Cycling in Marrakech
Ride alongside ancient red clay palaces and huge minarets of old mosques, pass broad avenues with palm and olive trees, and wind your way through the small alleyways of souks in the old medina. What about gravel grinding? It's the latest rage and we reckon the outskirts of Marrakech are THE go-to destination for some of the world's best gravel opportunities.
Cycling in Marrakech provides a unique opportunity to experience the city as a local. Beyond the city, the surrounding landscapes of Morocco provide unsurpassed cycling experiences, by road, gravel and mountain bike.
The chaos of cycling the streets of Marrakech is part of the city's charm and perfectly juxtaposed with the serenity of the nearby Atlas Mountains and other riding experiences outside of the City. Don't let the chaos put you off - just be on guard, be aware of your surroundings and other traffic, and you will find it works. Better yet, cycling in Marrakech will take you to places unavailable by the city's other forms of transport - mopeds, motorcycles, buses, donkey carts, horse and carriages and more. While they're all frantically horn blowing and making wild arm gestures, you'll enjoy the relative peace of traveling by bike.
When leaving your bike in Marrakech, simply locking it to the nearest static object is not advised. Try to find a guard who is purpose-tasked with taking care of streetcars, bikes, and scooters for a small fee. You'll find the guard in a safety vest near a stand of bikes/scooters.
Marrakech is the first city in Africa with a bike share scheme, available for locals and visitors, and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - Medina Bike Marrakech. https://medinabike.ma/en/medina-bike
Beyond Marrakech itself, the nearby landscapes of Morocco provide unparalleled mountain biking and road riding experiences. The Atlas Mountains provide some great altitude training opportunities, and some great climbs for those looking for their next challenge. The 'Ouka Monster' 70k ascent on the outskirts of Marrakech is bound to get your heart rate pumping.
A full list of ride experiences, together with recommended places to stay, eat and have your bike fine-tuned, ready for the adventure, is detailed below.
When to go
The best times to visit Marrakech are from March to May or from September to November. These shoulder seasons are known for their desirable weather (with average daytime temps in the low 70s to low 90s) and affordable hotel rates.
With its location in the north-west of Morocco in Northern Africa, Marrakech has a very hot and dry climate that can get extremely hot in summer to some people. And there isn’t much rainfall throughout the year.
Be mindful of religious holidays, such as Ramadan and Christmas, as well as national holidays that follow the lunar calendar, which can affect everything from public transportation to attraction hours to room rates.
All the info
Where to ride
Where to stay
When it comes to accommodation in Morocco, not all places are equal; especially not for the savvy bike traveler.
We recommend the following lodgings for sightseer cyclists. These are accommodation providers who are bike friendly, and can help you out with some local knowledge.
For those traveling with their own bikes, the following lodgings are recommended. These places have secure bike lock-up, bike wash facilities, and will go out of their way to look after you and your bike.
Where to eat and drink
Ok, yes, we admit it. We love riding bikes in Morocco simply so we have an excuse to eat even more of the amazing Moroccan cuisine. With one of the best cuisines in the world, it's hard to go wrong, no matter where you choose. However, some recommendations to get you underway are: