Arrive in the early evening and transfer to our hotel.
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 Asni Valley with beautiful views. We then follow the river and cross over a number of bridges before arriving in Dar Elmouahidines and our hotel for the evening.
Approximate distance 80km
We enjoy an exhilarating descent this morning from Tizi n'Test Pass (2100m) before stopping for lunch with wonderful views. We continue into the Souss region, which exports most of their crops thanks to the rich and fertile plateau. Our day is complete when we arrive at Oulad Berhil to enjoy a warm reception, 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 chance to pick our own fruit straight off the tree.
Approximate distance 73km
After a morning transfer, we head towards the Anti Atlas Mountains and real southern Morocco. We travel through Argan country trying to spot the incredible tree climbing goats which are famously found here, where an attractive mosque is perfectly set against the rocky cliffs behind. From Irherm, we are surrounded by almond trees and our road has some wonderful ups and downs as we pass through many farms and see how important agriculture continues to be for Berbers. When we arrive in Tafraoute, there is the option to visit the famous Blue Rocks, designed by Belgian artist Jean Verame, which are only 6km away (cycle or drive).
Approximate distance 60km
Today we can see how important the colour pink is in Morocco, as we pass many pink houses through various villages. We have a beautiful ride on a quiet road and we can see the scenery change coming out of the Atlas Mountains. After a short photo stop at a golden kasbah, we cycle to Ait Baha Lake and then transfer to Imouzzer. Originally the home of the Ida Outanane Berber tribe, Imouzzer reflects a strong cultural identity and is surrounded by the natural beauty of Paradise Valley.
Approximate distance 70km
We start cycling from the front door and our route reveals a very different landscape today, as we take on a challenging climb to a beautiful viewpoint across the Atlantic Ocean and our destination for the evening, Essaouira. This charming old Portuguese fishing port dates back to the fifteenth 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 are also many pleasant cafes and some outstanding seafood restaurants to sample before staying overnight in a traditional Riad Hotel.
Approximate distance 60km
After an early morning visit to the beach, we get back onto the road and make our final journey back to Marrakech. We firstly pass Diabet, known for being a popular hang out in the sixties, especially for Jimi Hendrix. There is a stark contrast with the journey today compared to our experience in the Atlas Mountains and by the Atlantic Coast, in that the route is lined with many expensive villas and tourist resorts. This is an indication of how affluent some Moroccans are as you get closer to the Imperial 'Pink City' of Marrakech. 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.
Approximate distance 45km
Today is a free day in Marrakech to explore the many other activities available and absorb the vibrant atmosphere of the city. Simply enjoy a freshly squeezed orange juice in one of the many rooftop cafés overlooking the Djemma El Fna, 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 a small Museum of Islamic Art in the grounds. A final treat would be to go for a hammam, a traditional Moroccan steam bath.
Transfer to airport after breakfast for flight to London.