Morocco is a gateway to Africa and a country of dizzying diversity, distinguished by the warm hospitality of its Berber, Arabian and European influences.
It is said 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 gravel riding.
Below are our 8 reasons why a cycling adventure to Morocco is one to add to the bike-it list.
1. THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME
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. Morocco is the perfect country for gravel cyclists in search of an exotic destination that ticks all the boxes of adventure.
The Après Vélo Morocco Gravel Cycling tour is a trip for adventure seekers that will create fond memories which will last forever.
2. GRAVEL BIKING PARADISE
The high-altitude deserts of Morocco are a gravel biking paradise. Cycle through expansive orange deserts to ancient adobe cities. Climb into the highlands of the legendary Atlas Mountains and descend into valleys, lined with date palms. Each day in Morocco is action packed, full of worthy climbs, satisfying descents, and panoramic views. Here are but a few of such rides, that we have included on the Après Vélo gravel cycling tour itinerary.
- 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 all the 35km of the climb, 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, you will start to feel the coolness, with scenery reminiscent to the lunar landscapes of Mont Ventoux. As you get close to the summit incredible photo opportunities await.
- Ait Benhaddou to Telouet
The road 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.
- Boumalen Dades
Cycle through spectacular rugged gorges, Dades has become famous for in the heart of the Atlas Mountains.
- Merzouga (The Land of Camels)
Cycle 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.
Blessed with dramatic mountains, deserts filled with mystery and traditional Berber villages, Morocco has a diverse range of landscapes that provide a stunning backdrop for your next Après Vélo cycling tour.
Combine this sublime scenery with a striking and enticing culture, the Après Vélo gravel cycling tour of Morocco promises to thrill adventure lovers at heart.
When people throw around the word ‘exotic’, they’re probably referring to places like Morocco.
Places where riding a camel over dunes while the sun shimmers dramatically on the horizon is not an unusual thing. Where tagines come spiked with saffron and argan, carpet merchants haggle in the bazaars and Berber tribesmen herd goats on the slopes of the High Atlas Mountains.
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.
4. MESMERISING MARRAKECH
Discover and explore this ancient exotic city wrapped in European modernity.
Enjoy a half day city tour of Marrakech, alternatively explore at your own pace, discovering the brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of musicians, delectable foods, and perfumed gardens.
When night falls, Marrakech turns into a hive of activity with drama in progress wherever you look. Dine at a restaurant overlooking the square, where snake charmers, Henna-painters, street vendors and performers will provide for an unforgettable evening.
5. A LAND OF FUSION
Where some cultures exemplify contrast, Morocco is all about fusion.
For centuries, the region was a vital nexus of trade between Europe and the African continent. Today, the country is a vibrant tapestry of cultural influences and traditions. From the merchant families of the Medinas to the hardy Berber villagers of the Atlas Mountains. You’re never far from an eye-opening experience in Morocco.
One needs to explore modern and traditional Morocco to better understand its melting pot of cultures and traditions.
6. INCREDIBLE CUISINE
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 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.
7. ANCIENT MEDINAS
Morocco's cities and their architecture are some of the most exciting on the continent.
Join the centuries-old trail of nomads and traders to their ancient hearts, from the winding medina maze of Fez to the carnivalesque street-theatre of the Djemaa El Fna in Marrakesh.
In the rocky deserts, medinas are protected by kasbahs, on the coast by thick sea walls. But it's not just a heritage trip, as Morocco's cities are forward-facing too, with glitzy new urban design in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier looking to the future whilst paying homage to their roots.
8. MOROCCAN ACTIVITIES/SIGHTSEEING
Enjoying Morocco starts with nothing more strenuous than its national pastime – people-watching in a street cafe with a coffee or a mint tea.
Besides the incredible diversity of cycling routes to enjoy throughout Morocco (road, gravel, mountain bike), partake in some of the many incredible activities that are readily available.
- Visit the Famed Blue city of Chefchaouen
- Hiking up North Africa’s highest peak
- Hot air ballooning at sunrise over the Sahara Desert
- Camel trekking as sunset over the golden dunes
- Cooking classes for authentic cuisine
- Shopping in the souqs or getting lost in the medina
- Sleep under the stars at Erg Chebbi
- Treat yourself to a traditional Hammam
- Discover and explore the ancient city of Fes
Between the activities, you can sleep in boutique riads, relax on panoramic terraces, beaches and grand squares, and mop up delicately flavoured tajines – before sweating it all out in a restorative hammam.
Whilst we have listed 8 reasons to visit Morocco for the adventure of a lifetime, there are many more attractions in this exotic country. The list is endless.
Join Us in September 2022, for the Cycling Adventure of a lifetime, on the Après Vélo Morocco gravel cycling tour.
Your memorable days on tour will be filled with great food, luxurious hotels, and spectacular scenery.
This once in a lifetime trip is an unforgettable and unique Gravel cycling adventure, both on and off the bike, catering for riders and non-riding partners, alike.