When to go

Consider the time of year carefully when you’re deciding where to cycle in Morocco.

Almond blossomsSpring is undoubtedly the best choice, combining mild but pleasant temperatures with the beauty of almond trees coming into bloom around Tafraoute and green grass that can extend even into the desert. In the southern half of Morocco, spring’s beauty can appear as early as February but cool weather can easily persist for a further month in the north.

Be careful in April if you plan to do a desert trek. This is traditionally the season of sandstorms, although if you’re not pressed for time being in a sandstorm (with a guide, of course) can be an experience in itself.

Autumn cycling in last rays of summer’s sunshine is also excellent, although you may have to wait until the later months of October and November before the temperatures around the desert become more civilised.

Clear blue winter skiesSnowbirds fleeing freezing countries will be pleased to hear that the south of Morocco offers a reliable winter refuge. It’s pleasant enough to cycle in a t-shirt and shorts most of the time, with the caveat that temperatures can dip below freezing in desert areas at night. Agadir is the best airport to fly into as you can then explore much of the coast and inland areas like Tata and Zagora without crossing any mountain passes. Coming from Marrakech or Fes, be aware the High Atlas passes can be closed for a day or two if there’s been a recent snowfall and you’ll have to pack a range of clothes to cope with the wide temperature variation.

The summer months of June, July and August are best avoided entirely, except for the hardiest of cyclists. If there is no other choice, stick to coastal regions where temperatures and a constant breeze will make things more bearable. Heat exhaustion will be a real risk and you take the normal precautions of starting early, avoiding midday cycling and drinking plenty of water.

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