Cycling the Sahara Desert – Bicycle trip in Morocco

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Updated May 6, 2017 / João Leitão / 9 Comments / Filed in: / Reading time 4 minutes
Cycling the Sahara Desert - bicycle trip in Morocco

Cycling the Sahara Desert – bicycle trip in Morocco

SAHARA DESERT CYCLING MOROCCO 🇲🇦

Traveling slowly, humbly and with the simple company of a bicycle can be very rewarding.

A few years ago I decided on biking the Sahara Desert tracks from Erfoud all the way to Erg Chebbi Dunes.

Erfoud is a Moroccan desert city where I lived during 4 years.

This city is the entrance point to reach Erg Chebbi Dunes also known as Merzouga Dunes.

A small section of the itinerary is done on asphalt but quickly the road changes to rough desert tracks, sand and rocks.

Mountain bike and camels in Sahara Desert

Mountain bike and camels in Sahara Desert

Erg Chebbi Dunes are located on the southeastern part of Morocco just aside the Algerian border.

From my house and back the trip was roughly 100 km / 62 miles.

When biking Sahara Desert, the weather conditions can be very tough due to the dry air, strong direct Sun, harsh terrain and strong chilly winds.

Bicycle ride the Sahara Desert in Morocco

Bicycle ride the Sahara Desert

This trip is not as easy at it seems, because it is very easy to dehydrate, get thirsty and tired. Exhaustion and fatigue strike fast. But the exoticism of the travel is remarkable.

Traveling with a mountain bike in Sahara Desert, along with dunes and camels is a fantastic way to enjoy life while traveling independently in Morocco.

The reason of this page is to motivate you to discover the region where you live. Usually we have so many nice places around our home, that we can just go and enjoy traveling with bicycle – relaxing and enjoying life.

NOTE: these pictures were taken with my cell phone so don’t expect the best quality.

📍 Map and Itinerary

Map of Merzouga and Erfoud region - Itinerary of traveling by bicycle in Morocco

Map of Merzouga and Erfoud region – Itinerary of traveling by bicycle in Morocco

✅ Section 1 – Erfoud to Carrière de fossiles

End of the road from Erfoud to Carriere de fossils

End of the road from Erfoud to Carriere de fossils

ℹ️ Approximately 15 km of asphalt until reaching Erfoud’s “Carrière de fossiles” – one of the most famous Morocco’s fossil beds. This segment of the road is very beautiful because it mixes red color rocky mountains and sand. Erfoud is famous for its many marine fossil quarries,  because they contain fossilized colonies of invertebrate mollusks of incredible diversity. More than 500 million years ago in the Paleozoic era, the sea covered much of the globe including Morocco and the region of Erfoud.

✅ Section 2 – Carrière de fossiles to Derkaoua

Erfoud Fossil beds in Sahara Desert

Erfoud Fossil beds in Sahara Desert

ℹ️ Desert tracks with some deep sand. Some nomad children selling local handicraft. Two water wells and a few camels.

✅ Section 3 – Derkaoua to Hotel Auberge Café du Sud

Erg Chebbi dunes and the road coming from Erfoud

Erg Chebbi dunes and the road coming from Erfoud

ℹ️ Mix of rocks, desert tracks, volcanic cobalt landscape and camels.

🚲 Desert Biking in Morocco

Now, some pictures from the whole trip.

Stop sign written in Arabic

Stop sign in Arabic

📷 In the middle of nowhere, just when the asphalt ends, there’s a stop sign written in Arabic.

Biking Sahara Desert

Biking Sahara Desert

ℹ️ While biking Sahara Desert it is very important to keep up with water and energy loss. After the first section of my trip, I stopped to eat some fresh dates and drink some water.

Road from Erfoud to Derkaoua

Erfoud to Derkaoua

📷 Road from Erfoud to Merzane (Derkaoua).

Desert Tracks from Erfoud to Fossil beds

Erfoud to Fossil beds

📷 Desert Tracks from Erfoud to Fossil beds.

Mud house in Sahara Desert

Mud house

📷 Mud house in Sahara Desert. This is a small shop selling fossils like trilobites, ammonites, orthoceras and crinoids.

Travel by bicycle in Morocco

Travel by bicycle in Morocco

ℹ️ Travel by bicycle in Morocco is an amazing experience. Biking in Sahara Desert is a hard yet fulfilling experience. This part of the road has a lot of sand. Sometimes it is just better to walk along with the bicycle by your side.

Road just before reaching Derkaoua oasis

Road just before reaching Derkaoua oasis

📷 Road just before reaching Derkaoua oasis.

Sahara Desert water well

Sahara Desert water well

📷 Sahara Desert water well. This well is maintained by desert shepherds as they use them to give their thirsty camels something to drink.

Sahara Desert vegetation

Sahara Desert vegetation

📷 Sahara Desert vegetation.

Merzouga desert tracks

Merzouga desert tracks

📷 Merzouga desert tracks. On this picture you can notice some purple rocky mountains on the horizon. Those belong to Algeria, and are the actual natural border with Morocco.

Speedometer and odometer of my bicycle

Speedometer and odometer of my bicycle

Part of my bike equipment consists of a nice and simple odometer / speedometer; this way I can entertain myself following how fast I go and how many KM I’ve accomplished.

Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks

Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks

📷 Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks. The enormous quantity of orange sand starts to be noticed on the horizon.

Camels on the tracks to Merzouga Dunes

Camels on the tracks to Merzouga Dunes

📷 Camels on the tracks to Merzouga Dunes.

Biking Sahara Desert along with camels

Biking Sahara Desert along with camels

📷 Biking Sahara Desert along with camels.

Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks

Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks

📷 Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks.

Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks

Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks

📷 Erg Chebbi Dunes and tracks.

Road sign of hotel Auberge Cafe du Sud

Road sign of hotel Auberge Cafe du Sud

📷 Road sign of hotel Auberge Café du Sud.

Dunes in front of hotel Auberge Cafe du Sud

Dunes in front of hotel Auberge Cafe du Sud

📷 Dunes in front of hotel Auberge Café du Sud. In terms of services, this hotel in Morocco offers you accommodation, swimming pool, camel trekking experiences, exclusive luxury bivouacs (Berber camps) in the dunes and restaurant.

Travel by Bicycle in Morocco

Travel by Bicycle in Morocco

Visual artist shares inspiring photos and exotic travel destinations. Adventure travel blogger with ideas and narratives to motivate independent travelers and audacious backpackers. Intense journeys into more than 126 countries around Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania since 1999. Expat in Morocco – North Africa since 2007, polyglot and proud Lonely Planet Pathfinders blogger.


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9 Comments. Leave new

Damn! I went to the Sahara Morocco but did not know you can do it by bike. Great post and photographs!

Reply

Hi !

You have done a beautiful thing!
But the bike … where did you get it?
I can find a rental in Erfoud?
Otherwise, where can I find?
Along this your way, there are places where to stay and eat and drink?
Thanks Joao!

Reply

hey Arctos! thank you for your comment. Well, the bike is mine, I lived in Erfoud for 4 years. And along the way to the dunes, there is no place to get drinks, so you better get some along the way. When you get near the dunes, there are some small shops they sell water and sodas. 🙂

Reply

ana ghir f marrakech a still home kayna chi khdma m3akk

Reply

salam! la walou raja. boussa bislama

Reply

nice job amazing bart9issssss its long time good luck joao

Reply

With this scenary any camera takes good photos..

Reply

haha YES I guess so Rui Castro! big hug and thank you for your comment.

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