Morocco: Over the mountains and to the dunes we go

Morocco: Over the mountains and to the dunes we go

Morocco: Over the mountains and to the dunes we go

Morocco: Over the mountains and to the dunes we go

Morocco has always been on my bucket list. It ticked all the boxes: exotic, beautiful, and a region I’d never been to and knew little about. But I knew I had to go.

In 2019, before the world shut down, we began designing our trip, exploring all potential routes, partners, and accommodations. However, the events of 2020 put everything on pause.

Fast forward a few years, and we were finally able to realize the trip I had been dreaming of for years, and it totally exceeded my expectations.

Our journey began in Marrakech, a city that feels like a step back in time with its traditional red sandstone buildings, vibrant aromatic souks, and donkeys pulling carts through narrow alleyways. It’s a rare scene that evokes a deep, visceral feeling of adventure.

Once our group assembled, we headed east to cross the towering Atlas Mountains en route to Ghassate, where our riding adventure would begin.

Morocco is often associated with hot, arid deserts, but many don't realize the enormous mountain range cutting through the country. The landscape is incredibly diverse, from beautiful coastal towns to rugged, snow-capped mountains and rolling hills north towards Fez, reminiscent of Italy with their olive groves and agriculture.

Arriving in Ghassate, we embarked on our ride toward the edge of the Sahara Desert, Erg Chigaga, near the Algerian border.

Over the next five days, we left the Atlas Mountains behind, crossed the Anti-Atlas Mountains, and wove our way through the Draa Valley, an ancient trade route connecting Sub-Saharan Africa to the Mediterranean. Eventually, we found ourselves sipping champagne atop a velvety dune in the Sahara Desert.

Along the way, we met some of the most hospitable people I've encountered in all my travels, always eager to offer mint tea and share their stories.

One of my favorite conversations happened during a transfer to the ride's starting point. We stopped in a small village for lunch and tea at a place known only to our local liaisons, Redouan and Aziz. A young man in his 20s served us tea and shared his life story. He spoke excellent English and recounted how a doctor's visit for anxiety and depression led to a unique prescription: travel. He traveled and returned home rejuvenated and energized.

I’m no doctor, but I agree that travel can offer tremendous perspective, depth, and richness to life that might be missed if one remains stationary.

As we continued, we stayed in beautiful historic kasbahs, rode through lush palm groves, enjoyed freshly prepared tagines, and traded stories with our Berber team.

The pièce de résistance was on the last day, approaching the dunes as if the dunes were a mirage materializing before us. Nothing was as surreal or gratifying as traversing this vast and rugged landscape to find ourselves amidst these beautiful, ever-changing golden dunes.

When we create our trips, we aim to capture the true essence of an area—from its culture, landscapes, food, and drink, to its people. Our trip to Morocco did just that.

I hope you get to travel to Morocco at some point in your life. If you don’t, you’ll truly miss out on one of the most beautiful and hospitable countries there is, in our opinion!

Until next time,

Collin Daulong

Founder & Owner

KC&E Adventures