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Tuesday, 3 May 2016 12:00 AM

A Self-Driving Holiday in Morocco – Driving in Morocco

Mike and Jane, both in their late 70s, decided to do a self-driving trip in late February/ early March in the south of Morocco organised by Naturally Morocco. It was their first self-driving trip outside of Europe and was an exceptional one and they share their first person(s) account of their trip here (we have added the links to relevant pages):

“Our Route in the South of Morocco

Our final route took us from Agadir to a first night in Tafraoute, then on to Taroudant, Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzarzate and finally Marrakech, with two nights in each place except Ait Benhaddou so we weren’t driving every day - which suited us very well.

We typically drove for 4-5 hours between these places, but we were driving very slowly with lots of stops for food, drink and general stretching of legs and enjoying the scenery.

We did an extra little drive from Ouarzazate down the Dades and Draa valleys, but we probably didn’t drive far enough for the best scenery and it would be advisable to have a longer itinerary with accommodation at the far ends of the valleys if you wanted to explore them more. Getting out of Ouarzazate proved difficult, but a couple of policemen soon helped.

Driving in Morocco

Two things stand out about driving in Morocco from our trip.

The first is that most roads out of towns are narrow so that you can’t pass on-coming vehicles without going off tarmac, and it takes quite a while to get used to driving like that. As every vehicle approached there appeared to be a game to see who would blink first and leave the road, Jane would shriek, and we would leave the tarmac onto the gravel side without going into the ditch beyond. The most obvious exception to this was, thankfully, the road over the High Atlas that was wide enough for two cars and made that leg the most stunning and enjoyable of all - we highly recommend it (in good weather). But all in all, we soon got used to the game and became quite adept at leaving the tarmac for a few seconds.

The tarmac roads appeared in generally very good order and there were fewer pot holes than we have back home.

The second was that there was very little traffic outside of towns and very little was travelling fast, which made the whole driving experience quite pleasant. Around towns traffic was very slow and, compared to driving in French or Italian towns, was very pleasant with little barging or hooting at all. We understood that Morocco has a high casualty rate on its roads, but we could only presume that they were pedestrians walking on the roads or cyclists, as both caused us some angst around towns.

Moroccan Scenery

Outside of the towns and the flat landscape before the hills outside of Agadir we were consistently in very laid back and beautiful scenery, which made the journey.

Our drive over the High Atlas was wonderful. Reddy brown colours we understood to be iron ores and green colours indicating copper with snow on the surrounding peaks. With a good road, very little traffic, lots of passing places and us driving slowly it was probably the most relaxing day’s driving and far easier than expected, although there were not many lunch stops on that leg.

The Weather

We must say that we were very lucky with the weather - it was almost perfect for our trip.

Whether the weather we had was typical of that at that time of year (late Feb – early March) we have no idea, but every day except one we had a deep blue sunny sky with temperatures around the mid 20s (we had 24 hours of overcast weather with a cool breeze from the High Atlas mountains).

We had breakfasts outside each morning but couldn’t quiet eat out in the evening even though we only needed thin pull-overs in the evenings. 

It was a great time of year great for travel, and we found driving in Morocco very enjoyable.”