Moroccan Route

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Moroccan Route

The diversity of landscapes is enormous: the High Atlas, the volcanic Saghro mountains, the golden desert with its sand dunes, green oases and palm trees.
Overnight stays in traditional Riads and historic Kashbas further enhance the fairy-tale feeling. Morocco is the country where the legendary adventure film “Lawrence of Arabia” was shot. Experience this fairy-tale country with its hospitable population!

Distance:

950 km

Level:

4

Stages:

16 – 17

Travel time:

3 ½ weeks

Best travel period

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Adventure:

9 / 10

Highlights:
1 Royal city of Marrakech with its ancient Medina;
2 The impressive Dades gorge;
3 The High Atlas, the volcanic Saghro mountains and the desert;
4 Aït Ben Haddou, the largest Kashba on the UNESCO list.

Explore the freedom!

Cycling through the Berber country, you will experience the culture, smell the exotic scents and meet the hospitable people.

You cycle on the south side of the high Atlas, through the oases in the valleys of Dra and Dades. Along the volcanic Saghro mountains and along the Sahara, the camels look at you curiously. You will sleep in special Kashbas and Riads along the way. Authentic shelters made of orange clay where you can imagine yourself every now and then in the fairy tale “Thousand and One Nights”.

Your trip starts in Marrakech, after Fez the most important royal city of Morocco, traditionally a resting place on the old caravan routes to Timbuktu.

It has a fascinating city center and is certainly worth exploring for a few days. A visit to the famous Place Djemaa El Fna should not be missed. The market square in the morning, artists and acrobats in the afternoon and a great open-air restaurant in the evening. Of course strolling through the Medina and the souks where merchandise is displayed in the narrow alleys is an unforgettable experience.

From Marrakech you take the bus or taxi to the top of the Tizi n’Tichka pass at 2260mtr. From here you have a phenomenal view and your cycling route starts. You cycle on unpaved small roads, past oasis to reach Aït Ben Haddou after two days. This is the most impressive kashba complex in the whole of Morocco, listed on the world heritage list of UNESCO. Here the movie “Lawrence of Arabia” was shot.

You continue on the south side of the High Atlas via Ouarzazate through the Valley of 1000 Kashbas to Boumalne Dadès. From here you cycle through the Dadès Gorge or “Dades du Gorges”: a spectacular gorge with rising walls of reddish-brown rock on either side with a green stream of trees, plants and water in between. The whimsical, red rocks alternate with gorges here. You penetrate deep into the gorge on a road with hairpin bends.

Via Tineghir you cycle through the volcanic Jbel Saghro in the direction of N’kob. The mountains here are impressively bare and black in color. You continue your way through the Draa valley where you cycle through one of the most beautiful landscapes of Morocco. Along the way you will see centuries-old kashba’s, endless rows of palm trees and fruit plantations on the banks of the Draa.

You reach Zagora, the gateway to the desert and one of the best places in Morocco to experience the traditional Moroccan history and culture of the south. It is the place where trade caravans passed for centuries on their way through the Sahara from Marrakesh to Timbuktu in Mali. From here reachable in‘only’ more than 50 days by camel! ☺

From Zagora you cycle via Agdz, which means resting place, back to Ouarzazate. At Agdz you will pass Kissane Jbel, a mountain known for its shape and very similar to a tajine, a type of cooking pot that is often used in the preparation of typical Moroccan dishes.

In Quarzazate you can visit the largest film studio in the world, the Atlas Studios. Several well-known films, such as Lawrence of Arabia, were recorded in this studio.
The next day you take the bus back to Marrakech. For the true die-hards, it is possible to pass the High Atlas by bike and continue to flat Marrakech. A journey that will “reverberate” for a long time because of the many impressions you have made along the way!

Your improvisation talent will be addressed during this bike ride. The roads are mainly paved, sometimes unpaved. Due to the economic progress in Morocco it can also be a bit busier on the roads. But the valleys require for some climbing in an impressive backdrop of total loneliness.
NOTE: In April we will do a final check on this cycle route, after which our Cycling Route Booklet will be completely updated. The cycling trip in Morocco can already be booked now, with a departure date from 1st of July 2020.
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