Morocco! Any tips/ideas?

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  • Morocco! Any tips/ideas?
  • cheeezzy24
    Member

    Anyone been riding in Morocco?
    Looking for advice/tips/routes or any info really for planning a trip there. Any help would be great. Cheers

    The hash is excellent.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    I did a trip with Exodus holidays about 11 years ago. Excellent fun. Mainly wider 4×4 tracks (so not particularly technical) and plenty of climbing but the scenery was beautiful.

    I’ve been back to Marrakech for a family holiday since.

    Recommended!

    atlaz
    Member

    I’ve hiked in Morocco (also went with Exodus) and been back for long weekends a couple of times since. There seem to be some people starting tours but a lot seems to be getting from A to B on bikes rather than, say, seeking out the best singletrack in the country so it depends what you’re after. Take a look at this:

    http://biking.skedaddle.co.uk/search/filtered.rails?region=111&date=nil&category=nil

    gusamc
    Member

    Also went with Exodus, agree with tracks defo not techie, scenery was fantastic (dry, dusty. mountains, sun, starts, greenery bits, etc) and I actually enjoyed the cycling, however thought it was overpriced and partly planned around drivers relatives/mates shops (e.g evening meal after a complusory 30 minute stop at a carpet shop), new year in the boondooks, wherase we spent 2 hours in a fabulous vibrant village (with lots of choice).
    (*also surfed for a week with Rapture Surf Camps, SIGNIFICANTLY better food (more, and more variety) about 1/3 price for week)

    Chck out changing money, I think it’s controlled in Morocco, also if female (and I guess maybe males in wrong place) your dress can offend/cause issues (ie on the surfing holiday a girl wearing short shorts/bikini went down badly at a middle of nowehere market (but to be fair she had been warned) some people refused to serve her and the youngsters pinched her arse….

    I’d probably suggest skipping holiday insurance might not be a great decision.

    after a fair amount of research we went with Cycleactive, who’s itinerary is more technical than the exodus riding. Had a brilliant time and cant recommend them highly enough. Another well-known company apparently has tried to poach their local guide who has done a great job of hunting out trails.

    All the riding started with a 4×4 transfer so we did far more descending than climbing.

    Not somewhere I’d want to go without local guide or support, and good insurance (glad Mr MC broke his leg on our morzine trip rather than our morocco trip!).

    gratuitous picture whoring

    not part of the formal route, a sketchy aquaduct 100 foot over a ravine

    can think of worse ways to spend a 30th birthday 😀

    hh45
    Member

    I have heard from some people that alot of tarmaccing is going on and some companies are not updating their routes so alot of disappointment. I think it was either Exodus or Explore??? (sorry if being libellous – I’m just trying to help).

    KE Adventure do a fairly hard core trip there and they tend to run good trips IME although not done Morocco with them.

    allthegear
    Member

    yes – there was a lot of tarmac on the Exodus holiday I did. Largely uphill too, which was impressive for a holiday sold as “Morocco Downhill”… 🙂

    Rachel

    There was no tarmac and certainly not lots of uphill on the cycle active trip. It was aimed at having a DH bias however there was still some uphill riding, it was phenomenal. Some of the best riding I’ve done (along with Colorado this year but that was very different). The 4 x4’s got us a long way up and it was just awesome, they carried all the kit, stayed in some lovely hotels, ate some ace food and when there beer was cheap. Brilliant I cannot recommend it enough at all.

    dridac2002
    Member

    hello british bikers
    i m a moroccan lived ijn europe and 15 years in usa ,any one want to have fun on his bike in morocco ,he wilol be welcome ,even a group of 4 riders ,i m a guide ,bike mechanic,speak berber ,arabic ,french english
    you are all welcome

    Premier Icon clareymorris
    Subscriber

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaXuAq-rdlU[/video]

    M-C I was just going to recommend Cycle active to you. So glad you enjoyed it I am very tempted to go for my (ahem) 40th!!

    For everyone else here is a little video taster……..

    Premier Icon clareymorris
    Subscriber

    PS. Isn’t Rich ace 😀

    sherry
    Member

    Was in Morocco last November and was really top notch. I went and did my own thing, no company telling me where I should go what I should be doing. I like to plan my own way and you will be spoilt for choice over there with guides, get a Lonely Plant book for reference. Reef and high Atlas mountain are very good with loads guides in the villages try and get a registered one though. Do some emailing before you go and dont pay anything until you get there! Haggle all the way for nearly everything its a way of life over there and only deal on 50/60% of the initial price. Exodus etc are over priced IMHO for what they provide which is a basic itinerary and mainly knowledge, nothing that cant be sourced by yourself. You will see what I mean once you see the cost of living its very cheap, out of season even cheaper depending on where you like to stay/eat. I would recommend riads, friendly, cheap and secure and gives you an idea of what Moroccan homes are like. Do your own thing and research its all part of the fun, well for me anyway. Goes without saying to get some comprehensive medical insurance that covers trekking and mountain biking. I got full cover for under £40 for 24 days with insureandgo.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    sherry your post is quite interesting in that it gives no useful information at all.

    I could go anywhere in the world and have a cheaper holiday than one supplied by a package company, that’s a given. Of course what I don’t then get is the convenience of turning up at the airport with my bike, knowing that somebody with suitable transport will pick me up, take me to the hotel and put a beer in my hand while I’m reassembling my bike. And so on..

    Reef and high Atlas mountain are very good with loads guides in the villages

    The mountain villages are full of nothing very much. I didn’t see ANY mtb guides fighting to get our business, although there were a handful of companies who offered trips out of Marrakech when I was there last. (2 years ago). They weren’t impressively cheap!
    ]

    try and get a registered one though

    Registered to who?

    During that trip two years ago, we found the only MTB hire company in Marrakech. There was no thriving MTB scene, and because of that I’d have doubts about finding a competent independent guide who could take me to the best biking.

    Added to that is the language issue – trying to arrange pick up points after a few hours of riding was hard enough with Exodus, when our guide was English. It would be a nightmare when trying to arrange with a Berber Landrover driver who barely spoke any English.

    11 years ago I paid Exodus under £800 for 11 days which included transport, accomodation, guiding, food and plenty of alcohol. Not bad value. Exodus and Cycle Active are charging over £1000, but that’s pretty much all-inclusive. (I genuinely don’t know how much wine for instance is in Morrocco, but I’d guess that it’s not particularly cheap. We were drinking over a bottle each per night.)

    Now, I don’t doubt that you had a good time, and probably saved yourself a little money (maybe not much from my experience of Morrocco).

    BUT – give us some more facts on where you went, who guided you, how much did you pay for accom, guiding etc. Show us that it was worth all the research! Hard facts please!

    Ax3M4n
    Member

    You want a tip….

    stay away from Morocco. Rumour is that it’s about to go the way of Tunisia and Egypt. In addition, the population is madder than a box of frogs.

    sherry
    Member

    Idle jon, I understand that people don’t want the hassle of doing all there own research and just want to turn up and ride due to time etc. Thats fair enough but its not for me if I can help it! I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise with “hard facts” wasting my time in the process. The company’s I looked at were charging over £1000 for 12 days without flights! I stayed 24 days and spent around £1400 including flights. Of course I didn’t bike every single day as I done some trekking and surfing as well along with generally relaxing.

    In the comment about the registered guides I was referring to mountain guides not specifically MTB guides. They new the best people to contact and get deals through, which were around 45/50 euro a day for MTB guides (off season). And thats for everyone not per person! Yes you can get the same guides as the tour operators when there not working for them! As I said before The Lonely Planet Guide is a good start and there a a few bike specific books available as well.

    I stayed in Riads which ranged from about £7 per night to about £18 for a really good one, Hostelworld is a good start (they include Riads). Idlejon, you say the last time you were in Marrakech was around 2 years ago. Well I can only assume there weren’t as many people to contact or you didn’t look hard enough.

    Oh and Booze is about the same price as the UK if not a little more expensive and big city supermarkets sell plenty, though it can be difficult to come buy in some other areas. It is a predominately Muslim country after all. I didn’t go to Morocco for the booze though.

    Cheeezzy24, I hope you have a good time whatever route you take.

    dridac2002
    Member

    hello
    i posted a little comment about morocco where i live ,there is more check this site http://moroccoatlasmountain.blogspot.com
    stay healthy ride smart

    KE Adventures

    Have a look at this lot, they offer a few options (including a MTB Safari in Tanzania….)

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Thanks sherry – I wasn’t having a go, just interested in how/where you did it, how much you paid.

    You are right in that the last hol in Marrakech was a family holiday, so I wasn’t actively looking for bike related stuff, but as you know, a keen MTBer never misses an opportunity for bike-ogling.

    I suppose that the point I was trying to make, having been to Morrocco a few times, is that doesn’t seem the easiest of countries to sort out MTB trips independently. (As you said, everything involves a long haggle before anything else, something which I detest with a vengeance!)

    Premier Icon flowmtbguy
    Member

    We’ve run a few trips to Morocco – price wise it’s very hard to do something like that any cheaper than the €900 our trip goes for. All the package trips include drivers + 4x4s for the duration – which don’t come cheap! Plus the cost of research, the guide, the accommodation etc etc.

    If you’re doing your own thing, then a personal 4×4 + driver is obviously going to be expensive. But you will be able to lob your bike into a taxi and get out to the mountains no problem.

    There’s three bits of advice I’d give you to help plan the trip:

    1 – Anyone in the mountains who has any form of transport (4×4, donkey, car etc) will be willing to take you and your bike somewhere (like up a big ass mountain) for a small fee.

    2 – There’s loads of Gites all over the place to stay. They cost about €10 for dinner + bed. They’ll most likely serve you chicken tagine though – which starts out great, but after 6 nights of it it gets a bit repetitive!

    3 – If there’s a more direct route than the 4×4 road between two villages, there will be a mule track. And 90% of the time it’ll be great fun to ride.

    ClareyMorris have you done the Morocco trip before? I was just about to post that video! THat was an awesome ride they call it “The Magic Carpet Ride”. I imagine you CANNOT find the trails that we found in Morroco without a guide. Admittedly the Cycle ACtive holiday has gone up a little since we went but we thought it was excellent value for money, as for beer being the same as the UK it was peanuts! We stayed in one hotel that didn’t sell alcohol however our drivers sourced us some and were really happy to do so. I would recommend it to anyone there are no hassles as you dont’ worry about anything. One day the guides were trying to change Mr MC’s flat tyre .. and that isn’t becuase they expect money for it. Phenomenal trip and such an awesome memorable 30th birthday. So next question where for Mr MC’s 40th? unfortunately Cycle Active don’t go anywhere in January! boo..

    Oh and ClareyMorris yup know what you mean about Rich.. what a lovely bloke. 😉

    dridac2002
    Member

    samedi 20 février 2010
    description of our service french nos services
    Ride bike in gorgeous vergin moroccan atlas mountains
    we offer bike rides and touring groups w/lot trails ; water springs;water falls(pic included) hot water spring (free thalassotherapy) valleys;rivers ect….,our ancestor are from this part of the mountain)
    we can pick up from both airoport MARAKECH OR CASABLANCA,housing mostly at berber natif villager or tent bivouac,accomodation mainly organic food
    pricing ,range of 600 euros week,call 212 6 69022692 or e mail drissmericani@hotmail.com,
    500 us d round trip ticket from newyork;195euros from big european cities
    ps : we speak many languages; recognized by the international mountain bike association ;raids with or whithout vehicles;we are bike mechanic ;first aid ect…we offer all services that touring company offer but we have an extra;the nature here is gourgeous and vergin

    french:
    venez decouvrir les montagnes vierges de l atlas marocain en vtt
    :paradis de velos ,aussi la foret dense,les habitant locaux chaleureux
    on offre des sorties et des tours RAIDSguidees dans la region de BENIMELLAL avec beaucoup de ruisseaux; cascades(photo inclus) , vallees ;s sources d eau chaude ,thalassotherapie gratuite,rivieres et d autre ,,on est d origine d un village de cette montagne
    on peu vous chercher aux airoport de MARAKECH ou CASABLANCA( billets d avion a partir de 195 EUROS),hebergement chez l habitant ou tentes bivouac,nouriture biologique
    prix commence a 600 euros la semaine, nous contacter au 212 6 69022692 ou email drissmericani@hotmail.com
    nb votre guide a vecu en europe 10 ans et 15 ans aux usa ,parle beaucoup de langues et reconnu par l association international de vtt
    on vous offre tout les services qu une companie de vtt raid offre mais on a une region fabuleuse et vierge ;reparation velo;secourisme ….
    Publié par morocco atlas mountains à l’adresse 03:02 0 commentaires
    Publié par morocco atlas mountains à l’adresse 02:25 0 commentaires
    Publié par morocco atlas mountains à l’adresse 02:22 0 commentaires
    Publié par morocco atlas mountains à l’adresse 02:18 0 commentaires
    Publié par morocco atlas mountains à l’adresse 02:16 0 commentaires
    vendredi 19 février 2010
    Publié par morocco atlas mountains à l’adresse 10:26 0 commentaires
    lundi 15 février 2010
    wonderfull water fall in the moroccan atlas mountain

    Publié par morocco atlas mountains à l’adresse 03:03 0 commentaires
    Libellés : nice journey ride to the the water fall
    Accueil
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    ps :more beautifull pics at http://moroccoatlasmountain.blogspot.com/
    or goggle this name DRISS DACHA

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