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Southern Oasis Cycling

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highlights
  • Draa Valley - Cycle through one of the most picturesque valleys in Morocco
  • Erg Chebbi - Ride camels through impressive Saharan sand dunes and camp overnight in a desert wilderness
  • Tizi N'Fedrhate Pass - Enjoy a thrilling descent from this stunning mountain pass in the High Atlas
  • Marrakech - Discover Morocco's vibrant Red City, with its atmospheric medina and lively Djemma-el-Fna Square
The Southern Oasis Cycling tour starts and ends in Marrakech. The Southern Oasis Cycling is a Bicycle Tour that takes 8 days taking you through Marrakech, Morocco and other destinations in Morocco.

Discover the kasbahs, tribal villages and cool oases of the Draa Valley on this cycling holiday in Morocco. Cycle through the remote hamada desert of the Sahara and enjoy an exhilarating High Atlas descent through the Berber heartland. Overnight Sahara camp - Ride camels through Saharan sand dunes and camp overnight in a desert wilderness Thrilling descent - Enjoy a scenic descent from the stunning High Atlas mountain pass of Tizi N'Fedrhate Pass Marrakech - Discover Morocco's vibrant Red City, with its atmospheric medina and lively Djemma-el-Fna Square.
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We join our trip in vibrant Marrakech. For centuries the meeting place for the mountain Berbers and the desert people of the south, it is divided into two distinct parts - Gueliz (the modern French-built city) and the old medina. The city's beating heart is the lively Djemma-el-Fna square - alive with storytellers, musicians, jugglers and snake charmers. At sunset, dozens of food stalls are energetically set up for the evening trade, selling everything from snails and sheep heads to broths and tagines.
Accommodation
  • Premium hotel
This morning, we have some time to visit the souks and sites of the medina before our drive to the garrison town of Ouarzazate - gateway to the Sahara Desert. Our journey takes us over the dramatic High Atlas pass of Tizi n' Tichka, at an altitude of 2,260 metres. En route, we plan to visit the spectacular fortified city of Ait Benhaddou - classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered by many as one of Morocco's most picturesque settings. Richly decorated and studded with crenelated towers, the town's spectacular kasbah may be recognised from scenes in Jesus of Nazareth, Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and, most recently, Game of Thrones. The drive to Ouarzazate takes about 4 hours.


We spend the night in Ouarzazate and prepare for tomorrow's cycling journey.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Leaving Ouarzazate by bus, we drive over the dramatic Tizi n'Tinififft mountain pass, rising to an altitude of 1,800 metres amid the lunar landscape of the Anti-Atlas. We continue down into one of the most stunning natural wonders of Morocco - the Draa Valley, where we have the opportunity to enjoy an exhilarating cycle ride. Littered with kasbahs and ksours (fortified villages), the Draa Valley is the largest date palm oasis in Morocco. We begin cycling before the small town of Agdz and head south on descending terrain though lush oases. We will get back into our vehicle for the last part of our journey to our overnight stop at Alnif which takes about 3 hours.

Our total cycling distance is approximately 45 kilometers (120 meters total accumulated ascent and 342 meters descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning, we cycle from our hotel along the southern foothills of the Jebel Sahro mountain range, against the spectacular backdrop of the 2,712 metre Amalou n'Mansour peak. This is a very remote part of Morocco and few cars pass through this vast area of stony hammada desert. Later we drive to Merzouga (approximately 2 1/2 hours), from where we will go on an exciting camel trek to explore the contrasting and more stereotypical desert landscape of Erg Chebbi. This spectacular natural wonder is home to the largest expanse of sand in Morocco, with giant dunes peaking at an impressive 150 metres. In actual fact, landscapes like this only cover about one fifth of the Sahara's surface, the rest is made up of vast rock and gravel plains. Our camel trek takes us to our desert camp where we will spend the night. This ultimate 'Arabian Nights' experience allows us to experience the unrivalled tranquillity of this desert setting. Mattresses, blankets and pillows are provided and washing facilities, including flushing toilets, are available.

Our total cycling distance is approximately 50 kilometers (92 meters total accumulated ascent and 210 meters descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple camping
This morning, we recommend rising early to watch the spectacular desert sunrise as it casts shadows across the rolling dunes. After breakfast, we return to Merzouga by camel. A short drive takes us to the start of today's cycle ride in the Rissani region- homeland of the Alaouite dynasty, which reigned in this area for 300 years. Cycling through an expansive desert landscape on mostly flat terrain, we pass palmeries and ksours on our journey to Erfoud - our base for the night.

Our total cycling distance is approximately 38 kilometers (56 meters total accumulated ascent and 17 meters descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning, we set off on our bikes towards Tinerhir in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Passing alongside the ancient 'Fogaras' subterranean irrigation system, our route takes us through a lush oasis, abundant with date palms and olive groves, fruit orchards and almonds trees, all littered amongst a fertile landscape of grain and vegetables. Our bus will pick us up for the last part of our journey to Todra Gorge - renowned as one of the most spectacular canyons in the world. Here, ochre-coloured rock walls rise vertically to a height of 160 meters, leaving just a narrow pass through which the track and river struggle for right of way. We have time to explore these deep, narrow mountain chasms on foot and are likely to see the Berber women drive their goats through the gorge to the better grazing land higher up. We continue our journey by vehicle along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech to reach our overnight stop in El Kelaa des M'Gouna. Our driving time is about 4 1/2 hours. Known as the 'town of the roses', it is surrounded by a landscape of scented blooms each spring. These are harvested in May during the famous Festival of the Roses, before being processed into rosewater and sold throughout the Islamic world.

Our total cycling distance is approximately 40 kilometers (100 meters total accumulated ascent and 19 meters descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
After an early breakfast, we drive into the High Atlas to the Tizi n'Fedrhate Pass at an altitude of 2,150 metres. From here, we start cycling down into the northern foothills of the Atlas Mountains, through some of the most dramatic scenery of this entire trip. Amid the silence of the mountain valleys, the hardy Berbers cultivate fields of barley, wheat, olives, figs, beans, peas and almond groves. Here, tradition is strong and social organisation remains uncompromisingly tribal. These 'Lords of the Atlas' present us with a unique view of a way of life lost to the rest of North Africa, where music and dance, even language and religion, are far removed from their Arab neighbours. Later, we get back into our vehicle, returning to Marrakech late in the afternoon.

Our total cycling distance is approximately 50 kilometers (170 meters total accumulated ascent and 1574 meters descent).

Please note: Today's cycling route may have to be altered in adverse weather conditions.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Premium hotel
Our trip ends in Marrakech today after breakfast. Depending on the time of your flight, you might be able to spend some additional time exploring the city independently.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 7 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
  • 2 nights premium hotel
  • 4 nights standard hotel
  • 1 night simple camping
Transport
  • Bicycle, Minibus
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Assistant Cycle Guide, Driver(s), Local Guide(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Marrakech are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Southern Oasis Cycling tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 8 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Marrakech, Morocco/ Marrakech, Morocco
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Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Southern Oasis Cycling
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Payment

A deposit of 102 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 23 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Southern Oasis Cycling tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Southern Oasis Cycling tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Southern Oasis Cycling tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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