Touring Morocco by Bike (2) : Chefchaouen – Moulay Idriss Zerhoun – Meknes – Fez
Chefchaouen – Moulay Idriss Zerhoun （186km）
Leaving the blue hill town Chefchaouen, I headed to the south. After riding downhill for about 10km, I was on N13 national road again. Just 25km of ride, I reached Laghdir, where you can find some restaurants. I was so lucky to see a traditional wedding party there.
From Laghdir, cycled about 10km mountain road inside a valley, you will reach a relatively flat area called Ouezzane. The mountain road is of slopes that you have to climb up and down but the difference in height would be no more than 100m. There are farmlands next to the road and you will meet shepherds with livestock sometimes.
Chefchaouen is about 70km away from Ouezzane. Ouezzane is a small city and there is no reason to stop. There is a campsite, “Motel Rif” located 5km after you pass the city. I reached there just before sunset and found that they only serve Caravan. But the hippie style boss was very nice, he let me camping there and used their facilities for free, so I ‘returned a favour’ to him for having a over-priced dinner in his restaurant.
Heading to the south from there, the scenery is quite similar until I reached about 20km away from Moulay Idriss Zerhoun. The road became uphill road again and olive trees are frequently seen in this area. Roman Ruin Volubilis is closed-by, you will reach the only campsite in this region – Camping Zerhoun Belle Vue, which is around 10km from Moulay Idriss Zerhoun.
- Motel Rif
- GPS：34.772705, -5.544475
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun/Volubilis Information
- Camping Zerhoun Belle Vue（40MAD, hot shower）
- GPS：34.015176, -5.562275
- 10km from Moulay Idriss, location is quite remote, but it is a good base to do day trip to Volubilis and Moulay Idriss.
- Other information
- Moulay Idriss Zerhoun：Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss is the main reason to visit this place, but it is closed to non-Muslim. You probably can find budget hotel in this town.
- Volubilis (Oualili)：A Roman ruin, which dated back to Common Era, it is famous for the well preserved mosaics. Although Roman Empire was based in Europe, it did occupy large area of North Africa. There are several Roman Ruins like Volubilis in Morocco too. If you come here in summer, remember to bring lots of water!
Moulay Idriss／Volubilis Photos
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun – Meknes（18km）
It is only 18km from Camping Zerhoun Belle Vue to Meknes, but just don’t underestimate the summer temperature in Morocco. My Garmin showed it’s 50°C ! It was a tough ride; I couldn’t imagine how the condition further south near the desert area would be.
- No campsite in city center
- I stayed in Hotel Maroc (50MAD, rooftop with bed, Hot shower, WI-FI)
- GPS：33.893949, -5.55966
- Prefect location near the medina, staying on the rooftop is probably more comfortable than staying in a room in summer (a room costs about 100MAD/person)
- Other Information
- Meknes is one of the four imperial cities, it is less famous, comparing to the well-known Marrakesh and Fez, but it’s worth spending some days there, I loved to wander around in the small lanes inside medina, people smiled all the time.
Meknes – Fez（62km）
Connecting the two big cities is N6 national road. There’s nothing special to write about it, it’s simply a flat and broad road that there is a cycling path. Guess it is a global trend promoting cycling as a daily transport rather than as a sport. Every time I see cycling development in these ‘developing’ country, I will think about the outdated policies in our so-called modern and trendy Hong Kong.
- Fez’s tourism industry is booming, there are many hostels in medina, cost about 60-70MAD for a bed.
- Camping International de Fes（70MAD, hot shower）
- GPS：33.999496, -4.969284
- located in new town (ville nouvelle), which is a few km from medina. I didn’t stayed there, but it was quite basic and dull. With this price, I would rather stay in hostel.
- Other Information
- Traditional handicrafts, Islamic architecture and narrow lanes. Fez’s medina is even more authentic than Marrakesh. However, I couldn’t enjoy staying here, maybe it was too hot in summer, maybe those people working for tourists were too annoying. I couldn’t stay longer than 1 hour in medina. Everyone you meet there is just trying to do business with you.
- Carrefour Supermarket（GPS：34.046303, -4.994902）