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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.
MarrakechWelcome 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.
MarrakechFuel 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.
TangierArrive 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. It's 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.
ChefchaouenLeave 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 a 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 passengers 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.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
ChefchaouenToday 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 head out of town for a hike in the Rif mountains (approximately 4 hours). Ask your leader about these options and more.
FesThis 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.
FesLeave 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 explore at your own pace. Consider watching the sunset over the Medina while a dozen prayer calls vie for attention.
MideltAvoid 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.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Merzouga – Desert CampMidelt 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 aa 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.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Todra GorgeDrive 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 workout 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.
Dades Gorge – Mountain Gite StayBoard 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.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Ait BenhaddouA drive through arid surroundings brings you to the dramatic Lake El Mansour (approximately 100 kms), which sits among in 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.
Marrakech via Tiz n TichkaCommence 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.
MarrakechThis cycling adventure through Morocco comes to an end today. There are no activities planned after breakfast.
- Cycling Tour of Marrakech
- Tangier - Cap Spartel Lighthouse
- Chefchaouen - Kasbah
- Fes - Guided walking tour
- Merzouga - Camel safari
13 Breakfast(s) Included
2 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included
Health and Safety Protocols for Intrepid Tours
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced protocols in hygiene and sanitation. We will put in place additional measures, in line with government health advice and with global health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
Handwashing is one of the most important safety measures to prevent the spread of disease. Intrepid will actively reinforce its importance by:
- Implementing a handwashing policy that dictates when, how often and for how long all staff, leaders and crew must wash their hands on-trip.
- Promote the importance of hand hygiene to customers through signage and online customer material.
- Contract suppliers that have hand hygiene protocols in place
- Contract suppliers that provide hand sanitizer in public places (where applicable)
- Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of hand hygiene via training.
Practicing good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of disease by reducing the number of droplets in the air when you sneeze or cough. Intrepid will:
- Actively reinforce its importance to customers through signage and online customer material.
- Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of respiratory hygiene via training.
- Contract suppliers who have respiratory hygiene protocols in place.
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them. Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy and that the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene must also form part of the strategy.
On our trips, regardless of destination, the following people must wear medical/surgical masks:
- Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have been tested yet.
- People caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (outside of hospitals/clinics).
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them.
- People over 60
- People with underlying health conditions
- Provide medical/surgical masks as part of the First Aid Kits carried by leaders.
- Educate leaders, crew, staff and customers on the correct method to wear, handle and dispose of a mask.
- Require all customers, leaders and staff to comply with any local regulations or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places
Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is not necessary for the public to wear fabric masks generally.
However in certain circumstances, in places where community transmission of COVID-19 is high and/or physical distancing is not possible (e.g. on public transport, in shops or in other confined environments) then a fabric mask can be a useful barrier to prevent the spread of virus.
Fabric masks be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardised like medical masks. Fabric masks should:
- Cover the nose, mouth, and chin
- Be secured with elastic loops or ties
- Include multiple layers
- Be washable and reusable.
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced sanitation processes. Intrepid will take the following measures:
- Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation protocols
- Audit/monitor all suppliers on their cleanliness and sanitation.
- All cleaning and disinfecting products must be approved by health authorities (e.g. WHO).
- All rooms must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizer should be available in public areas.
- There must be a process in place for customers to escalate any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
- All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.
- If staying at a campground, ensure all bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. If the area is remote, with limited facilities and/or minimal staffing, then customers should be informed to bring their own hygiene equipment.
- All mini buses, transfers, charters, overland trucks must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizer should be made available
- Close top bins with bin liners should be available on board and disposed of at every stop
- Must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day
- Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each guest use
- Avoid buffets where possible. If buffets are used, prevent customers from handling food and operating machines (e.g. self-serve coffee stations)
- Either disinfect shared use objects (e.g. table salt) between guest use. Where possible, Intrepid will try to source safe alternatives to single serve packaging.
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
- Preferred: Provide hand sanitizer to guests at the door before entry
- All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest us
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Limiting the number of surfaces touched by large numbers of people helps prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, it is important to proactively move towards contactless or low touch solutions for travel. Intrepid will:
- Prioritise contactless/low touch as a key feature when sourcing new tech or solutions.
- Remove any paperwork required on the ground (e.g. signing forms, feedback cards)
- If details must be entered using a shared device (e.g. insurance details), then it must be disinfected between each customer. Preference is to move entirely to digital solutions.
- Accommodation should provide online check in (no paperwork)
- Contactless keys (e.g. QR codes)
- Contactless tech (e.g. lights)
- Online ticketing for attractions and transport
- Online payment
Physical distancing is important in the preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it can be transmitted via droplets sprayed when coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling etc…
Intrepid will take the following measures:
- Require all suppliers to detail their physical distancing protocols
- Follow local regulation and advice on the need for physical distancing.
We will continue to offer this as an option. Single supplements are available for single travellers who do not wish to share a room. We will work closely with accommodation suppliers to ensure increased availability of single rooms.
- Consider whether it is appropriate to offer single tents for solo travellers as customers will be much closer together then in a traditional room.
- Consider whether staggering meal times may reduce the number of people sharing a dining tent.
Intrepid will consider the following factors when designing or amending transport options on trips.
- Local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport
- Hygiene protocols of the transport provider
- Level of active community transmission in the destination
- Using designated seating on transport. Customers have assigned seats throughout the trip.
- If trip is longer than 15 minutes and air conditioning is available, it must be set to external airflow rather than to recirculation or windows should be opened for the duration of the trip.
- Designing or amending itineraries to reduce the duration of travel.
- Increasing the size of the vehicle, using multiple vehicles.
- Educate all leaders, crew, staff and customers to maintain a 1.5m distance wherever practical in public (e.g. queueing at a museum).
- Proactively design product to avoid crowds by visiting attractions at off-peak times.
- Proactively design product to avoid crowds on public transport or at airports where practical.
- Follow local regulations on table spacing and guest seating in restaurants. Wherever possible, try to ensure groups are sitting at their own table without strangers in restaurants.
- Proactively design product that focuses on experiences that assist with physical distancing (e.g. picnics over crowded marketplaces) if relevant for that destination.
Screening for COVID-19 helps isolate anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and stops the spread of disease. It is likely to become more common for future travellers.
Pre-Departure (Brand Material)
Customers should be informed as part of ‘Essential Trip Information (ETIs) or other similar trip notes if their trip is likely to include any of the following:
- Testing for COVID-19 before being able to pass through immigration and/or board planes.
- Negative test results to be uploaded for visa purposes.
- Thermal temperature checks in airports, train or bus stations, major hotels or attractions.
Pre-departure, all customers are required to fill out an online questionnaire (“self- declaration/assessment” form) to identify any high-risk customers before travel.
Extra qualifiers will be included to address customers with symptoms that can be contributed to pre-existing conditions (e.g. breathlessness to asthma).
Customers answering YES to any question should be removed from the departure and appropriate arrangements made.
Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test as proof of health from customers or leaders at this stage unless it is required by local law or regulations.
This is partially due to the lack of availability of testing for people with no symptoms in many parts of the world and may change in due course.
- Ask customers, leaders, crew and staff to monitor their own health
- Display appropriate signage on COVID-19 symptoms
- Educate leaders, crew and staff on how to identify COVID-19 symptoms
- Describe COVID-19 symptoms in group meetings
If customers, leaders or crew show symptoms of COVID-19 and are either unable to or unwilling to be tested, Intrepid reserves the right to remove them from our trips to prevent any risk to others.
Flexible Booking Conditions
Customers will be supported by flexible booking conditions to stay home if unwell or displaying symptoms
Flexible Work Conditions
Intrepid will support leaders and crew to stay home rather than lead a trip if they are unwell or displaying symptoms. Schedules will need to be created with back up availability of leaders/crew.
Data Collection & Health Tracking
Intrepid will assist government health departments in tracking and tracing any customers, staff, leaders, crew or suppliers at risk of contracting COVID-19 via exposure to a known case and/or outbreak by providing relevant details in line with privacy laws and regulations.
COVID Tracking apps
Intrepid strongly recommends that customers and staff download COVID tracking apps (e.g. COVIDSafe in Australia, StayHomeSafe in Hong Kong) to assist in reducing the spread of disease within their communities.
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.
The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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