Cycle Morocco's Great South

9 days
from
£1,099
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4.3 / 5 from 43 reviews >
Trip code: 
MMI
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

Pedal through remote villages and the rugged Atlas Mountains of Morocco 

Encompassing the best of Morocco, this trip will take us past the foothills of Mt Toubkal, golden Kasbahs, impressive gorges and the long sandy beach of Essaouira. This spectacular route follows smooth tarmac roads and climbs over high mountain passes that reward you with spectacular vistas of the High Atlas Mountains. A real highlight is riding through Paradise Valley, close to Imouzzer, where a palm-filled valley leads to a high pass with views down to the ocean below. After all the riding we will receive a warm welcome from a range of great hotels including a traditional riad.

Highlights

  • Ride from the Atlas Mountains to the coast
  • Conquer challenging climbs and exciting descents
  • Explore Marrakech and Essaouira

Key information

  • 6 nights hotels, 2 nights in traditional Moroccan riads
  • 6 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • 90% tarmac, 10% unsurfaced roads
  • Group normally 4 to 15, plus leader and drivers. Min age 16 yrs
  • Countries visited: Morocco

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac, 10% unsurfaced roads

Day by day breakdown
Day 270.0km/45.0miles
Day 387.0km/54.0miles
Day 460.0km/37.0miles
Day 570.0km/43.0miles
Day 645.0km/28.0miles
Day 760.0km/37.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 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.

    Mogador Opera Hotel or similar – Marrakech

  • Day 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.

    Auberge Tigmmi n'Tmazrite or similar 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 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.

    Riad Hida or similar - Oulad Berhil

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 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. 

    Time permiting we will visit the somewhat peculiar site of giant painted blue rocks, otherwise we'll visit these tomorrow. 

    Auberge Chez Amalyia or similar – Tafraoute

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

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

    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 Oasis or similar – Agadir

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 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 des Cascades Ecolodge or similar – Imouzzer

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 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 al Madina or similar – Essaouira 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 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.

    Mogador Opera Hotel or similar – Marrakech

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 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.

    Explore Marrakech if you have time before your flight. The best places to get a view over the square are the La Grand Balcon du Cafe Glacier or Cafe de France. You have to buy a drink, but at MAD 20 it's worth it for a great view.

     Majorelle Gardens, or Le Jardin Secret make a great escape from the bustling city, and offer a chance to discover its gardens and buildings, which are outstanding examples of Islamic art and architecture.

    A top tip for great food would be the Moroccan roast lamb, found at Chez Lamine just off the Djemaa el Fna square. Made famous by Jamie Oliver's visit, it remains the best place to try this speciality. Go between 12noon and 3pm or you'll miss it.

    If you're craving a cold beer or a glass of wine, make your way to La Salama, again just off the Djemaa el Fna square. You can enjoy the beautiful interior and lively atmosphere.

    Taxis can be found easily around the Djemaa el Fna square, to take you back to your hotel in the new city.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 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.

Lunches are a mixture of packed lunches or eating in a local restaurant. They are generally a mixture of bread, pasta, rice, veg, cheese, fish, ham, fruit. 

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.

Weather

Mountains can always make their own weather and as a result we may occasionally be forced to amend the itinerary for part of the trip. On the plains, the days are usually warm to hot (above 25c) but the nights are cooler. In the higher areas and the mountains, days should be warm or even hot in October and April, with clear skies, but the nights are often cold and sometimes night time temperatures will go down to around 7c. On the high ridges of the High Atlas there can be snow, but not normally enough to affect the areas we cycle in - in the event of a road being closed we will arrange a suitable alternative ride. Rainfall in the areas we visit is relatively low though there is a chance of rain particularly on trips in December, January and February. Although unusual, there is also the possibility of much colder weather during these months and into the beginning of March.

Is this trip for you?

This tour is classified Road

Terrain and route:  90% tarmac, 10% unsurfaced road with an average daily distance of 68km (42 miles).

A good level of fitness is required for this trip as there are some climbs, with 21km as the longest.

Rides are mostly undulating with a number of optional long climbs and fast descents. There is an ongoing programme of road upgrading going on in Morocco and the quality of the tarmac seems to improve every year. However, there may be some sections of the route on rough or dirt tracks and for that reason we don't currently recommend the use of drop bar road bikes on this trip.

Southern Morocco enjoys a warm climate from October through to March and although there is always the chance of rain, this is unlikely during this period. It can be very hot during late April and September.

Please note Ramadan runs from 5th May - 4th June 2019 and 23rd April to 23rd May 2020 - During Ramadan, our local guides and drivers choose to work and so we continue to run trips in this period. However, the energy levels of our staff and some local guides may be a bit lower and some restaurants may be closed during the day. Ramadan is a special time to visit a Muslim country - each evening the streets empty for an hour while everyone breaks their fast, and there's a feeling of festivity in the air at sundown.  

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Riad

We stay in a mixture of hotels and small privately owned riads throughout the trip. A riad is a large Moroccan house or palace with an interior courtyard or garden normally containing a swimming pool, and they are usually very well decorated in a traditional Moroccan style. One of the riads has a fantastic fruit garden surrounding the property, where we can pick our own fruit directly from the trees and enjoy a swim in the pool.

A single supplement is available, however, please note this does not apply to the night spent at Gite Tigmmi  (Day 2). 

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
00 97150 5550 445
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Cycling in Croatia

When they manage to get away from their desks and shed the trappings of office life, our cycling experts here at Adve

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Rachel Osborne

    Be prepared for .....

    ... all weather types in November! We had expected to be cycling in sunshine but only had one whole and one half day of sun. It was bitterly cold, with driving rain, high winds and even snow; we got to the top of the longest climb on Day 2 in a white-out! Thankfully, we had gone prepared with plenty of layers - make sure you do too. The positives: amazing scenery, fantastic group of people, well led, a real sense of achievement: I'd never cycled more than two days in a row, yet I managed six consecutive days with challenging climbs; dietary requirements (gluten and nut free) well catered for; evening meals tasty and plentiful; comfortable saddle - better than mine at home! The negatives: the accommodation on the second night (the first day of cycling) was atrocious: no heating; a trickle of a shower which was either boiling hot or freezing cold, so I couldn't shower; concrete beds with no top sheets although plenty of blankets but so heavy and large they couldn't possibly have been washed between guests which wasn't at all hygienic; generally the bathrooms in several other hotels were very poor quality, (especially the one on the fifth night of cycling); we were not advised until just about to set off on the first day of cycling about wild dogs roaming freely in the mountain villages which was extremely unnerving - thankfully most didn't bother with us; sardines and sweetcorn every day for lunch! Would I go again? No, but I am pleased to have completed the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from up high and realising that I had cycled all that way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hisham was very good: he spoke good English, was calm, knowledgeable and told us the history of areas as we drove to and from each hotel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take lots of layers even if you think it will be a warm time of year.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Chi Ming Chan

    Morocco - Cycling the Great South

    good trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    good

    What did you think of your group leader?

    good leaders: Maroune and Hassan. Able to control time, pace and most important of all the safety conditions. All arrangements are satisfactory.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    good trip if you like mountains. But be sure that you have the stamina to climb an elevation of 1000m in a day.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Tony Moon

    Cycling Morocco's Great South

    An excellent tour, well supported and well managed, but spoiled by Exodus's failure to warn us adequately about the very cold cycling conditions high in the mountains.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling on quiet, well surfaced mountain roads in spectacular country

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that the information that Exodus produces on the climate in Morocco applies to low altitude cities like Marrakech, but not to the high mountain villages and towns where we stay. You need to be prepared for the equivalent of UK winter cycling in February.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were upset to find that our original tour in March was cancelled and we were forced to switch to February, which was colder. We discovered that the original March tour was going ahead after all.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Tony for his feedback, although we are very sorry that the tour he had planned to join was cancelled. Whilst we can confirm that this departure did not go ahead, we are sorry if he would have preferred to join a later tour. Our trip notes advise that there is the possibility of much colder weather in February, but we nonetheless regret that Tony felt inadequately advised. We were pleased, however that he had an excellent tour and that he found the group leader to be very good.

    Tom Harari – Product Manager

  • Reviewed March 2019
    vicky burford

    Quiet roads among beautiful rugged scenery

    This was my first cycling trip and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Morocco is a super winter holiday destination and I will definitely be booking more trips in the saddle! Beautiful rugged landscapes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling on really empty roads and passing through the small villages. Lots of different weather conditions, and varied accommodation. The kashbah on day where we ended in Agadir was very memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marouane and Hassan are really enthusiastic and well informed leaders. They are proud of their country's traditions and I really enjoyed finding out more about the Berber culture from them. They always showed us the altitude profile before each day's cycle ride, and the full vehicle support meant that we could leave spare clothing in the van. As a not very keen downhill cyclist, I was really pleased that they controlled the descents, but it was nice to be able to cycle freely up the hills and on the flat (not that there is much flat!). And thank you for the wine!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothes for the first days in the mountains - it can get really cold. I wish Exodus had been able to provide us with the altitude profile as part of the trip notes. There are plenty of snacks en route, so no need to bring your own! (they just end up in a soggy mess in your bag) if you are on the Feb trip, don't try and swim in the pool in Immouzer - it is FREEZING!! Enjoy every minute!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although I really enjoyed the trip, I think that the second day up to the pass needs more careful management. Inevitably the group gets split but the weather was bad, so we had a very long and cold wait at the top and just a salad lunch at the top. Perhaps we could have had soup to warm us up? There was a lot more downhill than I had been expecting - not that this was bad, but I would personally have felt a little more challenged by a bit more up! There are some fairly long transfers which can be a bit frustrating since I come from a trekking / ,mountaineering background where these are more rare, but I can see that they are a necessary evil to enable the varied itinerary. Dry restaurant in Essouaria a bit disappointing given that this was the last night.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Els Draper

    Wonderful autumn cycling trip

    Just returned from really great cycling trip. Lovely route - we chose this trip over ones with other companies because of the route, mix of the mountains and time on coast in Essaouria. This was our first trip with Exodus and my husband Graham and I were very impressed. Fantastic tour leader in Liz, she managed every aspect of the tour superbly - logistics with the support vehicles - during rides never more than 10k away from drinks etc and sweeper support at rear in case of incidents. On the route there are lots of long ascents and Liz described what to expect extremely well in terms of the uphills and downhills, no-one got into the van on any of the rides and I believe this was due in large part to Everyone having confidence in Liz’s descriptions and timing of stops etc. Coming over the high pass on day 3 we encountered very heavy mist, Liz managed the descent extremely well with everyone feeling safe and comfortable with the ride down. Fantastic fun group of people to ride with, everyone gelled and mixed in together really quickly and whilst there was of course a range of fitness and technical cycling ability, it was relatively modest and at stops it was on average 15mins between first and last of the group arriving. Due to nature of the trip, lunches are roadside picnics every day, these were simple but fresh and filling. Accommodation is also simple but clean, in the first couple of places in the mountains there was some issues with lack of hot water, but to be honest whilst this isn’t ideal I think you need to accept that this type of issue can happen when travelling in a large group in the mountains in Morocco. We were fortunate that weather was kind to us every day, if we’d arrived cold and wet lack of hot water would have been more of an issue. Support team with Liz were v friendly and helpful as well. Really recommend trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling each day was varied and the scenery stunning. Whilst we had some very long ascents, the gradient was always manageable and rideable. The long sweeping descents are fantatsic fun, because of the quiet roads would say they were the best I have ever ridden

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz is an outstanding tour leader, knowledgeable, experienced, calm and organised! Everyone on the trip had full confidence in Liz. She described the rides every day really clearly, setting everyone up well for the ascents and descents - We adapated to Lizs definition of an “undulation” very quickly 😀 it was a full trip with 15 riders and liz maintained control at all times but didn’t mollycoddle or nanny us, giving more experienced fitter riders freedom to stretch out etc. We did experience extreme heavy mix on the steepest longest descent of the week and I thought Lizs management of this was superb. She positioned the support vehicles to protect us at the front and back and ensured we all maintained a controlled pace down. During rides Liz quietly but continually moves through the group from front to back checking everyone is ok Liz was also brilliant at keeping on top of bike maintenance, sorting out any tweaks needed quickly etc Finally each day Liz gave us background and historical context of places we were riding through / staying at. Couldn’t ask for more from a tour leader

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Really recommend Morocco for late autumn cycling and exodus trip was great itinerary. But come in knowledge that this isn’t a trip with long leisurely lunches / cafe stops or the comfiest hotels at the end of the days. It’s an opportunity to get away from it all in beautiful scenery experiencing local life in a lovely country
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Elizabeth Comuzzi

    Helpful Information

    My husband and I just returned from our first Exodus cycling experience and it will be our last time using Exodus. Firstly, There were 2 bright spots of this cycle our Guide Marouan was great and the areas that we cycled were spectacular. If you are a cyclist and enjoy climbing this is a great trip. However, don't listen to the comments on the Exodus site specifically for this trip. You need to know how to cycle, be in good physical shape and have trained for this trip. It is not the Tour De France, but as an avid, athletic cyclist, I found some of the mountains challenging and long. Secondly, Exodus failed in so many ways on the delivery of this trip. a) Accommodations: Some of our accommodations were awful, less than 1 star! They were dirty and at some places, we did not have hot water. This to me after a long day of cycling is not a nice thing to have but a necessity. Interesting that on our way home, we met other people who had cycled the same route with different companies and their accommodations were superior to our accommodations. This tells me that better accommodations are possible! b) Food: The food did not provide the nutrients that were needed for the challenges of the day. There were some mornings where all we received were an assortment of Moroccan breads and jams. Days when we did get a boiled egg for breakfast we were allotted 1 per person. This trip required proper nutrients, especially protein. The meals at dinner were more plentiful and most were tasty. c) Lunches and Snacks: While cycling, lunches, and snacks were provided. We had the same lunch every single day with the only variation being, rice or pasta. There were a series of cut-up vegetables, rice/pasta, bread, and some cheese. By the end of the trip, we had run out of condiments to accompany the lunches. The lunches were all on the side of the road set up by the drivers and we had stools to sit on that were filthy and lacked any sort of comfort. My husband and I cycle every year with a tour and this is the first time, we have ever not had a pleasant destination for our "lunch break." To make matters worse, the lunches were prepared by the same people who were driving the support vans and fixing our bikes. Their hands were not clean and one day I saw one of the people preparing my lunch, cutting his toenails! Yes, I took pictures as I was in disbelief! Needless to say, I did not eat any other lunches for the rest of the trip. Exodus..come on, at some of our lunch stops there were restaurants with beautiful vistas of the surroundings 100 meters away from where we stopped. Spend some money and give us the proper rest and nutrition that we need to cycle for the rest of the day. c) Van Support: On our 2nd day of cycling, we had a really hard and long ascent. Everyone ran out of water on the ascent and when we got to the top of the mountain, 2 of the support vans were there. I could not understand why one of the vans could not have been providing us with water along the way. In addition to this, none of the van support workers knew the dynamics of the ride. When we would ask what to expect for the next phase of the ride most often, their descriptions were totally incorrect. My husband I met some wonderful cyclists on this trip and certainly the camaraderie made the experience better. As mentioned this was our first experience cycling with Exodus and they failed to meet even our basic expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Successfully climbing some of the toughest mountains I have ever climbed Making it through the 2nd night of our accommodations (not even a 1 star and don't be taken in when Exodus says you will be staying in the guest house of a private home....it is a poorly converted/constructed barn) Not yelling at our Guide on the 3rd night when once again, we did not have any hot water in our accommodations Meeting fabulous cyclists that were on our trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marouan was great. He had a very pleasant personality and was always of assistance. Marouan spoke about his culture and the heritage of the Moroccan people. I really like that Marouan came to every dinner in an outfit that was unique to Morocco. I would suggest that in the future while the group is traveling, Marouan talks a little bit about the history of the area. Although my reviews of the trip are less than stellar, Marouan did an excellent job as our leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to have a good level of fitness and you need to know how to cycle as the accents are long and in some areas steep but the descents are very long with hairpin turns. You need to know how to navigate a bike. Coupled with the fact that not all of the roads are in great condition. I felt that I had to be very alert at all times on this trip given the road conditions and traffic. (although not a lot of traffic but very narrow roads) Bring your own soap as most of the accommodations did not provide any toiletries and I would suggest bringing a blanket.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definitely suggest that any avid cyclist, cycle the South of Morocco and the Anti-Atlas Mountains. I would just not suggest you do it through Exodus.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Terry Fannon

    Review of Cycling Morocco's Great South

    Itinerary: This trip leads through the Atlas Mountains, a geographically striking region formed with crumbling sedimentary rock (frequent rocks on the road). It has relatively few people, with homes nestled on mountain hillsides and very limited architectural diversity (and confusing abandonment of homes never explained by guide though asked several times). There are very limited crops (confined to irrigated areas). Traffic was generally limited but roads were very narrow with crumbling edges leaving limited space for bikes and vehicles and many potholes (especially down from peak on Day 3). Vehicles were consistently courteous and safe in passing. Inclines were long and steep, especially Day 3 (elevation gain 1009m to Tizi n’Test Pass) and Day 6 when ½ the group quit cycling. Wind was a major factor on Day 3. Some rain but not a factor. Day 6 included a long muddy road (under construction) no one was prepared for so everyone got muddy (why not load up the bikes to get around?). The bikes were fine: hybrids with triple cranks and disk brakes. Almost no facilities while enroute; no complaints including from ladies in group. No maps provided. Accommodation: This was diverse from rustic to exquisite. The group appeared satisfied with this mix. Service was generally very good. Food: Again some range with generally very good food and service. Most meals were included making overall costs for this trip very reasonable and a number of very good meals were had in our hotel (easy access after a long day cycling). Communication: This was the weakest element of the trip. Our guide, Marouane Bagaz, provided vague and sometimes misleading cycling information (how far; how steep) and provided little or no cultural or historic information. He routinely put off questions asked or gave mumbled responses. There was a mike in the bus but never used. This frustrated everyone. I left Morocco with no added understanding besides what I read or observed. This was, without question, the weakest cultural experience on any Exodus trip I have taken. Overall: I would not recommend this trip. The terrain is dry, hot and almost barren with limited interest among flora and fauna (besides goats). The roads are narrow, rough and hard on bodies especially wrists. The climbs are long and steep raising questions about whether this is a “4” or “5” trip. It is suitable only for very-trained intermediate and advanced rides. And, unless the guide situation is improved, I will recommend a number of other Exodus cycling trips with none of these caveats.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Surviving.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not competent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Find another Exodus trip. This one does not currently meet the Exodus standard of excellence for tour guide.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Terry for his feedback, although we are sorry that he was disappointed by aspects of the tour’s leadership. Whilst Marouane is a relatively new Exodus tour leader, the feedback we normally receive about his leadership is positive. We have, however, followed up with Marouane regarding the importance of providing clear and concise briefings on the day ahead and of ensuring that his groups are well informed with local knowledge; we trust he has taken this feedback on board, but we remain sorry that Terry was left disappointed.

    Frances Spowart – Product Manager

     

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Laurene Tubb

    A tough but exciting adventure

    I have hesitated about writing a review this time as I was one of the slower riders but as someone who reads them I think it can help sometimes. So here goes. This was a very tough cycling trip for me. Having said that.....I'm glad I did it. It was certainly a case of either cycling up a mountain or down one. Only a few miles was flat. The climbs went up and up and up and up and up. Hours at a time. In most cases the gradient wasn't too bad most of the time but it was a long slog to get to the top......with many false summits on the way which really take some doing to overcome and carry on. The descents of the other side were fantastic. I loved them. Down and down and down and down forever. Great speed. Great thrill. I am relatively fit and active for my age and do many sports but this cycling was hard. I am not a club cyclist. Obviously those who do ride more seriously climbed the hills better and got to the top a good 20/30 minutes before me.........but I did manage to cycle the whole trip and am very proud of my achievement. The mini bus was always available for those who did not always want to cycle. We were well looked after and I never felt at risk at all. I wasn't too keen on my bike !! Not as good as my last Exodus Cycling Holiday. Trouble was none of them had any front suspension and we did go over some very rough terrain and some very long descents. Very surprising not to have this feature in this day and age. Personally I felt it appropriate to dress modestly but not necessary to the extreme. Shorts seemed fine with many of the ladies wearing their lycra shorts. T.shirts with sleeves (long or short) were the most common tops. In the evening I found a long dress very comfy but a very casual one, nothing fancy. Or leggings or loose trousers. I wore a jacket one morning when we started off with a long downhill otherwise I was never cold. The hotels varied quite a bit from concrete beds in one mountain auberge to a suite with huge comfy beds and loads of hot water in others.............with everything in between including some very nice traditional old rhiads. I loved it all being different and enjoyed all the experiences. Some of the hotels had swimming pools and we did manage some swims but often the long cycling days meant we didn't always have much time in the evenings........plus in my case I was very tired (ha ha). Alcohol was not always available. We were delighted on the few occasions it was and the guides did their best to find us some at other times. It's just nice at the end of a long hard day !! Food was good. There wasn't anything I didn't like. However, I have "suggested" to Exodus that at least eggs are needed for breakfast with such huge rides to cope with. We did have eggs every morning except for two when it was just bread and jams. Very nice but just not substantial enough. Being on the move means that washing clothes through is pretty much impossible although some people did manage. Getting them dry is the difficulty. Take toiletries as they are not always provided. Make sure you fill your water bottle again at the end of the day so you have drinking water for the night and for cleaning teeth etc. Most hotels do not provide water in your rooms and it cannot always be bought. Nobody got ill that I know of but it's only sensible to be careful. No ice, ice cream, salad washed in suspect water etc. Usual stuff. The mountains catch the sunlight beautifully. They ouse power. The landscape is rock and sand but it still has great appeal. We had a super group of people from various countries. It worked well. I recommend the trip if you want a challenge because it is certainly that. If you are prepared you will be fine. Enjoy !!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finally getting to the top and having encouragement from the group. Seeing "people of a certain age" achieve so much. Meeting such a diversity of people who all shared a love of cycling. Seeing a new country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marouane was a quiet unassuming young man who worked tirelessly in the background keeping an eye on us and anticipating our every need. We loved his colourful Moroccan clothes and appreciated him organising restaurants on the few nights dinner was not included.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Richard Klopfer

    Morocco's Great South

    Overall, a great week of cycling. There were two big unknowns for me going into this adventure: 1) How difficult would the cycling be, and 2) How safe would I feel cycling through rural Morocco. The cycling was breathtakingly beautiful but not hard if you consider yourself a cyclist. Most of the people in our group weren't avid cyclists just relatively fit people looking for some adventure. If you do consider yourself a cyclist and rack up 100-200km or more per week, then look for something higher than "4" on the Exodus challenge meeter. That said, the rides were amazing with some good climbs and even better 'white knuckle' descents. The part about safety in Morocco? Don't sweat it. I never felt any concern for safety and the whole trip was supported by an experienced Exodus leader and two local chaps riding vans in front and in the back. All good on that front.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the second day there was a 30km long descent. It was mind boggling and just kept going on and on. I've never seen anything like that before and likely never will again. Truly amazing. Dinner with the group each night getting to know others from around the world was very fulfilling as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was an English chap named Jon H. He was simply amazing. He tended to everyone's needs with patience and a kind heart. A remarkable person that kept us all alive during one of the hottest weeks ever. I can't say enough about Jon's ability to guide such a diverse group of people through an amazing adventure. Kudo's to Exodus for finding talent like this.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring water bottles, cycling shorts and some travellers laundry soap. Your will need to wash your kit on your own.
  • Reviewed March 2017

    Cycling Moroccos Great South

    This was a fantastic, really very well organised trip. The roads in Morocco are amazing and in really good condition, not at all what I expected. Perfect for cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the Tiz an Test Pass. What a fabulous ride up and down with all the switch back bends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John, was a great leader, he kept an eye on everybody and just let everybody go at there own speed, which was great.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take some warm clothes as it can be cold up in the mountains. Morocco is mostly dry (no alcohol), but your leader will usually buy a small amount of booze for those who need it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like a challenge and the hills, this trip is perfect for you. I am quite a slow rider up and down so I just plod along and I love to stop and look at the scenery which was amazing.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 00 97150 5550 445