EXPERIENCE THE WONDERFUL THINGS MOROCCO CAN OFFER 3500 KILOMETRES IN 17 DAYS.
Growing in popularity each year, this is our latest road tour (except for the inevitable short deviations "offroad", due to road works) around this friendly, colourful country. On your bikes you will be amazed by the spectacular scenery, while in the bazaars and souks you will enjoy the hustle and bustle, the multitude of colours and your senses will be awakened by the smells of incense and countless fresh spices.
With over 20 years of operating across Morocco we consider ourselves experts on this Kingdom and know the best riding roads and the places to visit and stay in.
ON ROAD: 4kms
On arrival at Malaga International airport you will be met by the taxi representative and driven to our hotel just 5 minutes away. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea this 4* hotel offers an 18 hole golf course if you want a game, as well as spa facilities. Or why not hang out with the predominantly German tourists on the nudist beach close by!
Later in the afternoon you will be transferred to the BMW supplier’s depot where handover will be done and then we will all meet up back in the hotel’s bar for a pre-dinner drink to get to know each other and have a general briefing about what our adventure entails.
ON ROAD: 271kms
An early start today as we have the ferry and Moroccan customs to get through before we can start our bike adventure on Moroccan soil. After breakfast, we load all the luggage into the assistance vehicle and then gather round the bikes for the final quick briefing about today’s riding and then we’re off, destination the little blue town of Chefchaouen (also called Chaouen) set in the Rif Mountain area of NW Morocco.
Heading south it is about 160kms mainly on motorway to the small port of Tarifa, (Spain’s centre for water sports) enabling you all to get accustomed to your bikes. On a clear day, you will be able to see the North African coastline with no difficulty. A 45-minute fast ferry journey and we berth in Tangier Port. As soon as we are on board we will get our passports stamped by the on-board Moroccan customs service. In the last 15 years Tangiers, has been improved vastly and the bike paperwork shouldn’t take us long, though those visiting Morocco for the first time will need to make a trip to the upstairs office.
Moroccan roads are generally in surprisingly good condition but with the occasional 'surprise' waiting to catch you out so remain alert at all times. The BMW GS series of motorbikes were made for Moroccan roads. Once out of the city we head south east towards the large white city of Tetouan and on to our destination for this evening in the small town of Chefchaouen. The entire old town is painted in blues, terracotta and white and it’s well worth a walk around to discover all the narrow little streets in the medina.
We park up the vehicles in a local square where a guardian will look after them and walk about 5 minutes through an old square to our accommodation. We are staying in a typical local old house (Riad) converted into an attractive hotel. Free time to wander for photos and then dinner at the hotel.
ON ROAD: 260kms
People are always surprised at how green and fertile the northern part of Morocco is. Our first full days’ ride is a very pleasant meander through the Moroccan countryside. At this time of year the almond trees have just started blooming as well as the many wild peach trees. We will stop to visit the well-preserved area of Roman ruins at Volubilis, the most important archaeological site in Morocco, and protected by UNESCO. Well worth taking a guide to explain the various different areas of this ancient empire, the site was first settled and began to prosper in the 3rd century BC. We will eat a quick lunch here.
Continuing our journey south east the final 75kms on country roads to our destination - the Imperial City of Fes. Our 4* hotel is set on a hill overlooking the medina. Fes, which is known as the Mecca of the west, is a UNESCO World heritage site and the cultural and spiritual centre of Morocco. Over 4000 families totaling more than a million people live in the medina which is home to the oldest Madrassa (learning centre/university) in the world.
ON ROAD: 470kms
Continuing south from Fes we spend the morning winding our way through the Middle Atlas Mountains. A country road which takes us through the National Park of Ifrane and on through the unusual university town of Ifrane.
Ifrane is a real oddity in Morocco as it has been modelled on a Swiss town and looks very out of place in this North African country. Well-known for its A-line roofed houses it is a popular place for the wealthier city dwellers to come and get cool in their summers, or in winter spend weekends skiing at the resort – one of just three in Morocco - the other two being at Mischliffen and Oukmaimeden.
We carry on, winding through the beautiful cedar forests which this area is known for, where barbery apes can be seen, until we get to the town of Midelt which is one of the main towns in this region and is the apple growing centre of Morocco.
About 70kms on and we enter the spectacular area of the Gorges de Ziz following the Ziz river as it winds its way through the Eastern foothills of the High Atlas on its way to the desert. At the southern point the large dam Hassan Addakil was built by the previous king to supply the town of ErRachidia with unlimited water.
Unfortunately, as a result, the once fertile land and the people further south have suffered due to water shortages and droughts. Er Rachidia has recently seen a lot of investment and improvements being made to it as it has become the head of the region.
We continue to the desert town of Erfoud where we turn onto the original old road, recently repaved, which leads out to the dune area of Erg Chebbi (at 184mtrs these are the highest dunes in Morocco) in Merzouga.
Our 4* hotel is an unusually decorated Kasbah style construction set in the desert with views out over the spectacular Cathedral dunes of Erg Chebbi. Spa facilities
A lazy day to have a spa treatment; or be really energetic and walk to the top of the high dune. Camel riding and quad bikes are available to hire.
If anyone wants to try out off-road biking in the sand and dunes with tuition and guidance then we will have a few KTMs on hand for this.
Afternoon for relaxing by the pool and/or having another attempt at conquering the dunes.
Walk to the top of the dunes to see a real African sunset before a well earned buffet dinner.
ON ROAD: 279kms
After breakfast we set off in a westerly direction through the small town of M’sisi to Alnif where we refuel and stop for a drink, then turn northwards and head for one of Morocco’s premiere tourist attractions – The Todra Gorge.
The 14km of winding road into the gorge from the town of Tinghir takes us through many small villages, with several panoramic view points where you can stop to take photos and admire all the cultivation in the palmeraie (Oasis) below. The Palmeraie stretches some 20km from Tinghir to the gorge.
The road narrows until, crossing the river we enter the mouth of the gorge itself. Just before entering the gorge we will park up at a small cafe and have a snack lunch.
The Todra river which runs through this geological fault has formed 300m (985ft) high walls while being only 40m wide at its base and is one of the top rock climbing destinations of the world.
Leaving, we wind our way back down to the town and then a further 50kms will get us to this night’s accommodation in the town of Dades.
Tonight we will stay in a very special 4* hotel.
It has a rooftop pool with a heated jacuzzi incorporated in it; spa facilities and massages can also be arranged! Wonderful buffets to choose from for both dinner and tomorrows breakfast.
ON ROAD: 270 kms
After our plentiful buffet breakfast, we refuel and then set off the 60kms up the spectacular Dades Gorge to the end of the asphalt at Msemrir.
The road is a bikers dream winding backwards and forwards on itself. At the top there is a great viewpoint for photographs. It could be souk day in Msemrir, and if so this will give you a great insight into how things we would discard in Europe are recycled and made use of in Morocco. We once saw a man with a stall selling old shoe soles with holes in them!
Winding our way back down again, initially we will follow the “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs” to Ouarzazarte. Many old kasbahs (fortified houses) in different states of repair can be seen on both sides of the route. One in particular well worth visiting and where we will stop for an excellent tagine lunch, is the Kasbah Ben Moro in the small town of Skoura. Totally renovated it is now a hotel but has maintained its old-world character.
On through Ouarzazate and turn north in the direction of Marrakech. About 35kms out of the city of Ouarzazate is the turning to the Ksar (fortified town)of Ait Ben Haddou, a well-known UNESCO World Heritage site and our destination for the night. Set on a hill overlooking the Ounila River it is full of kasbahs in various states of disrepair. 8 families still remain living in the town. You can park up the bikes and then walk across the bridge and wander around the old town to the top of the hill where there is a good photo point.
Our very attractive hotel is situated about 3kms beyond Ait Ben Haddou. Wonderful hammam and massages are available.
ON ROAD: 336 kms
After breakfast in this beautiful hotel we set off southwest for our next destination up in the mountains in the national park of Toubkal - the highest mountain in North Africa.
We will climb the impressive Tizi n Test pass stopping for some very scenic photos at the top and lunch in the Bellevue cafe. If we are lucky we can watch the paragliders launching off. This is a very winding road with some of the most spectacular scenery Morocco offers.
Our hotel for tonight is a pleasant privately owned one nestling amongst tall trees and gardens, with a view out over the lake of Ouirgane.
ON ROAD: 250 kms
beautiful biking route today along narrow country roads.
In the morning we are biking through rolling hills and valleys until we reach the town of Chichaouia where we stop and have lunch sitting outside a local restaurant.
In the afternoon we cross the flat farmland areas leading to the coast.
Our 4* hotel is right on the seafront. A large pleasant swimming pool set in a central courtyard surrounded by palm trees and shrubbery, and a spa where massages or a hammam can be arranged.
Dinner in their beach restaurant.
Breakfast and then free day to do whatever you want.
With its shining lime-washed white walls the lovely old fortified coastal town of Essaouira has become known as one of Morocco's most enchanting places to visit. The atmosphere is “laid back” and the shop owners are not pushy. There is lots to see and do – walk through the bustling medina with its many bazaars and souks; climb the old ramparts with their Spanish canons still in situ: visit the old port full of small blue sardine boats where they still make big wooden fishing boats; stroll along the 7kms of beautiful beach known for water sports; a horse or camel ride along the beach or quad ride out into the dunes are just a few.
Dinner back at the hotel in their beach restaurant.
ON ROAD: 200kms
Leaving the ocean after breakfast we take the main express highway to Chichaouia (keep to speed limits here as there is always at least one or two police radars and check points) where we stop to refuel and get a drink, and then carry on along the national route to Marrakech vying with the mad taxis and lorries. We will drive through the center of Marrakech where you need to watch out for the petit taxis and scooters. A lot of Insh’Allah (god willing) needed here!
Tonight is a 4* hotel located within walking distance of the medina. Refresh yourselves, get some lunch locally and go off into the souks and bazaars. Meet back in the hotel early evening and we’ll organise a caliche ride (horse and carriage) for everyone into the main square of Jemaa el Fna and evening is free time to roam, see the many sights and catch an evening meal on the square.
ON ROAD: 220 kms
Leaving the city the first 35kms we stay on the main road and then at Ait Ourir we turn in a north easterly direction and take to country roads. We are travelling in and out of the foothills of the Middle Atlas through grain and apple growing country. About 150kms from Marrakech we take a 16km diversion up to the Ouzoud Falls. Ouzoud means “the act of grinding grain” and at the top of the falls there are a dozen or so small mills still in use. At this time of year with the melting snow there should be a good curtain of water falling down the 110m drop. The waterfall is located at the southern end of a group of gorges formed by the El Abid River (Slaves river in Arabic)
Back down on the road a further 100kms and we reach one of many viewpoints looking down over the beautiful manmade lake of Bin El Ouidane.
Our 5* hotel is located right on the shores of the lake, with spectacular views of both the High and Middle Atlas. Treat yourself to a swim in the beautiful pool or a relaxing massage or a hammam before the excellent evening meal.
ON ROAD: 289kms
Leaving the hotel after breakfast the first 15kms we wind our way along the lakeside until we get to the village of Ouaouizerght where we refuel.
Then the rest of today’s roads are very scenic, and wind their way through little visited valleys and villages with almost no other vehicles to be seen. Spectacular scenery. We cross various small mountain ranges staying north of the High Atlas, traversing through the agricultural Middle Atlas, famous for being the apple growing center of Morocco, before reaching our 4* hotel in a quiet location near the country town of Azrou.
ON ROAD: 290 kms
Continuing our journey northwards through the beautiful cedar forests inhabited by barbary apes. Stop for a coffee in the unusual Alpine style town of Ifrane and then on to the large plateau areas of the Atlas. This is the time of year when blossoms and flowers are in bloom making a pretty backdrop to the mountains.
Last part of today’s drive on pleasant winding country roads. Fuel up before we turn off and climb up the hill to revisit the “Blue Town”. Park up in the square and go to our riad to freshen up, then time to wander the streets and bazaars and get lunch in a local café before returning to our pretty Riad hotel.
Dinner at the hotel.
ON ROAD: 113 kms
Our last day on Moroccan roads, we head north, destination Tangier.
A short day today so we can choose to either make a late morning start and spend some more time wandering the streets of this pretty town, or plan to arrive in good time in Tangiers and go and check out the beach and medina.
Pleasant winding roads through the countryside take us back the way we came 15 days ago. Wild peach blossoms and a colourful array of roadside flowers will be in full bloom. We will approach Tangiers from the east and we’ll have to work our way through a bit of city traffic before arriving at our hotel which is situated overlooking the beach.
Take a taxi and go and visit the medina which overlooks the port and the sea. There is a pretty main square where you can sit on a roof terrace and have a drink while watching the locals going about their daily business.
The hotel will serve us a good buffet dinner in the evening.
Over the past 10 years Tangiers has undergone an extensive improvement and clean up; the beach has been cleared of shacks etc and has now got a wide promenade along it’s full length; a pleasure-craft marina is being created and the port is now solely for tourist ferries from Tarifa. Several major underpasses have been built reducing the traffic congestion and expanses of green parks have improved many areas.
ON ROAD: 165km
Leaving our hotel, we drive along the seafront to the old port of Tangier.
Having had our passports and the bike paperwork stamped it’s just a 45mins crossing to Tarifa.
Tarifa dates back to Roman times and is now a small, bustling, coastal port. Being on the southern tip of Europe it is frequently very windy and is now a major water sports destination. As a result, it has quite a hippy feel to the town with its narrow streets, white walls and ramparts.
We leave Tarifa and wind our way up the hill passing the wind farms and continue past Algeciras on to La Linea, the border town with Gibraltar, where we will meet Adrian who has kindly arranged this unique experience with which to finish our adventure – biking to the top of “The Rock”.
On a clear day, the views from here across the Straits are stunning, and North Africa looks as though it is very close. We are treated to a complimentary drink at the top then make our way back down and go for lunch in the town. Then the final 140kms back to the bike depot in Malaga, where the bikes are checked and you are then transferred to the hotel.
We meet up in the bar for a pre-dinner drink, and over dinner we are all discussing our experiences and thoughts about everything we’ve done and seen during the past two weeks.
ON ROAD: 0km
On this your final day of the tour breakfast is served as usual at the hotel, and depending on your travel arrangements you are then free to explore the local area more. Transfers to the airport on this day are included and will be arranged for you.
Installed on each bike with our daily routes in Tracks4Africa software
Assistance 4x4 vehicle equipped with satellite phone, first aid equipment, compressor, tools etc., carrying passenger luggage and pulling a trailer .
Staff have medical training.
A motorcycle guide plus support vehicle driver. Both have good local knowledge of the areas we visit.
Dune riding on KTM 450s in Merzouga.
Guided tour in Fes.
Caleche drive in Marrakech.
Ferry crossings from Tarifa (Spain) to Tanger (Morocco) and back.
Return airport transfers to and from Malaga airport to the tour hotel. (on arrival and departure days)
Normally not required but check our fact sheet for further info.
None obligatory. Check with your doctor.
Food & Drink
Lunches, drinks and snacks.
Free evening in Marrakech - meal not included.
All other optional activities on offer during the tour.
The excess damage deposit which is arranged directly with the supplier of the BMWs in Malaga.
For the GS1200s and the GS800s the deposit is a standard amount of 2000 euros, held against your credit card but not charged.