Morocco - 2022

What did we do?

Day 1 - Aglou Plage
There are two roads to Aglou and we cycled the ancien route which is west to the main road. Just before Aglou Plage is the small port area and above it a small restaurant where fish are grilled on an open fire. The manager took me to his freezer to show the fresh caught fish from the day before, so we mostly chose fresh sardines washed down with milnt tea.
Below us was the small port and small wooden fishing boats, used to catch our dinner along with numerous houses pushed into the cliffs where fisherman still live of keep their gear.
Returning to the main road, we descend further into Aglou which is undergoing quite a lot of developement. There is a wide promenade at the sea front and 5 cafes (all owned by the same person) Most checked out the beach whilst I body surfed on this sandy beach.

Day 2 - Gourizm and Aglou
Heading to the south west of Tiznit this route took an inland route parallel to the coast along a good road.
The first part has a steep climb through switchbacks followed by 2 smaller climbs but it does afford good views all around. We stopped at the small town of Souk El Arba Du Sahal where there are shops and basic cafe, more mint tea and biscuits from the shop. We drew the usual help from the locals who enthusiastically practiced their English (most spoke French) whilst taking our orders. Heading towards the coast was mostly downhill as we descended to Gourizm. There is nothing at the coast when you arrive except a beach, before you head along the Atlantic Coast. This was a lovely ride with hills falling to the sea on the right and the site and sound of breakers on the left. This area of the coast is developing with blocks of housing heading towards the coast. It is worth looking at the small port on the left accessed by a track marked by 2 fishing boats by the road. The coast road finishes at Aglou, however we stopped at the pizza restaurant situated at Les Rochers Rouges. Multiple pizzas and juices consumed on a terrace overlooking the sea
Into Aglou where we skirted the northern edge before returning to Tiznit along the Ancien Route.

Day 3 - Mountains
Through the hussle and bussle of the centre of Tiznit, passing a large water feature, narrow streets and the phnetic heart of Tiznit. The route then took us out via the suburbs rather than the main road. Arriving at the main road we headed south with wide views all around. The road wasn't overly busy but after a while you head along a quieter road towards Bounnamane. This runs along a wide valley and although we were climbing it hardly feels like it.
Taking a break we diverted via the town (the route takes you that way) where there are shops and several cafes all serving tea and coffee. Few Westeners come this way.
Returning to the road the cycling became steeper passing water wells and cacti. Local ladies manually hawled water out, loading into containers to be carried back down the hil by donkeys. The top is close to a junction where we bore right, then suddenly an amazing view appears across the plain below; quite a sight. A switch-backed descent took us onto the plain before heading right and north again. Passing through El Had N'Belforne much of this village was closed, but there is a basic teashop on the right that was open. A few of us stopped tucking into more tea and long life cakes in bags and boxes strapped to the counter through which our tea was served. After this there was a long and quite steep climb, the hardest of the day. A swift descent that levels a bit for an extensive easy run towards Souk El Arba Du Sahel where we revisited the cafe and treated as long lost friends, before the final section back to Tiznit, roller coastering through the scenery. A final swift descent with expansive views towards Tiznit brought us back to the city and the Riad

Day 4 - Tiznit
Aby, our incredibly helpful host at the Riad, took us on a walking tour of Tiznit. The youngest walled city in Morocco, it has a very Moroccan vibe as few tourists come here. We explored the Kasbah, a local museum and ate lunch in the shade of a fig tree in a courtyard

Day 5 - Barrage Youssef Ben Tachfine and Massa
Starting from Tiznit, this route heads quickly out of the town to take the westerly road towards Tafroute. The road was reasonably flat with little to see. Heading north, the route gets a lot quieter as we headed through and past small villages finishing in a cafe at the far end of the small village of Arbaa Rasmouka. For one so remote this was the poshest so far, it even had glass doors.
Heading out, we followed the signs for La Barrage and there was a climb towards a right hand bend in the road where there is a wide pull of area for cars. Over the brow of the hill in this pull of is a purpose built viewing platform over the barrage and the expanse of water. Well I say a wide expanse as it looked pretty dry, indicative of the lack of rainfall in this area.
The route descended quite quickly, bearing left to pass across the dam. Lunch was under a shay tree at the side of the road after which we continued to the main N1. We were only on this for a few kilometres but the road was wide and traffic courteous.
Massa is quite big and there are various places to stop, but we were ready for a stop, so chose Café Restaurant Timitar which was the first one on the right as you descend into Massa. The more impoverished place over the road had a proprieter who had an issue with this imploring me to take the group to his place as it was cheaper and he needed the money even though we were seated and had ordered. Carrying on, we passed through the centre of Massa to pass a large area of green pasture, which is quite a difference to the majority of roads in Morocco, which are dry. It was quite a contrast, especially as the generally area used to be the bread basket of Morocco until things started to heat up.
The section to Anglou is a long uphill climb, not that steep but long. The road is pretty barren and you can't see the coast, the area is full of cactus, pretty maybe, but this was a dull section
Descending towards Aglou, we headed to the north crossing the Tiznit to Aglou road to take the Ancien Route back to Tiznit

Day 6 - Sidi Ifni
We transfered to Lakhsass where the ride started. The road has been recently tarmacced and is predominantly downhill, so the cycling was quick, the average was 17mph.
Passing through Tioughza, there are several small cafes (on the left in the centre) Continuing onwards the road continues to descend. There is though a sting in the tail to this ride as there is a gradual climb then a steep descent. To our left high above you can see another tarmacced road and it is up this road that you need to climb over to get to Sidi Ifni.
We'd started as 2 groups as the previous day had been quite hard. By the climb the first group had caught the second group dropped further along the road, so we were now all together.
Once over the climb there was a steep descent to the road that parallels the coast. However we chose to explore Sidi Ifni, so headed left along the wide dual carriageway which leads to a good view of the town and a descent over the roundabout. There are 3 choices here, right to the beach, left to a cheaper restaurant, or straight over to climb into the old town built by the Spanish. In the end we lunched at a restaurant and took a fascinating walking tour led by Aby arounfd the Spanish built centre where the Foreign Legion once roamed leaving some fine old buildings in their wake
The day finished at Plage de Lagzirai to the sound of the waves and the sight of the sea fog.

The Riad
We stayed in an extraordinary Riad, with a fantastic host and staff. Nothing was too much trouble. Breakfast was bread and patisseries, yoghurt, fresh orange juice and a selection of eggs. Dinners were varied and delicious and not too many tagines. We could relax by the pool, much the tangerines on the tree and drink tea in the evening, what a place

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Morocco - Riad delight (NW225)

8 - 15 October 2022

The exotic sights, tastes and smells of this North African country, less than four hours from the UK (though in the same time zone) make this a truly interesting country for cycle touring. Based at a Riad (guesthouse) within the old walls of Tiznit, we will explore the surrounding area and the fascinating city of Tiznit with a local guide. Within reach is glorious coastal scenery, desert and mountains that make up this fascinating country. The holiday includes breakfast, lunch and dinner with English spoken.

Number of days cycling: 5

Average daily distance: 69.0 km

Average daily ascent: 0 m




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Sat 8 Oct - Arrive in Tiznit

Morocco

Transfer from Agadir Al Massira Airport to Tiznit, duration approximately 90 minutes. Settle into the Riad.

  • No cycling
  • Accommodation: Riad
  • Meals: (D)

Sun 9 Oct

Barrage Sidi Youssef

Starting at the Riad we will explore beautiful landscapes, mountains and Berber villages heading towards the dam at Sidi Youssef. Ridden on tarmac roads it is predominantly downhill, with an optional transfer back to the Riad once we meet the main road

  • Cycling Distance: 50.0 km
  • Altitude Gain: 0 m
  • Accommodation: Riad
  • Meals: (B, D)

Mon 10 Oct

Guelmin

Inland through the mountains to Guelmin (the gate to the desert) through the Oasis of Asrir and Tighmert (museum visit and eco garden)

  • Cycling Distance: 80.0 km
  • Altitude Gain: 0 m
  • Accommodation: Riad
  • Meals: (B, D)

Tue 11 Oct

Beautiful coastal scenery

We start with a transfer to Sidi Ifni. We will then cycle the coastal highway passing the coastal resort of Mirleft. Beautiful sea views throughout the day

  • Cycling Distance: 75.0 km
  • Altitude Gain: 0 m
  • Accommodation: Riad
  • Meals: (B, D)

Wed 12 Oct

Tiznit

We will be taken around the historic city of Tiznit by our knowlegable local guide. Within a wall with five historic gates there is a Palace, Grand Mosque and of course a market that specialises in silver

  • No cycling
  • Accommodation: Riad
  • Meals: (B, D)

Thur 13 Oct

Amazigh Villages

We ride inland to the east to explore the villages and mountains

  • Cycling Distance: 80.0 km
  • Altitude Gain: 0 m
  • Accommodation: Riad
  • Meals: (B, D)

Fri 14 Oct

National Parc Souss Massa

From Tiznit, we cycle to Aglou, from where we can visit the Sidi R'Bat National Park on the coast with many bird species to be seen

  • Cycling Distance: 60.0 km
  • Altitude Gain: 0 m
  • Accommodation: Riad
  • Meals: (B, D)

Sat 15 Oct

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to return home

  • No cycling
  • Meals: (B)

8 - 15 October 2022

Cost


Land Only - £640

Payment Schedule


A deposit of £300 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £340 per person to be paid by 31st July 2021 (10 weeks before departure)

Price includes:
  • 7 nights in a Riad, on a shared room basis
  • Breakfast and Dinner, during our stay at the Riad
  • Services of an English speaking guide throughout the tour
  • Airport transfers to and from Agadir Al Massira Airport
  • Back up vehicle on cycling days and transfers if required to start and from the finish

Price does not include:
  • Travel to and from Agadir Al Massira Airport
  • Drinks with evening meals
  • Entry fees at any attractions
  • Any other personal expenses
  • Travel Insurance

Cancellations


Written Notice Received: Cancellation Charge:
Before 31st July 2020 £300 (deposit)
31 July through to departure £640.0

How to make a booking:


Contact the tour leader at neilwheadon1@gmail.com to request a booking form, then return this with the deposit

Riad Janoub is a cosy 8 bedroom Guesthouse set within the old walls of Tiznit, known as the Silver City, in the South of Morocco. It’s a haven of secret corners to hide away in. A small, luxury Riad offering you a Royal Breakfast as part of your stay with an option for lunch and dinner – we can give you that personal welcome and homely feel unlike a hotel. The build was inspired by traditional Andalusian and Moroccan style architecture. Riad Janoub invites you to take a step back in time yet still being able to enjoy the modern comforts and feel the grandeur and charm of this original style of accommodation. Language is not a problem – between us we speak Moroccan, Tachelhit, English, Dutch, French, Spanish, German and Hindi.

There are eight rooms. Six rooms have a double bed, Two rooms have 2 or 3 single beds. All guest rooms include an en-suite bathroom with a spacious hot water shower and toilet, complimentary toiletries, and hairdryer.

Breakfast is always included as part of your stay. Enjoy the daily freshly prepared breakfast with both Moroccan and European options offered. You can choose where to take your breakfast – either outside overlooking the swimming pool and enjoying the views of the Riad in the Moroccan morning sunshine, or perhaps you prefer to sit inside in the specially designed dining room.

The Riad can cater for vegetarians, gluten free and lactose free. The restaurant has a fusion cuisine of Moroccan and Indian flavours

We will have a local guide throughout our stay. Aby speaks fluent English and has a charming disposition.

The tour of the walled city of Tiznit takes about two and a half hours. We will explore this ancient walled city

This is a holiday designed to allow us to explore the area by bicycle utilizing a comfortable base. On each days cycling we will start at 0900 after breakfast. We will either cycle as a group or at your own pace and we will regroup every 16km or so to take on water or snacks that will be supplied. Most days will include something to see which will often be our lunchstop as well. Our return will follow the same formula and we will aim to arrive back at the Riad by 1630, though this may vary. I encourage people to stop and look because that's why we have come to Morocco, we don't cycle as a closely grouped bunch and as you will have GPX routes and route instructions, you are free to explore at your own pace, though I do encourage us all to meet up at periods during the day. This is not a race, it is an experience

The tour is on a land-only basis with tour participants arranging their own travel to Morocco. There are flights to Agadir with Easyjet from London Gatwick, and various flights to Marrakesh.

Transfer to and from Agadir airport are included in this holiday as are transfer of your bicycles. During the week, on two days there will be a need to transfer bikes to the start or from the finish and this is included. On some cycling days there will be a transfer, either to the start or from the finish. These will be kept to a minimum but they are there to avoid busy roads and to allow us to access beautiful sections of cycling

One rest day is dedicated to a tour if Tixnit. However if you would prefer to miss a day or two of cycling please feel free, it is after all a holiday

The tour will use tarmac roads, but there may be short sections of unmade roads. Quieter roads will be selected but there will be periods of busier roads

The maximum number of participants will be 15

October is autumn time in Morocco, and day time and night time temperatures can vary considerably, varying from 16 to 29 degrees. During the day it should be warm and sunny, although there is always a chance of showers, and it is advisable to carry a lightweight waterproof jacket. Using sunscreen is strongly recommended. When the sun goes down it can be quite chilly, especially in the mountains, and a jumper or fleece may be necessary in the evenings.

A touring bike is the most suitable, with a low bottom gear (eg the small chainring in the front being the same size as or smaller than the largest cog in the rear). Because of the variable road surfaces, tyres should be at least 32mm (1.25 inches), though due to the hilly terrain knobbly tyres might not be the best. There can be quite a lot of broken glass on the roads, so puncture resistant tyres are recommended. Make sure your bike is in good working order, especially the brakes. It is advisable to fit a calibrated cycle computer; the route sheets are set out in kilometers. Each participant will be expected to bring/carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.

Maps, route sheets and GPX tracks will be provided. There are many guidebooks to Morocco

UK citizens must hold a passport that is still valid for at least six months at the end of the tour. Holders of non-UK passports are advised to check whether they require a visa. There are no compulsory health-related requirements for UK residents although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and tetanus protection has not expired. You should contact your doctor at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain these vaccinations and the latest advice for travellers. Please refer to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco