UK to Morocco in Autumn

2021 DATES

This is a 21 day tour starting from the UK, with a full 15 days in Morocco.

Our incredible route takes you to the Sahara, high into the Atlas Mountains, with the famous Todra & Dades Gorges and the Tizi nTest and Tizi nTichka Passes, the magnificent Atlantic Coast, as far south as the walled Berber town of Taroudant, as well as the vibrant, colourful medieval cities of Marrakech, Fes and the ancient Ait Ben Haddou, backdrop for many a Hollywood movie!

This tour benefits from a support vehicle and driver when we are in Morocco.  If you don’t have 21 days holiday,  you can join us for 15 days on just the Morocco section of this tour.

At a glance

21

Duration (days)

3060

Miles Covered

Moderate

Riding difficulty

2%

Unpaved Roads

Medium

Culture Shock

At a glance

Duration (days): 21
Miles Covered: 3060
Riding difficulty: Moderate
Unpaved Roads: 2%
Culture Shock: Medium

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.

DateRider
Shared Room
Single SupplementPassenger
Shared Room
Bike Rental
Sep 29 – Oct 19, 2021£3,695£940£2,295

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.
Date:Sep 29 – Oct 19, 2021
Rider Shared Room: £3,695
Single Supplement:£940
Passenger Shared Room:£2,295
Bike Rental:
  • This tour starts and ends in Portsmouth, UK and includes your return travel on Brittany Ferries and three night stops in Spain on the way to and from Morocco.

    • Ruta del Plata to Andalucia, and the superbly twisty Ronda Road
    • Explore the Roman Ruins at Volubilis. It is a must-see World Heritage site and dates from 3,000 BC, as well as being the most westerly Roman City in Africa
    • Ifrane National Park – surprisingly green and cool, with dense cedar forest, lakes and old volcanic landscapes.
    • The Sahara Desert – Merzouga, a traditional kasbah. In the evening we will head out into the sand dunes and experience a traditional Moroccan feast of roasted lamb
    • Explore the rugged switchbacks and hairpin bends of the Dades and Todra Gorges.
    • The fortress (“ksar”) of Ait Ben Haddou. A UNESCO Listed monument, everyone is sure to recognise this landmark from famous films such as “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Gladiator”.
    • Two nights in Marrakesh, explore the medina & Djemaa El Fna for crowded souqs, sheep carcasses, snail vendors, soothsayers, acrobats, conjurers, musicians, snake charmers and more!
    • The magnificent Atlantic Coast route, via the old port of Essaouira (World Heritage Listed).
    • Morocco’s most spectacular roads through the High Atlas and ride the Tizi n’Test Pass at 2,092m.
    • Toubkal National Park and the Tizi n’Tichka Pass at 2,260m
    • The Cascades D’Ouzoud are Morocco’s most majestic waterfalls in the Berber village of Ouzoud
    • Two nights in Fes, home to the oldest university in the world, and Morocco’s cultural and spiritual centre.
    • Backs roads to Zafra “Little Seville” and awesome views riding Los Picos de Europa

    ROUTE

    This map is provided for illustrative purposes only.

  • This is a 21 day itinerary, covering 3,060 miles.  It starts and ends in Portsmouth, UK.

    Day 1: Portsmouth
    Scheduled departure on the 12:00 midday overnight Brittany Ferries to Bilbao.

    Day 2: Bilbao – Tordesillas. (204 miles)
    Scheduled arrival at 12:45 pm in Bilbao.  Afternoon ride south to the Parador in Tordesillas, a traditional Castilian manor house

    Day 3: Tordesillas – Llerena. (285 miles)
    A longer riding day on the Ruta de Plata, an ancient trade and pilgramage route to the edge of the Sierra Norte and ready for the mountains tomorrow!

    Day 4: Llerena – Benahavis. (185 miles).
    Ride across the mountains, super twisty roads -THAT famous Ronda road! – before dropping to the coast. Group Evening Dinner.

    Day 5: Benahavis – Chefchaouen. (140 miles)
    Catch the Algeciras – Tangier ferry and head into the Atlas Mountains to the narrow alleys and blue buildings of Chefchaouen.

    Day 6: Chefchaouen – Azrou. (167 miles)
    Our route takes us via the Roman ruins of Volubilis and onto the Ifrane National Park, with its pine forests and cool temperatures and Alpine like villages. Group Evening Dinner.

    Day 7: Azrou – Merzouga. (244 miles)
    We descend to the Sahara Desert and a two night stopover in a traditional kasbah. One Group Evening dinner in the Sahara, including camel ride into the desert, traditional music & 4×4 jeep return to the kasbah.

    Day 8: Merzouga.
    Day off to enjoy activities in the Sahara Desert (camel rides, 4×4 jeep tours etc) or just relax by the pool.

    Day 9: Merzouga – Boumalne Dades. (200 miles/ 255 miles).
    A spectacular route via the Todra and Dades Gorges. If you don’t want to do the Gorges loop, then head straight to the hotel, which is in the Dades Gorge (paved road section) for a shorter days ride. Group Evening Dinner.

    Day 10: Boumalne Dades – Marrakesh. (198 miles)
    We head to the imperial city of Marrakesh via the ancient fortress of Ait Ben Haddou and then superb twisties on the Tizi n’Tichka Pass.

    Day 11: Marrakesh.
    Day off to enjoy the vibrant markets and narrow alleys of the medina in this medieval imperial city.

    Day 12: Essaouira. (100 miles)
    This is a half day ride to have the afternoon in Essaouira and explore this UNESCO listed late 18th century fortified port town, with its walls.  Try the fresh fish dinners in the old port area – simply delicious!

    Day 13: Essaouria – Taroudant. (166 miles)
    Track south down the Atlantic Coast, before heading inland to Taroudant. Group Evening Dinner.

    Day 14: Taroundant – Cascades D’Ouzoud. (234 miles)
    Today we ride the Tizi n’Test Pass at 2092m, before ending the day by the D’Ouzoud waterfalls, the highest in Morocco, in an old riad. Group Evening Dinner.

    Day 15: Cascades D’Ouzoud – Fes. (238 miles)
    Descend from the mountains to Fes, one-time home of the Moroccan sultanate, many winding narrow medina streets and grand buildings.

    Day 16: Fes.
    Day off to explore Fes.

    Day 17: Fes – Tangier – Benahavis. (261 miles)
    Final days ride to the port town of Tangier, catch the ferry back to Spain.  Group Evening Dinner. (Riders with hire bikes will drop them off today)

    Day 18: Benahavis – Zafra. (240 miles)
    Back on those fantastic bends across the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema, looping Seville and around the Aracena Reservoir to Zafra.

    Day 19:  Zafra – Zamora (272 miles)
    Using the main roads to push to Caceres, before heading through the Parque Natural de Las Batuecas and rural roads onto Zamora.

    Day 20: Zamora – Santander. (154 miles)
    Fantastic riding on the edge and into Parque Nacional de Los Picos de Europa. Overnight ferry has scheduled departure of 15:45 for the overnight ferry from Santander to Portsmouth.

    Day 21:  Portsmouth, UK
    Scheduled arrival into Portsmouth is at 14:45.

  • Hotels

    We use good standard 4* hotel accommodation in Spain.  When in Morocco, we select hotels for their character, rather than just on their star rating.  We find most riders prefer the experience of staying in a converted kasbah, or a family run independent hotel rather than modern chain hotels.

    Having said that we have some superb Moroccan hotels on this tour, such as the 5* Jardins de La Koutubia in Marrakech, the 5* Les Merinides in Fes and the 4 * MGallery Le Medina in Essaouira.

    In some more remote locations, we may use equivalent 3* hotels or the best in area, which will normally be an independent hotel reflecting the local character, such as refurbished kasbah or a beautiful quirky riad!

    All hotels we use have en suite bathrooms and most have television and wifi, although don’t expect a super fast connection when we are staying in more remote locations!

    Please be aware that Moroccan hotels are generally lower in standard than the same rating in equivalent European hotels, unless you are in a well trodden tourist area, such as Marrakesh.

     Ferry

    Please note that riders booking a single room, this applies to the hotel accommodation only.  Your price still includes a shared cabin on the ferry.  If you want to upgrade this to a single cabin you can do so, as an extra when you book the tour, at a cost of £180.

  • You have the benefit of booking your motorcycle tour with a tour operator with Financial Payment Protection Insurance with Towergate Travel and your money paid to us in advance is protected in accordance with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.  You may wish to know that during the COVID-19 crisis, we gave a cash refund to all customers for all monies paid to us within 14 days as required by law.

    Before you go

    • The assurance of booking with a fully bonded and insured UK tour operator and knowing that your money paid in advance is protected.
    • Access to the GlobeBusters Team for one to one meeting about preparing for the tour and what to expect.
    • Motorcycle Tour Travel Pack, including Tour Specific Guidance Handbook
    • Daily hard copy route notes with GPS co-ordinates and information about the hotels, the roads and the sights
    • Loan SD Card with open source GPS mapping for the region, suitable for Garmin units.

    En Route

    • Return overnight Portsmouth (UK) – Bilbao/Santander (Spain) ferry crossing for you (sharing a twin berth outside cabin) and your motorcycle.  If you wish to have a Single Cabin, please select Upgrade option when booking.
    • Algeciras (Spain) to Tanger-Med (Morocco) return ferry crossing for you and your motorcycle.
    • Hotel bed and breakfast accommodation on a shared basis (unless Single Room booked).
    • Standard of accommodation is 4 nights in 5* hotels, majority 4 *, some 3* or best in area.
    • Eight evening meals, including your Welcome & Farewell Meal and six evening meals in locations which are remote and you have no other choice of restaurants.
    • All local overnight hotel parking charges.

    Support Crew

    • Motorcycle Tour Manager to accompany the group.
    • Motorcycle Support Rider, where the group is more than 12 riders
    • Support Vehicle (in Morocco only), equipped with satellite phone, spare fuel, water, tools, selected spare parts and emergency first aid kit, acting as a sweeper vehicle
    • Support Driver (in Morocco only), with motorcycle mechanical experience
    • All Support Crew are hold ITC Outdoor First Aid qualifications

    Not Included

    • Any travel costs to get to the start and from the finish point for the tour.
    • Personal travel, accident and medical insurance (covering matters such as medical expenses, repatriation, cancellation, curtailment, loss or damage to property)
    • Motorcycle insurance cover, motorcycle breakdown cover or recovery costs
    • Entrance fees to sights and parks, optional local excursions or local activities, (except where stated)
    • Lunches, snacks or evening meals (except where stated). Any meals whilst on board ferries.
    • Personal spending money, tips, souvenirs or other extras.
    • Personal documentation (eg visas, passport), vaccinations, personal taxes, border crossing fees, motorcycle documentation
    • We do not supply riding gear; you must bring a minimum of your own helmet, jacket, trousers, boots and gloves.
    • Costs of motorcycle repair (parts, labour or other related costs), tyres
    • Fuel, oil & other motorcycle consumables
    • Toll road fees, traffic fines or other charges relating to breach of the law
    • Additional transportation of you or your motorcycle en route where you or your motorcycle cannot continue beyond the short and temporary assistance offered by GlobeBusters Support Vehicle.
    • Any other item not specifically included in the price.
    Please also refer to our Booking Conditions.
  • When you book a motorcycle tour with us, we provide you with a Tour Specific Guidance Handbook that gives you detailed information about how to prepare and plan your tour, and what to expect when the tour.  Here are some of the questions that we often get asked before a rider makes a booking.   If you wish to meet with us prior to booking to ask more questions, do not hesitate to contact us and we can set up a one-to-one meeting.

    What bike is suitable to bring?
    If you are bringing you own bike, we recommend an adventure style bike as the most suitable.  Typical bikes used are Triumph Tiger, BMW GS, Africa Twin, Yamaha Tenere etc.  However, as this is primarily a paved road tour, any robust road bike will also be suitable.  Just be aware that paved roads can be potholed with broken surfaces, so the higher clearance the better.  Having said that, we have had riders on Harleys successfully complete the trip, so it just depends on what you are comfortable riding and what compromises you are prepared to make.  What is important is that you have a reliable and robust bike that you are comfortable riding and that it has been properly prepared and fully serviced prior to the start and has new tyres.

    What riding experience do I need?
    This tour is normally best for riders who are already experienced tourers in Europe and are looking for that extra challenge of a varied and unpredictable road conditions and hazards, coupled with a different culture, foods and way of life.  On your ride you will encounter poor road surfaces (as well as excellent ones!).  The mountain roads can often have bends that may have broken or gravelly surfaces, potholes, diesel spills, as well as other road users who follow the local rules of the road.

    You will enjoy the experience more if your riding is of an advanced standard and by that we mean you have a good command of slow control (eg you don’t dangle your feet or paddle at slow speeds and can U-turn your bike), you are assertive on the road and have good forward planning and hazard perception, you are able to perform safe and precise overtakes and are able ride to the legal speed limits.

    There are some options to ride on dirt or gravel roads.  If you wish to do this, we recommend have experience of riding your motorcycle on the types of unpaved surfaces.   If you need to improve your off road riding skills, attending a training school such as Adventure Bike Training www.adventurebiketraining.co.uk, Triumph Adventure Experience https://www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/adventure-experience or BMW Off Road Skills is highly recommended.

    It is your responsibility to ensure your motorcycling skills are up to the requirements for this tour.

    Do I have to ride in a group?
    No!  We do not make you ride in convoy.  We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride.  We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates and hotel information.  You can use this to self-navigate.  If you prefer to ride with our Motorcycle Tour Manager, then you can do this.

    Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
    Yes. We have had other riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger.  Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer, used to long distance riding.  Your passenger must ride the motorcycle each touring day – there is no option to sit in the support vehicle as this is only for participants who are ill or injured, or unless the road conditions are too difficult for a rider and passenger to attempt two-up.

    What is the average group size?
    Our groups are normally between 10 – 16 riders (some riders will have passengers). Most riders are from the UK, but we do also have overseas riders who may take part.

    Is there a support vehicle?
    Yes, this tour operates with a support vehicle and driver (in Morocco only).   It is capable of carrying two motorcycles and two passengers.  Our support vehicles carry a satellite phone, mobile phone, medical bag and spinal board, spare fuel, water, tools, some spare parts, some spare tyres.  Our support vehicle provides temporary assistance to you if you have a mechanical problem or have had an accident and are injured or if you are ill.

    This is not a luggage vehicle – you must carry your own luggage on your motorcycle.  For more information, please see our Support Vehicle section.

    Is Morocco safe?
    The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) monitors overseas destinations and provides destination travel advice for UK nationals. GlobeBusters monitors the advice from the FCO and any decisions taken regarding a Tour’s safety and security will use the vast experience of the company’s 16 years of operating as well as the FCO advice. In the interests of your safety and security, changes may be made to your Tour based on any FCO warnings given.

    We strongly recommend that you read the information about Spain & Morocco – each country has a summary and general information as well as advice on safety & security, local laws & customs, entry requirements and health, and road conditions.

    There are currently warnings and travel restrictions in place about travel to the countries listed in the itinerary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We assume that by the time of travel these will have been withdrawn.

    What documents do I need?
    You will need your original documents* as follows:  Passport and Driving Licence.  Passengers only need their passport.  Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the tour.  Riders from outside the EU will need an International Driving Permit.

    If you are bringing your own motorcycle, you will also need your motorcycle registration document (V5 / log book) and your motorcycle insurance.  You will need a Green Card as proof of insurance in Morocco – please check with your UK insurer.  If your insurer will not issue this (some do not), then you can buy 3rd party insurance at Tangier-Med.

    In addition, you must have valid travel/medical insurance (See below).

    You should note that we need to request copies of the above documentation, which we have to send to suppliers who are outside the EU and who do not have the safeguards in place with regard to data protection as we have within the EU. These suppliers are for services such as motorcycle freight, hotels, customs clearance, ferry services.  Please refer to our Privacy Policy.

    *Depending on Brexit negotiations, document requirements for UK nationals may change and we will advise you of any other requirements once they are announced.

    Do I need visas for travel?
    UK / EU Citizens do not normally require visas in advance for travel.  Any other citizens should check with a specialist visa agency.  It is your responsibility to have the correct visas in place prior to travel, so please check what requirements are necessary for your nationality.

    http://www.thevisamachine.com/

    What about local currency?
    Local currency in Morocco is the Dirham.  The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is non-convertible. You can import or export up to a maximum of 2,000 MAD to or from Morocco.  Most major credit cards are accepted in the larger towns. ATMs are widely available in cities and most of the main towns.  The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.

    http://www.oanda.com/
    http://www.travelex.co.uk/

    What will the weather be like?
    May is normally a good time to travel in Morocco.  You miss the intense heat of the Sahara Desert, but riding in the Atlas Mountains should normally be dry and pleasant.  Having said that temperatures can still be up to 35C and sometimes there can be storms and flash floods in the desert.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather
    http://www.worldclimate.com/

    What about my health when I am abroad?
    You need to be physically fit and healthy and also take the necessary health precautions.  It is essential for you to consult your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date medical travel information prior of travel, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. For up-to-date medical advice you may wish to use the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad “MASTA”  https://www.masta-travel-health.com/, the NHS website  http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx  or NaTHNaC https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/.

    You will be obliged to disclose any medical condition or medication that you are taking to GlobeBusters in advance and to your Tour Manager at the start of your Tour, for health and safety purposes. We provide you with our Emergency Details Form for this purpose and to collect information about who to contact for you back home in the event of an emergency.

    Please note that Morocco does not have the same level of medical infrastructure nor consistent medical standards that you may be used to.  In particular, emergency services often may be a long distance away, with no co-ordinated response, or sometimes no medical response available within reasonable times. Please do not book this trip if this unduly concerns you.

    Just a remark about First Aid Training.  It is not a requirement to be first aid trained to participate in this tour.  However, we do recommend that you consider doing a motorcycle first aid course.  Some sections of this trip are remote and hours away from medical treatment.  If you, or a rider you are with, are involved in any accident, whilst not riding with or not close to the support team, having first aid skills may make a significant difference to an injured party.

    Do I need Travel / Medical Insurance?
    It is a condition of you travelling with us that you are adequately insured.  Your insurance policy must cover you for the costs of any medical expenses, medical treatment or repatriation needed, due to injury or illness on this trip, including those that occur whilst motorcycle touring, either as the rider or a passenger.  It is important that your insurance company understands that the MAIN PURPOSE of your trip is motorcycle touring, using your own large capacity cc motorcycle or a rental motorcycle.  Your insurance must cover you for the full duration of the trip and for all countries we travel through.

    In addition, we strongly recommend that your insurance policy has cover for loss or damage to your personal belongings, delay at your outward or homeward point of departure, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and cancellation and curtailment.

    We also strongly recommend that you take out your travel insurance at the time of booking your trip as cover will commence for pre-departure cancellation from the policy issue date. This will therefore provide cover should you have to cancel your trip for an insured reason such as illness or serious injury. We do not refund your deposit simply because you failed to take out insurance in sufficient time.

    Minimum Numbers
    We require a minimum number of 8 riders on this tour.  If we do not have this number of bookings, then we reserve the right to cancel the tour.