Touring North Morocco

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
patbannon
Posts: 3
Joined: 14 Dec 2011, 1:25am

Touring North Morocco

Postby patbannon » 14 Dec 2011, 1:29am

Hi there, I'm off to the south of Spain for a short tour just after new year and am thinking of going over to morocco for a bit, it will be maybe 5 or 6 days there so I'm planning on just staying in the north, does anyone have any tips and advice on good roads/routes to take, places to visit?

nirakaro
Posts: 970
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Touring North Morocco

Postby nirakaro » 15 Dec 2011, 5:40pm

The ferry's quite pricey - about £50 one way for me and a bike this January.
Go across early in the day - there's no accommodation near Tanger Med where you arrive.
I was planning to go up into the mountains, but they looked cold and wet, and I didn't have the right gear, so went westwards.
If you're heading west towards Tangier, there's a nice, if pricey, hotel after about 18 miles. Hotel Tarifa IIRC, fabulous views across the strait. Pretty empty at this season, so prices very negotiable.
Tangier is widely considered to be a bit of a dump -I didn't see much to make me want to stay more than a night.
Nice cycling though - reasonably quiet roads, good scenery, lots of exotic. You certainly know you've left Europe.

geocycle
Posts: 1667
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Touring North Morocco

Postby geocycle » 15 Dec 2011, 5:57pm

Tangier is definitely 'dodgy'. I got more hassle there then anywhere else in Morocco, so don't linger. We also had to be careful in the Rif region where there was unrest toward the algerian border but that appears to have quietened down now I think. But Morocco is great country and I would recommend the small towns of the Middle Atlas or take a train to Marrakech http://goafrica.about.com/od/morocco/a/moroccotrain.htm and start from there. Marrakech and Essaouira are my favourite towns.

bikefish
Posts: 91
Joined: 18 Aug 2009, 12:21pm

Re: Touring North Morocco

Postby bikefish » 15 Dec 2011, 9:10pm

Many roadsigns are in arabic only.
ferries to Ceuta Mellila are domestic (Spanish enclaves in N africa) and cheap

bikerpauline
Posts: 19
Joined: 26 Jul 2010, 3:02pm

Re: Touring North Morocco

Postby bikerpauline » 17 Dec 2011, 12:27pm

It has been 10 years since we cycled in Morocco and I can second the advice not to enter at Tangiers. We went there in a taxi from Tetouan and the docks area looked manic.

From a cycling point of view the roads are very poor. Traffic out of the towns is very light and posed no threats.
Entering through Ceuta is far easier.

The Riad Dalia hotel in Tetouan is reasonable and clean. If you are venturing out in the Medina and Kasbah, they will find you a guide, we paid him 2 euros.

If there is anything specific you want to ask I will try to answer.

nirakaro
Posts: 970
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Touring North Morocco

Postby nirakaro » 18 Dec 2011, 12:29am

Some things have changed in Morocco:
Ferries no longer go to Tangier, but to the new port of Tanger Med, about thirty miles to the east.
Morocco used to be a byword for tourists getting troubled by local hustlers: no longer. They set up, apparently, a plainclothes tourist police unit, who identified and dealt with (I shudder to think how) people who gave tourists a hard time. I found this year that there really weren’t enough people trying to relieve me of my money: a limited amount of “Allo meester, you want find cheep ‘otel?” can actually be quite helpful.
I cycled from Tanger Med to Marrakech and had no problems with the quality of the main roads (tyres 700x32; no suspension); back roads vary from fine to unspeakable. Traffic was a bit scary between Casablanca and Marrakech (especially in the fog), but elsewhere was fine.
I’ve no experience, but I’ve heard that the land borders between Ceuta/Melilla and Morocco are besieged by would-be migrants, and can be quite frightening.

bikefish
Posts: 91
Joined: 18 Aug 2009, 12:21pm

Re: Touring North Morocco

Postby bikefish » 25 Dec 2011, 10:16pm

mellia to chaen - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1 ... =9791&v=8W.
border areas may be mined.