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Singletrack Cycling Tour in Morocco

Welcome to the wonderful world of Morocco! This cycling trip is not into big jumps or drops but the trails can be tight, technical and twisty as well as fast and flowing - so a good knowledge of braking and cornering is essential. Over 80% of the ride time is on various types of singletrack and A 5-inch full-suspension bike is recommended. The emphasis is definitely on riding the best trail possible. However, that does not mean you need to sacrifice all other aspects of your holiday. Like all the best mountain bike holidays, this tour includes great food, hospitality, and a true Mountain Bike / Mountain experience never to forget. Big mountains, big singletrack, great food, amazing culture and more!

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point-to-point
  • Terrain: tight, technical and twisty as well as fast and flowing. Short sections of exposure.
  • Starts in: The program starts in Marrakech. Cycling starts in Imlil
  • Ends in: The program ends in Marrakech. Cycling ends in Ourgane
  • Type of bike: Mountain bike (not included, 5-inch full suspension bike is recommended)
  • Group tour / maximum 10 participants

Meet the instructors

Simon & Mohammed
Read more

Highlights

  • 5 cycling days, around 5-7 hours daily with a support vehicle provided when needed
  • Possibly some of the best singletrack trails in the world
  • Explore Marrakech's magic with its snake charmers, storytellers and miles of souks
  • Witness the incredible hospitality of the local Berbers
  • Savor Morocco's famous food and yes, you can have a beer!
  • Enjoy the exceptional scenery of The Atlas Mountains and spectacular villages
  • 7 nights accommodation (mountain gites while cycling and hotel in Marrakech)
  • Complimentary group airport transfers

5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: 4-10 participants
Airport transfer included: Marrakesh Menara Airport
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Accommodation

The gites in the mountains are basic and comprise of a main courtyard or terrace where you have dinner and breakfast, with accommodation to the side, cooking facilities for our chef, (usually) hot showers or hammam (steam room), French style toilet and electricity to charge phones, etc. Please don't expect luxury accommodation - You're in the mountains in a remote location so fluffy pillows, power showers and room service have been sacrificed for stunning views, rich culture, adventure and incredible singletrack!

When in Imlil, the accommodation is comfortable with Wi-Fi, ensuite bathroom/shower, and good facilities. On the second to last night the hotel is very nice with Wi-Fi, bar, swimming pool, and ensuite facilities, in Marrakech the Riad is also comfortable and has an ensuite with Wi-Fi, etc.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arriving at Marrakech Airport

Before you can pass through passport control, you will need to complete a visa form - ‘Fiche D’embarquement/debarquement’. These can be picked up on your way through to the passport control booth, but this will be sent to you before you fly. Once you have passed through customs control (and you have a nice new stamp in your passport!), you will need to collect your bike and any luggage you checked onto the flight from the carrousel.

Where to meet

In the main arrivals hall, there is a coffee shop on the right-hand side as you enter the hall. It's just next to/opposite the car rental booths. This is where all participants meet up and is the time to get cash (1000dh (£65-70) recommended).

Transfer to Imlil

Once you're all together and have everything sorted, the van will be loaded and you will be transferred to Imlil. The transfer time is approximately 90 minutes and there will be one transfer once everyone is together.

Day 2 - Imlil Singletrack

A good breakfast sets you up for the first day. Today is the day to get everything dialed before you hit the big mountains and stray from the comfort of the lodge in Imlil. A short climb of 6 km to the top pass drops you straight into tight, twisty singletrack where the challenge is to get around as many corners as possible without putting a foot down! Then another short, dirt track climb to lunch.

More singletrack after lunch

You are straight into the singletrack after lunch! Fast and flowing with sections of loose and rocky as you ride through the pine forest back towards Imlil. Just above Imlil, you then head west to the next singletrack descent that drops you back into the chaos and vibrant life of Imlil. The sights and sounds are a sensory overload!

Back to the lodge

If there is time you can stop in Imlil for an exploration before heading back to the comfortable lodge for an incredible dinner at approximately 19:00.

  • Terrain: Singletrack

Day 3 - Imlil to Iml Oughlad

Berber 4x4 Uplift (Mule!)

You start with a large breakfast at around 8.00 am then load your bikes onto the mules for an uplift to the top pass at over 1800 meters. Except for about 6 km of dirt track, today is singletrack all day and it really is epic!

Lunch at Mohammed's family home

You stop on the way for lunch at Mohammed’s (your guide) family home. Due to the remoteness, you take a packed lunch and are greeted with mint tea, biscuits, nuts and fruit to complement the picnic.

Singletrack after lunch

After lunch, you start with a steady 6 km on a mix of remote asphalt road and dirt track to the start of the next long section of singletrack that drops you directly into the gite for dinner and the night. The mountain scenery, views, location and singletrack are spectacular!

  • Terrain: singletrack, asphalt road and dirt track

Day 4 - Iml Oughlad go Amizmiz

A tough but rewarding day

Straight from the gite, the singletrack starts. Tight, steep twisty singletrack drops you onto a riverbed you cross to pick up the singletrack on the other side. This path links three or four villages as you traverse from one to the other. This is fast and flowing but you don’t lose much height as you follow the riverbed below.

There are a couple of little climbs of 2-300 meters which catapult you into incredibly fast sections where you need to slam on the anchors to avoid firing off the singletrack on tight hairpin corners. After a few hours of singletrack, you enter an area of more singletrack on the famous Red Rock of Morocco. An incredible playground with outstanding grip and fast-flowing singletrack.

You stop for lunch in a secluded, wooded part of the riverbed where Mohammed and Abdul will be waiting and will have already prepared mint tea for your arrival. Lunch will be a welcome break from the efforts of riding as fast as you can for so long on so much singletrack. But it doesn't stop there...

After lunch, you're off again. A short warm-up of 1.5 km and you’re crossing a large dam to find the entrance to yet another incredible ribbon of singletrack. A very sketchy entrance unravels into km after km of gently down-sloping singletrack in a spectacular gorge. This is truly breathtaking scenery to match some of the best singletrack in the world!

  • Elevation: 2-300 meters
  • Terrain: Singletrack

Day 5 - Amizmiz To Ait Ahmad

Gaining height, on singletrack of course!

You start with a singletrack ridgeline ascent. The grip is good but you need to pick a good line and save your energy for the tricky bits which are thrown in there just to spice it up! From the top of this challenge, you have a traverse and singletrack descent back into a riverbed on the other side of the valley for another, very technical ascent. This one is rockier (but not lose) and good trials skills will be an enormous advantage. A real lung buster, but you’ll be amazed at the level of grip that drives you forward and makes it a really good section.

From the top here, there is a fantastic singletrack descent for your reward before another, shorter, smooth, steady singletrack traverse which pops you onto a dirt track road that takes you to the head of another fast, smooth singletrack descent and the van for lunch which is just 1 km down the road.

After lunch, you have a short, steady traverse through several rustic villages to Ait Ahmad where the gite for the night is. An earlier finish, usually around 4.30 pm will help you recover for the next singletrack ‘Mega Day’ tomorrow. This is a great village to explore with its incredible landscape, scenery and caves. (31'07'43.77 N 8'16'03.87 W / 1483m)

  • Terrain: Singletrack

Day 6 - Ait Ahmad to Ourgane

It doesn't matter where you've ridden before, you're going to remember this for the rest of your life!

This is the last day on the bike and the best. A real singletrack ‘Mega Day’ which will challenge your fitness and technical ability, but only because the trails are so good you just 'have' to keep going!

You start with a gentle traverse and climb to the top of the pass which takes 45 minutes and a 20-minute hike-a-bike, but the rewards at the top are incomprehensible! If you enjoy singletrack, this is your heaven! As you look down the giant valley all you can see is a fine ribbon of singletrack disappearing into the distance. This is fast and flowing to start and as it drops in height the trail becomes more technical into the riverbed. All easy to ride, but you’ll be desperate to keep your speed up to increase the ‘grin factor’ so mistakes will be made! It’s just not possible to ride hours of singletrack without making a mistake... Especially when you’re hammering it!

One of the sections of singletrack runs through a dry riverbed. It’s smooth with rocks lining the twisting route so if you come off-line, you get punished. The twisting route makes you throw the bike around as you shift your weight from one pedal to the next to find the grip out of the slide and into the next bend. Almost like a slalom. Big gear, flat out! This is just one section, there are too many to list, but I have to say there is something for everyone and everyone loves it. From slow, super technical to smooth and flat out and everything in between! This continues for hours, without any let-up anywhere. The finale to this section is a rickety bridge crossing which takes you to the van for a late lunch. Tired and dusty...

It's not over yet!

After lunch you load the van with the bikes and get an uplift of over 1000 m for your final, ultra-fast, ultra epic, ultra grin-inducing singletrack descent all the way to the comfortable hotel below where a cold beer and swimming pool await. Here we pack our bikes and prepare for our transfer to the magical city of Marrakech in the morning.

  • Terrain: Singletrackw

Day 7 - Ourgane To Marrakech

Explore the magical city of Marrakech

You will be transferred from Ourgane at 10 am after a good breakfast. The transfer time is approximately 90 minutes and takes you into the heart of Marrakech and to a 4-star hotel in the city. Secure bike storage with CCTV means there is no worry about leaving your bike there while you explore the sights of Marrakech. This is an incredible city steeped in history and culture with an array of things to see and do.

The hotel is close to the famous Jnaa El Fna square where you can explore the Souks, buy spices and leather goods at great prices, and haggle until your heart is content.

Day - Marrakech Departure Day

Getting to the airport

Your transfer to the airport will have been pre-booked so all you need to do is walk for 15 seconds to the pickup point around the corner which is the same place you were dropped off the day before. You need to be at the airport at least two hours before your departure time. However, during the summer months, it is recommended that you get there with more time to spare. For example, if your flight is at 13:00, you will need to leave the hotel at 10:00.

Extra transfers

If your flight time is at a different time to the rest of the group, or you would like to make your own arrangements to get to the airport a taxi will cost between 100 and 150 MAD. The airport transfers are arranged for a time that best suits the group. If your flight time is late on Saturday and the rest of the group is departing in the morning you will have the option to either go with them, pay for your own taxi (100-150 MAD) or get the No:19 bus which is every half an hour from the edge of the square and costs 30 MAD direct to the airport.

At the airport

It isn't possible to confirm your departure without checking in so any boarding cards you print off before you get to Morocco will be obsolete! Even if you don't have luggage or a bike to check on, you still need to check in at the relevant airline desk. The airport is comfortable and modern and over the last few years has become a lot more efficient and user-friendly!

Riding information

All riding is optional and you are welcome to take a day off and rest. There is a support vehicle that can take you to the next night's accommodation where you can relax and wait for the rest of the group to arrive.

Skill Level

You will need to be able to corner and use your brakes instinctively. Confidence on loose rocky sections is an advantage but you do not do big jumps or drops. This adventure does have sections where there is a level of exposure and you should expect to be challenged on some sections. However, if you're not comfortable riding anything, don't! It's a holiday, not a training camp!

Fitness

The fitter you are, the more fun you'll have. But that does not mean you need to be a pro/elite rider. There are sections where you will need to carry your bike and some large climbs of 30-40 minutes and you are usually out on the bikes for 5-7 hours each day. Whilst there is a support vehicle, try not to use it except when really needed.

Bike, Tyres and pads

Bike

A 140mm+ full suspension bike (All Mountain Bike) is recommended for the most fun. However, that does not mean if you don't have one you should rush out and buy one. Yeti, Santa Cruz, Trek and other 'enduro' style bikes are very popular but lots of guests also ride bikes with much less travel and some even use hardtails. Please, don't bring a DH rig! You can do these trails with a single front ring but do make sure you've got a large cassette on the rear, otherwise it'll be a struggle in some places!

Tyres

A selection of tyres has been used for this track over the years from semi-slick 1.8 to DH 2.4 The best, is without a doubt the Maxxis High Roller II 2.35 or High Roller LUST 2.35 or something similar. The terrain is very rocky and technical in areas and the chance of a pinch flat is quite high. Thorns are not usually an issue but you do need to watch out for cactus! I'm a big fan of tubeless tyres in Morocco where it seems to be ok to just fit, inflate and leave them alone.

Pads

These are not compulsory but are most definitely recommended. If you have them you might as well bring them!

Instructors

Simon

Mohammed

Location

Your arrival airport will be in Marrakech. From there, you will transfer to the mountain village of Imlil. You will spend the next 5 days touring around the villages of the Atlas Mountains.

Food

A personal chef will travel with you to prepare fresh authentic local meals. On your last night in Marrakech dinner is also provided.

The food is quite simply exceptional! Breakfast is a selection of bread, pancakes, omelette, cheeses, jams, chocolate spread, tea, coffee and juice. Lunch is a very good `picnic` which consists of mint tea, pasta, a stew of some kind (usually pulses), chopped salads, tinned fish, bread and fruit dessert. Dinner consists of three courses: Soup starter, main course (Tajine, Cuscus or similar traditional Berber food) and fruit dessert. Camomile tea is also served after dinner.

This tour can cater to vegetarians for a small supplement of 45 GBP per person. A supplement is charged because this involves preparing and cooking a separate dish/tajine to the rest of the group.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

If you would like to experience other activities whilst staying in Morocco, please let Global Bike Adventures know and they will do their best to arrange this for you.

What's included

  • All guiding except in Marrakech
  • Airport transfers to and from Marrakech
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 dinners
  • 6 lunches

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Lunch in Marrakech at the end of the week
  • Bike rental (can be arranged at £280 / €320 / $340 for the entire trip)
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including water
  • Additional transfers outside the specified time
  • Meals and drinks in Marrakech other than breakfast and dinner

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Marrakesh Menara Airport Airport transfer included: Marrakesh Menara Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 16.94% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Custom dates

This tour date can be flexible so if you would like a date that isn't available below, please let Global Bike Adventures know and they will do their best to accommodate you.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Saturday September 28, 2024
(8 days / 7 nights)

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