Fly London to Ouarzazate via Casablanca.
The day begins with an hour transfer to Tizi n'Tinififft (1700m), which is the start point for our cycling and a 3km tarmac descent! The views are magnificent, and shortly after our initial descent we turn onto one of the gritty jeep trais which are found all over the regionl. After lunch we cross a small river and take a fast and smooth piste around the base of Jebel Kissane, passing through many palmeries and isolated Berber villages. We ride directly to our hotel, next to Kasbah Tamnougault.
Approximate distance 35km
We start with a short visit to the beautiful and historic Tamnougault Kasbah, set amidst the lush, irrigated green fields and palmeries of the Draa Valley. We then ride a short singletrack section exploring the palmeries, which leads us to an undulating piste nestled below the dramatic, near-vertical valley walls. Along the way some optional singletrack sections are on offer before we arrive in the small village of Tansikht. We transfer the last 60km by road, following the river into the desert gateway town of Zagora. You are now only 52 days by camel from Timbuktu!
Approximate distance 30km
After a scenic 15km transfer, we return to the Draa Valley and follow the piste as it rolls along the valley floor towards the beautifully remote Jebel Sahro. The scenery gradually changes, becoming drier and rockier as we follow the escarpment wall. Many Berber villages and kasbahs line the route and during the winter months nomads can also be seen tending their flock among the hills. The ride offers up to 55km off-road after which we will load the bikes onto the 4x4s and take a short transfer to the small oasis village of Nkob with its many mud brick ksours (castles).
Approximate distance 55km
The hardest day of the trip, but the effort is well rewarded, with stunning views over the Jebel Sahro, an excellent descent and a visit to the amazing rock formations at Bab n'Ali. 'Bab' means gate and these are two spectacular rock pillars set in the heart of the wild and rugged Jebel Sahro. From here, it is a challenging 16km climb to the top of the 2200m Tizi n' Tazzazert pass (approx. 900m ascent). The climb is naturally optional, though the reward in terms of both the views and the achievement is well worthwhile. Those transferring to the top of the climb are still left with 15kms of scenic piste; which is mostly downhill. At the end of the piste, a 30km transfer takes us to our hotel in Boumalne-Dades, at the head of the impressive Dades Gorge.
Approximate distance 45km
We leave directly from the hotel this morning and ride the first 10km on tarmac passing through the small town of Boumalne and the beautiful river views of the Dades Valley. We turn off initially onto a bumpy piste, to begin the last day's exploration of this extraordinary region. An undulating ride through the spectacular red rock desert walls brings us to the village of Bou Thrar. From here, there is a final 5km (400m) climb to a 2000m pass from where it is possible to overlook both the High Atlas to the north and the Jebel Sahro to the south. What goes up must come down, and we are rewarded with a final blast downhill across the remote desert plains. From here we transfer (approx. 2 hours) to the stunning 11th Century UNESCO protected Kasbah Ait Behaddou. In the late afternoon there is time to visit the famous kasbah, which was the set for many films including Gladiator, before relaxing at the hotel pool/bar.
Approximate distance 45km
After an early morning transfer to Marrakech, we enjoy a day exploring the vibrant 'Pink City' soaking up the atmosphere and setting , with views of snow-capped peaks in the background. The town is a maze of bustling bazaars, palaces and mosques. Today is free for individual sightseeing - so you can choose whether to brave bartering in one of the many souks, visiting the more peaceful Jardin Majorelle or relaxing in one of the hammam steam baths. In the evening, we can visit the Djemma el Fna, the open air central square around which Marrakech revolves. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Now with the snake charmers, water sellers, travelling musicians, acrobats and food stalls, it is an entertaining and colourful experience for both Moroccan and overseas visitors.
Transfer to Marrakech airport after breakfast for flight to London.