Find your ideal cycling holiday
21st February 2019 - 7th March 2019 (15 days)
The exotic sights, tastes and smells of this North African country, less than four hours from the UK (though in the same time zone) make this a truly interesting county for cycle touring. The route crosses the Anti-Atlas Mountains down to Guelmime, ‘Gateway to the Sahara’, then follows the coast road northwards to a wetland bird reserve. The barren landscape allows far-reaching views across hillsides patterned with remains of terracing and dotted with argan trees, olive trees and cacti. Rural life in Berber villages has changed little in hundreds of years, goat herders and donkey carts being a common sight. Each town traditionally has one day a week when a souk (market) takes place. Cities will have a permanent souk where stalls sell everything from spices to rugs and leather goods.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Neil Wheadon
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 01874
Thursday 21st February
Meet at Agadir airport. Vehicle transfer to guesthouse at Issen. Stay 1 night.
Friday 22nd February
Cycle to Ait Baha on the edge of the Anti-Atlas. 71km, flattish. Stay 1 night.
Saturday 23rd February
Cycle to Kasbah Tizourgane, spectacular on its rocky outcrop. 45km, predominantly uphill. Stay 1 night.
Sunday 24th February
Cycle to the Amelne Valley near Tafraoute. 50km, hilly. Stay 3 nights.
Monday 25th February
Circular ride to the Painted Rocks and to picnic in the semi desert. 33km or 57km.
Tuesday 26th February
A walk along well-trodden tracks of around 2 to 3 hours through villages in the Amelne Valley.
Wednesday 27th February
Cycle to Col du Kerdous. 52km, hilly. Stay 1 night.
Thursday 28th February
Cycle to the town of Tiznit. 56km. Stay 1 night.
Friday 1st March
Transfer to Guelmine, cycle to Sidi Ifni on the coast. 56km. Stay 1 night.
Saturday 2nd March
Cycle to Mirlift. 44km. Stay 1 night.
Sunday 3rd March
Cycle to Sidi Rabat & Parc National de Sons Massa, a wetland bird reserve. 77km. Stay 2 nights.
Monday 4th March
Enjoy a rest day, perhaps with a bird walk or some time on the beach.
Tuesday 5th March
Cycle to Issen. 111km, mostly flat, but lifts by vehicle will be available. Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 6th March
Thursday 7th March
Transfer to Agadir airport.
Accommodation & Meals
There is a range of accommodation, but most places are family-run guesthouses and hotels. Rooms are based on two people sharing and are mostly ensuite, but it might be necessary to share bathrooms on one occasion. All breakfasts are included, and evening meals are included on all but three nights. A lack of vegetarian options means that this may not be a suitable tour for non-meat eaters, though fish will be available near the coast. There is often no choice for the evening meals - one dish, such as chicken tagine, will be cooked for everyone. Food is tasty and liberally flavoured with spices, though not hot spice.
There will be vehicle support to transport luggage on moving-on days, with space for a limited number of riders unable or not wishing to cycle.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid for at least six months at the end of the tour. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they require a visa.
There are no compulsory health-related requirements for EU residents although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and tetanus protection has not expired. You should contact your doctor at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain these vaccinations and the latest advice for travellers.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £1,200 is based on a minimum number of 6 people taking part in the holiday and is calculated at a rate of 1.13 Euros to £1 sterling (based on exchange rates published on www.x-rates.com on 6 November 2017; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 13th December 2018, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Vehicle transfers between Agadir airport and guesthouse
- Vehicle transfer from Tiznit to Guelmine
- 3 nights hotels /guesthouses, B&B basis, sharing rooms
- 11 nights hotels / guesthouses, half-board basis, sharing rooms
- Backup vehicle and luggage transfers between hotels
- Services of an English speaking guide throughout the tour
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Evening meals at Tiznit, Sidi Ifni and Mirlift
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments at morning and afternoon stops
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £300 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £900 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 13th December 2018.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 13th December 2018
From 13th December 2018 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
After meeting at Agadir airport, a vehicle transfer will take us to our comfortable guesthouse at a plantation which grows pomegranates and olives. The remainder of the day can be spent putting bikes together, followed by a test ride, then relaxing by the pool or walking round the plantation.
The first moving-on day is across relatively flat countryside to the edge of the Anti-Atlas mountains. The next day’s ride to Tizourgane will be hilly, mainly up! The climbs are well graded with no steep surprises, and there’s the scenery to enjoy. Our lodging for the evening is a restored Kasbah, in a spectacular position perched on a hill.
Another hilly day takes us over the Tizi-n-Tarakatine (Tarakatine Pass) at 1666 metres, then down into the lovely Amelne Valley near Tafroute. Three nights here allows us to take a day off the bikes to explore the surrounding countryside on foot, following trails through local villages, argan and olive trees to an old ‘Maison Traditionelle’ where old implements, methods of farming and cooking can be explained to us. Then a circular ride via Tafroute takes us to an area of semi-desert for a picnic amongst the wind-sculpted rose granite rocks. We will pass the ‘Painted Rocks’ and ‘Napoleon’s Hat’. The days in the Amelne valley can, of course, be taken as rest days.
Our next stop is at the Col de Kerdous, followed by a rollercoaster ride down to Tiznit. A vehicle transfer takes us to Guelmime, then we ride to Sidi Ifni on the coast. This town, overlooking a beach, has a quiet, tranquil atmosphere. It was created in the 1920s and is full of faded art deco buildings which are gradually being restored.
We cycle northwards, enjoying great views across the sea from the coast road, and the occasional beachside cafes. We can pause at Legzira Beach to see its famous sandstone arches. At Parc National de Sons Massa we stay close to a wetland bird reserve and a gently shelving beach where you could practice surfing.
The final day of cycling takes us along flattish roads back to our starting point, after which you will have a day to enjoy the souks in the walled town of Taroudant.
Rides & Rest Days
We will cycle, as far as possible, on scenic minor roads, with time to take photos and for refreshment stops. The road surfaces vary considerably, from smooth tarmac to rough potholed roads with patches of sand. On some mountain roads short stretches of surface may have been washed away, leaving patches of loose gravel.
Distances on moving-on days vary from 33 to 111km, with distances shorter on hilly days, longer on flatter ones. The terrain in the Anti-Atlas Mountains is hilly, and climbs may go on for several kilometres, although the roads do rise with a gentle gradient. Sometimes there are switch-back turns on the descent. It is important that you are fit enough to undertake the cycling on this tour and that you are happy with climbing and descending hills.
As maps, gpx tracks and route sheets will be provided, participants can ride at their own pace. We will make suggestions for lunch stops and snack breaks, where we can regroup, although on some days cafes will be sparse, in which case we can buy food for a picnic lunch. Most days will be spent cycling, but as we stay three nights in the Amelne Valley and two in the Parc National de Sons Massa, the days there can be taken as rest days.
Accommodation & Meals
In some locations there is no choice of places to stay, but where there is we have endeavoured to choose good accommodation. The guesthouses at Issen and Amelne Valley all have swimming pools. Sidi Ifni, Sidi Rabat and Mirlift have beaches, though the sea can be rough on this coastline - there’s a reason it’s popular with surfers!
The tour is on a land-only basis with tour participants arranging their own travel to Morocco. There are flights to Agadir with Easyjet from London Gatwick, and various flights to Marrakesh.
The maximum group size will be 14 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
Late February and March is spring-time in Morocco, and day time and night time temperatures can vary considerably. During the day it should be warm and sunny, although there is always a chance of showers, and it is advisable to carry a lightweight waterproof jacket. Using sunscreen is strongly recommended. When the sun goes down it can be quite chilly, especially in the mountains, and a jumper or fleece may be necessary in the evenings. However, unlike the High Atlas Mountains, the Anti-Atlas do not become snowbound in winter.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring bike is the most suitable, with a low bottom gear (eg the small chainring in the front being the same size as or smaller than the largest cog in the rear). Because of the variable road surfaces, tyres should be at least 32mm (1.25 inches), though due to the hilly terrain knobbly tyres might not be the best. There can be quite a lot of broken glass on the roads, so puncture resistant tyres are recommended. Make sure your bike is in good working order, especially the brakes. It is advisable to fit a calibrated cycle computer; the route sheets are set out in kilometers. Each participant will be expected to bring/carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
Maps & Guides
Maps, route sheets and GPX tracks will be provided. There are many guidebooks to Morocco.
Photos of the areas covered by this tour are at www.topbananatours.co.uk.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.
According to the Foreign Office (FCO) classification of 2015, Morocco ranks amongst the list of ‘safest countries in the world’ alongside European and North American nations. According to the 2016 RiskMap report, Morocco ranks low in the categories of political and security risks, refer to https://riskmap.controlrisks.com