See the Sahara under the stars
Our adventure starts in sunny Spain crossing down through National parks and the High Sierras staying in Burgos and Cuidad Real, once we reach the strait of Gibraltar we pile on the fast ferry over to Tangier the gateway between Europe and Africa. From Tangier we ride up into the mountains and gorges of the countryside that surrounds Chefchaouen. Known for its beautiful blue washed buildings and narrow little lanes glimpses of this town provide our first immersion into the Moroccan way of life.
Next on our adventure comes Fez, a true cultural hub full of vibrant colours and endless souks, you can’t help but get swept up in the sights and smells of the old world atmosphere that engulfs this famous city. After a day exploring Fez we ride on to the Middle Atlas Mountains and the breathtaking Gorges de Ziz with the magnificent river Ziz snaking its way down the gorge with us. Lonely Planet described this spot as ‘rich and untouristed’ and it’s not difficult to see why!
Ride through vast open plains, see the sunset in the Sahara and enjoy a real Moroccan adventure with us in October 2019.
See the Sahara under the stars
For the true adventurers at heart what could be better than a night camping under the stars in the desert? Sitting around the campfire in the dunes with delicious food and the company of your fellow riders lets you unleash your inner nomad. After a blissful night have a day off to play in the dunes and then get back on the bikes the following morning and ride through the Todra Gorge a series of limestone river canyons in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains. We then weave our way down through the spectacular Vallee du Dades, whose dried gorges carved out by the Dades River host hairpin after hairpin and breathtaking scenery to boot!
Staying in the Atlas Mountains we then ride one of the finest roads in Africa, the Tizi-n-Tichka pass. This gateway to the Sahara desert reaches an elevation of 2,260 metres making it the highest mountain pass in north Africa. The hairpins this pass is famous for are truly exhilarating and when we get to our stop for the evening it’s always the hot topic of conversation over a lamb tagine and some cool beers.
After all the excitement on the mountain passes we have a day off in another of Morocco’s beautiful cities- Marrakech, along with mosques, palaces and gardens to explore there are thriving souks selling textiles, pottery and jewellery to meander around. We then ride up the coast to the Moroccan capital of Rabat where we visit the King Mohammed Golden Mausoleum and from here we venture north making our way back to Tangier once more to get the ferry back to Spain. Several days of leisurely riding follows as we journey up through the country, before spending an afternoon in the Picos de Europa and then catching the overnight ferry home.
Riding to Morocco on your own motorcycle truly is an unforgettable experience. We have designed this to be 100% on road so it’s suitable for everything from Harleys to Bergmans and any bikes in between. This tour gives you the chance to meet amazing like-minded people, explore a magnificent culture, taste incredible food and most importantly ride some life-changing, mind-blowing roads.
Picos de Europa: Mountains in Northern Spain that provide a dramatic, beautiful combination of geological magnificence and lush green vegetation with roads to die for.
Mountain of Jebel Tisouka: At 2066m above sea level the mountain of Jebel Tisouka with its rugged scenery and well maintained winding roads promises to delight any rider.
Fez: A city of 70,000 people packed full of amazing food stands and technicolour market stalls is a fun day off the bikes to explore the culture of this country.
Sahara Desert overnight camping: Sleeping under the stars in the sand dunes of Morocco is a once in a lifetime experience, combine this with a camel ride through the Sahara desert and amazing food around the campfire with your new found friends and you've got a stand out feature of this tour.
Middle and High Atlas plateau: The Middle and High Atlas plateau boasts views that will blow you mind, combine that with the twisty roads and its a full on overload of exhilaration.
Todra Gorge: At 300 metres tall the awe inspiring Todra Gorge fault line split is a real sight to behold, you can’t help but feel small in its magnificent presence.
One of the finest mountain passes in Africa, the Tizi-n-Tichka: At 7,415 feet high the Tizi-n-Tichka is one of the most famous roads in the world, situated above the plains of Marrakech it serves as the gateway to the Sahara with breathtaking scenery and winding roads it’s not difficult to see why it’s so famous.
Imperial Rabat: Rabat - the royal capital of Morocco, a beautiful, calm haven by the sea sees us visiting the mausoleum of King Mohammed V one of the only places you can spot the Moroccan royal guards dressed in full regalia.
Starting in Plymouth we take the ferry to Santander, on board you can relax in the comfort of an ensuite cabin, have dinner and get to know your fellow riders.
Day 2 100 Miles
From Santander we cruise through the High Sierras to our first hotel stop near Burgos.
Day 3 290 Miles
Riding down through Spain we make our way to our hotel in Ciudad Real the capital of Castile–La Mancha.
Day 4 280 Miles
We continue down to the tip of Spain and overnight in Algeciras just north of the Strait of Gibraltar before our ferry across to Morocco.
Day 5 100 Miles
We take the Tarifa fast ferry to Tangier, make our way along the Mediterranean coast road and then climb over the mountain of Jebel Tisouka.
Day 6 123 Miles
Taking the road south to Ouazzane we visit the roman settlement of Volubilis and then onto our evening destination, Fez.
Day 7 Explore Day / Ride-out Day
Day off to tour around the city of Fez taking in some of the finest sights of the best preserved old city in the Arabic world.
Day 8 190 Miles
We climb up to the plateau of the Middle Atlas, and then cut over the High Atlas themselves, passing through the breath-taking Gorge de Ziz before arriving at Er-Rachidia.
Day 9 90 Miles
A short day down to the desert camp in Merzouga the most south eastern point on the tour.
Day 10 Explore Day
Rest day in the desert to recharge your batteries and awaken your inner Lawrence of Arabia, explore the dunes, take a camel ride or just embrace the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
Day 11 220 Miles
We visit Todra Gorges (the fault line between the High Atlas), Jebel Sahro and Ouarzazate before riding along the Valley du Dades and its snaking mountain passes.
Day 12 122 Miles
Today we ride the Tizi-n-Tichka to the city of Marrakesh.
Day 13 Explore Day
Day off in Marrakech, explore the sights, do some shopping in the Medina or just relax in one of the traditional Turkish baths dotted around the city.
Day 14 200 Miles
From Marrakesh we ride up the coast to the capital of Morocco, the Imperial Rabat, and visit the King Mohammed Golden Mausoleum.
Day 15 170 Miles
Travelling north once more along the Atlantic coast we ride all the way up to our entry point in Tangier for our final night in Morocco.
Day 16 225 Miles
We get up early and take the fast ferry back to Spain and then ride on to our overnight stop near the Cazalla de la Sierra national Park.
Day 17 320 Miles
We ride up northwards back past the spectacular scenery of the High Sierras, Guadalupe and more national parks before reaching our hotel near Salamanca.
Day 18 250 Miles
From Salamanca we drop into the Picos National park for a last bit of twisty fun before arriving in Santander to catch the overnight ferry to Plymouth.
Arrive in Plymouth and savour the memories of a trip of a lifetime!
Can I get a different crossing on this trip?
Of course, while the crossing from Plymouth allows you to go on the nicer, larger boat, leave on days that fit easier with this trip’s duration and arrive at a sensible time we know that Plymouth doesn't suit everyone. If you would like to make your own arrangements to get over to Spain and join up with the route at the hotel on the first night near Santander just let us know in the comments section of your booking form and we will deduct the cost of the included crossing from your booking.
What’s the weather like on this tour?
Not as hot as you may expect! Considering parts of the trip are in the desert we’ve picked the dates so that the weather should still be nice in Spain and on the few hot days riding down to the sahara and back temperatures will be in the late 20’s early 30’s so warm weather riding gear and drinking plenty of water is advised but fear not you won't absolutely bake.
Is riding in Morocco safe?
Morocco is a very friendly and safe country with a well established tourist infrastructure in most places. However you should be prepared for different standards of hygiene and behaviour in some places and certainly different standards of driving on the roads!. Do not be put off - we love this trip and it's perfectly suitable for novice tourers as much as seasoned riders and you can do it on any touring bike, but you need to remember this is Africa, not Europe and adjust your expectations (and your riding) as required.
Is there a support vehicle on this tour?
Yes we have a support vehicle that follows the trip in Morocco with tools, water and space for some luggage etc..
Will my Satnav cover the areas we go through on this tour?
Most Garmin and Tomtom devices have maps that cover the entirety of Western Europe. On this trip though you will need maps of Morocco as well. Check if your device has these and if not you can download easily before you go. We provide full instructions on setup in the tour packs and our guides are all Satnav Wizards!
Will I find this tour too tiring?
You shouldn't do no, we design all of our trips to be accessible to riders of all abilities and include plenty of days off the bike as part of this. These longer trips are no exception, we could easily make them 4 or 5 days shorter but we choose to add multiple rest days and avoid the motorways as much as possible so you can enjoy the ride and arrive at the hotels in the evening in good time to relax before dinner.
What about border crossings and insurance for areas outside the EU?
Third Party Insurance can be purchased at the border into Morocco very easily, indeed it is compulsory to have it to ride in the country. You may also be able to get a green card from your insurer before you go. We provide full details in the tour packs on all insurance options and a step by step guide to crossing the border, if you’re on a guided tour we’ll be there with you every step of the way too.