Touring Morocco by Bike (20) : Rabat – Tangier

20-rabat-tangier

Rabat – Asilah – Tangier

Rabat – Asilah – Tangier (283km)
The end of my cycling trip in Morocco, I really want to thanks everyone I have met here, you all give me such a enjoyable and unforgettable journey.

Day 1:Rabat – 30km before Moulay Bousselham

From Rabat, I crossed the bridge to Sale, and headed north on the N1 national road, there’s not much traffic and I reached Sidi Taibi after riding 30km. I turned to the smaller road to Mehida, the area in between is a protected wetland reserve, which is very green and pleasant.

Mehida was pretty deserted in winter, there were only few surfers around. There is a campground, the staff told me I can stay for free, I was not sure why, maybe it’s not opening at that season. There is a abandoned castle which is covered with weeds and a fish port with a food square, and it is a good place to have lunch for nearby seafood.

You can reach the modern and busy Kenitra downtown after a small climb. I took a smaller road to Moulay Bousselham (with no sign), this road goes along a quiet farming area, although it is quite near to the sea, but all you see are fields and greenhouses… for few days, it’s a boring scenery. Locals and kids were so friendly and greeted me, when it’s getting dark, more and more people asked me if I wanted to stay at their places. I had just came back from Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year, and this was my first day to cycle again, the contrast of the people relationship in two countries were remarkably strong.

I planed to reach Moulay Bousselham, but I had a tremendous strong head wind, so I looked for places for wild camping, there’s actually some forests on the road, but strangely there’s always some people chatting or just sitting around, at the end I just set my tent on the roadside.

There was a episode in the evening, the clear sky started lightning, it came closer slowly from the ocean, then followed by heavy rain and crazy strong wind, I didn’t set the tent probably and water was leaking. I was little bit struggled but I still needed to fix it because too much water was inside. I went out just for a minute, but already completely wet and dirty. Those frightening thunder were just like above my head, every time I have this situation, I can’t stop thinking what will happen if I get hit by the thunderstorm…


Day 2:30km before Moulay Bousselham – Moulay Bousselham

It’s about 10km to the small town – Khenache, just remind you that there is no shops or restaurants between Kenitra and Khenache. There is a big forest just after Khenache and it seems a good place for wild camping, then soon you will reach Moulay Bousselham after some villages and fields.

Moulay Bousselham is a tranquil seaside town, there is big Lagoon of intersection of sea water and sweet water which is a internationally important wildfowl reserve, you can hire a boat with a guide for birdwatching. On the other side of the town, there is a big beach with strong currents which is probably for surfers only. The central market is at the hill, I was there during the strawberry season, it was so cheap! just 10MAD/KG!

Moulay Bousselham Photos
No photos


Day 3: Moulay Bousselham – Asilah

It’s all farming fields for 50km from Moulay Bousselham to Larache, the road is the separation line of the fields, when I look at the straight road map, it reminds me of the African countries border. The road condition is good and there is not much traffic, I was feeling confused on this straight road and endless fields with a head wind, but there was no place to take a rest.

Larache is a laid-back city with Roman ruins in the country, Lixus is not as impressive as Volubilis, but the ruins located at the hilltop do form a very special atmosphere. The old town of Larache has some buildings or fortress built by the Portuguese or Spanish, also worth a visit.

Larache Photos
No photos

I followed the busy N1 national road to Asilah. There was a 5km steep climb and I felt more relax because the landscape was changing. There are some villages and restaurants after the climb, and a forest perfect for wild camping when you are going downhill.

The last 15km before Asilah was a new constructed wide road, almost parallel to the highway, so the road was almost empty.

Asilah Photos


Asilah – Tangier , Via Cap Spartel

I stayed in Asilah for about 3 weeks, It was always strong breeze from the north in this region. The N1 road is quiet flat, mostly along small forest or beaches, and you can find restaurants in every few km. From Asilah to the north, after 30km you reach Boukhalef and just before the airport, there is a small road heading to Cap Spartel along a 10km beach, which is quite good for wild camping. The road was renovating and it’s all dirt road until Camp Achakkar.

Wind was so strong that I could hardly move, so I stopped at Camp Achakkar, a very basic and overpriced campsite. It’s few km from a tourist place Cap Spartel, actually only a lighthouse with a forest and caves, it’s not that special at atll. After a 200m climb and a green zone, you can see a huge club house at the top of the hill and this quiet area are full of houses for upper class, from there, it’s not far to the city center of Tangier. (It’s less than 20km from Camp Achakkar to Tangier)

Riding on this route should be quite pleasant if there is no head wind, most of the road goes along forest and beaches, it’s relatively flat and many restaurants/cafes are on the roadside. But for me, it was the hardest part for cycling in Morocco, the wind was terribly strong. Sometimes I needed to push the bicycle even on a flat road, and it’s always head wind until I reached Tangier Med. From Tangier to Tanger Med, the road was narrow and quite much traffic, it was quite dangerous with side wind. I took the GNV ferry from Tanger Med to Genoa in Italy.

5 months in Morocco, it’s time to say goodbye~

** Road condition from Tangier Med to Tangier, you can see from here.

Information / Accommodation:
There are many routes from Rabat to Tangier, it’s difficult to mention all. If you take smaller road, it’s possible to there is no restaurants or cafes for 50km, if you take the N1 national road, you should be able to find many places to stay along the road.

  • Medhia
    • Camping International Medhia
    • GPS: 34.259271, -6.673112
    • 10km from Kenitra, the staff told me I can stay for free.
  • Moulay Bousselham
    • Camping International(60MAD, WI-FI, Hot shower)
      • GPS: 34.8751, -6.286641
      • very good location near the lagoon, and close to the market too.
    • Camping Flamants Loisirs(60MAD, WI-FI, Hot shower)
      • GPS: 34.875012, -6.279745
  • Larache
    • Camp Larache(30MAD, WI-FI, Hot shower)
      • GPS: 35.162116, -6.141917
    • Marjane Supermarket
      • GPS: 35.154748, -6.140396
  • Asilah
    • Camp Echrigui (40MAD, WI-FI, Hot Shower)
      • GPS: 35.472468, -6.027985
    • Camp Saada (40MAD, WI-FI, Hot Shower)
      • GPS: 35.471887, -6.028711
      • Good grass surface, you can ask them to prepare meal for 50MAD
  • Briech Camp
    • GPS: 35.52915, -5.997426
    • 10km from Asliah
  • Cap Spartel
    • Camp Achakkar (65MAD, Hot Shower 20MAD)
      • GPS: 35.759578, -5.936301
      • Basic campsite, nearby cafe has WI-FI
  • Tangier
    • Camping Miramonte (50MAD, hot Shower 15MAD, small kitchen available)
      • GPS: 35.79123, -5.832658
      • Email: mounir.stephan.dick@hotmail.com
      • Tel: 672207055 / 634260386 / 534423322
    • Other Information
      • DECATHLON (GPS: 35.746461, -5.843143): Bicycle and basic parts
      • Several supermarket such as Carrefour, Marjane and Acima

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  1. August 3, 2017

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