Morocco on a Motorcycle
Last Year in September, KC and I went off for another one of our crazy trips. This time we went to Marrakesh, rented two 250cc Honda Tornadoes and made our way up to Spain.
We stayed one night in Marrakech before we started our journey and slept in the Riad Les Yeux Bleus. We originally wanted to stay in the Instagram famous Riad Yasmine which was booked out but the Riad Les Yeux Bleus did not disappoint. Definitely stay in a Riad (a riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard, thanks Google), it will make you feel like you're in a scene from Indiana Jones.
The markets - unless you want to be throwing cash out don't. Let. Them. Hussle. You. Now I'm pretty good at picking up when someone wants to hussle some money out of me but these guys are good, if you look lost they'll point you in the right direction and pass you on to a friend and another friend and before you know it your in the souvenir shop of a leather tannerie.
Alright on to the good stuff...
Day 1: Marrakech to Tiriguioute - 242km
We stayed the night at: L'Ma Lodge
- Along the way from Marrakech we passed by Ouarzazate, the home to the Studios Atlas where many blockbusters where filmed (Lawrence of Arabia, Asterix & Obelix, Babel, Prince of Persia)
- The lodge is owned by a lovely French couple who have built they're property with love and care and have contributed to the local community through their lodge
- We wish we had given a bit of time to take a look around the historic village of Skoura
Day 2: Tiriguioute to Agoudal - 212km
We stayed the night at: Auberge Afoud
- Our route took us approx. 45km off-road through the mountains for the last bit which was incredibly beautiful and my favorite stretch. The only worry was whether or not we would have enough fuel to get to our destination and the fact that we had to ride into the night was not the best idea.
- The Auberge was cozy and petrol is available in the village from a hut (filled in by plastic bottles), just ask around and you'll find it
Day 3: Agoudal to Ifran - 274km
We stayed the night at: Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa
- This area was bizarre, we had gone from rocky dry mountains to what looked like the European alps and in fact this area is a popular ski resort
- We decided to treat ourselves with a stay in this hotel and it was well worth it
Day 4: Ifran to Douar Beni Fouda - 171km
We stayed the night at: L'ile De Caroubier
- How on earth this place landed on booking.com I have no idea
- Along our route this was pretty much the only option for a place to stay before Chefchaouen and it is VERY local. We could barely find it, the road was not an easy one when we did and the owner's cousin (or friend) had to let us in his house.
- This place was a big contrast to the previous night, we went from 2 person bath tub to showering with a bucket of warm water and using a squat toilet and it was awesome (not for the luxe-travellers)
- Finding food in this area was not easy, we had a dinner that was made up of crisps and random cookies from the little shop down in the village
Day 5: Douar Beni Kissane to Chefchaouen - 264km
We stayed the night at: L'ermitage D'akchour
- We spent the afternoon in Chefchaouen and then went into the mountains to this beautiful lodge that was located right along the river
- Chefchaouen is the story book blue city that you imagine, it's a bit hectic but a very scenic city
- Along the way my bike fell over due to high wind when we were taking a break by the side of the road and I broke my front brake lever (of course we had spare levers, only problem it was 2 clutch levers...). After stopping by a few workshops on the side of the road one guy called his guy who eventually found us as we were riding in his direction and honked me down. We took a lever of a broken down scooter and we were back on our way. Moral of the story, just keep asking around
Day 6: Chefchaouen to Tanger - 131km
We stayed the night at:
- We took the ferry over to Algeciras (we didn't pre-book our tickets, we purchased them directly at the port and quickly hopped onto the next one)
- We decided to stay the night in Marbella and take the train back up to Madrid, stay a night and fly back home from there. The train was quite quick and comfortable and definitely recommended! Book your tickets at least a day ahead or more if you want to get cheaper rates.
- Eid is a great time to go as the roads are empty, which allows for safer riding
- Google maps will NOT guide you in Morocco, it will lay out a route but will not actively guide you throughout your journey so be aware of this
- The children in villages can be very kind but be aware of them potentially running after you on the motorcycles and there were some areas where we where we felt motorcycles were not welcome
- You will eat tagine everywhere and it will always taste different and delicious
- Some roads we wanted to take seem to have disappeared over time