Skip to main content

Morocco Ride: Sustainable Adventuring

Revitalizing Communities Through Cycling Tourism

By Lahcen Errami

Editors note: This post originally appeared on Medium. We’re sharing it here with permission from the author, Lahcen Errami, who helps organize Climate Ride Morocco.

Nestled in the heart of Morocco lies an adventure waiting to be discovered. This journey beckons travelers to explore the rugged beauty of the Atlas Mountains and the timeless allure of the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. This extraordinary expedition was made possible by the collaborative efforts of Eat Sleep CycleMTB Morocco, and Climate Ride, weaving together a tapestry of experiences that not only left indelible marks on our souls but also breathed new life into the communities we encountered along the way.

Morocco is a land of contrasts, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern aspirations. Yet amidst its timeless landscapes and historic monuments lie communities striving to thrive in an ever-changing world. The tourism industry has long been a vital source of income for these communities, offering opportunities for economic growth and cultural exchange. However, in recent years, the rise of sustainable tourism initiatives has paved the way for a more equitable and environmentally conscious approach to travel.

Our journey through the Atlas Mountains and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs exemplifies the transformative power of sustainable adventure tourism. As we traversed the rugged terrain and immersed ourselves in the rich tapestry of Moroccan culture, we witnessed firsthand the positive impact our presence had on the local communities. From the bustling markets of Marrakech to the remote villages nestled high in the mountains, we found a warm welcome and genuine hospitality at every turn.

Our partnership with local guides and businesses provided us with unique insights into the region and directly contributed to these communities’ economic development. By supporting locally owned guesthouses, restaurants, and artisanal workshops, we helped to create sustainable livelihoods for the people who call these places home. Moreover, our commitment to responsible travel practices, such as minimizing waste and respecting local customs, ensured that our presence left behind only footprints of goodwill and appreciation.

But the most profound impact of our journey was the sense of connection and camaraderie that emerged among our group. As we cycled together through breathtaking landscapes and shared meals under the stars, we forged bonds that transcended language and cultural barriers. We became not just travelers passing through, but ambassadors of goodwill and sustainable tourism.

As we reflect on our unforgettable journey through the Atlas Mountains and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs, we are filled with a profound sense of gratitude and appreciation for the communities that welcomed us with open arms. As we look to the future, we are inspired to continue our efforts to support and uplift these communities, ensuring that future generations of travelers can experience the beauty and hospitality of Morocco for years to come.

We invite you to join us on this journey of discovery and transformation, to explore the wonders of Morocco and to be a part of a movement towards more sustainable and responsible tourism practices. Together, we can make a difference, one pedal stroke at a time.

Tizi N’Tichka Pass

Our odyssey began in the vibrant city of Marrakech, where we gathered as a group of adventurers eager to embrace the unknown. Our first challenge was the legendary Tizi N’Tichka pass, a winding road that cuts through the majestic Atlas Mountains. With each pedal stroke, we ascended to new heights, the air growing thinner as we pushed ourselves to the limit. But as we reached the summit, a sense of exhilaration swept over us, for beneath our feet lay a panorama of breathtaking beauty, the rugged peaks of the Atlas stretching out before us in all their glory.


Descending into the valley below, we found ourselves in the ancient town of Telouet, where time seemed to stand still amidst the crumbling ruins of old Kasbahs. We spent the night here, immersed in the rich history and culture of Morocco, our senses alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of this vibrant land.

Ait Benhaddou

As dawn broke, we continued our journey, following the winding road to Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its striking mud-brick architecture. Amidst the labyrinthine streets of the kasbah, we wandered in awe, captivated by the timeless beauty of this ancient fortress.


But our adventure was far from over, for we soon found ourselves venturing into the remote village of Aguem, nestled high in the mountains at an altitude of 2300 meters. Amidst the rugged terrain and breathtaking vistas, we discovered a way of life untouched by time, where tradition and modernity coexist in perfect harmony.

Nfiss Valley and Ijoukak

Pushing onward, we delved deeper into the heart of the Atlas Mountains, venturing into the Nfiss Valley and the village of Ijoukak, where we were greeted with warmth and hospitality by the local inhabitants. We found a sense of peace and tranquillity amidst the terraced fields and ancient olive groves, and it was a welcome respite from the rigors of our journey.

Imlil Valley

Our final ascent took us to the breathtaking Imlil Valley, where we stood in awe of the towering peaks that surrounded us, their snow-capped summits reaching towards the heavens. Our hard work on the climb was rewarded with the rugged beauty of the mountains and a moment of reflection above the chaos of the world below.


As we descended once more into the bustling city of Marrakech, our hearts were full, our spirits soaring with the knowledge that we had fulfilled a journey of a lifetime — one that not many will get to experience. Marrakech, with its vibrant souks, bustling medinas, and lively street performers, provided the perfect contrast to the serene beauty of the Atlas Mountains. Immersed in the hustle and bustle of city life, we reflected on the experiences we had shared together, the friendships we had forged, and the memories we would carry with us always.

In the Atlas Mountains and the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs, we discovered not only the beauty of nature, but the beauty of the human spirit, a testament to the power of resilience, community, and the enduring bonds that unite us all.