SEPTEMBER DATES SOLD OUT – WHY NOT BOOK FOR APRIL 2020 INSTEAD?
This is a 13 day tour starting and ending in Malaga, Spain. There are two ways to join this tour. You can fly into Malaga and collect a Triumph Tiger or BMW GS rental motorcycle. Alternatively, you can ride your own bike down to Malaga and meet us at the group hotel there. The following day we take the ferry to Tangier for our incredible Moroccan route!
We take you to the Sahara, high into the Atlas Mountains, with the famous Todra & Dades Gorges and the Tizi n’Test and Tizi n’Tichka Passes, along the magnificent Atlantic Coast, and as far south as the walled Berber town of Taroudant. We also visit the vibrant, colourful medieval cities of Marrakech, Meknes 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 prefer to ride with us there and back from the UK, then please take a look at our UK to Morocco Tour, which is 19 days and includes your Brittany Ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Spain (return) and the ride through Spain.
At a glance
This is a 13 day itinerary, starting and ending in Marbella.
28 Sept 2019. Day 1: Benahavis
If renting: Fly into Malaga for arrival no later than midday. Transfer to hotel in Marbella area. Familiarisation with rental motorcycle. If riding your own bike; arrive to the group hotel for around 3pm. Evening Group Dinner.
29 Sept 2019. Day 2: Benahavis – Chefchaouen. (140 miles)
Catch the Algerciras – Tangier ferry and head into the Atlas Mountains to the narrow alleys and blue buildings of Chefchaouen.
30 Sept 2019. Day 3: 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.
1 Oct 2019. Day 4: Azrou – Merzouga. (244 miles)
We descend to the Sahara Desert and a two night stopover in a traditional Kasbah.
2 Oct 2019. Day 5: Merzouga.
Day off to enjoy activities in the Sahara Desert (camel rides, 4×4 jeep tours etc) or just relax by the pool.
3 Oct 2019. Day 6: 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 for a shorter days ride.
4 Oct 2019. Day 7: Boumalne Dades – Marrakech. (198 miles)
We head to the imperial city of Marrakech via the ancient fortress of Ait Ben Haddou and then superb twisties on the Tizi n’Tichka Pass.
5 Oct 2019. Day 8: Marrakech
Day off to enjoy the vibrant markets and narrow alleys of the medina in this medieval imperial city.
6 Oct 2019. Day 9: Marrakech – Taroudant. (266 miles)
Head out to the Atlantic Coast and the old port of Essaouira for lunch, before south on the coast road to Taroudant.
7 Oct 2019. Day 10: 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 in an old riad.
8 Oct 2019. Day 11: Cascades D’Ouzoud – Fes. (238 miles)
Descend from the mountains to Meknes, one-time home of the Moroccan sultanate, many winding narrow medina streets and grand buildings.
9 Oct 2019. Day 12: Fes – Tangier – Marbella. (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)
10 Oct 2019. Day 13: Marbella
Check out time from the hotel by 11am. If flying back home, please book a flight for around 1-2pm. Should you wish a late check out or extra days at the hotel, please let us know and extra charges will apply.
For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights. Once we have confirmed that this tour is a guaranteed departure, it is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the destination. Do not book your flights until we confirm the tour is a guaranteed departure.
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 riad or a kasbah, or a family run independent hotel rather than modern chain hotels. All hotels we use have en suite bathrooms and most have satellite TV and wifi, although don’t expect a super fast connection!
Where available, we aim to use the equivalent of a good 3* or 4* standard hotel accommodation. In some more remote locations, we may use hotels which are the best in area, which could be a more family run establishment, with character.
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.
You have the benefit of booking your motorcycle tour with a UK tour operator who has in place Financial Payment Protection Insurance with Towergate Stevens & Chapman, so that your money paid to us in advance is protected in accordance with The Package Travel Regulations 1992.
Before you go
Where you have chosen to rent a motorcycle, this is organised by us with the local motorcycle rental provider. Your rental fee includes:
We act as agent for the local provider and on arrival, you are required to sign the local rental agency terms and conditions of hire – please request these, if you require sight in advance. It is mandatory that you provide valid credit card details for the insurance damage deposit of 1,500 euros, as a guarantee against damages. On collection, we advise you to check your rental motorcycle carefully and to take photographs of it, as proof of its condition. Please note that on rare occasions we may need to substitute your choice of motorcycle for something similar.
If you require a GPS mount and GPS unit, please request these on booking and an additional charge is applicable.
When you book a motorcycle tour with us, we provide you with Tour Specific Guidance Notes that give you detailed information about what you need to know to prepare and plan your tour, and what to expect when on our motorcycle 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, CCM, 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 comprises you are prepared to make. If you don’t want to use your own bike, then you can rent one instead.
What riding experience do I need?
This tour is normally best for riders who are already experienced tourers in Europe and who 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 magnificent mountain terrains, can often have bends that may be broken up and you need to watch out for diesel, as well as other road users who will work to the local rules of the road (as opposed to the “Highway Code”). You need to be an assertive rider, with good forward planning and hazard perception skills.
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 Leader, then you can do this.
Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
Yes. Many riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger. Any dirt roads are optional.
What is the average group size?
Our groups are normally between 8 – 12 riders (some riders will have passengers).
Is there a support vehicle?
Yes, this tour operates with a local support vehicle and driver.
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. We will also provide you with details on how to create your Morocco motorcycle temporary import permit online once you have booked.
In addition you must have valid travel/medical insurance.
What about flights?
For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights. Once we have confirmed that this tour is a guaranteed departure, it is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the start and end point.
You need to book an outward flight to our start point, Malaga to arrive no later than around 1pm. You can book your return flight from Malaga any time from 10 October onwards. However hotel check out is at midday and if you need a late checkout, extra charges may apply.
Only book your flights once we have confirmed that your tour is a guaranteed departure. We do not refund flight costs if you have booked flights for a tour that has not been notified as a guaranteed departure.
We will pick you up from the airport, provided you arrive on the official start date. We drop you off at the airport provided you leave on the official end day. Airport transfer may be done by bus, minibus or taxi. If you arrive on any other day, you are responsible for your own journey between the airport and the group hotel.
Should you wish to arrive before the official date or stay after the official end date, please simply request extra nights at the time of booking and we can make the reservation at our group hotel.
What will the weather be like?
September and October are normally a good time to travel in Morocco. You miss the intense heat of the Sahara Desert, but riding in the Atlas Mountains will not have turned cold. Having said that temperatures can still be up to 35C and sometimes there can be storms and flash floods in the desert.
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.
What about my health when I am abroad?
It is a condition of your travel with us that you have in place travel / medical insurance to cover you for medical treatment and repatriation if you suffer any illness or injury when on the expedition, including any injury sustained from riding or being a passenger on a motorcycle. Before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit your GP or a specialised travel clinic to get advice on the recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures needed for the countries on this trip. As background, the websites listed below may prove useful.
Please note that many countries on this route do 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. This is a risk that you must accept when making a booking.
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.