Posted on October 10 2022
Morocco is a gateway to Africa and a country of dizzying diversity, distinguished by the warm hospitality of its Berber, Arabian and European influences.
Having explored the majesty of Morocco with our tour guests in August 2022, We can safely say that Morocco’s beauty is like a multi-tiered cake. Snowy mountains on top, the Sahara in the middle and the Atlantic coast forming another fabulous flavour, sprinkled all over with multi-cultural influences and natural wonders from giant sand dunes to canyons.
Morocco is a vast country of varied terrain, beautiful landscapes, friendly people, delicious food, fabulous hotels, and is home to some seriously good road and gravel riding. We would like to describe it as a once in a lifetime adventure.
Morocco is the perfect country for gravel cyclists and non-riding partners in search of an exotic destination that ticks all the boxes of adventure.
The majesty of Morocco is a feast for the senses and is waiting to be explored on an epic journey across the mountains and desert plains.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TRIP
- Explore Marrakech on our half day tour to better understand its melting pot of cultures and traditions.
- Morocco is an incredible and rewarding experience both on and off the bike.
- A country known for its seriously good gravel riding, stunning scenery and friendly inhabitants.
- Fully supported rides with guides, mechanics, tools and support vehicle.
- A once in a lifetime experience riding through the Atlas Mountains, Dades Gorges and Sahara Desert plains.
- Our local tour guides will provide privileged access to hidden experiences.
- Premium 5 star unique accommodation.
- Glamping in the Sahara dunes under the desert stars.
- All inclusive off the bike activities.
- Relax at a traditional Hammam.
- Excellent shopping at the vibrant souks and spice markets.
- Unforgettable sunset and sunrise experiences including hot air ballooning and camel riding in the golden Erg Chebbi dunes.
THE APRÈS VÉLO GRAVEL CYCLING TOUR IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE BIKE. IT'S ABOUT THE APRÈS VÉLO LIFESTYLE AND CREATING FOND MEMORIES THAT WILL LAST FOREVER.
THE RIDING EXPERIENCE
The high-altitude deserts of Morocco are a gravel biking paradise. We rode through expansive orange deserts to ancient adobe cities. We climbed into the highlands of the legendary Atlas Mountains and experienced remarkable sweeping descents into valleys, lined with date palms. Each day in Morocco is action packed, full of worthy climbs and panoramic views. Here are a few of our rides included on the Après Vélo Morocco Gravel Adventure.
Tizi ‘n Tichka climb
Probably the most famous climb in the Atlas Mountains, Tizi ‘n Tichka is incredible, with pristine roads, that twists and turns for 35km, at an average gradient of just 3%.
The heart of the climb is in the top section with genuine switchbacks and breathtaking views. At over 2000m, we started to feel the coolness, with scenery reminiscent to the lunar landscapes of Mont Ventoux. As we got closer to the summit, we felt remarkable jubilation. Was it the altitude. Perhaps not! We could not stop taking photos of this remarkable landscape.
Ait Benhaddou to Telouet
This was our introduction to Morocco gravel. Certainly not technical but loose and bumpy gravel required that we work those legs. The trails connecting these two places is quite simply awesome. The wild, arid landscapes along the way are like cycling through a movie set – and indeed they have been, in greats like Lawrence of Arabia and Babel.
What a privilege to cycle through such spectacular rugged gorges that Dades has become famous for in the heart of the Atlas Mountains. It felt kind of surreal to be surrounded by these huge majestic peaks reflecting a kaleidoscope of colours against the morning sun.
Merzouga (The Land of Camels)
We Cycled towards Merzouga, home to one of Morocco's biggest dunes, Erg Chebbi formed by wind-blown sand. Be prepared for anything - sandy patches, hard gravel, or mud. The terrain is constantly changing depending on the localised weather systems and it's all part of the adventure.
On most days mid ride, we were hosted by traditional Berber families in their tent or humble abode for lunch. What an overwhelming experience this was, not to mention the Nomad family we came across in the desert, who invited us into their cave for mint tea and to relax our weary legs
THE EXPERIENCE OFF THE BIKE
The adventure certainly continued long after the wheels stopped spinning.
When people throw around the word ‘exotic’, they’re probably referring to places like Morocco. We certainly experienced this 1st hand with our guests.
Enjoying Morocco, Après Vélo style, starts with nothing more strenuous than its national pastime – people-watching in a street café with a coffee or a mint tea.
We also provided our guests (riders and non riding partners) with some incredible experiences, including:
- Half day guided walking tour through Marrakech.
- Hot air ballooning at sunrise over the Moroccan landscape, which at times resembled a moonscape.
- Camel trekking at sunset over the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert.
- Cooking classes and demonstrations with authentic Moroccan cuisine.
- Shopping in the souqs.
- Sleeping under the stars in a luxury desert camp at Erg Chebbi.
- Relaxing in a traditional Hammam after a long day on the bike.
Our Après Vélo Moroccan cycling tour is basically the answer to all your Lawrence of Arabia-type fantasies. You’ll stay in luxurious riads, glamp beneath the Saharan stars and enjoy some classic Maghreb hospitality.
Moroccan cuisine is delicious and influenced by Berber, Jewish, Arab, and French cultures. Moroccan dishes are rich in flavours, spices, and ingredients. They are not only tasty but also very healthy.
The staple dishes in Morocco are tagine – a slow cooked stew with chicken, lamb, beef & vegetables. Meals are a delicious mix of sweet & spice, but nothing so spicy that can’t be enjoyed.
Breakfasts are a delicious mix of fresh juices, bread and pastry in all kinds of delicious forms, served with olive oil or jams, as well as eggs.
Good coffee can be found but is not guaranteed.
SOME REVIEWS FROM OUR AUGUST 2022 TOUR
This was an incredible, "Bucket List" tour. Après Vélo did an outstanding job and everything about this tour was first-class. The gravel riding was simply amazing with scenery that you have to see to believe. I can’t recommend this tour enough!
Riding in Morocco with AV has definitely ticked some bucket lists items for me. The Berber guides and their local knowledge and insight was just incredible. The entire country is friendly and understands tourism and customer service. The riding was incredible, from long uphill grinds to stunning views and incredible descents through the magic of riding in the Sahara desert. Memories on and off the bike that will last a lifetime as well as great friendships made with wonderful people. Heartily recommend AV Morocco!
The Morocco tour was something that I'll hold in my memories for years to come. I'm yet to find the words that perfectly encapsulate just how magnificent, unexpected, and full of life this tour was. This wasn't just about riding bikes. This was about human connection and true adventure - together.
Amazing country. Incredible people. Unforgettable riding.
This is a real once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list-ticking experience. Words really don't do it justice. At times it was like riding on another planet, mixed with off-bike experiences that saw us spending time with some of the loveliest, most welcoming people I've ever met. Just wonderful.
2023 TOUR BOOKINGS OPEN NOW
The Après Vélo Morocco Gravel Cycling tour is best summed up as a trip for adventure seekers that will create fond memories forever.
To be able to traverse Magical Morocco on a gravel bike where many civilisations have left their footprints, is in our opinion, a cyclist’s dream.