Exotic and alluring, Morocco offers a fascinating culture; we’ll follow the ‘trail of the kasbahs’ into the Sahara, hike in the High Atlas, bike along the coast to the resort town of Essaouira, explore the town of Marrakech and more…

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
  • An evening to remember: an evening in the desert being entertained by a troupe of berber musicians
  • A ride you will never forget: the descent from the Tin Mal mosque to Ouirgane with a view of Mt.Toubcal, Morocco’s highest
  • Private Land Cruiser for each 4-5 guests, with driver
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
  • Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises

Location

Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate

Day 1

Zagora

Zagora

Day 2

M’Hamid

M’Hamid

Day 3

Ait Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou

Day 4

Ouirgane

Ouirgane

Day 5+6

Essaouira

Essaouira

Day 7+8

Marrakesh

Marrakesh, Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco

Day 9

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
10 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 9 dinners
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All tips in hotels, restaurants etc. (excludes discretionary tips for guides)
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

Mar 26-Apr 5
Oct 6-16
Oct 16-26
Dec 17-27

2020

Mar 30-Apr 9
Oct 11-21
Oct 21-31
Dec 20-31

Custom trips available and can start any date.
Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

11 days/ 10 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Ouarzazate / Marrakech

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate
30-40+ miles daily
Van supported

TERRAIN

Gently rolling with some short steep hills

COST

Land Cost (current year):
US $3550
Includes 10B/7L/9D

Single Supplement:
US $890

Bike Rental:
US $280
Please note: Our bicycle fleet for this trip are 2014 Cannondale Quick 1 performance hybrids which are suitable for the roads in Morocco. Bikes come with flat pedals, rear racks and a map cover. Racing bikes available on request.

Pre-trip Extension:

US$295

Single suppl: US$75

1 night hotel in Ouarzazate at a 4 star hotel with 1/2 day guided visit, breakfast and airport transfer on arrival.

Extension Marrakech:

US$695 pp

Single suppl: US$175

2 nights hotel with breakfast daily, 1/2 day guided visit for each day and airport transfers on departure.

Extension Fes:

US$695 pp

Single suppl: US$175

2 nights hotel with breakfast daily, 1/2 day guided visit for each day and airport transfers. Flight from Marrakech to Fes (through Casablanca) not inc.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

1

Day 1

Ouarzazate 

We suggest connecting by air through Casablanca; we’ll be at the airport in Ouarzazate to greet you on arrival and whisk you to our hotel. Note that the evening flight from Casablanca usually arrives just after midnight – you can sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast before we start biking.

2

Day 2

Zagora 

Following the magical Draa River, we cycle along this fertile valley where lush palmeries secret date palms, olive groves, and citrus trees. We’ll stop close to Agdz for lunch before continuing on to lively Zagora, which dates from French colonial times.
Distance: 33 km, elevation gain 156 m or 67 km, gain 155 m.*
The distance between Ouarzazate and Agdz is 80 km.

3

Day 3

M’Hamid

Our cycling route will lead us to Tamegroute, where we’ll visit an ancient library which boasts a magnificent collection of Koranic texts, dictionaries, and astrology works, some on gazelle hides. We will also visit a local co-operative to learn how the distinctive pottery found in this region is made. Afterwards, we’ll continue deep into the Sahara (Tomboctou is only 52 days away by camel caravan). Trading our bikes for camels we’ll be led by Berber escorts to our private tented camp, where festivities await.
Distance: 49 to 100+ km, elevation gain up to 272m.*
The distance between Zagora and our drop off point is approximately 45 km.

4

Day 4

Ait Ben Haddou

Up with the sun, we’ll enjoy breakfast surrounded by dunes before departing the desert. We’ll visit a local market, where fruit, vegetables, herbs, handicrafts, sheep, goats and donkeys are brought to be sold. Late afternoon, we’ll cycle a quiet road to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Ben Haddou. This is Morocco’s most spectacular ksour, a collection of towered and crenellated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas mountains. We’ll stay at the intimate Ksar Ighnda, a charming and luxurious hotel.
Distance: 35 km, elevation gain 235 m.*
The distance between M’hamid and Ait Ben Haddou is 280 km.

5

Day 5-6

Ouirgane 

We’ll transfer today over the High Atlas, beginning our ride along a flat stretch of magnificent road where views of snow-capped peaks and lush farmland provide a dramatic change of scenery. Reaching the Ouirgane valley, we’ll stay at a charming hotel with extensive gardens. Next day, we’ll hike into local villages where we’ll be offered tea and a chance to bake bread in community ovens. Afternoon options include cycling along the enchanting Oued Nfiss to the extraordinary Tin Mal mosque, built in 1156 and recently restored and open to visitors.
Distance D5 : 32 km, elevation gain 580m or 71 km, gain 745m.*
Distance D6 : 40 km, elevation gain 415m or 40 km, gain 775m.*
The distance between Ait Benhaddou and Ouirgane is 220 km.

6

Day 7-8

Essaouira

After a transfer towards Marrakech, we’ll turn west towards the coast, beginning our ride with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. We’ll bike a stunning road, dropping to the hip town of Essaouira, famous for its artisan shops, European feel, and several kilometers of sandy beaches. On our second day, we’ll join a local historian exploring the medina here, where the maze of tiny streets reveal spice markets, marquetry workshops, ancient hammams and more. Cycling options include routes along the coast; for those who like to walk there are also hikes to secluded beaches from town. We’ll stay at the exclusive Villa Maroc, one of the top Riad hotels in the city, located in the heart of the medina.
Distance D7 : 22 to 50+ km, elevation gain 450+ m.
Distance D8 : 49 km, elevation gain 270m or 25 km, gain 127m.*
The distance between Ouirgane and Essaouira is 210 km.

7

Day 9

Marrakech 

Leaving Essaouira we’ll reach Marrakech in time for lunch. Afterwards, we’ll visit the city’s sites including the Marjorelle Gardens, Museum of Yves St. Laurent, and El Bahia Palace; as dusk sets on the extraordinary Jemaa El Fna, we’ll watch as snake charmers, acrobats and street performers of every kind imaginable entertain. We’ll stay at a wonderful Riad near the historical center and for our final night, dine at one of the most atmospheric restaurants in Morocco.

8

Day 10

You can depart at your leisure anytime on this day.

*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.

Dar Chamaa, Quarzazate

This 20-room hotel opened in 2009 and boasts comfortable air-con guest rooms, restaurant and bar. You will have time for a morning swim in the large pool before we depart.


Azalai Lodge, Zagora

This palace style 4-star hotel is the best in Zagora. The rooms are well appointed and the grounds, surrounding the swimming pool, are opulent.


Berber Tented Camp

Located in the sand dunes of the Sahara, canvas tents with beds, cotton sheets and warm blankets will welcome you to this oasis in the dessert. With moroccan rugs underfoot, and the twinkling light of kerosene lamps we think you'll find this evening one of your most memorable in Morocco.


Riad Ksar Ighnda, Ait Ben Haddou

At the foot of the Atlas, the Riad is a place out of time where you'll relax and admire the beautiful lights of the desert in an authentic berbere atmosphere.


L'Oliveraie de Merigha, Ouirgane

This charming hotel is situated in a 4-hectare park with views of Mount Toubcal, and has a large swimming pool and excellent French influenced restaurant.


Villa Maroc, Essaouira

This former private palace has been tastefully renovated into the most stylish and intimate Riad hotel in the city. The Villa, originally two 18th century riads, immerses you in a world of simplicity and warmth enhanced by the flavours of ancestral family cooking. Enjoy the superb views from the rooftop terrace.


Jardins de la Koutoubia, Marrakech

This 5-star hotel is a wonderfully luxurious hotel to finish at. The rooms are comfortable, the pool is large and the location, just steps to the UNESCO protected Jemma El Fna squar, is ideal.



			


Trip Reviews

March 8, 2010

“The trip was great… our guide was the best we have ever had and we have traveled with B&R, Backroads and Vermont Biking.”

December 4, 2018

“I couldn’t see any other way to experience as much of Morocco as we did. The Marrakech hotel was over the top luxurious.”

December 4, 2018

“Morocco was wonderful!”

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