For two weeks in April 2014, I cycle toured Morocco with a buddy Tom. We pedalled from Marrakech to the Sahara (nearly) over the Atlas Mountains, ate a lot of tagine, drank a lot of water and mint tea and had our brains boiled by the midday sun. Oh, and I got sick – very sick – which trashed our plans somewhat.
That said, I think Morocco is a great country to explore by bike and I’m itching to get back there. The mountains are superb and the potential great for some fine dirt road touring amid towering peaks and barren plains.
Tips for touring this country based on my limited experience would be:
- It is possible to tour Morocco without a tent and camping gear as the country is well-served by auberges where cheap digs can be secured, particularly if you are travelling as a pair. However, if you do wish to camp, bring a freestanding tent as ground conditions can be tricky both wild and in campsites. Gas and meths are hard to source too. On the rare occasions I did boil water, I used a wood burning Honey Stove and I’d take one again.
- If you are flying into Marrakech, it might be prudent to book a riad or hotel that offers airport transfer. This can save a lot of hassle when you land and help you navigate the labyrinth of streets and alleyways in the medina.
- Bring a good toolkit and plenty of spares (Although there are numerous moped and bike repair shops, even in small towns. Most seemed to have welding gear should the worst happen.)
- Cycling in towns and cities can be manic, particularly Marrakech. Be positive. Motorists can be impatient so exercise care when cycling on any road.
- Try Moroccan wine and beer, it can be very good.
- Taking bicycles by bus is relatively easy, although it pays to reserve your seat on the busy CTM routes.
- A grasp of French will come in handy outside the major cities.
If you have any questions, please drop me a line.