Gravel Bike - Morocco

Morocco is a vast, beautiful country filled with a mix of cultures, ruins, kasbahs and castles. The food is exceptional, the people are incredibly friendly and the landscape will (quite literally) take your breath away! We think we've put together a truly amazing itinarary which takes in all of these mentioned aspects. A magical experience in an incredibly magical place.

Quick Bits

  • Technical Dificulty: 2/10
  • Fitness Level: 5/10
  • 7 nights / 8 days
  • £1195 / €1350 / $1450
  • Maximum group size 10
  • Marrakech: Explore the magical city of Marrakech with its snake charmers, story tellers and miles of souks.
  • Culture: Witness the incredible hospitality of the local Berbers.
  • The cuisine: Morocco is famous for its food and yes, you can have a beer!
  • Exceptional scenery: The Atlas mountains and the 4600m Toubkal mountain lay host to the most spectacular villages and scenery.
  • The scenary: Possibly some of the best scenary in the world!
  • February 21st - 28th - Full
  • May 13th - 20th
  • June 10th - 17th
  • August 26th - 2nd
  • September 23rd - 30th


Arriving at Marrakech Airport

Before you can pass through passport control you will need to complete a visa form - ‘FICHE D’EMBARQUEMENT/DEBARQUEMENT’. These can be picked up just before the passport control booth but we will send this to you before you fly.

Once you have passed through customs control (and you have a nice new stamp in your passport!) you will need to collect your bike and any luggage you checked onto the flight from the carrousel.

Where to meet

In the main arrivals hall there is a coffee shop on the RIGHT HAND SIDE as you enter the hall. It's just next/opposite the car rental booths. This is where we all meet up and is the time to get cash (1000dh (£65-70) recommended).

Transfer to the Hotel

When you're ready or we're all together we transfer to the Hotel in Marrakech where we have a team meeting and dinner together. If you have time you can also explore some of the Souks or visit some of the many historical sights.

Getting ready

Depart Marrakech heading South-East through the famous Jnaa El Fna square. A mix of road and gravel onto quiet roads and towards the mountains of the Draa Velley. A steady flat warm up will help 'bed the bikes in' and get us settled for the rest of the week. The total distance is 70km with 1100m of ascent. Ride time should be in the region of 4.5 hours but the emphasis of today is to get into the routine and find our legs and have a bit of an explore.

On the way..

We make a point of riding through villages and meeting people on the way. The hussle and bussle of busy market towns and atmosphere is something that makes this adventure special.

We finish when we finish!

There is no timescale to the day. We finish when we get to the hotel so if it takes 3 hours or 7 hours it doesn't matter. It's not a race and especially on the first day, you'll want to stop and have a look around!

Leaving the remote mountain lodge

Heading towards Talouet we leave our remote accommodation straight onto great quality gravel roads. We follow the same remote, traffic free dirt road for approximately 30km before we pick up the main asphalt road heading west towards Marrakech, at a small resturant hidden away from the tourists we have lunch and refuel for the next, utterly spectacular section. Heading South West on even more incredible, hard packed gravel roads for a further 24km that drops us almost on top of the spectacular Kasbar of Talouet where we stay for the night.

Total distance is approximately 65km with 840m of ascent.

The most amazing village I have ever seen!

This is a spectacular day! From Talouet we head towards Ait Binnau via one of the most amazing villages I have ever seen. The castle ruin is still inhabited and leads us to a ribbon of singletrack over the top of the hills which avoids the main road and traffic to Marrakech.

10km futher down we drop onto the road after passing salt mines and remote hamlets to witness the amazing 'mini Grand Canyon' of the Sihka Valley. Cave houses and remote villages lined the precipice of the canyon where only the toughest of people can survive. This is always slow going despite beiong on asphalt for a large portion of the time - the scenary forces you to keep stopping and take photos and we always stop for some mint tea on the way too.

This is a big day for distance with 80km but with much less climbing and the roads and trails are easy riding. With only 700m climbing in total.

A rest day - sort of!

This is pretty much a rest day mixed into a transfer day. Today we transfer to Ourgane and a comfortable hotel with a pool and palacial surroundings. The transfer is still quite spectacular as we drive over the Toubkal pass where we have lunch. The giant mountain range and scenary are quite spectacular and you can see where you have ridden from on the other side of the valley.

Once in Ourgane we can relax, have a beer and prepare for the next few days.

Imlil - The Chamonix of Africa

Known as the Chamonix of Morocco. We start on asphalt the first 18km which is also a gentle climb of between 2% and 6%. As the road turns into gravel and becomes more remote the scenary opens up to spectacular mountain views and an incredible gravel descent that leads us to Imlil and a comfortable lodge for the night. Total distance is approximately 60km with 1100m of ascent. The route is stunning as you climb steadily into the valley and the mountains get bigger as you leave the flats of Ourgane behind.

After a very steady climb into the valley we have a short, challenging effort of 2Km on a new dirt track that has been bulldozed in to allow access for the locals by car pops us out near the top for an incredible dirt track descent of 8km to the road that takes us into Imlil

6km or so along this road we reach Imlil. A busy market gateway to the Atlas mountains that resembles a mix of Chamonix and Kathmandu


A short climb of 8 km and 500m of ascent takes us to the top pass in Imlil where we grab some mint tea and take in the sense of vastness from the views. From the top here we have a great dirt track descent for 3km then join the road that takes us all the way downhill to Amizmiz. A busy, central market town that feeds the enitre North Atlas region with supplies and goods.

The Kick pass to Tahanout

Despite the imposing name, the Kick Pass is actually just a steady climb for about 4km on dirt track. The top of the Kick Pass holds spectacular 360 degree views and is a dry, desert like expanse of land. The riding once you're at the top is fast and flowing with short, sharp climbs. This drops us into Tahanout where we have lunch.

Roll into Marrakech

We're still 30km from Marrakech and 300m higher and not another hill to be ridden! This sets us up for a fantastic, gently downsloping ride all the way into Marrakech. A perfect finish to a spectacular week of riding. The bedlam of Marrakech is almost overwhelming after being in the remoteness of the mountains and dessert for so long. But a new avenue of exploring has opened for you!

Getting to the airport

Your transfer to the airport will have been pre-booked so all you need to do is walk for 15 seconds to the pickup point around the corner which is the same place you were dropped off the day before. You need to be at the airport at least two hours before your departure time. However, during the summer months we recommend that you get there with more time to spare. For example, if your flight is at 13:00hrs you will need to leave the hotel at 10:00hrs.

Extra transfers

If your flight time is at a different time to the rest of the group, or you would like to make your own arrangements to get to the airport a taxi will cost between 100 and 150dh. We arrange the airport transfers for a time that best suites the group. If your flight time is late on Saturday and the rest of the group is departing in the morning you will have the option to either go with them, pay for your own taxi (100-150dh) or get the No:19 bus which is every half an hour from the edge of the square and costs 30dh direct to the airport.

At the airport

It isn't possible to confirm your departure without checking in so any boarding cards you print off before you get to Morocco will be obsolete! Even if you don't have luggage or a bike to check on, you still need to check in at the relevant airline desk. The airport is comfortable and modern and over the last few years has become a lot more efficient and user friendly!

Gravel Bike Morocco price
£1195 / €1350 / $1450 per person.

Price includes

  • *All guiding except in Marrakech
  • *Airport transfers to and from Marrakech
  • *7 nights accommodation
  • *7 Breakfasts
  • *6 Dinners
  • *6 Lunches

Price excludes

  • *Flights
  • *Lunch and dinner in Marrakech at the end of the week
  • *Bike rental - This can be arranged at a cost of £280 / €320 / $340 for the entire trip
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks including water
  • *Additional transfers outside the specified time
  • *Meals and drinks in Marrakech other than breakfast
Skill Level

You will need to be able to corner and use your brakes instictively. Confidence on asphalt and dirt tracks is essential. This adventure does not have sections where there is a level of exposure. However, you should expect to be challenged on some sections. If you're not comfortable riding anything, don't! It's a holiday, not a training camp!


The fitter you are the more fun you'll have. But that does not mean you need to be a pro/elite rider. There are some large climbs of and we are usually out on the bikes for 5-7 hours each day. Whilst there is a support vehicle we try not to use it except when really needed. You should be comfortable with riding 60-70km in a day.


The airport to fly into and out from is Marrakech Menara (RAK).

The transfer to Imlil upon arrival is when the majority of the guests arrive. For example, if 8 guests arrive in the morning then the transfer will be an AM transfer. However, if most of the guests arrive in the evening then the transfer will be a PM transfer when the last guest has arrived. If you arrive in the morning you can either wait for the evening transfer to Imlil with the rest of the guests or we can arrange an additional transfer for you. This costs 1200dh and should be paid for in advance. If there is more than one person wanting an additional transfer the cost is split/shared between you, so the TOTAL cost is 1200dh. If you arrive in the evening and there has been a morning transfer because that is when the majority of the group has arrived, we will usually include the transfer for free, but this is NOT guaranteed so please check.


The transfer from Marrakech at the end of the week is in the morning of the Saturday to coincide with the first departing flight. If your flight is an evening one then you are welcome to leave your bags at the Hotel until you want to leave Marrakech and you can transfer by taxi to the airport yourself. We do not arrange or take responsibility for this and it up to you sort this out (but we will help). A transfer by taxi to the airport at a time of your choice is 150dh


The gites in the mountains are basic and comprise of a main court yard or terrace where we have dinner and breakfast, with accommodation to the side, cooking facilities for our chef, (usually) hot showers or hammam (steam room), French style toilet and electricity to charge phones etc.' Please don't expect luxury accommodation - You're in the mountains in a remote location so fluffy pillows, power showers and room service have been sacrificed for stunning views, rich culture, adventure and incredible singletrack!

When in Imlil the accommodation is comfortable with wifi, ensuite bathroom/shower and good facilities. On the third to last night the hotel is very nice with wifi, bar, swimming pool and ensuite faciities, in Marrakech the Riad is also comfortable and has ensuite with wifi etc.'

The Food

The food is quite simply exceptional! Breakfast is a selection of bread, pancakes, omelette, cheeses, jams, chocolate spread, tea, coffee and juice. Lunch is a very good `picnic` which consists of mint tea, pasta, a stew of some kind (usually pulses), chopped salads, tinned fish, bread and fruit desert. Dinner consists of three courses: Soup starter, main course (Tajine, Cuscus or similar traditional Berber food) and fruit desert. Camomile tea is also served after dinner.

We can cater for vegetarians for a small supplement of £45 per person. We charge a supplement because this involves preparing and cooking a separate dish/tajine to the rest of the group.

First Aid

Each rider must have their own basic first aid kit. This should have items like: plasters, wipes, bandages, iodine and tape. We carry a complete first aid kit which contains items from syringes to sutra kits. Our kits do not contain any drugs or creams (pain killers, aspirin, antiseptic cream etc.') so we recommend you bring your own if you use them.


You do not need any inoculations to travel to Morocco


You must have your own insurance which should include helicopter evacuation and repatriation. A search on the internet will reveal a host of insurers to choose from, but please ensure that it includes extreme sports. We do not go above 3000m. In the past we have used companies like Sports Cover Direct who are expensive but seem to have a good reputation. Other recommended companies are Ski Card and the Austrian Alpine club although they may not include baggage insurance. If you're not sure, please check.

Is the trip safe for women?

Yes, 100%. We have NEVER experienced any form of hostility towards any member of any group. When we ride in the high Atlas Mountains the locals are amazed to see mountain bikes, let alone pay any attention to the gender of the biker. The positive encouragement from the local women in the high mountains is astounding and they have a lot of respect for the women who have been seen on their bikes riding through the villages. As for the local men? Well, they just think you’re probably crazy! But then don’t most of your friends back home!?

Where to get it

It can be very challenging getting Moroccan Dirhams outside of Morocco. When you land in Marrakech there are several locations in the arrivals lounge where you can exchange your currency for Dirhams (DHS). There are also cashpoints/ATMs just outside the arrivals lounge near the exit

How much will I need?

You will need in the region of 1500dh (£110 / 125€ / $135) for the week plus whatever you chose to buy in Marrakech when we finish. This is for tips, water and other snack type treats along the way.

What do I need money for?

This is an all inclusive trip while you're out in the mountains. However, we do not include the purchase of water, drinks or any tips you choose to leave during the week. The average water bill, per pserson is usually in the region of 30€ and we recommend a tip of 300-400Dh for the guides and chef who are with you throughout the week.

You will also need money on your return to Marrakech for your lunch and evening meal. Breakfast on the final day is included at the hotel.

We are in the process of finding an insurance partner to offer the best coverage for our guests. As soon as we have these details we will update the website.

We are in the process of finding an insurance partner to offer the best coverage for our guests. As soon as we have these details we will update the website.

jane wood


We are in the process of finding an insurance partner to offer the best coverage for our guests. As soon as we have these details we will update the website.

Who are you?

Global Bike Adventures was previously trading as Freeridespain. We have rebranded as the company has expanded to enable us to encompass all our websites 'under one roof'. These included Freeride Oman, Freeride Morocco, Road Ride Spain and Freeride Spain. We have been running trips in Morocco since 2004

You'll definately need this!

  • *A helmet. NO helmet - NO ride - NO discussion!
  • *Medical - A european health card is essential. You can get one online
  • *Some sort of insurance policy for YOU and your gear
  • *Your favourite baggies and full fingered gloves
  • *UVA and UVB protection, a high factor sun block
  • *You do NOT need a visa to fly to Spain
  • *Spending money for lunch and dinner where not included
  • *Money for in the bar!


We recommend a 140mm+ full suspension bike (All Mountain Bike) for the most fun. However, that does not mean if you don't have one you should rush out and buy one. Yeti, Santa Cruz, Trek and other 'enduro' style bikes are very popular but lots of guests also ride bikes with much less travel and some even use hardtails. Please, don't bring a DH rig! You can do these trails with a single front ring but do make sure you've got a large cassette on the rear, otherwise it'll be a struggle in some places!


We've used a selection of tyres over the years from semi-slick 1.8 to DH 2.4 The best, in our opinion is without a doubt the Maxxis High Roller II 2.35 or High Roller LUST 2.35 or something similair. The terrain is very rocky and technical in areas and the chance of a pinch flat is quite high. Thorns are not usually an issue but you do need to watch out for cactus! I'm a big fan of tubeless tyres in Spain where it seems to be ok to just fit, inflate and leave them alone.


These are not compulsory but are most definitely recommended. If you have them you might as well bring them!

Bars and Nightlife

The bars and nightlife outside Marrakech is very limited. However, Marrakech is a vibrant cosmopilitan city despite its magical and mysterious charm. The nightclubs and bars are incredible and there is type of club/bar to suit every style and taste in Marrakech!


We try and use hotels and lodges that are more tollerant to alcohol consumption. Buying beer and wine outside Marrakech is almost impossible except in a few hotels. As a result of this we often buy a 'stash' and bring it long in the support vehicle.

Bike parts

Bike parts in Morocco are VERY expenisve compared to Northern Europe or the USA. They can also be very challenging to get hold of so despite cycling undergoing an enourmous boom in Morocco


We have a good selection of spares in the support vehicle but the items we carry are usually fairly generic to enable us to keep most guests on the trail until they get home. Therefore, if you have anything specific to your bike, for example a rear mech hanger, bring a spare!

If all else fails we can ALWAYS get you a spare bike...

If you need to change something in your order, please contact us immediately. We usually process orders within 30 minutes, and after that, we will be unable to make any changes.

MTB, Road or eBike?

We always recommend bringing your own bike unless you're coming on one of our eBike adventures.

If you do need to hire a bike please let us know well in advance and we can arrange bike hire for you.

For the trail

When out on the trail there are some items you should always take with you as you would if you were going out for the day on your bike at home. Please see the list below

  • *Bladder - 2ltr Minimum
  • *Pump
  • *Basic first aid kit
  • *Spare innertubes
  • *Multi-tool
  • *Snack bars or other type of fuel
  • *Spending money
  • *Spare rear mech hanger

For evenings

A good book, favourite chocolate or any other creature comforts you can't live without!

We have NEVER cancelled a ride although there have been times when we have changed the route. Your safety is our prime concern and your guide will always have the final say. The mountains here go to 3500m and we know them well and as Mountain Biking is a dynamic sport and influenced by many factors such as fitness, ability, weather and other potentially unforseable events there may be a need at some point to amend or change a route or the itinarary.

Unless you're coming as part of a group or on a private tour/adventure the maximum group size is 10. We need a minimum of four to run a tour.

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