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Morocco

Hi everyone,

My partner and I will arrive in Casablance, Morocco on December 31st and we want to bike along the coast to Tiznit and then inland to see other areas before heading up into Spain. We are not super experienced and we will be fully loaded (tent and cooking equipment included), so we are a bit worried about all the mountains. Can anyone recommend routes or give any general advice, tips, impressions about touring in Morocco in general? Thanks so much. 

~Karen

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Hello Karen !

Hello Karen !

Morocco is a super nice country to ride ! I loved and you will too! Don't be afraid about the mountains, it's not the Andes and generally you can pass them in 1 or 2 days. Plus,  you will find Couscous, delicious bread  and water everywhere. Buy Oats and honey in Casablanca as backup food. Then go to markets, learn some basic morrocain and french words. 

 

About the route, coast is nice (Essaouira especially) but I loved the country side : region aroud Ouarzazate and  Errachidia, Fes and especially Chefchaouen worth the trip. 

Enjoy 

 

Mica

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Don't be afraid of the mountains

Hi Mica,

Thanks so much for the encouragement. The mountains do look beautiful and worth the effort. I guess if we take it slowly, it can be done, even though we're fully loaded down with tent, cooking gear etc. We speak French already, so that is a bonus. I'm really looking forward to the delicious couscous and bread, I have to say! I'm glad to hear that the coast is nice. We also really want to see Fez and Chefchaouen, so I"m happy to hear that you also recommend them.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience and feelings.

~Karen

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The mountains in Morocco are

The mountains in Morocco are not so extreme as long as you have a granny gear. However, the other poster might be exaggerating by saying that you can cross them in “1-2 days”. Last winter I cycled a fairly popular route across the High Atlas mountains and it took me about a week to get through them.

Definitely buy oats in Casablanca, and get any comforts of civilization there too. The shops in rural Morocco do not have much besides very bad biscuits and cooking oil. Also, take a decent amount of Moroccan cash with you, because the rural places either do not have an ATM, or (a common problem) the ATM will be out of cash.

Language is important if you want to interact with the locals. There is no “Moroccan language”. Ideally you will speak French and you will have a phrasebook that contains Moroccan Arabic phrases as well as phrases in one of the Berber languages (Tamazight is most useful). As a woman you will be allowed to talk to the local women, but in many rural areas they usually do not speak French or Arabic, only Berber.

Frankly, I don’t like a lot of the Moroccans who work in the tourism industry, and the proprietors of the lodges in the mountains are downright greedy – they demand prices that are unreasonable considering that these lodges have no electricity or running water, So, having your own tent and stove will allow you to avoid the mountain lodges. The hotels in larger towns, which are meant mainly for Moroccans, are nice to stay at, though.

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mountains in Morocco

Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing your impressions and experience of biking in Morocco. Both of our bikes have a granny gear, so I guess it will be possible to cross the mountains if we go slowly (we ar not major athletes). We'd like to start off on an easier route though, just to warm up and ease into our trip. Can I ask which route you chose throught the high atlas mountains and would you recommend it for others?

We both speak French, so that will make things easier. We also have a tent and cooking gear, so we will definitely try to avoid the mountain lodges. We want to bike for a year, so we need to avoid spending frivolously. 

Thanks again for taking the time to help us out.

~Karen