Find your ideal cycling holiday
Morocco - Anti Atlas Mountains & Coast
7th November 2020 - 21st November 2020 (15 days)
The rich and exotic colours, flavours and culture of this North African country, less than four hours from the UK, make this a truly fascinating country for cycle touring. Rural life in Berber villages has changed little in hundreds of years; goat herders and donkey carts are a common sight, sometimes even a herd of camels. Each town traditionally has one day a week when a souk (market) takes place. Cities have a permanent souk where stalls sell everything from spices to rugs, shoes, scarves and leather goods. Villages and towns along the way will have small shops for stocking up on supplies and allowing time to relax over a glass of mint tea.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Peter & Linda Cox
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 03425
Saturday 7th November
Meet at Agadir airport. Vehicle transfer to the guesthouse at Issen. The tour starts and finishes at this comfortable guesthouse with swimming pool on a pomegranate and olive plantation near Agadir. Stay 2 nights. Meals: D
Sunday 8th November
Put bikes together and do a short test ride to a cafe, then optional trip to Taroudant to explore the shops, souks (markets) and walk round the town walls, or relax by the guesthouse swimming pool and enjoy a walk around the plantation. Meals: B D
Monday 9th November
Cycle to Ait Baha. This first moving-on day, across a flat plain with polytunnels of citrus fruits, ends with a short climb at the edge of the Anti Atlas mountains. 61km (590m). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Tuesday 10th November
Cycle to Tizourgane, over hilly terrain (mainly up!), but the climbs are well graded with no steep surprises, and there’s the scenery to enjoy. Our lodging for the night is in the restored Kasbah (citadel), perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop. 45km (900m). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Wednesday 11th November
Cycle to the Ammelne valley near Tafroute, climbing over the Tizi-n-Tarakatine (Tarakatine Pass) at 1666 metres on well-graded roads, then down into the lovely valley. Our hotel sits below the Jebel el Kest mountain range; during the middle of the day spot the lion's face high up in the rocks. 47km (800m). Stay 3 nights. Meals: B D
Thursday 12th November
Enjoy a day off the bike to explore on foot, following trails through villages and the argan and olive trees in the Ammelne valley to a ‘Maison Traditionelle’, an old Berber museum house, where old implements, methods of farming and cooking, can be explained by one of the owners, followed by some mint tea. The total walk is 9.2km, with a stop for a picnic lunch by an irrigation stream on the way back. Meals: B L D
Friday 13th November
Circular cycle ride through wind-sculpted rose-granite rocks to an area of semi-desert, passing the ‘Painted Rocks’ and ‘Napoleon’s Hat’ and stopping to picnic in the semi-desert landscape. 34km (320m) or a longer 57km (546m) option. Meals: B D
Saturday 14th November
Cycle to Kerdous where we stay at a hotel in a col of the mountains, with far-reaching views from the hotel terrace. 59km (900m). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Sunday 15th November
There's a morning's rollercoaster ride down to Tiznit. In the afternoon, take a guided walk around this interesting town, which has a reputation for silver jewelry and handicrafts, or relax by the swimming pool. 56km (125m). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Monday 16th November
A vehicle transfer takes us to Guelmim, then we ride to Sidi Ifni on the Atlantic coast. This town, overlooking a beach, has a quiet, tranquil atmosphere. It's also full of faded blue and white Art Deco buildings created in the 1920s, which are gradually being restored. 56km (489m). Stay 1 night. Meals: B
Tuesday 17th November
Cycling northwards to Mirlift, enjoy great views across the sea from the coast road. Take a short detour to Legzira beach to enjoy the cafes, and walk along the seashore to the famous sandstone arch. 44km (514m). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Wednesday 18th November
Cycle to Sidi R'bat to stay at a place near the beach, close to a wetland bird reserve. 75km (464m). Stay 2 nights. Meals: B D
Thursday 19th November
Morning guided walk to the bird reserve on the estuary, then enjoy some leisure time, perhaps at the beach. Meals: B D
Friday 20th November
Cycle back to the guesthouse at Issen where the tour started, along flattish roads, with an option to take a vehicle transfer for part of the way. 111km (479m). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 21st November
Prepare the bikes for the flight back; transfer to Agadir airport. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
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 en-suite, although in one place it may be necessary to share bathrooms. In some places there is no choice of where to stay, but where there is a choice we have endeavoured to choose good accommodation. The guesthouses at Issen, Ammelne valley, Tiznit and Mirlift all have swimming pools. Sidi Ifni and Sidi R'bat have nearby beaches, though the sea can be very rough on this coastline - there is a reason it is popular with surfers!
If you know that you are a noisy or restless sleeper, we ask that you request and pay the supplement for single room occupancy. This should be stated on the Booking Form.
All breakfasts are included, and dinners are included except for Sidi Ifni, where the group can eat in an excellent local restaurant. A picnic lunch is included on the walk in the Ammelne valley. Evening meals will usually be a set menu, often featuring a tagine - food cooked in a conical pot and liberally flavoured with spices, though not hot spice. A lack of vegetarian options means that this may not be a suitable tour for non-meat eaters, though fish will be available along the coast.
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
British Nationals and EU citizens will not require a visa, but must hold a passport that is valid for at least 3 months from the date of entry into the country. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether or not they require a visa.
There are no compulsory health related requirements for British Nationals and EU residents, although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid, and check that your diphtheria-tetanus-polio protection has not expired. You should contact your doctor at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain any vaccinations and the latest advice to 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 £1,285 is based on a minimum number of 6 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 29th August 2020, 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 transfer from Agadir airport to first guesthouse and return at the end of the tour
- 12 nights guesthouse, 2 nights hotel, sharing room
- 14 breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch, 13 dinners
- Vehicle transfer from Tiznit to Guelmim
- Support vehicle and baggage transfers on moving-on days
- Services of a Moroccan, English-speaking guide throughout the tour
- Guided walk in Ammelne valley and entrance to a Berber museum house
- Guided walk in bird reserve at Sidi R'bat
- Guided walk in Tiznit
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from Agadir
- Drinks with dinner
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£360, subject to availability)
A deposit of £250 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £1,035 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 29th August 2020.
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 29th August 2020
From 29th August 2020 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Starting near Agadir, the route crosses the Anti-Atlas mountains to the Atlantic, then follows the coast road northwards. There are several bands of mountains across Morocco, and the Anti-Atlas are the last significant mountains before the Sahara. Unlike the High Atlas mountains, the Anti-Atlas do not become snowbound in winter. There are several cycling days described as hilly, with longish climbs, but these generally wind around the contours rising at an average gradient of 5% so the cycling is not as hard as it may sound. The barren landscape allows far-reaching views across hillsides patterned with remains of terracing and dotted with cacti, argan and olive trees. There will be several oasis along the route, the green lushness with date palms a sudden contrast.
Rides & Rest Days
The route, as far as possible, will be on scenic minor roads, with time to stop for photos and refreshments. The road surfaces will mostly be tarmac with occasionally rough potholed roads, patches of loose gravel and sand.
Distances on moving on days vary from 44 to 111km, tending to be shorter on the more hilly days. The climbs in the Anti Atlas mountains may go on for several kilometres, though the roads do rise with a gentle gradient. Sometimes there are switch-back turns on descents. 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. There will be suggestions for lunch stops and snack breaks, in order to regroup. On some days cafes will be sparse, in which case it will be necessary to buy food for a picnic lunch. Most days will be spent cycling, but two days in the Ammelne valley and one day at Sidi R'bat can be taken as rest days.
There are flights to Agadir from London Gatwick and London Stansted, and various flights to Marrakesh. Buses from Marrakesh will take bicycles.
As no travel is included it is very important to note that neither your Tour Manager nor CTC Holidays & Tours are responsible for you in any way until the appointed time at the designated meeting point. Should you fail to arrive at the appointed time for whatever reason, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses you may incur in order to meet up with the tour group. Before finalising travel arrangements to meet the tour, you should ensure that you have read and understood our booking conditions. Should this tour not attract sufficient bookings to reach the minimum operating size, we may cancel the tour at any time up to 10 weeks before departure. It is therefore recommended that you book fully flexible and refundable transport and accommodation or wait until you have been informed that the tour is going ahead, as in the event of the tour being cancelled, we will not be responsible for any losses incurred.
The maximum number of participants will be 14 excluding the Tour Manager.
Weather & Clothing
November should still be warm and sunny, with temperatures around the mid-- 20's at the hottest part of the day. When the sun goes down it can be chilly, especially in the mountains, and a down jacket or similar is recommended. There is always a chance of showers, and it is advisable to take a lightweight waterproof jacket.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards and lights should not be necessary. Puncture-resistant tyres are recommended of at least 32mm diameter, as there is sometimes broken glass about. Participants will be expected to carry each day sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
You will not need to carry luggage, but a rack top pack or bar bag will be useful for carrying spare clothing needed for the day, camera and snacks.
It is advisable to fit a GPX unit or cycle computer. There will be route sheets set out in kilometres and GPX routes will be emailed out before the tour.
Helmets are your personal choice.
Maps & Guides
Maps, route sheets and GPX tracks will be provided. There are many guidebooks to Morocco.
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.