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Combining a unique blend of culture and adventure, you will travel the lesser known back-roads of Morocco showing you the stunning scenery and sites on route, visit the two best known Imperial Cities - Marrakech “The Red City” and Fes “The Mecca of the West”, and take you to the fringes of the Sahara Desert. Travelling on our fleet of top-of-the-range BMW GS850s and GS1250s, the tour starts and ends in Marrakech, and you will stay in a selection of top quality hotels including some converted old kasbahs (local castles).
During this tour, you will stay in twin-share accommodation in three to five-star hotels and auberges. Moto Aventures uses a selection of accommodation, always the nicest available in the area you will be stopping. You will stay in three-star local auberges and inns, four-star hotels built in the old kasbah (castles) style, and on one night the accommodation is an actual 200-year-old original kasbah that has been totally renovated and conditioned to be a small hotel.
Arrival, meet, and be transferred to your hotel about 15 minutes outside Marrakech where the bikes will be waiting for you. Your hotel is located in olive groves and has a very nice pool area.
You will have the bike handover followed by a transfer to the main square in Marrakech - Jemaa el Fna where all “the action” starts from around 7:30 p.m. You'll grab our evening meal at one of the café / restaurants around the square.
Heading southeast, skirt around the "Red City" as Marrakech is called, and spend most of today on quieter country roads. Turn off for a diversion to go and visit the well known Cascades d’Ouzoud with their 200 meter plus vertical water drop you'll have a lunch stop.
Your accommodation tonight is located beside a large manmade lake high in the Atlas Mountains. You can watch the unset over the water and then have a pleasant evening meal followed by a drink in their cosy terrace.
Leaving the hotel after breakfast the first 15 kilometers (9 miles), you will wind your way along the lakeside until you get to the village of Ouaouizerght where you will refuel. Then the rest of today’s roads are very scenic, and wind their way over various small mountain ranges staying north of the High Atlas, traversing through the agricultural Middle Atlas.
Lunch stop en route. About 100 kilometers (62 miles) from your destination you will enter the beautiful cedar forests this area is known for. This is the area with the largest concentration of Atlas Cedar trees in the world. They can grow as high as 35 meters. Maybe you will get to see some barbary apes that are known to live here!
Your four-star hotel, destination for the night, is set in a quiet location on the outskirts of the town, surrounded by cedar forests. Dinner in the hotel and maybe a game of snooker in their friendly bar area afterwards.
Leaving the hotel you will refuel your bikes imperial cities and then continue your journey on smaller backroads taking you 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 modeled on a Swiss town and looks very out of place in this North African country. Quick stop for coffee or orange juice. 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.
Traversing the busy Imperial city of Meknes you 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 third century BC.
You will go to a local cafe for a quick lunch. Leaving the ruins, you will 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 is built.
At this point you 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 hotel set in the medina.
Try the chicken pastilla. Make sure to take a moment to climb to their roof terrace to listen to the last call to prayer and enjoy this unique view across the town’s rooftops.
Today the plan is to get to Fes as early as possible by travelling down the main highway all the way, so that you have maximum time to spend in this ancient medina. Your hotel is a beautiful old medina house ("riad") with a large central courtyard and a small pool.
On parking up in the carpark you will go to the hotel, change out of your biking gear, freshen up and set off to discover this amazing place. 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. There will be a guided tour to take around the medina, visit the imperial cities, potteries, and other places of interest, and then you can wander the souks and bazaars as well.
The guide will arrange to meet and bring you back if you decide to wander alone, though having an official guide to take you around is very time saving. Dinner back in the hotel.
Your longest day’s drive. You will depart from this imperial city and travel south, destination the Sahara. You will spend the morning winding your way through the Middle Atlas Mountains. Midelt is one of the main towns in this region and is one of the fruit growing areas, mainly apples, in the centre of Morocco.
About 70 kilometers (43 miles) on and you will 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.
Continue to the desert town of Erfoud where you will turn onto the original old road, recently repaved, which leads out to the dune area of Erg Chebbi (at 205 meters, these are the highest dunes in Morocco) in Merzouga. Moto Aventures have chosen a lovely local auberge for tonight's accommodation situated right at the base of the high dunes.
Relax round the pool, take a walk into the dunes, or maybe a camel ride. Dinner in the colourful dining room and then sit out around the pool having a drink, enjoying the silence and admiring the amazing variety of colours on the dunes as the sun sets, followed by millions of stars.
After a pleasant breakfast and maybe a quick dip in the pool, you will leave on the southern route passing through the desert town of Rissani. Cut northwards on a small road through the Jebel Mountain range and on to Tineghir where you will take a 14-kilometer detour to go and visit Todra Gorge with it’s 400-meter high cliff walls.
Lunch stop in a small local cafe at the entrance to the gorge. Once you arrive at Dades town you will turn north and start the drive up into the High Atlas and the famous Dades Gorge. A short drive and you will reach your night’s accommodation in a small kasbah which is hidden along a track road.
A conversion from an old castle the owner has managed to recreate a beautiful, quiet hotel amongst the trees, with some wonderful, really unique old style decor inside. There is a lovely pool on the lower terraces. Wander through the building before your evening meal and then relax.
After breakfast, you will set off 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 you would discard in Europe are recycled and made use of in Morocco. There was once a man with a stall selling old shoe soles with holes in them!
A quick coffee stop and then, winding your way back down again, initially you 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 you will stop for a refreshment, 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 35 kilometers (22 miles) 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 your destination for the night. A former stopping point for the camel trains bringing slaves and spices from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech, it is set on a hill overlooking the Ounila River and is full of kasbahs in various states of disrepair.
Eight families still remain living in the town. You will 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. Your very attractive hotel, another kasbah but a newbuild but with all the charm, is situated about three kilometers beyond Ait Ben Haddou. They have a spa and hammam.
Leaving your hotel. turn right and continue on the newly paved road through Telouet, stopping to visit the now abandoned, but highly decorated palace of the Pasha of Marrakech. A very pleasant section of winding country road brings us to the main artery road Marrakech to Ouarzazarte, which you will join for about ten kilometers before turning off towards the west.
A real off the beaten route through forgotten villages. Lunch stop en route.Backroads winding through the mountains and valleys with wonderful vistas over river gorges. Taroudannt is an old town being unusual because it is totally surrounded and protected by nearly six kilometers of wall.
Nicknamed the "Grandmother of Marrakech" because it looks similar to the Red City, but on a smaller scale. It is a thriving market town for the Souss area and is known particularly for it's jewelry and carpets. Time to visit the medina. We will be staying in a pretty riad accommodation situated right in the medina. Dinner back at the hotel.
A pleasant breakfast in the riad's little courtyard, and maybe even an early morning walk in the medina and then you are leaving this ancient fortified town and heading in a northerly direction. Today you will be crossing over the spectacular Tizi n Test pass at 2093 meters.
The road is narrow, winding with sharp bends and many 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 your ride over this mountain pass you descend on the northerly side following along the river gorge eventually arriving back at your peaceful starting point in the olive groves south of Marrakech. Bikes checked over and handed back. Dinner, and then sit by the pool and time to talk about everything you've seen and visited in the past nine days.
After breakfast by the pool, if you are leaving today you will be transferred back to the airport. Hope to see you again on another journey in the future.
Moto Aventures have included the special VIP insurance in your tour price, reducing your responsibility to just 1250 EUR.
Su has lived in Andorra for over 30 years and speaks English, Spanish, Catalan, and French fluently. She has considerable experience in tourism and PR, as well as having run her own estate agency and building company in Andorra before Moto Aventures began. Responsible for the admin and legal side of the company, finding and booking tour accommodation, etc., and generally making sure that all aspects of our tours run smoothly and efficiently. She organizes all the logistics and drives support for all BMW adventure biking tours, working in tandem with Rob.
The hotel where the tour starts and finishes is a small family-owned domaine set in lovely olive groves, just 15 minutes from Marrakech. Lovely swimming pool to dine by and pleasant place to relax before the start of your adventure.
The BMW motorbikes are based there and await your arrival!
Included in this tour are all breakfasts and evening meals.
Spa facilities are available at the following accommodations - Marrakech, Azrou, Fez, Ait Ben Haddou, and Taroudant. (optional and extra)
Marrakesh Menara Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK). Transfer from and to the airport is included in the price. Moto Aventures will pick up from the airport.
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