12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycles Riders of the Adventurous Touring type is the second article that focuses on Morocco. Let’s check out the roads and locations.
Moroccans welcome all Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders to their God, Homeland, and King.
Allah, Al Watan, Al-Malik
|Estimated Reading Time: 22 Minutes. With this article, we will focus on the destinations and the journey between each one.
Tangier is home to Tangerines, Mint Tea, Hercules, and spies.
Melilla is a fortified Spanish city in the African Territory with TAX-FREE food and beverages, plus a big Spanish cannon.
Fes is an imperial ancient walled city with the oldest University and plenty of roof-top dyeing pits for your latest leathers.
Meknes is home to tranquility, Roman ruins, and Moulay Idriss.
Marrakesh is home to haggling & bartering as well as the Gateway to the Atlas Mountain Range. Not forgetting horse riding & Hot-Air Ballooning.
Agadir with the Atlantic Ocean, sandy bay, endless promenade, Crocodile Zoo, and 4 golf courses.
Essaouira is home to windsurfers, kiteboarders, and Hollywood.
Safi Port to export Sardines, pottery, and Operation Blackstone in WW2.
Casablanca is home to Skyscrapers, honking horns, and Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman. And not forgetting a 1930s piano.
Rabat is home to stamp collecting, embassies, ornate bridges, flamingos, museums, and calmness.
The Atlas Mountains is the journey between the destinations of Morocco. Also, home to the Thuya Tree, and luxury cars such as Rolls Royce.
The Southwestern Tip of the Sahara Desert. Home to sand dunes, camel rides, and camping under the kaleidoscope of trillion of stars.
We will start from the northern point of the harbor town of Tangier and work our way down to the Southwestern point of the Sahara Desert.
The Harbor Town & “White City” of Tangier.
Like most historic towns and cities, there will always be the latest modern side that is still in progress and the ancient side (Medina) that continues giving up its secrets in its own leisurely ways.
Tangier, now over 2,500 years old, is such a place
Tangier, built on the slopes of a chalky limestone hill, is a Moroccan Port resting on the Strait of Gibraltar. Thus, allowing it to be the strategic and crucial gateway between Europe and Africa since the Phoenician times (1500 – 300 BC.)
The town has a population of almost one million and regularly swells a bit more when in summertime the ruling King and his entourage visit for their annual stay at the Royal Residence.
It has an International Airport and a thriving port bustling as a hub for maritime traffic with regular shipping services to and from Europe.
There is also a prolific trading center for industries such as textiles, food, roses, wood, and fishing. You won’t find reasonable levels of tranquility in this location. Just a kaleidoscope of colors, scents, braying camels, and locals shouting.
As an Adventure Motorcycle Touring Rider, you will find the roads leading in and out of the harbor town are excellent and easy to negotiate.
It is often said that nowhere else quite has the allure as Tangier. It has to thank its tangled streets in the famous Kasbah for this accolade. Locate the Bab Haha Gate and pass under it, and you are in the Kasbah with its layers of mystery, a crumbly ancient quarter, and cobbled alleyways.
Author´s Note: You´ll find plenty to see and capture with your camera. But, please be mindful to ask first before taking any photos, and expect a polite NO due to the local religious beliefs.
At the top, you will have magnificent views of both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
If you get lost at any point, keep walking uphill. This route will lead you to one of the babs or gates, and each will show you out of the maze. Head towards the 17th Century Palace and the stunning Grand Mosque.
Tourists from Spain can easily reach Tangier by only having to take an hour boat trip from Gibraltar.
One place we do recommend you spend some time visiting is
St Andrews Church, is the focal point for Christians living and visiting Tangier.
Spend time in the atmospheric cemetery and pay your respects to the fallen soldiers who fell during the Second World War.
Tangier is the home of the Tangerines.
Not a lot of people will know that. But, when they read that last sentence, many will exclaim loudly, “Of course it is. How come I never knew that tangerines originated from this place Tangier before?”
Author´s Note: These sweet-tasting fruits from the Mandarins were named after the white city. (Everywhere you look, you will see white, immaculately kept buildings.)
These varieties of homegrown tangerines are never exported. So when in Tangier, tuck in and enjoy the sweet goodness from each one.
Tangier is also home to the Moroccan Mint Tea.
Yes, it’s true; Tangier is known as the originating city for the golden beverage of Mint Tea. There will be many occasions for you Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders to sit and rest and partake in this delicious brew.
When you do, add some freshly baked cookies that are specific to Tangier to your order. You will be well pleased in doing so.
Rest your Adventure Motorcycle, Touring Rider´s bones, and visit Hercules Legendary Cave.
Moroccan legend says that Hercules´s final resting place was here at the site known as Hercule´s cave. You will find two entrances, one where the tourists queue to visit and the other facing the sea known as:
“The Map of Africa.”
When you stand inside the cave looking out towards the ocean, you will see the opening is indeed shaped like the African Map. It was not naturally created but by men. These men were known as the Phoenicians.
Author´s Note: You will remember them from earlier in this article titled 12 Destinations for Motorcycle Riders of the Adventurous Touring type.
Tangier will never cease to amaze anyone with its incredible and checkered history.
If you are a spy fan as well as an Adventure Motorcycle Touring Rider. You are going to enjoy the next bit.
During the 19th and 20th Centuries, Tangier became the unofficial home to international spies and all their shenanigans. For spies, Tangier has deemed a safe haven for much of their espionage and smuggling activities.
You only have to check out all the Bourne Movies and Bond Movies. Not forgetting the tremendous back catalog of spy novels over the past couple of hundred years.
Riding distance from Tangier to Melilla is 250 miles or 404 km via coastal roads.
The second on the list of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders is Melilla – A Spanish city in African Territory.
You will discover this Free Port, a historic military fortress and Spanish city exclave on the North coast of Morocco.
Melilla is located on the eastern side of the Cabo Tres Forcas, a rocky peninsula of approximately 40 km (25 miles), and it extends into the Mediterranean Sea.
Melilla Port exports vast amounts of iron ore from the RIF Mountain mines. Melilla is approximately 5 miles square with a population of over 85,000, mainly Roman Catholic inhabitants. Shoemaking, textiles, and tourism play a significant part in Melilla´s economy.
After parking your motorcycle, spend time walking around the citadel – Melilla La Vieja (old Melilla.)
An interesting feature regarding Melilla is that it is possible to stand still and witness a synagogue, church, and mosque on one street.
We at MotoDreamer know that ALL Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders love their food, and often lots of it. Especially when it’s varied and gastronomical.
You will be smiling at the mixture of smells and flavors from Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean.
Now witness the resulting fusion of all the Four primary cultures that have existed for thousands of years in Tangier. We are speaking of Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian.
You are in for a culinary treat if you have never tried tapas, squid, or lamb kebabs. Try pastela (a pie consisting of icing sugar, cinnamon, and chicken. Or fish pie (a mixture of Langoustines, marlin, prawns, and monkfish.)
Author´s Note: The final piece of great news regarding Melilla is a TAX-FREE location for beverages and food.
Riding distance from Melilla to Fes is 250 miles or 400 km
Number Three on the list of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders is Fes or Fez.
Home to the oldest established University of al-Qarawiyyin in 859 AD.
Fes is an imperial ancient walled city that is not so unlike the walled city of Jerusalem.
For Moroccans, it’s a challenge to decide whether to spend a weekend in Fes, a UNESCO Heritage site, or Marrakesh.
The reason is that Morocco´s spiritual capital is Fes.
Fes is where you, as Touring visitors, will soak up the historical ambiance of such a beautiful place.
Mix with the locals as they too admire the hallmarks of Moroccan and Moorish architectural styles.
Get an early morning iconic bird’s eye view of the city´s leather industry where you can video or take photos of the tanneries and their workers in action.
Check out the sights of vast numbers of dying pits full to the brim soaking hides in a rainbow palette of colors.
Each newly dyed leather piece will go on to become someone’s new handbag, set of shoes, or leather sofa.
Riding distance from Fes to Meknes 72 miles or 120 km
It’s the turn of number 4 of the 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders – Meknes
Meknes is located close to the center of the Atlas Mountains in the north of Morocco. Originally, Meknes was founded in the 11th century as a military settlement for the Almoravids.
This vibrant city became home to madrasas, mosques, and souks during the following centuries.
Meknes is for those who do not enjoy the hustle and bustle of larger cities such as Fes and Marrakesh.
Heading into the more laid-back medina after touring the famous Roman-era ruins of Volubilis nearby is a calm and rewarding day for all visitors.
The ruins are Mekne’s primary tourist attraction and are only 18 miles from the city. The ruin’s surviving temple and column fragments radiate an atmospheric, powerful, and impressive impression to all who tread between them.
When you ride to Rabat, remember to check out the capital’s Archaeological Museum. It is here you will see the many unearthed treasures and artifacts from Volubilis, dating back to the heydays of 24-285 AD.
What you will see while at the ruins is much of the surviving intricate mosaic floorings.
These mosaics will give you the opportunity to sense and taste the grandeur of wealthy Romans in this ancient period.
Within a short motorcycle ride from the ruins is the beautiful village of Moulay Idriss.
The location is breathtaking as you stand on the hilltop, entering via the grandiose Bab el-Mansour, the gateway to this pilgrim village.
Moulay Idriss was created in 788 AD and named after the saint and Prophet of the same name. It sits upon the rocky spurs of both the Tazga and Khyber hills.
If you are a non-Muslim, remember you are not allowed to enter any of the shrines. But, you are allowed to pass through the old medina towards the rooftop views of this stunning location.
Riding distance from Meknes to Marrakesh is 296 miles or 380 km
Number 5 of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders of the Adventurous Touring type – Marrakesh.
Like all of the Imperial cities in Morocco, Marrakesh effortlessly combines the modern with the ancient aspects of life and its continuing history. But, there is more to Marrakesh….For starters, there are opportunities for haggling and bartering aplenty.
Marrakesh is the prominent Gateway to the Atlas Mountains region. (More later.) It is here you will witness many people hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, and abseiling.
In the evening, visit the Djemaa El Fna Medina (The Assembly place of the Nobodies), where you can haggle and barter with everyone.
This place is packed to the brim of bric-a-brac stalls and market traders, fortune tellers, storytellers, musicians, acrobats, and snake charmers.
None of them appear to run out of energy until midnight.
While in Marrakesh, there is much to see and explore during the daytime.
Here is MotoDreamers recommended places to visit while in Marrakesh:
- The huge Menara Gardens, Pavilion, and reflective pool, are a place to sit, relax, and people watch. Bring your camera, too, and capture the Atlas Mountains in the distance reflecting in the water.
- The lush tropical Majorelle Gardens was created by a French painter – Jacques Majorelle. A garden full of palms, ferns, cacti, and the color Majorelle Blue.
- Horse Riding amongst the 50,000 date palm trees within a palm grove (Palmeraie.)
- How about having a well-earned soak in a Moroccan Hammam? A communal bath is the place to rejuvenate and relax those weary bones. Treatment consists of washing, steaming, massaging, and exfoliation. (The last two attract an additional charge.)
- If you missed the tanneries in Fes, don´t worry. You can visit the albeit smaller Marrakesh Tanneries. If you can befriend and tip the owner of one of the surrounding leather workshops, you will capture amazing views and pics with your camera.
- A 19th Century built Bahia Palace. This place is spectacular and well worth visiting with your camera. Capture images of opulence, with the marbled courtyard, salons, and banana-leaf plants.
- Day trip to the Toubkal National Park. A pre-arranged private tour of the beautiful scenery. These tours include your lunch and an opportunity to visit a Berber´s traditional home.
How about an early start with Hot-Air Ballooning over the Marrakesh Countryside?
You´ve already parked up the motorbike, so why not head to the skies in a basket under a massive balloon. Look down for an hour on the panoramic views below and search for the spine that starts the Atlas Mountains.
To end the experience, enjoy a picnic breakfast. For an extra fee, you can go camel riding or quad biking.
Riding distance from Marrakesh to Agadir is 150 miles or 247 km
Next comes Number 6 of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders – Agadir.
As you may well have seen, MotoDreamer is an independent Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders Operator. You may also know they have a reputation for guiding you to experiences that others do not.
How about visiting a beach resort and port with year-round sunshine and a Crocodile Zoo? Well, you can in Agadir with its sandy bay overlooked by the Atlas Mountains.
Agadir Zoo is only seven years old and houses more than 300 Nile Crocodiles within a water-rich habitat. Safety at all times is at the forefront of the Zoo´s owner’s priority. Meaning you can safely get up close via a glass box purposely built into the ground.
These prehistoric survivors can grow up to five meters and with an active nursery program, you may be lucky to be there when a baby crocodile is hatching out.
Now if you happen to be a keen golfer as well as an Adventure Motorcycle Touring Rider, you will be pleased to know there are four public courses within 6 miles of Agadir.
Riding distance from Agadir to Essaouira is 110 miles or 178 km
The seventh on our list of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders – Essaouira
This charming windy port of Essaouira lies midway between Agadir and Safi. Historians have traced its history as far back as the 5th Century BC with the Phoenicians and later the Carthaginians.
Essaouira is fast becoming a vibrant atmospheric and firm favorite location for windsurfers, kiteboarders, and other water sport enthusiasts. Furthermore, there are no hidden dangers from shark attacks.
In Essaouira you can watch the sun setting over the busy fishermen and the Atlantic Ocean.
And if you close your eyes, your ears will focus on listening to the crashing waves on the Port´s walls.
You can always gauge how safe a place is by the way the local females live, smile, and happily say hello to strangers. Essaouira ladies are respectful and welcoming to all.
Even Hollywood likes Essaouira’s authenticity and has made many television series and memorable movies here. Such names for History Buffs amongst you riders as:
1951 – Othello (Starring Orson Wells.)
2000 / Ridley Scott’s and Russel Crowe’s epic Gladiator.
2002 – And Now Ladies & Gentlemen (Starring Jeremy Irons and Patricia Kaas.)
2004 – Alexander (Starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, and Angelina Jolie.)
2007 – Rendition (Starring Reese Witherspoon, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin, and Jake Gyllenhaal.)
2018 – Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Episode Inshallah with John Krasinski.)
2011 – 2019 Games of Thrones.
2013 – Collision (Starring Frank Grillo and Jaimie Alexander.)
2019 – Waiting for the Barbarians, (starring Johnny Depp and Mark Rylance.)
2019 – 2021 Hanna.
So, if you are wondering if Essaouira is safe. Then yes. It is for all visitors, travelers, history addicts, and those of you riding on combustion engines with two wheels.
Riding Distance from Essaouira to Safi is 77 miles or 124 Km
Eighth on our list of 12 Moroccan destinations for Motorcycle Riders of the Adventurous Touring type – Safi.
Are you a WW2 historian with a hunger for sardines and an avid collector of pottery?
Then grin from ear to ear, as you have arrived home to the 13th Century established town of Safi.
This major Moroccan fishing port is the center for exporting Sardines, ceramics, textiles, and phosphates. If you purchase any pottery throughout Morocco, turn it over and look at the stamp. Nine times out of ten it will display the name, Safi.
For generations, artisan potters have extracted the nearby clay from the ground, prepared, molded, dried, shaped, painted, and finally fired each piece by hand.
For the history buffs amongst you. Follow this link to discover what Operation Blackstone was all about regarding Morocco and WW2.
Riding distance from Safi to Casablanca is 150 miles or 240 km
Ninth on our List of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders – Casablanca.
You´ve reached the bustling metropolis and largest city in Morocco called Casablanca. Locally referred to by its 5 million-plus people as “Casa.”
Casablanca is the economic hub and lung of Morocco. With its array of modern business infrastructures, charming residential districts. All effortlessly appearing joined together by palm tree-lined pathways.
Like all vibrant cities. The white city of Casablanca has everything to suit everyone who comes to visit the beautiful African jewel.
For many Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders of advancing years, you will be familiar with the movie of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
You may expect to see a city full of adventure and intrigue. But, do not be surprised with all the landmarks from the original movie having been replaced. Now, with lots of traffic, a neverending chorus of honking horns, and skyscrapers everywhere.
Here in Casablanca, you can pay homage to Mr. Bogart by visiting “Rick’s Americain cafe.” Purchase a cocktail and sit at the 1930 piano. Step back in time with the intoxicating music and movie set ambiance.
You will find the cafe inside of the walled Old Medina district. And don´t forget those immortal words “Play it again Sam.”
In the evenings take a stroll along with the oceanfront neighborhood – The Corniche. Here you pass many cafes, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Remember it’s ok to drink alcohol inside these places. But it’s NOT OK to walk along the streets drinking.
Riding Distance from Casablanca to Rabat is 55 miles or 90 km
Number 10 of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders – The Moroccan Capital, Rabat.
Rabat is the administrative capital of Morocco. It rests at the mouth of the river/wadi Bou Regreg.
The city has both a Millah (Jewish quarter and Medina (old Muslim town.)
The importance of Rabat can be seen by the number of embassies and international organizations that have offices within the modern part of the city. Surprisingly, the last population count in 2020 released the figure of under five million.
Spend a day sightseeing Rabat´s Royal Palace and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. You will notice this city is calmer with less hustle than say Marrakesh or Fes.
Places to visit if you decided to extend your touring time or have a few days spare both before or after your tour with MotoDreamer:
- Meander through the Oudaias Kasbah and take photos of all you can see that attracts you.
- Spent time at Rabat´s Archaeology Museum. (If you are not one for museums, we recommend you give this one a try.)
- Make a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Arts – Mohammed VI.
- Feast your eyes on the impressive Hassan Tower.
- Find time to visit the Jardins Exotiques. (Enjoy tall palms, follies, ornamental bridges, and water features.)
- Stroll along with Rabat´s New City (Ville Nouvelle.) (If you are or were a stamp collector or worked with telegraph machines and old telephones head to the Postal Museum.)
- Venture to the 14th Century remnants of Chellah Necropolis.
- Reserve a day trip to Kenitra and its roman military fort and bird watching opportunities
- Take a tram across the town to Sale and visit the Abou Hassan Medersa, and see Rabat from a different perspective.
- Visit the bobbing fishing boats in Moulay Bousselham and a bird watcher’s paradise of egrets, herons, flamingos, and plovers at Merja Zerga National Park.
Number 11 of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders of the Adventurous Touring type who love conquering Mountains –
Next for you, the 80 million year old Atlas Mountains.
The Atlas Mountains named after the ancient Greek Titan – Atlas, is more than a destination. It is best described as the awe-inspiring set of riding journeys you will make from each destination described throughout this article.
As an Adventure Motorcycle Touring Rider, you will negotiate snow/capped peaks, dramatic gorges, picturesque valleys, and the traditional villages belonging to the Berbers.
What makes the Atlas Mountains so special? Well instead of being a continuous chain of mountains extending over 1,600 miles to Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria with their thick-skinned faulting.
These mountains consist of a series of three folded sedimentary rock ranges separated by plateaus.
Furthermore, the Atlas Mountains continue to grow. Which can result in an increase in landslides and earthquakes.
Together the Atlas Mountains separate the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines from the encroaching Sahara Desert.
They also serve another purpose by acting as a barrier to the incoming westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean. The winds bring much-needed moisture into the regions ensuring the wetlands and grasslands thrive.
You Adventure Riders will relish the thoughts of meeting the challenges presented by all the passes that provide the awe-inspiring journeys from the coast to the Saraha desert.
MotoDreamer recommends only daylight hours for riding through the passes.
As like all mountains around the globe temperatures frequently plummet below freezing.
Sometimes especially during the months of January and February the Atlas peaks will have snowfall in large amounts. Thus, permitting 2 ski resorts near Ifrane and Marrakesh to have an abundance of skiers to enjoy their chosen sport.
At the highest mountain peak of over 4,000 meters – Jbel Toubkal. There is evidence of all-year-round snow.
Surprisingly, there may well be something you do not know. And that is what connects the native Biblical Barbary Thuya Tree to luxury motorcars?
Did you know that the dashboards from the makers of BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Rolls Royce have always turned to the wood of the Moroccan Barbary Thuya or Thuja Tree?
Read more on the priceless impact that luxury car makers have had on Morocco’s unsustainable Barbary Thuya Tree.
You may also be learning for the first time that in the Atlas Mountains there is a 200 foot in length spiral tunnel. It was constructed by the legendary French Foreign Legionnaires back in 1927.
It took a workforce of 3000 men under five months to dig the tunnel. Also, with the assistance of five and a half tons of explosives.
Here is a fun checklist of what animals live in the Atlas Mountains. See if you can see more than your fellow riders.
- Barbary Leopards.
- Barbary sheep.
- Barbary Stags.
- Barbary Macaques Monkeys.
- Atlas Mountain Vipers. (Don’t get too close.)
- Northern Bald Ibis.
- Atlas Mountain Badgers.
- Cuvier’s Gazelles.
Finally, you have reached the last of 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders.
And you will need to definitely be an Adventurous Touring Type –
The Southwestern Tip of the Sahara Desert
You have reached the world’s third-largest desert. Only the Arctic and Antarctica have larger landmasses. But, the Sahara is the top hottest desert globally with a landmass of over 3.3 million square miles.
Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders around the world. Either travel as part of a group or go solo.
All love the prospects of avoiding the crowds and experiencing peace and tranquility when feasting their eyes on the Sahara.
The desert early mornings and evenings are the times for exploring and hiking. And doing so at the same slow pace that nature intended. This is where riders can relax and unwind.
When riding, make sure as a group you all stay together. Support each other should anyone find themselves stuck. Treat all dunes with caution and respect.
Or better still take a camel ride and spend a night in a desert campsite.
Remember to take some warm clothing to protect you from the falling night temperatures.
Relax around the campfire. Look up as often as possible at the changing kaleidoscope of stars passing above you.
Conclusion to 12 Moroccan Destinations for Motorcycle Riders of the Adventurous Touring type.
The continent of Africa is on MotoDreamer’s doorstep. Now Adventure Motorcycle Touring Riders can ride and explore this continental playground.
Morocco and Africa have everything you could ever imagine, history, oceans, mountains, forests, waterfalls, deserts, and wildlife.
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Motorcycle Touring in Dubai & Oman. Perhaps it’s on your radar, and you wish to learn more. Then this article has reached the right person. Follow me.
MotoDreamer is heading to Israel.
MotoDreamer is heading to Israel. The Holy Land is a unique motorbike adventure touring destination. Is this a bold statement to make by MotoDreamer or a fact? Time for you to investigate why they are confident to make such a claim.
Thank you for reading this article, we hope to see you soon.
شكرا لقراءة هذا المقال نتمنى رؤيتك قريبا.
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