Imperial Road motorcycle tour Morocco – itinerary
The Imperial Road motorcycle tour starts with a short ferry ride across the Gibraltar straits to Morocco and Africa, where we’ll spend nine unforgettable days exploring this magical land. First through the Rif Mountains to Chefchaouén, the blue city and then on towards the old imperial city of Fez, with its massive walls and mighty gates is one of the largest medieval cities in the world.
After leaving Fez we traverse the Atlas mountains with its thousand-year old cedar forest, towards Merzouga gateway to the Sahara desert, where Berbers still live as nomads.
From the High Atlas to the magnificent Todra and Dades Gorges with canyons forged by a massive Glacier. After spending a night in a Kasbah hotel we’ll continue our journey to Marrakech, the former capital famous for its squares, fortified Kasbah and Souks where we’ll discover the magical city….
The Spanish part of our tour is not to be missed and plays an important part as we experience some of Spain’s famous hospitality, weather, food and culture visiting Segovia, Ronda, Cordoba and Picos de Europa. Plus not forgetting riding many of Spain’s stunning roads including the Pots ‘n’ Pans route!
Day 1 Plymouth to Santander At Plymouth a member of our team will meet you at the port before boarding the ferry for our overnight cruise to northern Spain. Everyone is provided with a cabin. The Brittany ferries ship has excellent facilities including bars and restaurants, and evening entertainment! Time to relax and enjoy the crossing.
Day 2 – Santander to Segovia Upon arrival in Spain we will start our journey south through the mountains towards the city of Segovia. Home to many historic buildings both civil and religious, along with the amazing Roman aqueduct located in the Plaza. In 1985 UNESCO declared the old city of Segovia and its Aqueduct a World Heritage Site. 350 km / 217 miles
Day 3 – Segovia to Cordoba Today we’ll continue south through Spain towards Toledo, and the Sierra Magna, passing through the National Park de caballeros along the way. Before heading towards Cordoba, which was an important Roman City and a major Islamic center in the Middle Ages. It’s best known for the immense mosque dating from 784 A.D Also with its many restaurants and Taps bars its great little city for a walk around in the evening. 487 km / 306 miles
Day 4 Cordoba to Algeciras From Cordoba we’ll head south through the dramatic land scape of the Andalusia, with its stunning scenery and twisty roads, before dropping down to the coast and into Algeciras, for our Ferry crossing to Morocco. After crossing the Gibraltar straits to Morocco it’s on to border control, which is typical of Africa as its slow and chaotic, all part of the adventure! 279 km / 171 miles
Day 5 Tetouan to Fez via Chefchaouen We’ll start by heading south along the coastal road, before we cut across the Riff mountains to Chefchaouen in time to have a good look around and soak up the atmosphere. Continuing through the Rif Mountains and into the city of Fez which was the capital city of Morocco until 1925. Listed as a World Heritage Site the city is often known as the “Mecca of the West” or the “Athens of Africa. In the evening we should have plenty of time to explore the old streets and medina before relaxing and enjoying our evening meal. 342 km / 213 miles
Day 6 Fez to Merzouga After breakfast we’ll head off through the Middle Atlas mountains towards Irfan, known as Morocco’s “Little Switzerland”. Following the road through the ancient Cedar forest then on towards the high Atlas, a natural barrier between the mild, Mediterranean climate to the north and the encroaching Sahara to the south. We’ll experience this forgotten world with its vast landscapes as we head toward Merzouga. On the edge of the Sahara and our base for the night. Where we’ll spend the night in a traditional Berber Kasbah with modern luxuries including a swimming pool. 458 km / 285 miles
Day off in the desert!
Day 7 Merzouga – We’ll have the morning to ourselves to have a swim, look around, relax or take a trip into the dunes by Quad bike or 4×4. In the evening our Berber guides will meet us at the Kasbah for the desert experience. Time to saddle up and head into the dunes on camel as the sun goes down, for a night under the stars in a Berber camp.
Day 8 Merzouga to Tinghir After breakfast and camel ride back through the dunes as the sun rises we’ll head towards the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains, and follow the Todra and Dades Rivers, which have carved out cliff-sided canyons through the mountain rock. The Todra Gorge has massive canyon walls reaching 150 meters high and In some places, just 10 meters across. There is an optional unsealed road separating the Todra & Dades gorge or a tarmac road to follow. From here it’s on towards Ouarzazate. 221 km / 140 miles
Day 9 Tinghir to Marrakech After breakfast We’ll set off for a spectacular days riding to Marrakech, stopping at the Aït Benhaddou UNESCO heritage site and famous movie set (films such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Gladiator, and The Mummy were filmed here).
Tizi n’Tichka pass
After a look around we’ll wind our way over the Tizi n’Tichka pass. A mountain road that cuts through the high Atlas. One of the most spectacular rides in Morocco! At the summit, a height of nearly 2,260 m, there are breathtaking views. Once past the summit we’ll continue through mountainous landscapes and gorges to Marrakech. 386 km / 240 miles
Day 10 Marrakech day off to explore The Medina, Souks, square and the Mosque in Marrakech are all well worth a visit. The medina is a great place to sit and people watch. In the evening the square turns into a vast open-air street food venue. The sights, sounds, smell and colors of this unique and fascinating city will overwhelm you.
Day 11 Marrakech to Meknes From Marrakech we’ll follow the road north heading alongside the Atlas mountains and onto Meknes one of the four Imperial cities of Morocco. Smaller than its grand neighbour Fez but still has winding narrow medina streets and the grand buildings. Great for a walk around in the evening! 452 km / 281 miles
Day 12 Meknes to Tetouan After breakfast, we’ll continue north stopping at the Roman ruins of Volubilis recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. After a look around we’ll follow the road across the Rif Mountains once more. Stopping for a bite to eat along the way. Before heading to our hotel and our last night on African soil. 321 km / 200 miles
Day 13 Tetouan to Ecija This morning we’ll bid farewell to Africa, and head to the port to catch the ferry back to Spain. After landing back in Spain our route takes us through the Andalusian mountains, which can only be described as pure biking heaven. With fantastic combinations of hairpins, tight twisty sections and flowing s-bends, as we ride up to Ronda. 286 km / 178 miles
Day 14 Ecija to the Sierra de Gredos More brilliant riding today, with almost 230 miles of uninterrupted twisty roads, as we cross the great plains of Spain passing over the Sierra de Gredos mountain range. Later arriving at our hotel for the night. 467 km / 290 miles
Day 15 Sierra de Gredos to the Picos Continuing north past León and back into the Cantabrian mountains, then into the Picos de Europa mountains. The Picos rise dramatically to a height of 2600m. With hundreds of miles of twisty mountain roads to explore. Tonight we’ll be able to enjoy our last meal together and a few drinks as a group. 447 km / 278 miles
Day 16 to Santander After breakfast last but not least our final route will take us along the ”Pots n Pans route” an impressive road with every type of bend possible. The road first rises high up over the mountains and twists and turns back down through a deep gorge. The scenery is simply awesome! as we make our way down towards the coast. In time to catch our Ferry home in the afternoon. Once on board it’s time to relax, have a beer and exchange details with new friends. 154 km / 96 miles
”Pots and Pans route”
The Imperial Road motorcycle tour Morocco includes many highlights
Chefchaouén the blue city
Tizi n’Tichka pass
Roman Site Volubilis
Fez – the old imperial city
Irfan Morocco’s “Little Switzerland”
Middle Atlas Mountains (known for its cedar forests and Barbary apes cedar)
High Atlas Mountains & Passes
Merzouga at edge of Sahara (North Africa’s highest dune)
Ait Ben (Unesco World Heritage Site) & film studios
Ouarzazate – film studios for great films, Gladiator, etc
Marrakech (Morocco’s greatest Imperial City
Todra gorge Dades gorge
Included if starting from Plymouth or the first hotel
Pecos de Europa national park
‘’pots and pans route’’
+ Many more interesting places along the way!