History, culture, adventure, gastronomy, relax & more, are all on offer during this epic tour - our 15 day Morocco motorcycling holiday in Africa.
Choose between this 15 day Morocco motorcycling holiday in Africa, or two other dual-sport adventures on GS that we offer.
Within moments of arrival the magic and mystery of Morocco will begin to weave its unique spell on you. On a recent model GS1250, your tour and adventure, starts in Marrakech.
You’ll get to enjoy the vibrant bustle of bazaars and souks, ride through cities of exquisitely decorated mosques and palaces, bargain with the locals and be wined and dined in some of the most characterful hotels in the country – this adventure will astound and bedazzle!
Travel through vast, jaw-dropping landscapes laden with snow-covered mountain peaks. You will also have 2 full days off to relax poolside or explore the two totally different environments we have chosen for you, – coast and desert, at your leisure.
Our accommodation ranges from a luxury camp out in the dunes of Erg Chebbi, exotic converted ancient castles (kasbahs), wonderful old Riad medina houses, to a night in the middle of an almost abandoned Berbere village under a million stars !
Itinerary for 15 day Morocco motorcycling holiday in Africa
Arrival, met and transferred to our hotel about 15 minutes outside Marrakech and where the bikes will be waiting for you. Our hotel is located in olive groves and has a very nice pool area. Bike handover followed by a transfer to the main square in Marrakech - Djemaa el Fna where all “the action” starts from around 19.30. We’ll grab our evening meal at one of the café/restaurants around the square.
Marrakech to Taroudant (approx 235kms)
After breakfast, having loaded our bags into the support truck and had the final briefing we set off southwards through the olive groves, until we start the ascent of the High Atlas. The road becomes narrower, winding it's way along the river gorge with many spectacular viewpoints, leading us upwards to cross over the Tizi n Test pass at 2093m. Here we will stop at a local cafe for refreshments. Frequently the summit is shrouded in mist but if lucky there are magnificent views towards the south. The road continues with sharp bends and many drop-offs into the valleys below. Reaching the floor of the fertile Souss valley the final 50kms is on a main road taking us past large plantations of fruits and vegetables to our destination. Taroudant is called the "Little Marrakech" because of her nearly 6kms of defensive walls with turrets making her look like a smaller version of "the Red City". A major market town for this area many local crafts such as jewelry and carpets can be bought. The town is unusual in that almost all of it is inside the walls unlike others which are not.
Taroudannt to Tizourghane. (approx 125kms)
After breakfast in the pleasant riad courtyard, a little more time can be spent visiting the medina if needed, then we set off for an area of Morocco that is full of cultural places to see and sights to visit. We will arrive early so you can have lunch at our guest house or go off investigating this very interesting area. We take smaller winding roads through the Souss agricultural area then into the Anti Atlas mountains to our destination - an ancient mainly uninhabited Berbere village or granary. Built in a circular format on top of a rocky outcrop for protection, overlooking the Jebel el Kest mountains, there were originally 25 houses, a mosque, an agadir and a prison. Jamal has transformed his old family house into a small eco-guesthouse and this will be our unusual stopping place for the night. Cosy and with all amenities his wife produces delicious local dishes to try. A true Moroccan experience and a definite must do. 80kms further south there is a beautiful gorge to go and visit, and in the surrounding area while riding through the interesting scenery, other uninhabited igoudar (plural of agadir) can be seen. Dinner back in our guesthouse restaurant and then we can sit out on the large terrace and enjoy our surroundings.
Tizourghane to Essaouira. (approx 310kms)
Breakfast and then we set off for the UNESCO protected seaport of Essaouira. Skirting around the city of Agadir we continue up the coastal route, on occasions turning off onto smaller roads to get even nearer the sea. All of this coastline is known for the wild seas and the ideal wind conditions for many types of watersports. 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 present day town, port and fortified ramparts now called Essaouira, were designed and built around 1760, by order of Mohammed II. Prior to this a settlement is known to have existed here as far back as 7th century BC. Our 4* hotel with spa, is right on the seafront. Dinner in their beach restaurant.
Our first day off is by the wild Atlantic coast.
A visit to the port is a must. In its busiest period in the 18th century it became known as the Port of Timbuctu as it received over 40% of the caravans from sub-Saharan Africa bringing goods destined for Europe. Here you can still see the centuries old production, by hand, of large wooden fishing trawlers still in action, as well as the impressive large fleet of blue boats used for catching sardines and smaller fish. Every morning there is a very lively fresh fish market on the quay and after watching this you can go and try some of them for lunch in one of the small kiosk cafes just nearby. The narrow bustling streets of the medina are home to hundreds of little bazaars and souks where you can buy Moroccan spices, leatherwear, mirrors and rugs etc, and bargain for all types of locally made things. There is a thriving production of Thuya wood objects – boxes, bowls, chairs, mirrors to name a few – found under the ramparts in the former munitions stores. We meet back at the hotel for dinner in their beach restaurant.
Essaouira to Bin el Ouidane. (approx 412kms)
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. 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! 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 reknown Ouzoud Falls with their 110m drop. We get our first view of this beautiful lake and wind on down to it. A further 15kms and we arrive at our small hotel right at the side of the lake. Watch the sun set over the water and then a pleasant evening meal followed by a drink in their cosy terrace.
Bin el Ouidane to Azrou. (approx 295kms)
Afetr breakfast we follow along the lakeside to our refuelling point. 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. Our privately owned and run 4* hotel is set in the forest near the country town of Azrou.
Azrou to Chefchaouen. (appox 305kms)
Leaving the hotel we will refuel our bikes and then continue our journey on smaller backroads taking us through the National Park of Ifrane and on through the unusual university town of Ifrane. Traversing the busy Imperial city of Meknes 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 go to a local cafe for a quick lunch. Leaving the ruins, we drive up through the small town of Moulay Idriss perched on a hill, where Islam first started in 789 and where the only circular minaret in Morocco can be found. At this point we will take the faster main road so that we can get to Chefchaouen early afternoon and have the rest of the day and evening to wander this beautiful blue town with its' narrow streets. Dinner in our Riad set in the medina. Try the Chicken Pastilla.
Chefchaouen to Fes. (approx 200kms)
Today the plan is to get to Fes as early as possible by travelling down the main highway all the way, so that we have maximum time to spend in this ancient medina. Our hotel is a beautiful old medina house ( "Riad" ) with a large central courtyard and a small pool. 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 (active learning centre/university) in the world. We will arrange for a guide to take us around the medina, to visit the rooftop tanneries, potteries, the king's palace and many other places. Then we'll wander through the souks and bazaars. Dinner back in our hotel.
Fes to Merzouga. (approx 476kms)
Our longest day’s drive. We depart from this Imperial City and travel south, destination the Sahara. The morning we spend winding our way through the Middle Atlas which is the main apple growing area 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. 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 205mtrs these are the highest dunes in Morocco) in Merzouga. Parking up our bikes in a hotel garage we transfer with our luggage to 4x4s and spend the next 30 minutes driving through the dunes to our luxury tented camp not far from the Algerian border, where we will stay for the next 2 nights. Met with a welcoming drink we are allocated our tents – all with showers en suite – and can then enjoy the ambiance until dinner followed by a large campfire and local musicians playing Berber Gnawa music.
Our second day off during this 15 day Morocco motorcycling holiday in Africa we have arranged a selection of activities and a chance to visit a local village and see the Berber culture at first hand. Then back for a late lunch to a desert inn and the afternoon to relax by the pool before returning to our camp to see another African sunset in the dunes followed by dinner.
Merzouga to Dades. (approx 335kms)
This first part of the journey we are riding through a rather desert like, dry area as this is the southernmost road before the desert starts. From N’Kob we turn north, and we are now on an excellent new biking road with sweeping bends travelling up through the beautiful Jebel Saghro Mountain range which takes us to the southern fringes of the High Atlas. We then start riding up another of nature’s amazing natural attractions - the Dades Gorge. You will simply fall in love with our unique accommodation tonight; a converted kasbah hidden in the gorge amongst the trees, with wonderful attention to detail and decoration. There is a swimming pool on a terrace below the kasbah. Dinner then relax.
Dades to Ait Ben Haddou. (approx 250kms)
After breakfast we continue on down the rest of the gorge until we meet the main road. We are now on “the route of 1000 Kasbahs”. So many to be seen in various states of repair as we drive along. On to the film capital of Ouarzazate. About 35kms beyond the city is the turning to the Ksar (fortified town) of Ait BenHaddou, a well-known UNESCO World Heritage site and renowned for being one of the stopping points for the camel trains bringing slaves from the south. This is also where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed. Built up a hillside overlooking the Ounila River hillside it has a striking view over many deep orange coloured dwellings known as Kasbahs, which resemble small castles. Our very attractive hotel, another kasbah but a newbuild with lots of charm, is situated about 3kms beyond Ait Ben Haddou. They have a spa and hammam.
Ait Ben Haddou to Marrakech. (approx 325kms)
Leaving our Kasbah after breakfast we turn right and take the newly paved road through Telouet, stopping to visit the now abandoned but very decorative palace of the Pasha of Marrakech. Backroads winding through the mountains and valleys with wonderful vistas over river gorges. A real off the beaten route through forgotten villages. We will cross over the spectacular Tizi n Test pass at 2093m on a narrow, winding road with sharp bends and many big drop-offs into the valleys below. Frequently the summit is shrouded in mist but if lucky there are magnificent views back towards the south. Lunch at a local café at the top of the pass. Continuing our ride over this mountain pass we descend on the northerly side following along the river gorge eventually arriving back at our peaceful starting point in the olive groves and the end of the riding during this 15 day Morocco motorcycling holiday in Africa. The bikes will be checked over while you are getting freshened up and then we'll all meet for a pre-dinner drink by the pool.
After breakfast by the pool if you are leaving today you will be transferred back to the airport.