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Join this adventure of a lifetime, ride your own motorcycle to another continent, and explore the very best that Morocco has to offer. The tour kicks off from Plymouth with an overnight cruise to Santander and includes some of the best motorcycling roads in Morocco and Spain! Crossing many mountain ranges including the Cantabrian Mountains, Picos de Europa, Rif, Middle and High Atlas. Crossing the Atlas mountains, you'll follow some of the ancient trading routes towards the Sahara, exploring many interesting places along the way!
You will be accommodated for 16 nights at quality en-suite accommodation with breakfast, including overnight cruise return 2 nights at an en-suite cabin.
The Moroccan part of this adventure starts with a short ferry ride across the Gibraltar straits to Morocco and Africa, where you’ll spend nine unforgettable days exploring this magical land. Using roads and trails, first, go through the Rif Mountains to Chefchaouen the blue city and then on towards the old imperial city of Meknes. Heading south, you'll traverse the Middle Atlas mountains with its thousand-year-old cedar forest to the High Atlas and the gateway to the Sahara desert, where Berbers still live as nomads.
From the High Atlas, you go to Tinghir and the magnificent Todra and Dadès Gorges with canyons forged by a massive glacier. After spending a night in a Kasbah hotel, you'll continue the journey to Marrakech, the former capital famous for its squares, fortified Kasbah, and souks. From Marrakech, you'll follow the winding road south again over the Atlas Mountains and on towards the Anti-Atlas mountains following some of the ancient trading routes towards the edge of the Sahara. Explore many interesting places along the way! This tour also includes the Berber desert experience!
The Spanish part of this tour is not to be missed and plays an important part as you experience some of Spain's famous hospitality, weather, food, and culture visiting Segovia, Ronda, Granada, Cordoba, and Salamanca, plus not forgetting riding many of Spain's stunning roads!
The Moroccan mountains adventure tour includes as many highlights as possible including as follows:
At Plymouth, a member of Overland Motorcycle Tours' team will meet you at the port before boarding the ferry for your overnight cruise to northern Spain. Everyone is provided with a cabin. The Brittany Ferries ship has excellent facilities including bars and restaurants as well as evening entertainment! The crossing will take approximately 22 hours, so relax, enjoy the crossing, and get to know your fellow riders.
Upon arrival in Spain, you will start your journey south through the mountains towards the beautiful city of Segovia, home to a multitude of historic buildings both civil and religious, along with the amazing Roman aqueduct located in the plaza. In 1985, UNESCO declared the old city of Segovia and its aqueduct a World Heritage Site.
This is going to be a fairly long day as you continue south through Spain towards Madrid, Toledo, and the Sierra Magna, passing through the Cabañeros National Park along the way, before heading towards Cordoba, which was an important Roman city and a major Islamic center in the Middle Ages. It’s best known for the immense mosque dating from 784 AD, also with its many restaurants and taps bars, it's a great little city for a walk around in the evening.
From Cordoba, you'll head east through the dramatic landscape of the Andalusia, with its stunning scenery and twisty roads, before dropping down to the coast and into Algeciras, for your ferry crossing to Ceuta, Morocco. After crossing the Gibraltar straits to Morocco, it's on to border control, which is typical of Africa as it's slow and chaotic, but don't worry, it's all part of the adventure!
You've made it to Africa! You'll start by heading south along the coastal road, cutting across the Rif Mountains to Chefchaouen in time to have a bite to eat and a look around. Continuing your ride south through the Rif Mountains, stop at the Roman ruins of Volubilis, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Stop for the night in the city of Meknes, one of the four imperial cities of Morocco, it's named after a Berber. It's quieter and smaller than its grand neighbor Fez, but still has winding narrow medina streets and the grand buildings of an old imperial city, great for a walk around in the evening!
You'll continue south through the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas Mountains, following the route along the Todra and Dades rivers, which have carved out cliff-sided canyons through the mountain rock. The Todra Gorge has massive canyon walls reaching 500 feet high and in some places, just 33 feet wide. There is an optional unsealed road separating the Todra and Dades, or a tarmac road to follow. Stop for the night at Tinghir, set in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains.
From Tinghir, you'll set off for a spectacular day's riding to Marrakech, stopping at Aït Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous movie set (films such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Gladiator, and The Mummy were filmed here). After a look around, you'll wind your way over the Tizi n'Tichka pass, a mountain road that cuts through the High Atlas, one of the most spectacular rides in Morocco! The ride up this pass is not for the faint-hearted! With 500-meter high cliffs, you will need all your nerves and skills to negotiate it! At the summit, a height of nearly 2,260 meters, there are breathtaking views. Once past the summit, you'll continue through mountainous landscapes and gorges to Marrakech. The medina, souks, square, and the mosque in Marrakech are all well worth a visit. The medina is a great place to sit and watch people and in the evening, the square turns into a vast open-air street food venue. The sights, sounds, smells, and colors of this unique and fascinating city will overwhelm you.
After breakfast, you'll follow the old trading route up and over the Tizi-n-Test pass, stopping at the summit for a photo and coffee break. There are plenty of long and testing rides in Morocco, but this is one of the best roads to ride, built by the French in the nineteen twenties running up and over the High Atlas Mountains, it's labelled on maps as 'difficult or dangerous', which encourages people in search of a challenge. Later, you'll follow the winding road back down the other side, stopping for the night in Ouarzazate just south of the High Atlas Mountains, known as a gateway to the Sahara desert. With a city of palm trees, sandy streets and blocky, fort-like buildings, this is the Morocco as seen in a hundred movies.
Travel south towards the Sahara through vast landscapes as you head toward Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara and your base for the night, where you'll spend the night in a traditional Berber Kasbah with modern luxuries including a swimming pool.
You'll have the morning to yourself to have a swim, look around, relax, or take a trip into the dunes by quad bike or 4x4. In the evening, Overland Motorcycle Tours' Berber guides will meet you at the Kasbah for the desert experience! It is time to saddle up and head into the dunes on camel as the sun goes down, for a night under the stars in a Berber camp.
After a camel ride back through the dunes as the sun rises, you'll head towards Ifrane, Morocco's "Little Switzerland", crossing through the Middle Atlas Mountains, following the road through the ancient cedar forest. You stop for the night at Fez which was originally the capital city of Morocco until 1925. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the city is often known as the "Mecca of the West" or the "Athens of Africa". In the evening, you should have plenty of time to explore the old streets and medina before relaxing and enjoying your evening meal.
After breakfast, you'll once again have an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful Rif Mountains with a choice of stunning routes. Stop for lunch along the way before heading to your hotel and your last night on African soil.
This morning, you'll bid farewell to Africa and head to the port for the ferry crossing back to Spain. Heading north, your route takes you through the Andalusian mountains, which can only be described as pure biking heaven with fantastic combinations of hairpins, tight twisty sections, and flowing s-bends, as you travel up through to Ronda and on to Cordoba.
Have more biking heaven, with almost 230 miles of uninterrupted riding, as you cross the great plains of Spain passing through the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Later, arrive at Salamanca (another UNESCO world heritage site), a wonderful city that you can just wander around and enjoy. The city hall and Plaza Mayor are a must see!
Continue north past León and back into the Cantabrian mountains, then into the beautiful Pecos de Europa national park. The Pecos rise dramatically to a height of 2,600 meters, with hundreds of miles of stunning twisty mountain roads to explore. The route will take you past Lake Riana and along the "pots and pans route", an impressive road with every type of bend possible. The road first rises high up over the mountains, twists, and turns back down through a deep gorge, the scenery is simply awesome! Tonight, you'll be able to enjoy your last meal together and a few drinks as a group.
After breakfast, your route takes you along more stunning mountain roads as you make your way towards the coast, in time to catch your ferry home in the afternoon. Once on board, it's time to relax, have a beer, exchange details with new friends, and reminisce over the past two weeks.
This is your departure day. The motorcycle tour ends here.
Riding conditions in Morocco are exciting and challenging due to the varied terrain, dry atmospheric conditions, strong sunlight, livestock and people on the roads, high mountain passes, canyons, and desert plains. For this reason and given the daily mileage, you need to grade this tour as an adventure tour as it will be challenging. Motorcycle wise most bikes are suitable. If you are unsure just send Overland Motorcycle Tours an email.
You will have a Berber camp desert experience.
This tour will take place in Spain and Morocco, including Santander, Segovia, Córdoba, Algeciras, Ceuta, Salamanca, and Picos de Europa National Park, in Spain, and Meknes, Tinghir, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Merzouga, and Fez, in Morocco.
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