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Mountain Biking in Morocco

The Atlas mountains


This mountain bike cycle tour, using mainly jeep tracks and some fantastic single track, starts in the ancient walled city of Marrakech. A meeting place for traders over the centuries, it's bustling with water sellers, snake charmers and market stalls packed with bargains.

The Valleys
The valleys are home to tiny hamlets and villages of the ethnic Berbers, a herding and farming community. Visit their homes and interact with them to know more about their traditions and customs. See their terraced fields of corn and barley and get a glimpse of their day to day living.

Deserted mountain passes
The most pristine mountain scenery is hidden right here in the Atlas mountains as they have been for hundreds of years – one of the best destinations for the adventurous biker. The nature in the Mountains is breathtakingly awesome, with picturesque mountains, alpine meadows and well-preserved pine forests. We will bike and explore the local Berber villages and their ancient architecture, riding on amazing single tracks and wonderful long smooth flowing descents.

Marrakesh is the most important of Morocco's four former imperial cities. Inhabited by Berber farmers from Neolithic times, the city was founded in 1062 by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, chieftain and cousin of Almoravid king Yusuf ibn Tashfin. In the 12th century, the Almoravids built many madrasas (Koranic schools) and mosques in Marrakesh that bear Andalusian influences. The red walls of the city, built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122-1123, and various buildings constructed in red sandstone during this period, have given the city the nickname of the "Red City" or "Ochre City
Marrakesh has the largest traditional Berber market (souk) in Morocco, with some 18 souks selling wares ranging from traditional Berber carpets to modern consumer electronics. Crafts employ a significant percentage of the population, who primarily sell their products to tourists.

Cultural Heritage
After independence in the middle of the 20th century, the countries of North Africa established Arabic as their official language, replacing French, Spanish and Italian. As a result, most Berbers had to study and know Arabic, and had no opportunities until the 21st century to use their mother tongue at school or university. This may have accelerated the existing process of Arabization of Berbers, especially in already bilingual areas, such as among the Chaouis of Algeria.
While Berberism had its roots before the independence of these countries, it was limited to the Berber elite. It only began to gain success among the greater populace when North African states replaced their European colonial languages with Arabic and identified exclusively as Arab nations, downplaying or ignoring the existence and the cultural specificity of Berbers. However, its distribution remains highly uneven. In response to its demands, Morocco has modified its policies and after the constitutional reforms of 2011, Berber has become an official language, and is now taught as a compulsory language in all schools regardless of the area or the ethnicity.

The Berbers
Among the most prominent Berber groups who have kept, to a large degree, their original language and culture, are the Shilha or Chleuh (French, from Arabic Shalh and Shilha ašəlḥi) in High and Anti-Atlas regions of Morocco, numbering about 8 million. Other groups include the Riffians of northern Morocco. They are known for their wonderful hospitality and interest in mountain bike riders.

Comfort level
We will stay in a 3 star hotel in Marrakesh which has all the modern facilities – en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioners, restaurant, work-out room, sauna, a pool (maybe) and of course bike storage facilities.

Fitness level
If you are healthy and practice an active life-style, you are welcome to this bike tour in the Atlas Mountains! Medium experience in mountain biking is advisable, both stamina and technical. We will be typically riding 30-60 km a day, depending on the terrain. This means 6-8 hours riding per day (actual riding time will be less) including lunch, drinking, energy-bar stops and heaps of sightseeing pauses to take photos. There will be some steep up-hills as we go over several mountain passes which we will ride slowly and some amazingly long and adrenaline filled downhills. Some carrying of the bikes will be required on these rides. (More details in the itinerary).

Join us on our amazing bike trip! Click here and we will get back to you with more details.

in Morocco

The Atlas Mountains

Bike through the Berber villages -- visit some of the remote passes in the Atlas Mountains.

Destination: Morocco
Dates: May
Price: 1,500

(more info)