Cycle Morocco
from $2540
Duration: 14 Days
Desert sands and snow-topped mountains. Red cliff gorges and seaside paths. Hairpin turns and alpine passes. Explore them all in the most immersive way possible on this 14-day cycling tour through Morocco, a land overflowing with mystery, history and culture. A place where the people welcome you with endless stories and the landscape offers endless diversity. Where you can see beaches, deserts, forests, mountains, and orchards. From Marrakesh circle the country through Tangier, Chefchaouen, medieval Fes, the cool of the High Atlas Mountains and the heat of the Sahara, and the ancient city of Ait Benhaddou.
  • Cycling allows you to get closer to authentic Morocco, whether you're riding around the backstreets of Marrakech or stopping for tea with nomads in the Mgoun Valley.
  • Ride a camel through the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara Desert at sunset, then settle in to your camp and enjoy a Moroccan feast under the stars.
  • Pedal diverse and captivating terrain, from lively medinas to Mediterranean Coast and the fabulous hairpins of the Dades Gorge.
  • Step into the Middle Ages on a guided walk through the secret shortcuts and twisting alleyways of Fes’ Medina.
  • End rewarding days in the saddle with hearty local meals like a feast in Djemma el-Fna and a traditional goat dinner in Mgoun Valley.
  • Cycling Tour of Marrakech
  • Tangier - Cap Spartel Lighthouse
  • Chefchaouen - Kasbah
  • Fes - Guided walking tour
  • Merzouga - Camel safari
  • Day 1 Location: Marrakech
    Welcome to Marrakech! Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6 pm – double check with reception for the time and place. After the welcome meeting, head out to the city’s lively Djemaa el-Fna for an included welcome dinner while snake-charmers, henna-painters and storytellers ply their trade nearby. If you arrive early there are a host of exciting activities to experience - why not visit the Dar Si Said Museum or nearby Saadian Tombs, chill out in the Marjorelle Gardens, enjoy a hammam or even see Marrakech from the above on a hot air balloon ride.
    Day 2 Location: Marrakech
    Fuel up with breakfast this morning, and then get fitted for your bike – your transport and best buddy for the next 13 days. Take a short test ride to make sure everything’s working properly, then begin a cycling tour in and around the city (flat terrain, approximately 3 hours/22 kilometres). Start near the royal olive groves of Menara Gardens and ride to well-known sites like Koutoubia Mosque and the Marrakech Medina. Finish your cycle in the Palmeraie, a palm tree oasis. Return to Djemaa el-Fna for an afternoon snack of a street stall pastry with a glass of fresh orange juice. There’ll be ample time in the afternoon to get cleaned up before you board your sleeper train this evening at about 9.35 pm for the roughly 11-hour journey to Tangier.
    Day 3 Location: Tangier
    Arrive in Tangier at approximately 8 am this morning. Check into your hotel, then meet up with your support crew and vehicle. Saddle up for a 30-kilometre ride, beginning with an easy 10-kilometre ride to the Grottes d'Hercules (Caves of Hercules). Legend says Hercules stayed in this cave before doing his 11th labour – collecting the golden apples from the Hesperides Garden. Its modern uses have been quite varied, from a brothel to a concert venue for Def Leppard. From here the road undulates and climbs as we jump back on the bike to explore Cap Spartel, known to the Romans and Greeks as the 'Cape of the Vines'. Stop by the 19th-century lighthouse. There may be an opportunity to climb up to the top for an amazing view out across the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy a quick lunch here, then a pleasant downhill ride back towards Tangiers' Mediterranean port. Relax after the ride by treating yourself to a mint tea at the rooftop cafe Salon Bleu, which overlooks the medina and ocean.
    Day 4 Location: Chefchaouen
    Leave Tangier behind on a roughly 1.5-hour drive (85 kilometres) through the arid inland towards the beachside village of Azla. Here, hop on your bike and begin today's ride. Follow the winding coastal road south to the small fishing town of Oued Laou (approximately 45 kilometres). This is an undulating ride, with the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean on your left, steep mountains on your right, and small coves dotted with beautiful beaches in-between. there will be four climbs but it will all be worth it when you stop for lunch by one of the beaches and enjoy a refreshing swim (weather depending). After today’s ride, most people choose to leave the saddle behind and let the support vehicle do the hard work of climbing the steep hills to the ‘Blue City’ of Chefchaouen (approximately 60 kilometres). On arrival you are free to explore at your own pace. Maybe shop for handicrafts in the ancient Medina, or simply sit at a cafe and enjoy the pleasure of time passing by.
    Day 5 Location: Chefchaouen
    Today is a free day to explore Chefchaouen. Maybe take it easy at a cafe in the Plaza Uta el-Hammam. Or you could stroll around town - be sure to admire the architecture of the 15th-century Grand Mosque (interior closed to non-Muslims). If you are still feeling energetic, you might prefer to take an optional guided tour of the town, head out of town for a hike in the Rif mountains (approximately 4 hours) or just relax in a soothing hammam. Ask your leader about these options and more. 
    Day 6 Location: Fes
    This morning, spend 2 hours in the support vehicle on a drive from Chefchaouen to the outskirts of Beni Hmed village (80 kilometres). Stretch your legs on a ride along the undulated road to Tabouda past the majestic turquoise waters of the El Wahda Dam (approximately 37 kilometres). As the roads get busier and the day heats up, retreat to the comfort of the support vehicle and leave the quiet of the Rif Mountains behind you. Drive the remaining 95 kilometres to Fes, the spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco. Perhaps take the remainder of the day to relax – you will take a guided tour tomorrow.
    Day 7 Location: Fes
    Leave your bike behind today and embark on a guided walk through the secret shortcuts and twisting alleyways of Fes. Pass donkeys piled high with goods and step back into the Middle Ages in the labyrinth of the Medina. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at your own pace. Consider watching the sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention.
    Day 8 Location: Midelt
    Avoid traffic and heat with an early start. Leave Fes behind and drive into the Middle Atlas Mountains, arriving at Dayet Aoua to begin your ride (drive approximately 20 kilometres). Begin your ride through high-altitude mountain location, passed pitched red-roofed houses and green surroundings. After a quick coffee stop, climb by bike through the wooded hills of Ifrane National Park. Soon the road levels out and you’ll enjoy a unique Middle Atlas Mountains view. Coast gently downhill to the tiny town of Timahdte and finish riding for the day. Drive up to Aguelmame Sidi Ali lake, a placid clear blue lake and wetland sanctuary where you’ll enjoy a well-earned lunch. The energetic are welcome to cycle a further 15 kilometres to the Timahdte section of the lake. After lunch, drive 90 kilometres to the Kasbah town of Midelt. Nestled in a valley, Midelt is surrounded by farmland and orchards. The rest of your day is free for you to explore or relax. Maybe explore the nearby village of Bremmem or visit a local embroidery co-operative run to benefit local Amazigh (Berber)  women. You could also check out an optional traditional music performance in Midelt.
    Day 9 Location: Merzouga – Desert Camp
    Midelt to Merzouga is a long journey (270 kilometres), so embark early and tackle the distance on two separate rides, with a vehicle transfer filling the gaps. Drive the first 30 kilometres uphill to tge Tizi n Talrhemt Pass, then get your wheels moving on a gentle downhill cycle to Er-rich (approximately 45 kilometres). You won’t have to pedal for most of this ride – that and a good coffee stop make this a fairly easy start to the day! From Er-rich, continue by bike (approximately 25 kilometres) downhill to the banks of the Ziz River and the cavernous Tunnel Zaabal. Re-board the vehicle and drive through frontier towns like Erfoud that have been the setting for films like ‘The Mummy’ and James Bond’s ‘Spectre’. Arrive in Merzouga, leave your gear at your overnight camp and then board a very different form of transport - a camel! Ride to the edge of the Sahara Desert, enjoying a spectacular sunset along the way. Return to your camp and enjoy some fantastic local cuisine while you sit around an open fire, enjoying lively music and dancing under the stars.
    Day 10 Location: Todra Gorge
    Drive to Tinghir (approximately 3–4 hours/200 kilometres). Tinghir is your entry point to the remarkable Todra Gorge, a massive trench with sheer rock walls that rise over 300 metres to form one of the most dramatic and spectacular natural sights in Morocco. In Tinghir hop in the saddle and work out your legs after the long drive. A 14-kilometre stretch takes you along the route of the Todgha River as it snakes into the canyon itself. The limestone stacks make this area best discovered on foot though, so there's a chance to join an optional walk through the surrounding farmland and a ruined village. After the walk, the rest of the day is just taking it easy at your spectacular gorge-located Kasbah, with red rock walls towering above and surrounded by palm trees. You’ll need the rest to prepare for a more challenging ride tomorrow.
    Day 11 Location: Dades Gorge – Mountain Gite Stay
    Board the support vehicle for a drive (approximately 1 hour) to the green-fringed Dades Valley. This is one of the best sections of road in Morocco and we begin our memorable ride at the fabulous hairpins of the Dades Gorge. Leaving the greenery behind, we take a small gravel road deep into the desolate Mgoun Valley near Bou Tharar (approximately 12 kms). On the way, stop in at a local family's home and share a traditional cup of tea with your hosts. This is a genuine opportunity for local interaction with a nomadic family who spend their lives travelling this remote land. Your leader will be there at all times to help you communicate and understand each other. Later in the afternoon, bid farewell to your new friends, and then make a set of new ones at tonight’s accommodation. You’ll stay in a mountain gite and enjoy a traditional Moroccan goat dinner.
    Day 12 Location: Ait Benhaddou
    A drive through arid surroundings brings you to the dramatic Lake El Mansour (approximately 100 kms), which sits among the sandy rocks surrounding Ouarzazate. Get the bikes out and begin a 50-kilometre ride to mythical Ait Benhaddou, passing ancient Kasbah ruins, former colonial military outposts, and austere mountains. Pause for lunch in Ouarzazate, where ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Black Hawk Down’ were filmed. Time permitting, tour Atlas Movie Studios. Make a short visit to Horizon Association for People with Disabilities, an organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation, health and empowerment of people with disabilities. They provide essential services like prosthetic limbs, physio and social therapy, as well as training in skills like pottery or metal work. It’s a project the Intrepid Foundation is very proud to support. Continue with a roughly 2-hour walk to Ait Benhaddou. Centuries ago, this was an important stop for caravans carrying salt across the Sahara. Today its grand Kasbah, a fine example of clay architecture, is a World Heritage site and star of movies and TV shows like ‘Gladiator’, ‘Games of Thrones’ and ‘The Living Daylights’. In the late afternoon, choose if you would like to enjoy a cooking demonstration to learn the secrets behind Morocco's most famous cuisine: couscous and tagine.
    Day 13 Location: Marrakech via Tiz n Tichka
    Commence the long, winding ride up into the Atlas Mountains and the small town of Anmiter. It is here that the cycling part of our adventure ends as we climb into our support vehicle and drive, avoiding a serious amount of climbing, to the spectacular Tizi n'Tichka Pass. At 2260 metres above sea level, this is the highest major mountain pass in North Africa. After a brief break for refreshment and a photo stop, re-join the support vehicle and descend from the High Atlas Mountains back to Marrakech, some 100 kilometres away. Once back in Marrakech, say goodbye to your support crew and have some free time to relax. In the evening you’ll be drawn back to the Djemaa el Fna for a celebratory dinner.
    Day 14 Location: Marrakech
    This cycling adventure through Morocco comes to an end today. There are no activities planned after breakfast.
    Dates
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    Departure Date:
    12SEP2021
    Return Date:
    25SEP2021
    2660NZD
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    03OCT2021
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    16OCT2021
    2925NZD
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    24OCT2021
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    06NOV2021
    2540NZD
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    06MAR2022
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    19MAR2022
    2590NZD
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    20MAR2022
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    2695NZD
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    10APR2022
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    24APR2022
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    07MAY2022
    2795NZD
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    15MAY2022
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    2695NZD
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    29MAY2022
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    2590NZD
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    Departure Date:
    12JUN2022
    Return Date:
    25JUN2022
    2590NZD
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    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Cycle Morocco

    Trip code

    XMXC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2022

    Introduction

    Desert sands and snow-topped mountains. Red cliff gorges and seaside paths. Hairpin turns and alpine passes. Explore them all in the most immersive way possible on this 14-day cycling tour through Morocco, a land overflowing with mystery, history and culture. A place where the people welcome you with endless stories and the landscape offers endless diversity. Where you can see beaches, deserts, forests, mountains, and orchards. From Marrakesh circle the country through Tangier, Chefchaouen, medieval Fes, the cool of the High Atlas Mountains and the heat of the Sahara, and the ancient city of Ait Benhaddou.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Cycling

    Transport

    Bicycle (e-bike option available,subject to availability),Support vehicle,Train,Camel

    Physical Rating

    4

    Physical preparation

    PHYSICAL PREPARATION There are regular rest breaks each day, however it is important to note that you will be riding over multiple and consecutive days in a climate and terrain that may be unfamiliar. While it can be tempting to start out riding as hard and fast as you can (we get it!) we recommend taking it easy on the first few days while your body gets used to the rides and the climate. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle, both solo and in a group environment. CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

    Joining point

    Hotel Gomassine

    71 Av. Mohamed Zerktouni Gueliz

    Marrakech

    MOROCCO

    Phone: +212 524433086

    Joining point description

    Hotel Gomassine is located less than 2 miles from Bahia Palace, and only half a mile from Majorelle Gardens. Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, satellite channels, air conditioning and a minibar. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all areas of the hotel. Small outdoor swimming pool is available for all guests of the hotel.

    Joining point instructions

    Marrakech Menara Airport is approx. 5km from the city centre. Petite taxis (small cars which are light brown in colour) are readily available from the airport. Negotiate the fare before getting in and aim to pay no more than 100MAD (150MAD at night) Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: Your transfer driver will be waiting for you outside the airport, holding a board with your name on it. Please note the maximum waiting time the transfer driver can wait is 2 hours from the actual arrival time of the flight. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the Transport Company emergency phone number : on +212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66, or our local office on +212 (0) 66192 2693 Check-in time at our joining point hotel is 2pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, however if you arrive early, luggage storage can be arranged. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Please note that luggage storage in our hotels is at your own risk and generally these areas are not locked or completely secure. Bring your own luggage lock.

    Finish point

    Hotel Gomassine

    71 Av. Mohamed Zerktouni Gueliz

    Marrakech

    MOROCCO

    Phone: +212 524433086

    Finish point instructions

    Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) is approximately 5km from the city centre. We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details. If you have pre booked a departure transfer, You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. Due to flutuating traffic conditions in Marrakech the maximum waiting time you can expect is 30 minutes from the svcheduled time of pick up. Please reconfirm your departure transfers with your tour leader. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the Transport compagny emergency phone number on +212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66, or our local team on 212 (0) 66192 2693 Alternatively, petite taxis (small cars which are light brown in colour) can easily be hailed from the street, or you can ask the hotel to assist. Remember to negotiate the fare before getting in and aim to pay no more than 100MAD (150MAD at night). Departure from Casablanca: If you are flying out of Casablanca we recommend arranging to take the train. Trains from Marrakech to Casablanca, depart on the hour every 2 hours between 4:45am and 8:45pm and cost EUR8 for 2nd class and EUR12 for 1st class. The trip is scheduled to take 3 hours & 10 minutes but is subject to frequent delays. From Casablanca Voyageurs Station, trains run to the Casablanca airport every two hours at 13 mins past the hour between 03h13 and 22h13. From Casa L’oasis (first station in Casablanca), trains run to the airport every two hours at 20 mins past the hour between 03h20 and 22h20. The trip takes 35 minutes. Check the useful website (in French) for more information - www.oncf.ma or ask your tour leader. Alternatively, from Casablanca city the 25km taxi ride to the Casablanca airport costs around MAD250 (EUR25) If you would prefer, Intrepid can arrange a private transfer from your Marrakech hotel to Casablanca Airport for an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent for more details.

    Important information

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A Single Supplement is available on this trip for solo travellers who do not want to share a room, please ask your booking agent for more information. BICYCLE HIRE Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organise a suitable bike. E-BIKE An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking. HELMET Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. WEATHER Morocco gets very warm in summer (June, July, August) so our leader may opt to shorten or reroute rides to ensure travellers' health and safety is not compromised. RAMADAN  In 2020, Ramadan will take place from 23 April through until 22 May. Some regular services may not be available or open during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars. OVERNIGHT TRAIN There's an overnight train on Day 2 of the trip. The train has four-berth couchette compartments with upper and lower bunks on each side, so you may be sharing a confined space with people outside of your travel group. this train is occasionally cancelled at very late notice, meaning we take a minivan instead.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you wear shoes that cover the toes while riding. SUPPORT VEHICLES We usually have a support vehicle following us if first-aid is ever necessary or people are feeling too tired to ride. BIKES: Our bikes are serviced regularly, and we get them checked by experts before each and every trip. Should you choose to bring your own please note that while we are happy to assist where we can with repairs you are responsible for the safety and suitability of your own equipment. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! There are times when traffic conditions make sections of our planned riding route unsafe – in this instance we will use the support vehicle. WEATHER Due to inclement weather posing a serious health or safety issue there may be times when we use the support vehicle instead of doing the planned ride. We will endeavour to reroute if possible but at times may have to cancel the planned ride.

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    WOMEN'S SAFETY: Women should exercise caution when travelling in Morocco. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling: - As with all travel, it’s important to use common sense and be vigilant. - Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home. - Avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day. - Lock your door when you are inside your room. Keep the door locked when you are leaving your room, even for a short time. - If hotel staff need access to your room for any reason, request that they do this while you are out, or wait at reception while they attend to any cleaning or repairs. For the protection of both our travellers and staff, our leaders worldwide are not permitted to be alone in a room with a group member. - Always take a hotel card with you when going out so you know the address and contact numbers. - Should you encounter any inappropriate behaviour, inform your leader straight away. - For further information and advice, visit: https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/pages/female-travellers.aspx

    SCAMS: When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la Shukran') should suffice.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. MOROCCO: Australia: No - Not required Belgium: No - Not required Canada: No - Not required Germany: No - Not required Ireland: No - Not required Netherlands: No - Not required New Zealand: No - Not required South Africa: Yes - in advance (in general, visa processing can take approximately 20 working days) Switzerland: No - Not required UK: No - Not required USA: No - Not required Those who do not require visas to visit Morocco as a tourist, are stamped in on arrival for 3 months.

    Why we love it

    Cycling allows you to get closer to authentic Morocco, whether you're riding around the backstreets of Marrakech or stopping for tea with nomads in the Mgoun Valley.

    Ride a camel through the dramatic red dunes of the Sahara Desert at sunset, then settle in to your camp and enjoy a Moroccan feast under the stars.

    Pedal diverse and captivating terrain, from lively medinas to Mediterranean Coast and the fabulous hairpins of the Dades Gorge.

    Step into the Middle Ages on a guided walk through the secret shortcuts and twisting alleyways of Fes’ Medina.

    End rewarding days in the saddle with hearty local meals like a feast in Djemma el-Fna and a traditional goat dinner in Mgoun Valley.

    Is this trip right for you

    To enjoy this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. An e-bike option is available. Accommodation on this trip includes a mountain gite, a desert camp and basic hotels. Transport on this trip includes an overnight train journey. Details on this mode of transport can be found in the Important Notes section. When travelling in Morocco, temperatures can get incredibly hot in summer and surprisingly cool in winter. Have a think about what time of year suits you best to travel. In 2022, Ramadan will take place from 2 April to 1 May. Travelling during this holy month can be a rewarding cultural experience, however some regular services may not be available during the daytime, such as restaurants or coffee bars, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider your travel arrangements carefully before booking travel for this period.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19 DRINKING WATER: As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies. ASTHMA: For some travellers, the desert sand and dust can bring on bouts of asthma. If you suffer from asthma even occasionally, we recommend you bring your medication as it can not be administered by your group leader and may not be readily available while you are travelling. CYCLING HEALTH Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues. By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride. Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Breakfasts in Morocco are generally simple affairs consisting of bread, butter, jam, coffee/tea and juice (or similar). This is typical of breakfasts in Morocco hotels and large American/English style breakfasts are generally not available.

    Money matters

    The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, we have established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. We aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you. A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective. MOROCCO The official currency of Morocco is Dirham (MAD). Moroccan Dirhams cannot be purchased outside of Morocco, but it is easy to get cash on arrival. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is by Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Check with your bank for information on international fees. There are now ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout all Moroccan cities. There are few problems changing money. There are many banks, all operating with equal exchange rates, and without commission. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange. Please note that Australian Dollars (AUD) are not accepted in Morocco. Travellers' cheques are not recommended in Morocco. While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques this is rare and the process is very time consuming, and commissions can be high (up to 10%). For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothing. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest MAD20-30 per person per day for local guides. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however MAD10 per person per day is generally appropriate. Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline MAD30 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. Please don't tip with very small denomination coins, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult PRICES IN MOROCCO: Morocco is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. With drinks, tipping and of course - shopping, it can all add up. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Morocco to be a budget destination. BARGAINING: In Morocco some services and products are not a fixed price which means that your bartering skills will be tested from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the Medina. This can be challenging for travellers who have not experienced this before. Ask your leaders for advice when you arrive however the best approach is to smile and have fun as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture. Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries. BUDGET FOR MEALS NOT INCLUDED: Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. BUDGET FOR MEALS NOT INCLUDED: Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 350 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.

    What to take

    Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case. • Padded bike shorts • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall. • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier. • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding. • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps). If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light. LUGGAGE STORAGE Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

    CLIMATE & CLOTHING: Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Summer (approx June to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel & winter (approx November to February) can be very cold. It's recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.

    DRONES IN MOROCCO Please note that drones are not permitted to enter or be used in Morocco, neither for personal nor professional/commercial use.

    Climate and seasonal

    WEATHER IN MOROCCO As a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Winter (November to March) can be very cold, particularly in the mountains and the desert, with overnight temperatures dropping to 5 degrees Celsius or below. Even in summer the desert gets cold at night. It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag, thermals, a scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.  Please be prepared for cold showers. Summer (May to September) can be very hot everywhere, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.  Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating or air conditioning as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which are limited in some places. Morocco gets very warm in summer (June, July, Aug) so our leader may opt to shorten or reroute rides to ensure travellers' health and safety is not compromised. RAMADAN The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 02 April - 01 May 2022 and 22 March - 20 April 2023, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage While we do accept children under 18 on this trip we do have a couple of rules. From a safety and enjoyment perspective they should be confident and competent cyclists capable of completing the riding part of the itinerary without additional assistance. Minors under 18 years old must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. This includes when the minor rides in the support vehicle.

    Feedback

    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Morocco Office can be reached on: For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. Peak Marrakech: +49 8677 9186 657

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller Morocco can be considered a liberal Muslim country as many Moroccan women do not wear headscarves. However, Morocco is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts (men and women), low-cut tops, and showing midriff is not recommended as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes, and is considered disrespectful to the local culture. Long, light-coloured, lightweight sleeved shirts, trousers and skirts are respectful, cover your body, keep you cool in the heat and protect you from the harsh sun. In Morocco we have built strong links with local communities, craftspeople, animal hospitals, artists, and the handicapped - all of which directly rely on the assistance of donations and products purchased by our travellers and other visitors. We offer Intrepid travellers an opportunity to interact with locals, to value their activities and crafts and help towards sustaining their livelihoods. While on our trips in Morocco you'll have opportunity to meet plenty of local people. Depending on which trip you choose there's a chance to enjoy a meal in a local family's house in Ait Benhaddou, spend a night in a family guesthouse in the High Atlas Mountains or in the pilgrimage village of Moulay Idriss, or share a camp with a nomadic family in Dades Gorge. These experiences will give you a better understanding of the way of life for a rural Moroccan family. You'll also have some fun by learning how to make Morocco's most famous dish, couscous. Wherever possible, we contract local Moroccan suppliers and assist them to improve the quality of their services. By booking this tour, you'll be helping us to support service providers, artists, small businesses, guesthouse owners and the disadvantaged in communities throughout Morocco. We use local guides with wide experience and knowledge of cultural traditions and an ability to interpret the cultural heritage of the people in the places visited.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Intrepid Travel currently supports the following non-profit organisations: * Kasbah Myriam is a carpet and embroidery workshop run by Franciscan nuns with the aim of providing sustainable employment and healthcare to local Berber women. * The SPANA animal hospital in Marrakech cares for the health and welfare of donkeys, dogs and cats. Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. HEATING: Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It's also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers, which are a pleasure for most of the year. Air-conditioning systems (if available) don't always function. DESERT CAMP & GITE Desert camp: - Accommodation is in shared tents. - Tents have a camp bed, with one mattress per person - blankets, pillows and sheets provided - Bathroom facilities are shared - There is no power to change devices Gite: - All rooms have beds and bathroom facilities (inside each room) - There is electricity to charge devices

    Transport notes

    While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others. Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking. OPTIONAL RENTAL E-BIKES Our Morocco rental e-bikes are the 2018 Cannondale Tesoro NEO2, available in both male (horizontal tops tube) and female (sloping top tube) models and in the following sizes: Male - Small (50cm) - 168cm to 175cm/5’6” to 5’8”, Medium (56cm) - 175cm to 185cm/5’8” to 6’, & Large (62cm) - 185cm to 205cm/6’ to 6’8” Female – Extra Small (47cm) - 155cm to 168cm/5’1” to 5’6”, Small (52cm) - 168cm to 175cm/5’6” to 5’8”, & Medium (58cm) - 175cm to 185cm/5’8” to 6’ Please stipulate which model and size you require at time of booking. For further details on sizing please see https://www.cannondale.com/en/International/Products/ProductCategory.aspx?nid=336eca6e-fee1-4bf7-a3f2-f3554628c732 (please note while this a model with different parts the frame measurements are exactly the same) BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle. INCLUDED OR HIRE BIKES: CONDITIONS OF USE You must not mistreat the bicycle and must return it in the same condition as when you received it (excepting ordinary wear and tear). You should immediately inform the supplier in the case of breakdown or loss. The provider is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the bicycle during the period of hire. You must also make sure that the bicycle is secured when not in use. If the equipment is lost or stolen you may be liable for the replacement value of the bicycle. The bicycle remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, rent out or part possession with the bicycle. You must not use the bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The price of the Single Supplement doesn't include the following nights where single rooms are not available: Day 2 - overnight train Day 9 - desert camp Day 11 - Mountain Gite

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (10 nights),overnight train (1 night),desert camp (1 night),gite (1 night)

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