image descriprion
image descriprion

From Marrakech


The High Atlas Mountains are home to some of the most remote and dramatic landscapes on the African continent. Spanning the highlands of North Africa, they stretch from the Mediterranean coast to the cold waters of the Atlantic, covering three countries. They are also the tribal homeland of the Berber people. This challenging bike ride through the central peaks of the Mgoun Massif and the Ait Bou Goumez Valley takes you across high mountain passes and into the heart of a region that has long been culturally separated from the rest of Morocco.


  • Duration : 8 Days
  • From : Marrakech
  • Departure : 8 AM
  • Time : Everyday
  • Price: Depends the Number of Travelers
  • Drive to Demnate, then cycle to Tilsekhte (21km/approx 4-5hrs)
  • Tilsekhte to Tirghist via the Tizi n’Tirghist Pass (30km/6-8hrs)
  • Cycle through the Ait Bou Goumez Valley (45km/7-8hrs)
Whats included in this tour
  • Transport with professional driver
  • Air-conditioned car
  • Transportation Insurance
  • Experienced English guide
Whats not included in this tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Soft drinks
  • Tips
  • Personal Expenses
  1. Day 1 Marrakech Arrivel

    A transfer from the airport is not included in the cost of the challenge, but please contact us if you’d like us to organize this. Your adventure begins amongst the fascinating streets and markets of Marrakech, Morocco’s enchanting ‘Red City’. A meeting place for the mountain Berbers and the desert tribes of the south, the city is a rich blend of stunning architecture and bustling markets, at the centre of which lies the captivating Djemm-el- Fna. On arrival you will be met by your Charity Challenge team and transferred to your centrally located hotel. After a chance to freshen up you will be given a briefing from your local guide and you will then head to a local restaurant for dinner. Overnight hotel in Marrakech.

  2. Day 2 Drive To Demnate, Then Cycle To Tilsekhte (21km/Approx 4-5hrs) - 1,565m

    Departing Marrakech after breakfast you will drive on to the starting point of your bike challenge at Demnate, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Surrounded by traditional Berber villages and mountain landscapes, Demnate is the oldest city in the south and was once a vital link between Marrakech and the southern half of Morocco. You’ll begin cycling just past the city, following the main road for a few kilometres, before turning off onto a dirt road. In front of you will be the large natural arch of Imi Nifri you will stop for lunch soon after this. The Central High Atlas Mountains rise up before you as you begin a steady 12km climb on rough roads to the first overnight camp at Tilsekthe, an ascent of some 760m. These spectacular mountains were once described by the Roman scholar Pliny as the ‘most fabulous in all Africa’. The stronghold of the staunchly traditional Berber people for generations, they extend for some 2,500 kms across northern Africa, separating the Atlantic and the Mediterranean from the vast barren deserts of the Sahara to the south. You will be expected to help set up the camp on your arrival whilst a sumptuous feast is prepared for you. Ascent 760m/Descent 270m. Overnight camp.

  3. Day 3 Tilsekhte To Tirghist Via The Tizi N’Tirghist Pass (30km/6-8hrs) - 2,293m Breaking

    camp this morning you begin the climb up to your first pass, continuing on the same road you finished on yesterday, a steady ascent that takes you along a well established dirt track to the summit. Stunning views await you at the top. Cresting the rise you then enjoy an exhilarating downhill that takes you through a series of tiny villages, isolated against the backdrop of the spectacular mountain panoramas. The trail then becomes a little more challenging, as you follow a series of undulations across rocky terrain and through a small gorge. Once past the gorge you begin the ascent on the rocky path towards the Tizi n’Tirghist (2,626m), the high pass that takes you on towards the beautiful verdant landscapes of the Ait Bou Goumez Valley. Descending towards the second night camp, you now enter a world of lush farmland and Berber settlements, lying hidden amongst the craggy mountains of the High Atlas. Once again after a rest you will be expected to help set up the tents at tonight’s camp, there may also be the opportunity to visit some 5000 year old stone carvings near to the campsite. Ascent 1350m/Descent 600m. Overnight camp

  4. Day 4 Cycle Through The Ait Bou Goumez Valley (45km/7-8hrs) - 1,880m

    Today’s itinerary takes you through one of Morocco’s most stunningly beautiful areas, the picturesque Ait Bou Goumez Valley. Poetically nicknamed the ‘Happy Valley’ by early French visitors, the valley is blanketed in fields of barley and wild flowers and dotted with Berber villages and fruit orchards. The day begins with the glorious sun rise over the mountains and a long 14 km downhill from the pass, after which you begin a steep climb towards the road leading into the valley, todays climb is easier due to the road surface. You will stop in one of the many meadows or orchards for your lunch break today. After lunch you will be on dirt tracks and roads there may even be a chance for a cold drink at Tabante, a small village on the trail. The ascent today takes you up some 830m, passing a number of mudbrick houses and ancient walnut trees as you ride in the foothills of the dramatic Mgoun Massif. Nestling amongst some of the highest mountains in High Atlas, the ‘Happy Valley’ was so named because of the friendliness of its local people, and this evening you will hopefully have a chance to experience some of this home-grown hospitality for yourself. You will be staying in a local auberge, or village house, within the valley – simple but clean accommodation that you will be sharing with some of the other members in the group. Ascent 830m/Descent 1,300m. Overnight in an Auberge.

  5. Day 5 Ait Bou Goumez To Amezrai (68km/8hrs) - 1,650m

    Today provides you with the longest and toughest ride of the challenge but one of the week’s most scenic days. Starting out along the valley floor you have another opportunity to enjoy the visual spectacle of this beautiful valley, before tackling the 13km ascent up to the Tizi n’Tirghist pass once again. The views from up here are magnificent, with the dark craggy form of the Mgoun Massif contrasting starkly with the startling greens of the valley below. From here you then freewheel down some 300m in altitude, taking in the mountain vistas that surround you, before beginning another ascent up to the Tizi n’Ilissi (2,530m). This is the last ascent of the day and from here you negotiate the long 1,000m downhill slope that eventually leads into the village of Amerzai, near Zwayat Ahançal. Ascent 1260m/Descent 1,500m. Overnight camp.

  6. Day 6 Amezrai To La Cathédrale (47km/7-8hrs) - 1,150m

    The final day of cycling begins with you following the course of the Ahançal Valley, passing by the farms and houses of a number of Berber villages before you begin the climb out of the valley. The dirt road then takes you across two passes (the highest of which is around 2,000m) and through forests of pine, before depositing you at your camp at the foot of Cathédrale Mountain. The Berbers who occupy these mountains were living in this region long before the Arabs arrived here in the 7th century and their language, customs and culture are still markedly different from those of their Arab neighbours. As you pass through the landscape today you may come across examples of the fortified houses that are typical of the region. The end of your final day’s riding sees you camped beside the waters of the Ahançal River, the imposing cliffs of the Cathédrale rising up before you, presenting the perfect setting to end this off-road adventure. Ascent 800m/Descent 1,100m. Overnight camp.

  7. Day 7 Drive Back Marrakech Via Lake Bin El Ouidane

    Returning to Marrakech by road today, you travel by way of Lake Bin el Ouidane, Morocco’s largest reservoir and a vital source of water for both the agricultural and electrical industries in the eastern part of the country. Lying some 150 kms east of Marrakech, the lake is renowned for its huge carp, attracting fishermen from all over to its expansive shores. After a chance to view the lake, you then continue through Azilal, before finally arriving back in Marrakech late this afternoon. You will enjoy a celebratory meal and overnight in a hotel in Marrakech.

  8. Day 8 Departure

    Today you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home