Morocco at a Glance
Culture shock: 6 / 10. Non-western food, conservative dress, Muslim religion, higher police presence, poor infrastructure and poverty can be exciting or shocking depending on your own attitude
Road conditions: Very varied, so be alert to unpredictable road surfaces and new hazards. Potholes, diesel spillages, camels and checkpoints are regular occurrences
Experience level: Intermediate – get European motorcycle touring under your belt first and be prepared to put advanced riding skills and some techniques for dirt/gravel roads to the test.
Why you should go!
Morocco offers possibly the most culture shock you can get for the least distance travelled, so it’s great for those who want the experience but have limited time and budget – the range of accommodation is immense, from £10 per night to hundreds! Morocco has something for everyone: stunning views in the High Atlas and Rif mountain ranges; rugged Atlantic coastline, spectacular waterfalls, caves and forests to explore; and the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, Essaouira and Fes.
What’s it like to ride there?
In cities the traffic is chaotic. You will be competing for space with lorries, taxis, pedestrians, hawkers selling trinkets or snacks, and donkeys pulling carts, as well as people weaving in and out on small scooters. It’s fun, but not if you’re not used to it. Outside built-up areas, look out for camels ambling slowly across the road in front of you; shiny and rutted surfaces left by heavy traffic and hot temperatures; rocks on the road in mountainous areas; and large potholes on minor routes. Diesel spillages are a serious issue too, as many local vehicles are old and don’t get serviced.
The dirt tracks on the Dades / Todra Gorge loop; the twists and turns leading up to the Cascades D’Ouzoud – the highest waterfall in Morocco; and the narrow hairpins and stunning views on the 2,100-metre Tizi-n-Test pass.
Regular ferries run from mainland Europe to the Moroccan Mediterranean coast. You can enter Morocco via the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, meaning you can come off the ferry without immediate border formalities, stop there overnight and then prepare for the border crossing the next day. Tangier Med is a good entry point, as when you disembark, you do the Moroccan entry formalities within the border compound, meaning no hustlers! If you don’t fancy riding all that way, shipping isn’t too expensive: check out www.flyandride.co.uk who will get your bike to a collection depot in Malaga, ready for you to ride south to the ferry.
When to Go
Morocco is at its best mid-March to mid-June or September to November, when the climate and temperatures are moderate for both the mountains and the coast. It gets intensely hot during the summer in the lowlands. During winter the coast will still be pleasant, but the mountains will be cold and probably snowy. Look out for Ramadan – the Muslim month of fasting and purification – as during this time many restaurants and cafés close during the day and general business hours are reduced.
What documents you’ll need
- Passport – British nationals don’t need a visa and simply need to present a current passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry. You will normally be provided 90 days duration of stay.
- Driving Licence – Take your UK licence and a 1968 International Driving Permit (in the UK, visit your main Post Office to get one)
- V5C Vehicle Registration Document (aka Log Book) – You must travel with your original V5C Vehicle registration document. We recommend having copies of this in case you are stooped at police of military checkpoints.
- Temporary Vehicle Import Permit: DT16-TER – To take your motorcycle into Morocco you must obtain a temporary vehicle import permit. It will save time and smooth the border crossing if you have completed the permit in advance. Get one from Moroccan Customs and Excise Get my Moroccan Motorcycle Import Permit
- Green Card – To be legal, you must have third party motorcycle insurance cover to ride in Morocco. This can be satisfied by possessing a ‘Green Card’ issued by your UK insurer as proof of third-party motorcycle cover in Morocco and this must be presented to the Moroccan Customs as part of the entry procedure. In our experience, many UK insurers refuse to provide this (especially if you have a cheaper policy). If you cannot get a Green Card, at most points of entry to Morocco, there are booths selling local insurance, which can be bought to ensure that you are legal on the road. However, they can be closed at weekends. Buying at the border (if available) can be time-consuming and the quality/level of cover is questionable.
- Travel Insurance – Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
We are passionate about travel by motorcycle and whether you decide to travel with us for two weeks or five months, our aim is to give you a great touring experience, supported by years of relevant expertise. Book Morocco with us today!