Imperial Cities, Atlas Mountains and Sahara


Imperial Cities, Atlas Mountains and Sahara


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Imperial Cities, Atlas Mountains and Sahara

Fully paved tour suitable for any motorcycle, if you want to feed your wanderlust then look no further.

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19 Day Self-Guided Tour

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Fully paved tour suitable for any motorcycle, if you want to feed your wanderlust then look no further.
Ben Spear and Felix Billington.
Find out more about Magellan Guides
Morocco, a 19 day tour to challenge and delight even the most seasoned of riders. This incredible country with beautiful scenery, authentic food and friendly locals is the perfect place to get in touch with your inner adventurer. Ride camels and sleep under the stars in the desert, meander through souks dazzled by the colours and ride deserted roads in this vast, untamed
  • Self Guided Tour
  • 19 Days
  • 2700 miles
  • Plymouth, UK

Mar - Apr & Sep - Oct

Your adventure starts in sunny Spain crossing down through National parks and the High Sierras staying in Burgos and Cuidad Real, once you reach the strait of Gibraltar you pile on the fast ferry over to Tangier the gateway between Europe and Africa. From Tangier, you ride up into the mountains and gorges of the countryside that surrounds Chefchaouen. Known for its beautiful blue washed buildings and narrow little lanes this town provides your first immersion into the Moroccan way of life.

Next on your 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 you 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 you. Lonely Planet described this spot as ‘rich and untouristed’ and it’s not difficult to see why!

Gorgeous Gorges

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 lets you unleash your inner nomad. After a blissful night you 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. You then weave your 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 you 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.

Ride a camel out to your desert camp in the Sahara

Ride a camel out to your desert camp in the Sahara

Explore Fez and Marrakesh

After all the excitement on the mountain passes you 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. You then ride up the coast to the Moroccan capital of Rabat where you visit the King Mohammed Golden Mausoleum and from here you venture north making your way back to Tangier once more to get the ferry back to Spain.  Several days of leisurely riding follows as you 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.

Of all the motorcycle tours, in all the towns, in all the world…. You have to ride on ours!

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Tour highlights

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.

'Roll off the ferry from Spain for a tantalising taste of north Africa. Morocco is a fantastic winter escape for motorcyclists. The diversity of the landscape provides riding possibilities to suit all tastes.'
Colette Coleman, The Telegraph.

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 Bedouin 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.

Visit the Atlas Film Studios

99.7 % Overall
100 % Would recommend

Tour Map / Itinerary

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Starting in Plymouth, you take the ferry to Santander, on board you can relax in the comfort of an ensuite cabin.

Day 2 100 Miles

From Santander, you cruise through the High Sierras to your first hotel stop near Burgos.

Day 3 290 Miles

Riding down through Spain you make your way to your hotel in Ciudad Real the capital of Castile–La Mancha.

Day 4 280 Miles

You continue down to the tip of Spain and overnight in Algeciras just north of the Strait of Gibraltar before your ferry across to Morocco.

Day 5 100 Miles

You take the fast ferry from Algeciras to Tangier Med, make your 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 you visit the Roman settlement of Volubilis and then onto our evening destination, Fez.

Day 7 Explore Day

Day off to tour around the city of Fez taking in some of the finest sights of the best preserved old in the Arabic world.

Day 8 190 Miles

You 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 southeastern 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

You 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 you 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 you 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 you ride all the way up to our entry point in Tangier for our final night in Morocco.

Day 16 225 Miles

You 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

You ride up northwards back past the spectacular scenery of the High Sierras, Guadalupe and more national parks before reaching your hotel near Salamanca.

Day 18 250 Miles

From Salamanca you drop into the Picos National park for a last bit of twisty fun before arriving in Santander to catch the overnight ferry to Plymouth.

Day 19

Arrive in Plymouth and savour the memories of a trip of a lifetime!

What's included
Return ferries UK to Spain and Spain to Morocco.
18 Nights accommodation (including 2 on the ferry) in good quality hotels, riads, kasbahs and desert camps.
Excellent breakfast each morning in the hotels, riads and camps.
Full use of all hotels’ leisure facilities.
Detailed route plans and maps.
GPS coordinates (Garmin / Tom Tom).
Detailed daily itinerary including sights, suggested lunch stops and fuel locations.
What's not
Fuel (we will provide you with an estimate in the tour pack).
Toll charges.
Admission charges.
Occasional hotel parking charges.
Meals and drinks other than specified above.
Travel/Breakdown insurance covering repatriation back to the UK. For this tour we highly recommend Call Assist for breakdown cover, they are the only ones we know of that cover Morocco…

Common questions about this trip

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 best time of your to do this tour?

Ideally March and April or September and October, subject to the start and the end dates of the Brittany Ferries crossings timetable. Months in between are possible but not comfortable, it will be extraordinarily hot in June/July and August!

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 any touring bike, but you need to remember this is Africa, not Europe and adjust your expectations (and your riding) as required.

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 staff are all Satnav Wizards and happy to help you get setup before you leave!

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.

Is it possible to do this tour in less time?

Yes, for those with less time we now offer a shipping service so that you can ride whatever amount of the tour you have time for and then fly back while we sort having your bike collected and shipped back to your home address. Just drop us an email and we’ll price this option up for you.

More information
For general information on planning and preparing for motorcycle trips including what to pack please see our Prepare for your trip section.
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