The Happy Valley | 8 Days - 6 Days Biking

Day 1

ARRIVAL MARRAKECH

Your day of arrival into Marrakech. You’ll be picked up at the airport and driven about 40 minutes to our pleasant hotel just south of Marrakech, where your bikes will be waiting for you.
Inspection, paperwork and handover of the bikes will be around 16.00 and you can then go into the “Red City” to the main square of Jemaa el Fna, where all the action comes alive around 19.30. A supper snack at one of the many cafes on the square is very typical. Back to the hotel and a good night’s sleep before your adventure begins.

Day 2

MARRAKECH TO CASCADES D’OUZOUD 190kms

Leave the hotel. Pleasant morning biking through olive groves and on backroads until we turn onto the main road where we refuel. On across country on beautiful winding roads to our lunch stop in a small French owned hotel. Their cuisine is wonderful and much comes from their own gardens. Then a further 80kms on easy gravel tracks to our accommodation. You’ll stay near the breathtaking Cascades d’Ouzoud formed by seven waterfalls fed by the waters that rise in the not-so-distant mountains of the High Atlas. Standing at a height of 110 metres, the water falls in several levels, but not in free fall. You’ll get close up with the cheeky macaques waiting to “ambush” you for food, and probably not resist buying a small souvenir from one of the friendly Berber stall holders. 

Day 3

OUZOUD TO ZAOUIAT AHANSAL 180kms

Late morning departure to allow time to walk to the bottom of the falls. Passing the man-made lake of Bin el Ouidane we travel on through Africa’s first GeoPark, a UNESCO Heritage site at M’Goun, winding our way upwards on pleasant gravel tracks.  Spectacular views across the valleys, and major drop-offs, so careful!!!
Overlooked by the impressive Imsfrane Cathedral Rock at 1872 meters, a structure similar to that of a medieval church, the area is distinguished by its Aleppo Pine forests, the contrast of colours – brown rocks, red earth and green pines, and its river valleys.

Day 4

ZAOUIAT AHANSAL TO DADES GORGE 180kms

Today we take you through what is perhaps the most beautiful valley in the High Atlas – Happy Valley. Surrounded by an arena of stunning mountain peaks, you’ll meander through the many picturesque villages built of red soil, hidden away in green valleys and wild landscapes, some forgotten or at least never found, as they are not a part of any normal tourist route. In Springtime the valleys turn a wonderful selection of pink and white as almond, cherry and apple blossom take over. You’ll see nomads tending their livestock, and countless carts transporting goods and locals around the area.
We leave Happy Valley traversing three mountain passes – highest at 3005 meters. Now we are down in the Dades River Valley area. A unique kasbah for our stopover tonight, set in a palm grove and serving delicious food.

Day 5

DADES GORGE TO N’KOB 150kms

After a good breakfast we drive up the famous switchbacks of Dades Valley and through the narrow Dades Gorge. Back down and then heading further south, we cross the wonderful lunatic landscapes of the Jebel Saghro Mountain range over the Tizi n Tazagert pass to the edge of the desert at N’Kob. A small “dry” (no alcohol) country town with a varied selection of beautiful old kasbahs (castles), many in different stages of collapse. We experience staying in a converted +200 year old one tonight.

Day 6

N’KOB TO AIT BEN HADDOU 150kms

Turning back north we traverse another area of the spectacular Jebel Saghro nicknamed Monument Valley for its impressive rock formations. After lunch in a 400-year-old kasbah we pass through the film mecca of Morocco, Ouarzazate, and on to Ait BenHaddou, another UNESCO Heritage site and in days past one of the stopping places for the vast camel trains bringing spices and slaves north. Experience another beautiful converted kasbah

Day 7

AIT BEN HADDOU TO MARRAKECH 190kms

Staying on the backroads we journey along the twisting roads of the Telouet valleys before joining the main arterial road from Marrakech to the desert. We cross the High Atlas over the Tizi n Tichka pass at 2205 meters and then turn off onto the quieter backroads south of Marrakech, through olive groves, palmeries and across dry riverbeds back to our hotel. 

Day 8

Departure day

Your departure. After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport at a time to connect with your flight.

We hope you have enjoyed exploring this part of The Kingdom with us and will be back on another adventure with us sometime in the future.

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