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Food

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners. Moroccan food is excellent, though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread, croissants and jam with tea or coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - a lamb or chicken tagine (a local speciality) will cost about GBP5. In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from GBP15 upwards. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but you can pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants for the two evenings where dinner is not included. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian tajine, cous cous, omelettes and salad. This is particularly the case during the more rural sections of the trip. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Exodus Office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some items of food with you from home. All mineral drinking water is included whilst cycling.

Activities

  • Cycling
  • 1

    Start Marrakech.

    We recommend walking or taking a taxi into the old city. Here there is plenty to explore like the old walled medina and its winding alleyways which are filled with souks selling everything from street food to pottery and jewellery. Amani Hotel or similar – Marrakech

  • 2

    Transfer to Tadmamt; cycle in the foothills of Mt Toubkal to Ijoukak.

    We transfer out of Marrakech this morning to Tadmamt and begin our cycling journey into the foothills of Mt Toubkal. After a nice warm up on a wonderful undulating road, we enjoy a long descent into the Asni Valley with beautiful views. We then follow the river and cross over a number of bridges before arriving in Tigmmi n'Tmazrite and our hotel for the evening. Tigmi N Tmazirt or similar – Iljoukak

  • 3

    Challenging climb followed by exhilarating descent from Tizi n'Test Pass (2100m) to Oulad Berhil; overnight in traditional riad.

    The day begins with a challenging climb to the dramatic Tizi n'Test Pass (2100m). We are rewarded with dramatic views to the south over the Sousse Valley towards the Anti Atlas Mountains. After lunch we have a truly dramatic and, in places, quite steep descent as the road winds down to the valley. Once in the valley our ride takes us past orange, lemon and grapefruit groves as we approach Oulad Berhil. Here we receive a warm welcome, wonderful food and a relaxing evening at our beautiful Riad. This converted palace is a wonderful addition to the end of our day with roaming peacocks and the chance to pick our own fruit straight off the trees. Raid Hida or similar - Oulad Berhil

  • 4

    Cycle towards Tafraoute in Anti Atlas Mountains; optional transfer/ride to see the famous Blue Rocks.

    We have a morning transfer into the Anti Atlas Mountains and the real southern Morocco, much of it semi-desert and a complete contrast to the fertile Sousse Valley. We travel through argan country trying to spot the incredible tree climbing goats which are famously found here. From Irherm, we are surrounded by almond trees and our road has some wonderful ups and downs as we pass through many farms and little mud-walled Berber villages. The last section of the ride is another wonderful descent of about 12km through the most dramatic scenery to Tafraoute.  Hotel Les Ammandiers or similar – Tafraoute

  • 5

    Pass pink houses and kasbahs en route to Ait Baha Lake; transfer to Agadir.

    Today we transfer to the famous painted blue rocks where we spend some time to look around the impressive sight, take some pictures and take a short walk to the top of the rocks. From here we transfer to Tizi M’Lil and begin another varied ride, undulating through spectacular hills, past traditional villages and hill-top kasbahs, with some superb balcony sections with excellent views. There are a few climbs, but the ride ends with an exhilarating descent to Ait Baha Lake and then we transfer to the coastal resort of Agadir.  Hotel Aferni or similar – Agadir

  • 6

    Spectacular ride through the Paradise Valley; climb to Imouzzer.

    Today we enjoy a truly spectacular ride through the Paradise Valley, a narrow gorge lined with palm trees. Towards the head of the valley we have another challenging climb with excellent views, eventually reaching a high plateau and the little town of Imouzzer, the end point of one of the most dramatic rides on our route. Originally the home of the Ida Outanane Berber tribe, Imouzzer retains a strong cultural identity. Hotel Les Cascades or similar – Immouzer * *

  • 7

    Cycle through traditional villages and palmaris to Essouira. 

    We start cycling from the front door and begin with another excellent winding descent on a good road to a valley dotted with palm trees and traditional villages. There are a couple of moderate climbs over rocky hills and descents back into the fertile valleys before we reach the main coast road and the end of the ride. After a picnic lunch we transfer (1.5 hours) to our destination for the evening, Essaouira. This charming old Portuguese fishing port dates back to the 15th Century, but the present town was constructed around 1760 by Sidi Mohammed ben Abdullah, who needed a base from which to suppress a revolt from Agadir. Today, Essaouira is extremely relaxed and its whitewashed houses with painted shutters, artisan's workshops, boatyards and fishermen provide a marked contrast to Marrakech. There's plenty of interest in the narrow traffic-free streets of the old town and we stay overnight in a traditional Riad hotel. Riad Maison du Sud or similar – Essaouira 

  • 8

    Free morning in Essaouira; transfer to Marrakech; free time.

    After a free morning to explore lovely Essaouira, we transfer to the vibrant city of Marrakech. Simply enjoy a freshly squeezed orange juice in one of the many rooftop cafés overlooking the Djemma El Fna Square, or perhaps take a calèche (a bright green horse drawn carriage) ride to the peaceful Majorelle Gardens. These small but tranquil gardens are decorated throughout in indigo blue and house the small Museum of Islamic Art in the grounds. A final treat would be to go for a hammam, a traditional Moroccan steam bath. A visit to Djemma el Fna Square this evening is the ultimate reward for our week's cycling - with snake charmers, story tellers, smoky food stalls and souks, there is no other way to experience the exciting atmosphere of Marrakech. * * Amani Hotel or similar – Marrakech

  • 9

    End Marrakech.

    The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home.

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