A privately-guided, five day adventure holiday cycling in the Atlas Mountains, just an hour from Marrakech but a world away from its souks and streets. The Atlas Mountains are home to the welcoming indigenous Berber or Amazigh people and, on this holiday, you cycle in their heartlands, and in the shadow of their beloved Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, at 4,167m. Stay in beautiful traditional riads and guesthouses, feast on the best of Berber food, and relish the Atlas’ mountain passes, argan-filled valleys and ochre villages. You can also enjoy opt to rent an e-bike.
- The High Atlas Mountains
- Toubkal National Park
- Option for e-bike in the Atlas Mountains
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Day 1: Marrakech
Arrive in the lively city of Marrakech where there is no shortage of cultural adventures to be had.
- Accommodation: traditional Moroccan riad in Marrakech
Day 2: Marrakech – Takerkoust Dam – Atlas Mountains | 32km
Meet with the guide at 08:00 and depart to the foothills of the High Atlas to Lake Lalla Takerkoust. We ascend to the village of Taghenchoute. Then a good climb takes us to the plateau of Kik, with superb view of the High Atlas Mountains and Mount Toubkal, also known as the rooftop of North Africa. Over the course of the seasons, the landscapes of the plateau are transformed: ochre when farmers plough the land with their mules, brown to white in winter with the snowy peaks of the Atlas then green and red in the spring, when barley fields are dotted with poppies. Finally, the yellow in summer signals time for harvest. After this beautiful ride through terraced gardens and adobe villages, the track quickly ascends and then descends again to the village of Asni, where we pick up a transfer to Imlil, the main town of the Atlas.
Dinner and overnight at Berber guesthouse.
- Accommodation: traditional riad in/near Imlil (Riad Atlas Panorama or similar)
- Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner, tea and coffee
- Cycling for the day: 32km, ↑1047m ↓580m
- Transfers: 25km
Day 3: Asni Valley – Tadmamt Valley, Ourika Valley | 40km
After breakfast, we drive back to Asni Valley and start with a short flat section before testing our physical abilities on a long, challenging climb to Tadmamt, a pass located at 1,800m. As we climb, there are enjoy magnificent views of the Haouz Plain, contrasting with the imposing Atlas peaks just above us. In the afternoon, we take a beautiful route overlooking Ourika Valley. Overnight at a Berber house surrounded by gardens and terraced crops.
- Accommodation: Dinner and overnight at the Berber house, Ourika (Dar Mamouchthka or similar)
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea and coffee
- Cycling for the day: 40km, ↑1120m ↓970m
Day 4: Ourika Valley – Setti Fatma | 32km
For our last day of the tour, we limb up to the Timenkar Plateau. We start by cycling along mountain trails through Berber villages, up to an elevation of 2,450m, worth it for the High Atlas peaks. A beautiful descent overlooking Ourika Valley leads to Setti Fatma, where our cycling comes to an end. Transfer to Marrakech.
- Accommodation: traditional Moroccan riad in Marrakech
- Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea and coffee
- Cycling for the day: 32km, ↑1120m ↓970m
- Transfer: 46km
Day 5: Departure
You can extend your stay or depart at any time.
- Meals: Breakfast
What to expect
Accommodation is in hand-picked riads or guesthouses, many of which are Berber run. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view default accommodations
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
All breakfasts are included, as well as all lunches and dinners in the mountains.
Difficulty and terrain
This trip requires excellent physical condition and some cycling experience. The terrain varies, and the trails are often exposed to the sun. In the mountains, the route follows ancient Berber tracks, which can be high, steep, narrow, uneven and rough (read more about difficulty grades).
Due to the lack of signposted trails, you are supported by a local qualified mountain guide. This is a very remote area. You should be a regular cyclist and have a good fitness level to get the most from this tour.
When to go
This trip is available year-round. There are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
July is the hottest month in the Atlas Mountains, with an average temperature of 29C, and the coldest is January at 13C, with the most daily sunshine hours 11 July. Some walks are above the snow line year-round.
Please note that during Ramadan and Eid al-Adha festival’s times, many restaurants and shops will be closed, which may affect your trip experience. Ramadan and Eid al-Adha change yearly. Ramadan 2024 is expected to begin 11 March and end 09 April (Eid al-Fitr). Eid al-Adha 2024 is expected to be from 16 June to 20 June.
Please note that there might be supplements for bookings over Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
For more information on travelling to Morocco, see our blog on the Best time to go to Morocco.
Click to view travel options
Our recommended airport for this tour is Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK).
- Private complimentary return transfers from Marrakech airport are included.
- 3 nights in a traditional riad
- 1 night in a berber house
- 4 breakfasts
- 2 dinners
- 3 packed lunches
- MTB rental for 3 days (Scott, Cannondale or Trek dependent on availability)
- Private airport return transfers (Marrakech airport)
- Private car transfer from Marrakech to Imlil on Day 2 and back to Marrakech on Day 4
- Luggage transfers of one bag (up to 20kg) per person
- Services of a qualified mountain guide and a muleteer as appropriate in the mountains
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Meals and drinks not listed in the itinerary
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers.
- E-bike rentals available upon request