Bikepacking route Agadir to Ouarzazate

Morocco
This is the full route of the trip we did in December 2014, the bikepacking route Agadir to Ourzazate. It wasn’t the trip we had planned but one we prepared on arrival in Marrakech as the weather had had a major impact on the trails we originally prepared for. Rain, snow and wind sent us scurrying to Agadir for a southerly, more familiar approach to the High Atlas. We rode via Toubkal, the highest peak in Morocco, to the shore of Lac d’Ifni which was covered in snow. We camped in bivvy bags, where temperatures fell to well below freezing. Damp socks froze solid and our water turned to ice. We stayed in cheap hotels and had lunch in someone’s home. We were fueled by many glasses of mint tea, dried fruit and nuts and many kind strangers. We washed in local hamamms, crossed ice cold rivers and rested in the sun, finding shade under palm trees. Bikepacking in Morocco is a special and memorable experience. French is a useful language and a few words of Arabic goes a long long way.

If you’d like to read a little bit about the trip and look at a few photos, then please take a look here.

Route surface
Paved road, unpaved road (piste), sand, mud, dust, gravel, rocks, rivers and snow. We rode over ground covering almost every colour of the spectrum.

Fuel
Camping gaz and methylated spirits can be found in a small shop opposite a couple of cafes in Marrakech at the following location near Jemaa el Fna N31° 37.459’  W 007° 59.351’
The shop opens after 9am. They sell camping gaz and some basic essentials.

Kit
Our bikepacking kit list is available for download here.

Other Routes
If you’d like to look at some other routes we’ve taken, then take a peek at routes, trails and tracks.

Wildcamping
A guide to stealth camping can be found here.

Bikepacking route Agadir to Ouarzazate looking towards the high atlas morocco

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a 'modest explorer'. Nothing modest about me.

3 Comments:

  1. Many thanks for all the info and route.

    I have a month off for a tour next February. I had been checking out Ethiopia but there appears to be increasing unrest there. And a couple if charity works based north if Addis Ababa have told me it’s unwise to visit at the moment ( although I guess things can change ).
    So that leaves Marrakech and the Atlas area.

    One question; I tour on a Thorn Raven with Rohloff hub. No fat tires or suspension.
    It got me around the Pamir Highway and Sri Lanka.
    Are the roads you took, that bad?

    Many thanks

    Matt

    • Meraid Griffin

      Hi Matt,
      The roads which are paved are fine often excellent as much work is being done on building the infrastructure. My partner’s current bike is fitted with a Rohloff and has rigid forks which work perfectly on rough off-road tracks. Locals ride fairly basic bikes on all surfaces without problems so I’m sure your Thorn bike will be fine. I understand they are made for touring.

      I’ve never been to Ethiopia so can’t comment on that country. I was in Morocco several years ago during a period of political unrest and protests. I felt safe even when I was alone in the cities despite what the world’s media was reporting.

      The people are naturally curious and often get up close and personal but it’s all part of embracing the culture. You will probably be offered food from other travellers and should try to share a little of what you have too, for example if you have an orange to spare or a handful of nuts. Moroccans are well travelled within their homeland and always willing to help and guide fellow travellers.

      Some of the route shown goes over tracks but there is no need to take these as there are roads which go to the same place, but it is off-road that I enjoy most.
      Hope you have a wonderful time.
      Meraid

    • Meraid Griffin

      You might fancy reading this piece on Bikepacking Southern Morocco which summarises the trip.

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