance

60 KM

A short transfer takes us towards the village of Tagdilt and the start of our day's ride on hard-pack jeep track. A rolling 20 kilometre ride sees us passing small villages and oases, as we ride into the starkly beautiful Jebel Sahro Range. From the village of Izemgane, we commence our passage over the Jebel Sahro on what must be one of the most beautiful ascents in the world. First a series of zigzags take us to a serene and restful plateau area, where we can admire mount Amalou n’Mansour which, at 2712 metres, is the highest mountain in the Jebel Sahro range. The ascent continues and culminates at the crest of the Tizi n’Tazazart (2270m) in a stunning area devoid of the human touch - this is wild, arid, isolated nomad country. Then, through a landscape of flat-topped mesas, deep gorges and twisted rock pinnacles, we have a long and winding descent which takes us close to the famous rock formations of Bab n’Ali. These famous twin rock towers are a major Jebel Sahro landmark. Beneath them is a welcoming auberge, which sells refreshing ice-cold drinks. This road across the Jebel Sahro is in the process of being improved and we will encounter sections which have been prepared for (eventual) tarmacing, as we ride more easily southwards, through a valley with almond trees and oases alongside. A final short climb brings us within range of the Draa Valley and our final destination for the night, N'Kob. There are fabulous views across the palmeries (palm groves) from the hotel terrace.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

950 M

Descent

1550 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs cycling

Distance

65 KM

Cycling directly from our hotel in N’Kob, we cross the valley of the Oued Bou Iserfane and follow a jeep road into a rugged valley with steep sandstone escarpments on both sides of the road. The road makes one wide zig-zag and a couple of shorter, sharper ones and reaches a low pass known as the Tizi Aamoun (1200m) after around 8 kilometres. Beyond, we cycle through an interconnected series of sandy wadis which take us through some pretty spectacular landscape. We reach the valley of the Assif Ourti where there are a couple of scattered farms and some irrigated greenery. At this point a vast sandstone range sweeps around on our left-hand side as we begin a long and gradual descent across country towards Zagora. After a lunch stop at around 42 kilometres, we continue our ride towards the dunes of the Sahara with the feeling of being on an epic journey. We meet the Draa Valley about 10 kilometres from Zagora and the last part of the day’s ride provides a much more colourful experience with lots of small villages set amongst extensive stands of date palms, olive and almond trees and citrus orchards. Arriving in Zagora on the edge of the Sahara, we will head for the world famous sign - Tombouctou 52 jours - for celebratory photos. Our hotel is in a quiet spot just out of town.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

450 M

Descent

765 M

Time

7 hrs cycling

Distance

80 KM

Making a reasonably early start from our hotel, we will cycle through Zagora and set out to explore the palmeries alongside the Draa River. Our guide will take us on quiet dirt roads amongst the palm groves and well-tended vegetable plots, with the chance to visit lots of friendly Berber villages, where children will try to sell us dates. Back on the tarmac for the last half an hour or so, we will meet our support vehicle and have an early lunch, before loading up for the transfer back to Marrakech. The road leads through the Draa Valley and we will see some of the ancient watchtowers and kasbahs that are a feature of this part of Morocco. We can stop off to pay a quick visit to the fantastic kasbah at Tamnougalt before continuing our journey through Agdz and Ouarzazate and onwards across the Tizi n'Tichka. We will stop off for a final, celebratory dinner at a wayside restaurant and arrive back at our Marrakech hotel in the evening.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

300 M

Descent

250 M

Time

3 hrs cycling

Distance

40 KM

Your holiday ends after breakfast. You should pack your bike away in readiness for the homeward flight. The remainder of the day is free to explore the streets, souks and colourful sights of Marrakech. A popular option is to simply sit and watch the world go by from one of the restaurants overlooking the Djemma el-Fna. Marrakech Airport transfers are provided.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
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Peaks Peaks
Direction Direction
Transfer
Bike

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A locally based professional bike guide
  • Marrakech Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 8
  • One or more support vehicles and drivers
  • Hotel accommodation
  • All meals
  • Bottled water during the rides

  • Travel insurance
  • Moroccan Visa (if applicable)
  • Tips for our local bike guide and support crew
  • Marrakech Airport transfers (other than on Day 1 and Day 8)
  • Miscellaneous expenses - souvenirs and drinks etc.


TRAVEL TO YOUR DESTINATION

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

The group will meet at the hotel in Marrakech.

Transfers from/to Marrakech Airport are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1 and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. You should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Breakfasts are continental style, with tea and coffee, orange juice, cereals as well as muesli, bread, jam, honey and cheese. A morning snack is also provided and this usually consists of Moroccan 'trail mix' of dried figs and dates, peanuts, sugar coated peanuts and other nuts. Lunch usually starts with the Berber speciality of mint tea, followed by a buffet of rice, pasta or cous cous, with a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas added. Hard and soft cheeses, tinned fish, olives, biscuits and bread are also on the lunchtime menu. Dinner starts off with soup and bread. The main course is usually rice, pasta, cous-cous, spaghetti or chips, with a vegetable stew (or tagine) consisting of some of the following - onion, potato, carrot, green pepper, zucchini, turnip, and parsnip. green beans, peas. There will be some meat (usually chicken, lamb or beef). Meat is not prominent in the menu. All dishes come with traditional sauces that are rarely (spicy) hot. Desserts usually consist of fruit, some fresh but more likely tinned, including pineapple, apricot, pears, peaches or mixed. Moroccan tinned fruit is excellent quality. To round off dinner, there is the usual range of hot drinks. During the day, the group will be provided with water and with snacks in the form of dried dates and mixed nuts, and possibly also bananas, but It’s a good idea to bring along a few of your favourite energy bars from home.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

During this holiday the group will spend 2 nights in a city centre hotel in Marrakech. The accommodation for the rest of the trip is in comfortable Moroccan style hotels, on a twin-sharing basis. All rooms will usually have private facilities other than in Zagora. All the hotels are clean and very friendly, varying from good standard kasbahs to simpler establishments, although they are usually not heated. Many have outdoor swimming pools that you can use (weather permitting). If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single room occupancy can be pre-booked at supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Marrakech can also be arranged. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the Dates and Prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

The trip will be led by an experienced, English-speaking local bike guide. There will also be one or more support vehicles and drivers.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

We suggest that £120 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) will adequately cover your needs. You should allow £30 for drinks etc. and around £30 for local crew tips. If you are intending to buy more expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Some of the merchants in the Marrakech souks will be able to take credit cards and there are some fantastic souvenir opportunities to be had. However, don’t expect to get a bargain without haggling for it. The unit of currency in Morocco is the Dirham. It is not normally possible (and it is certainly not necessary) to purchase Moroccan currency outside the country. Your travel money should be carried in the form of cash or travellers cheques. Sterling, euros and dollars are all readily exchanged. You can also draw cash from ATM's in Marrakech using credit or debit cards.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and crew. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that is given. We recommend that you give a tip if you feel that the services you have received have been good. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of £30 for tipping your crew.

If you are taking your own bike, we suggest that a ‘hardtail’ mountain bike with front suspension is appropriate for this holiday. It should have a good range of gears and we recommend you fit fast-rolling all-rounder or semi-slick tyres which work well on the surfaced roads and non-technical trails typically found on our Adventure Cycling holidays.

Since you are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday, it’s important to ensure it is in good working order. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you.

Please contact us if you are unsure about the suitability of your bike.

Bike hire is available locally for this holiday through our long-established relationship with a very good bike hire company in Marrakech. The bikes we offer are Cannondale Scalpel CRB 4 (carbon frame) full suspension bikes. They have 29 inch wheels, 100mm Fox suspension front and rear and SRAM 1 x 12 gearing, together with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. They are available in sizes S to XL. These bikes cost 270 euros (Sep 2023 - subject to change) for the duration of the trip. Payment will be made locally and does not cover you if you lose the bike or damage it beyond 'fair wear and tear'. You can pay in euros, GBP or US$ or with a credit card (3% charge). When you pick up your bike, you will be required to post a security deposit (1000 euros) which will be held against your credit card details and returned when the bike is returned. If you want to hire a bike, please contact the KE office and we can reserve one on your behalf. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company and that KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes, pedals and possibly even your saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You will also need to take your own helmet, which must be worn at all times when riding. E-Bikes are not an option for this holiday.

Airlines require that you pack your bike properly for travel and for this holiday we recommend that you use either soft bike bag or a purpose-made bike box or case. Whether you are using a bag or a case, you will need to partially dismantle your bike to pack it. Please note that bike bags or boxes will be placed in secure storage and will not travel with us during the course of the trip.

Please contact us if you have any questions about travelling with your bike. 

Throughout this trip we have the back up of one or more 4-wheel-drive support vehicles. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle(s) which will follow the group on the day's ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver(s) will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. So, although the group will become split up at times, we have regular stops to ensure that it's never long before we regroup. The support vehicle(s) can pick up any group members who wish to take a break from cycling at any time.

Apart from your bike in its bag or box (if you are taking your own bike), you should travel with one main item of luggage, such as a KE Trek Bag or similar holdall, as well as a small day pack or mountain bike-specific hydration pack. The day pack can be used to carry valuable items such as cameras and GPS devices whilst travelling and will also carry your day-ride essentials during the rides.

Your baggage allowance on the flights will depend on your airline. When choosing your flights, whether booking them directly or through KE, you will need to consider the cost of carrying your bike. These costs are your responsibility.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Visa Morocco

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The unit of currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham.

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

The region of the Jebel Sahro is extremely hot in the summer months. However, between November and April we can usually expect to find mostly pleasant temperatures for mountain biking. Daytime temperatures at low level will usually vary between 20 and 30 degrees Centigrade, falling away to as low as 5 degrees Centigrade at night. Crossing the higher passes, we can expect temperatures to be much lower than in the valleys. During the Christmas and February departures, it can be several degrees cooler than this and we recommend additional warm wear at this season. This part of the world receives very little rainfall and we can usually anticipate fine weather. However, weather in mountainous areas is notoriously difficult to predict, and rain or even short-lived storms can occur at any time of the year.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Lonely Planet Guide - Morocco

  • The Rough Guide to Morocco

  • Atlas Biker. Nicholas Crane

  • Lords of the Atlas. Gavin Maxwell

Carte Du Maroc. 1:100,000 Series

A good map series. Several sheets are needed to cover the route of this bike trip and are difficult to obtain outside of Morocco.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

For this holiday you will need your usual cycling clothing, including shoes, cycling gloves and helmet (which must be worn at all times when cycling).

Whether you are hiring a bike or taking your own, we recommend that you take the usual day-ride essentials of: mobile phone, multi-tool, mini-pump, tyre levers, spare tubes and puncture repair kit.

Bike Wear

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Daypack or mountain bike-specific hydration pack (e.g. Camelbak)
  • Water bladder - min. 2 litres water capacity (we encourage re-filling rather than single use plastic)
  • Padded (baggy) cycling shorts
  • Long leg cycling trousers or leg warmers
  • Base-layer – short sleeve cycling tops
  • Mid-layer - long sleeved cycling tops
  • Fleece jacket or jumper
  • Lightweight windproof top
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Regular biking gloves
  • Long-fingered biking gloved
  • Warm hat that fits under your helmet
  • Buff
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream (inc. total bloc for lips/nose)
  • Camera

Other Stuff

  • Travel and off-the-bike clothing and footwear
  • Lightweight, loose-fitting trousers to cover up on village visits
  • Wash bag, towel, toiletries, including anti-bacterial handwash
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Swimwear
  • Basic First Aid kit and personal medication
  • Chamois cream (e.g. Assos/Ozone)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Spares

If you are hiring a bike you do not need to bring any spares. The hire bikes are provided in good condition and a supply of spares is carried. You may be asked to pay directly for any spares used, especially in the case of crash damage or damage by mis-use. If you are taking your own bike, you should consider taking a minimum of spares, including a couple of spare spokes (for each wheel if they are different), spare brake blocks (or brake disc pads), chain links/chain connector, rear derailleur hanger and any non-standard parts specific to your bike.

Repairs

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. changing an inner tube and fixing a puncture. Your bike guide will be happy to help with repairs and general maintenance, but being able to carry out a simple repair yourself could save the inconvenience of having to wait for assistance.

Hydration and Energy Snacks

You should take suitable water bottle(s) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic) or a hydration pack and you should also consider taking a small supply of the gels, power bars or sports drink mix that you would normally use on a ride at home.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your equipment.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

Essaouira Riad and Atlantic Coast

4 Days

Friendly Essaouira provides a beautiful base for this colouful Atlantic Coast extension which offers a  fantastic start or end to our holidays in Morocco.  Described as the prettiest town in the country, the UNESCO port and medina are a riot of colour and activity.  To ensure a relaxing time in Essaouira we take care of private return transfers and riad accommodation for 3 nights at the comfortable Riad Maison du Sud, situated within the ramparts of the medina and just a few minutes walk from the sea. Redecorated in Moorish style, it has a snug sitting room and sunny roof terrace with views of the Mellah and the Atlantic Ocean.  Essaouira has plenty of things to so and do so we leave your days free for you to enjoy at leisure.  This extension starts and ends in Marrakech.

Extension Code: ESSR

Extension Itinerary

This morning you'll be picked up from your hotel for the picturesque 2.5hrs drive to Essaouira. On arrival, you'll check into the comfortable Riad Maison du Sud in the heart of the Medina. This pretty riad has two central courtyards, both charming examples of Moorish design and, are the perfect place to relax before setting off to explore.

A great place to explore is the Skala du Port, down by the harbour, offering the classic walled medina view. Complete with swirling seagulls and local fishing boats, this area is the best place to see local boat builders and the famous fish auction outside the port gates. Essaouira's UNESCO medina is a haven of winding streets, colourful shops, whitewashed houses and decorated doors.

Meals

B

The Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum has been lovingly restored and is housed in an old riad. It has a small but interesting collection of jewellery, costumes, amazing musical instruments and carpets of the region. From Essaouira beach, the "Purple Isles" of antiquity, two uninhabited islands are a sanctuary for Eleonora's falcons, which with a pair of binoculars, can be seen soaring above.

Meals

B

After breakfast, you'll be picked up for your return drive back to Marrakech. If you are flying out that day, you'll be transported to the airport, ensuring a relaxed end to your time in Morocco. Alternatively, you may wish to fly direct from Essaouira to start your onward journey and your airport transfer would be included.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • B&B riad accommodation (3 nights)
  • Transfers to and from Essaouira
  • Departure transfer to Marrakech Airport
What's Not Included
  • Lunches & dinners - Essaouira has an excellent range of restaurants to suit all budgets
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as drinks & souvenirs etc

Reviews

3.3 out of 5 from 3 reviews

More challenging than expected! ★★★

As a beginner mountain biker I found the first day of this trip very challenging, and the leader unfortunately didn't offer much in the way of support. The subsequent days were a bit easier, but quite long, so be prepared. The final two rides were a bit dull/easy by comparison. Breaking people in a bit more gently would be a better idea, as well as ensuring a bit more consistency in terms of difficulty level during the week. The hotels were more comfortable than expected (we had hot water most o f the time), although it was quite cold at night in February so do take warm layers and be prepared for hard beds. There are no kettles in the rooms so you might want to take your own, and there are only hairdryers in Marrakech. Plug sockets are usually in short supply. The Marrakech is billed as being in the city centre, but that's really not true as it takes 45 minutes to walk to the main square. The location is terrible and it's huge and impersonal - I can only imagine that it was chosen for low cost. Picnic lunches on cycling days were OK (although rather protein-deficient for vegetarians). All other meals were in the hotels, except for the last night. The quality was variable - some of it was incredibly bland, again with not much in the way of protein for vegetarians. You don't get a choice of food so it helps if you're not fussy. Breakfasts are carb-heavy (bread and pancakes mostly, with eggs) so I was glad that I took my own muesli. Fruit seems to be for dessert only, so if you like fruit for breakfast you need to buy your own. There is no alcohol at any of the hotels except for one, but you can buy beer or wine for the week if you want it. The restaurant that we stopped at on the last night on the way back to Marrakech was frankly awful. It was basically a truck stop. Usually the last night meal is a celebratory event, but this was a total anti-climax. I think most people would rather have left the mountains a bit earlier and had a proper dinner back in Marrakech. One of my main disappointments with this trip was the leader. He had no sense of humour, barely ever cracked a smile, and didn't want to engage with us. He only sat with us for meals if the drivers were not there. At the end he couldn't wait to get away - he dumped us at the hotel, took his tip (without a thank you) and ran. Given that we hadn't caused him any difficulties during the week it was hard to understand his surly attitude. Having travelled with many other adventure tour companies previously, this wasn't a good first experience with KE.
By Lindsey London | 21 February 2017

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. Our ‘Ride the Kasbah’ is really suitable for regular weekend bikers rather than beginners so we think you did well to complete the ride. It's an itinerary we have run for over 10 years and we feel the first days ride out of the Todra Gorge is an unmissable highlight. The support vehicles are always there to provide a transfer if necessary. We are pleased that you found the hotels to be more comfortable than you expected. The hotel we use in Marrakech is centrally located (it is right beside the wall of the Old City) and we feel is convenient, both for the Djema el Fna (which is 20 minutes’ walk away) and the bike hire shop. We are sorry that you felt the breakfasts provided by the hotels were ‘carb-heavy’, although we would observe that this is exactly what most bikers require to ‘fuel up’ for a challenging day’s riding. The picnic lunches we provide consist of a buffet of rice, pasta or cous cous, with a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas added. There will usually also be a selection of hard and soft cheeses, tinned fish, olives, biscuits and bread. Evening meals provided by the hotel are three course beginning with soup and bread. Often the main course is the famous Moroccan tagine (vegetable stew) which will vary greatly in flavour depending on the spices and vegetables used and vegetarians are well catered for in Morocco. We were quite surprised at your impression of your leader who has led numerous biking and trekking trips for KE. Until now, he has received only excellent feedback from KE clients and we are sorry that you did not find him engaging. We do appreciate all your comments and will feed these back to your guide and our local agent.


A beautiful surprise ★★★★

The first 3 days of cycling the landscape is at times breathtakingly wild and beautiful. The first three days are rather challenging. If you bike a local bike you have to make a deposit of at least 600 EUR So Have enough money on your credit card.

By Bostjan Brussels | 14 February 2017

Superb biking in great surroundings ★★★

For the 1st time on KE I used a local hire bike and am glad I did. The bike (Cannonade Trail 3 Hardtail) was perfect for me for this ride of mixed terrain and trails. Day 1 is the hardest of the days in terms of the ride challenge, with some good technical challenge riding in a river bed and long climbs, with rewarding descents (a little sketchy in places). Food and accommodation was also good throughout. The very 1st day is a transfer and that is a long day with transfer from Marrakech to that night's hotel taking 9 hours, leaving no time for said 'optional ride'....but through good and varied scenery. The final day's ride is a short ride (30km or so) through the Draa Valley. The ride itself offers little and is really just a break up of the day's long drive. Personally I would have preferred to use the time to explore Zagora and have a chill out morning, or to get back to Marrakech earlier, as that last day ride was not worth the effort. In summary - this trip is well organised and almost military in its execution by our guide, Hammed but you only get 4 days of decent riding out of it. Those 4 days were superb rides and each different from the previous day and all providing a great mix pf challenging hills to rewarding desserts, include a superb 10km descent. Day 5's ride was a little 'functional' and (in my view) served little more than to break up the long return to Marrakech.
By David Strathcarron | 13 February 2017

Traveller Reviews
3.3 out of 5 from 3 reviews

More challenging than expected!
★ ★ ★
As a beginner mountain biker I found the first day of this trip very challenging, and the leader unfortunately didn't offer much in the way of support. The subsequent days were a bit easier, but quite long, so be prepared. The final two rides were a bit dull/easy by comparison. Breaking people in a bit more gently would be a better idea, as well as ensuring a bit more consistency in terms of difficulty level during the week. The hotels were more comfortable than expected (we had hot water most o f the time), although it was quite cold at night in February so do take warm layers and be prepared for hard beds. There are no kettles in the rooms so you might want to take your own, and there are only hairdryers in Marrakech. Plug sockets are usually in short supply. The Marrakech is billed as being in the city centre, but that's really not true as it takes 45 minutes to walk to the main square. The location is terrible and it's huge and impersonal - I can only imagine that it was chosen for low cost. Picnic lunches on cycling days were OK (although rather protein-deficient for vegetarians). All other meals were in the hotels, except for the last night. The quality was variable - some of it was incredibly bland, again with not much in the way of protein for vegetarians. You don't get a choice of food so it helps if you're not fussy. Breakfasts are carb-heavy (bread and pancakes mostly, with eggs) so I was glad that I took my own muesli. Fruit seems to be for dessert only, so if you like fruit for breakfast you need to buy your own. There is no alcohol at any of the hotels except for one, but you can buy beer or wine for the week if you want it. The restaurant that we stopped at on the last night on the way back to Marrakech was frankly awful. It was basically a truck stop. Usually the last night meal is a celebratory event, but this was a total anti-climax. I think most people would rather have left the mountains a bit earlier and had a proper dinner back in Marrakech. One of my main disappointments with this trip was the leader. He had no sense of humour, barely ever cracked a smile, and didn't want to engage with us. He only sat with us for meals if the drivers were not there. At the end he couldn't wait to get away - he dumped us at the hotel, took his tip (without a thank you) and ran. Given that we hadn't caused him any difficulties during the week it was hard to understand his surly attitude. Having travelled with many other adventure tour companies previously, this wasn't a good first experience with KE.
By Lindsey London | 21 February 2017

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. Our ‘Ride the Kasbah’ is really suitable for regular weekend bikers rather than beginners so we think you did well to complete the ride. It's an itinerary we have run for over 10 years and we feel the first days ride out of the Todra Gorge is an unmissable highlight. The support vehicles are always there to provide a transfer if necessary. We are pleased that you found the hotels to be more comfortable than you expected. The hotel we use in Marrakech is centrally located (it is right beside the wall of the Old City) and we feel is convenient, both for the Djema el Fna (which is 20 minutes’ walk away) and the bike hire shop. We are sorry that you felt the breakfasts provided by the hotels were ‘carb-heavy’, although we would observe that this is exactly what most bikers require to ‘fuel up’ for a challenging day’s riding. The picnic lunches we provide consist of a buffet of rice, pasta or cous cous, with a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas added. There will usually also be a selection of hard and soft cheeses, tinned fish, olives, biscuits and bread. Evening meals provided by the hotel are three course beginning with soup and bread. Often the main course is the famous Moroccan tagine (vegetable stew) which will vary greatly in flavour depending on the spices and vegetables used and vegetarians are well catered for in Morocco. We were quite surprised at your impression of your leader who has led numerous biking and trekking trips for KE. Until now, he has received only excellent feedback from KE clients and we are sorry that you did not find him engaging. We do appreciate all your comments and will feed these back to your guide and our local agent.


A beautiful surprise
★ ★ ★ ★

The first 3 days of cycling the landscape is at times breathtakingly wild and beautiful. The first three days are rather challenging. If you bike a local bike you have to make a deposit of at least 600 EUR So Have enough money on your credit card.

By Bostjan Brussels | 14 February 2017

Superb biking in great surroundings
★ ★ ★
For the 1st time on KE I used a local hire bike and am glad I did. The bike (Cannonade Trail 3 Hardtail) was perfect for me for this ride of mixed terrain and trails. Day 1 is the hardest of the days in terms of the ride challenge, with some good technical challenge riding in a river bed and long climbs, with rewarding descents (a little sketchy in places). Food and accommodation was also good throughout. The very 1st day is a transfer and that is a long day with transfer from Marrakech to that night's hotel taking 9 hours, leaving no time for said 'optional ride'....but through good and varied scenery. The final day's ride is a short ride (30km or so) through the Draa Valley. The ride itself offers little and is really just a break up of the day's long drive. Personally I would have preferred to use the time to explore Zagora and have a chill out morning, or to get back to Marrakech earlier, as that last day ride was not worth the effort. In summary - this trip is well organised and almost military in its execution by our guide, Hammed but you only get 4 days of decent riding out of it. Those 4 days were superb rides and each different from the previous day and all providing a great mix pf challenging hills to rewarding desserts, include a superb 10km descent. Day 5's ride was a little 'functional' and (in my view) served little more than to break up the long return to Marrakech.
By David Strathcarron | 13 February 2017

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Morocco - Ride the Kasbah
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: JEMB/03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 19 Oct and ends on Sat 26 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$245 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Morocco - Ride the Kasbah
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: JEMB/04/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 28 Dec and ends on Sat 4 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$275 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Morocco - Ride the Kasbah
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: JEMB/01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 8 Feb and ends on Sat 15 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$275 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Morocco - Ride the Kasbah
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: JEMB/02/25/
  • This trip begins on Mon 31 Mar and ends on Mon 7 Apr
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$275 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Morocco - Ride the Kasbah
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: JEMB/03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 18 Oct and ends on Sat 25 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$275 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Morocco - Ride the Kasbah
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: JEMB/04/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 27 Dec and ends on Sat 3 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$275 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The holiday starts at the hotel in Marrakech. Transfers from/to Marrakech Airport are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1 and departing on the last day of the Land Only itinerary.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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