Touring Morocco by Bike (10): Merzouga – N’Kob
Merzouga – Rissani – Alnif – Tazzarine – N’Kob (224km)
It was pretty hard to leave the amazing Merzouga.
After Merzouga, I rode on a boring 35km flat road to Rissani, a dusty city with nothing special, so I continued my journey after the lunch. The road goes along the area that lines with small hills with different layers or in strange shapes, which are formed by water erosion. There are bushes on the land, and I saw tents of shepherds near the hill occasionally, although this is a main road, but it has very less traffic, and sometimes you can find a small hill just next to the road which you can hide yourself if you do wild camping.
It is about 60km from Rissani to Camp Auberge Azurite, and there is no place for supply until Alnif, 95km from Rissani. Camp Auberge Azurite is a basic campground in a small village, which even doesn’t have a kiosk. The friendly owner seemed sorry to charge me because I was a cyclist, he asked me how much I want to pay~ but given the location of the campsite, I doubt if people who drive would stay here.
The next morning I cycled about 35km to Alnif, a small city like the others in this region, also a oasis with a huge palmeraie and plenty of fields. I was feeling relief every time I reached a oasis, because the landscape is almost unchanged for few hours. It seemed there’s no hotel in this city, I visited the small but informative fossil shop – Ihmadi Trilobites Centre and learned how to discover the fossil from a stone, which was quite interesting.
It is about 65km to Tazzarine, and then another 35km to N’Kob. Scenery is quite similar in this region. There are two campsites on the road, one is Kasbah Meteorites, at 13km west of Alnif, the other is Camp Amasttou at Tazzarine.
N’Kob is truly a hidden gem of Morocco, I saw fewer than 5 tourists in two days, and I was really surprised there are so many different treasures in Morocco. There are 45 Kasbah in N’kob (I just know there are many~), Kasbah is a traditional house with defending purpose, so it looks like a big castle rather than a house. Walking in the small lane with muddy walls in the old town, it was like a time travel. There is a square surrounded by abandoned or restored Kasbahs, locals were chatting or drying the dates, formed a delighted atmosphere. People are also more unsophisticated here because there are not many tourists, I visited two hotels which was renovated from historical Kasbah, and the staffs were so much welcome.
There is a dirt road from N’Kob to Dades/Tinghir, which cross a 2000m mountain pass, seems quite adventurous.
Information / Accommodation:
The area is not a barren like the last route, there are still some bushes growing and sometimes u can see shepherds and houses, but you can only get food/water in those cities, and there are very few campsites and all are mention here.
- Camp Auberge Azurite (30MAD, hot shower)
- GPS: 31.221577, -4.821956
- inside a small village called M Ssici, 9km from Rissani, a very basic campground which is actually the land next to the owner’s house. There is even no kiosk at this village.
- Kasbah Meteorites
- GPS: 31.027998, -5.266213
- Website: http://www.kasbahmeteorites.com
- Tel: 0535882288
- about 13km west of Alnif, I took a look and facilities seems good, but it’s strange that the owner didn’t want to tell the price of camping.
- Camp Amasttou
- GPS: 30.775484, -5.563101
- located at the junction to Nkob at Tazzarine, Tazzarine is a pleasant town with several restaurants and hotels.
- Auberge-Camping Ouadjou (60MAD, Hot shower, WI-FI)
- GPS: 30.868552, -5.868412
- Tel: 0524839314
- The only campsite at N’kob, they were doing renovation, and there is a small supermarket nearby.