Travel Experiences

Marrakech: Discover Agafay Desert In Style

Marrakech: Discover Agafay Desert In Style
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Marrakech, Agafay Desert Beauty in Fine Style

Over the course of their travels, travellers accumulate memories that crystallise beauty and emotion, as if suspended in time. I had the privilege of experiencing one of these moments in eternity when exploring the Agafay Desert in Morocco, travelling in a sidecar. 

We travellers aren’t on a quest to collect stamps for our passports, we aren’t looking to cross countries off our “must-visit” list (“been there, done that”), and we certainly don’t travel just to post selfies. We travel for that glorious feeling of freedom that brings us closer to others and the wonderful world we live in. We also travel in search of ourselves. 

Side-car marrakech
Marrakech Desert Agafay side car eaam

All Eyes On Marrakech

It’s nine in the morning, or perhaps ten. Lingering at a peaceful riad, the tranquillity is suddenly broken with the roar of two motorbikes as they drive up and come to a halt. A few seconds later Felix bursts onto the patio radiating an infectious, sincere joy. Felix, member of Insiders, will be our guide for our ride, as will Rachel. 

Marrakech Desert Agafay side car eaam
Marrakech side car eaam

 Departure from Marrakech  – © éaam

We share a coffee, then leave the riad to check out the sidecars. They are resplendent, lustrous. We greet Rachel. We get the vehicles ready and secure our luggage, then set out at last. The motorbikes purr, echoing our arrival as we head down the little alleyways of Marrakech. People turn their heads and smile at our vintage caravan passing through. Some give a thumbs-up: Marrakshis just love side-cars. The warm, friendly looks and smiles we exchange add another dimension to our adventure. 

Hitting The Tracks

A few miles out, we exit the main road and head down a dirt track. It starts getting bumpy, yet we are pleasantly surprised by the comfort of our sidecars, which seem to simply slide over sand and rock. 

Our first stop on this road trip is to an ancient palace with a fascinating story. Our hosts share a traditional lunch with us, prepared especially for us, since nobody else is about. This adventure is as exclusive as it is intimate. We really are off the beaten track, here!

Agafay Desert And The Imposing Atlas Mountains 

Back on track, literally, we pass through a few last villages and arrive at the Agafay Desert: its rocky immensity, its stolid sand dunes, and the Atlas Mountains, a backdrop. The  imposing mountains conjuring the image of their mythical namesake, the Titan holding up the sky.

Agafay Desert & the Atlas  – © éaam

We rush ahead: the wind sweeps our faces as we contemplate the horizon’s ever-changing contours. The desert is magnificent, vibrant and still on a human scale: as we round a hill, we see a shepherd herding his flock. We stop to greet him and watch the flock retreating. And then, there’s silence. Silence  and a breath of wind. Silence that speaks louder than words.

Agafay Desert – © éaam

Suddenly a familiar, yet unexpected noise: Felix has opened a bottle of white wine. We drink it together, gazing upon one of the most beautiful views in the world. Another moment in eternity. 

Vin Marrakech Desert Agafay side-car moto eaam

A glass of white wine in the desert  – © éaam

Sunset Over a Eucalyptus Forest

Our next stop is the bivouac which appears as we round one last bend. A dozen or so white tents are dotted across a spectacular landscape. Founded by a photographer, Scarabeo Camp is sheer beauty, inspiring such nomadic dreams. 

Le Scarabeo Camp – © Scarabeo Camp & © Lily Rose (Discover their incredible pictures here)

We drop off our luggage, but there’s no time to linger because nightfall is nigh and Felix has promised to take us to see a truly magnificent sight: a eucalyptus forest in the middle of the desert. Behind it, the sun sets and the night seems to scatter thousands of stars across the sky. 

Forêt Eucalyptus Agafay Desert Marrakech

Eucalyptus Forest & Sunset – © éaam

Scarabeo Camp Slumbers Beneath The Stardust

We head back to the camp now twinkling in the dark: the bivouac is lit with a hundred Arabian lanterns. We are to stay in tastefully decorated tents. We feel affinity with travellers who have gone before us, who knows, that trunk doubling as a table might have belonged to Lawrence of Arabia

Campfires are lit and we meet up with Rachel & Felix watching the embers. We share stories of our travels, of shared experiences: our life in China, and Ireland where Felix grew up, Rachel’s historical research on a district in Marrakech. We share anecdotes which give way to laughter. Soon we are sharing a Moroccan feast. A delightful evening beneath the Milky Way. 

Bivouac Scarabeo Camp Marrakech Desert Desert

Scarabeo Camp at night- © Scarabeo Camp

The Most Beautiful Café In The World

Waking at Scarabeo Camp and contemplating the Atlas Mountains with a cup of coffee, it’s as if we’re conversing with the Universe; in silence. Feeling alive, this is the first day of the rest of our lives. It’s mystical. 

Bivouac Desert Agafay Scarabeo Camp Marrakech

A moment in eternity – © éaam

It’s time to make our way back; serene, bathed in the beauty of the desert as clouds scurry playfully over it. 

At last, Marrakech! Its effervescence, hustle and bustle, the scent of spices, the medina… what a contrast!

Time to bid farewell to Felix and Rachel who now feel like old friends. 

At the time of writing, Rachel & Felix are planning to come and visit Madrid

 Team Up – © éaam

Useful informations for the experience

Book a motorcycle (2 people) for 855 € / two days and one night / with :

  • English / French / Chinese
  • Pick up at your Hotel, in Marrakech
  • A motorcycle and its rider
  • Meals (One lunch and one dinner)
  • One night at Scarabeo Camp + breakfast
  • Return to Marrakech, wherever you want
  • The activity is also kid friendly

Ne manquez pas la publication de notre prochain billet, …

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Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Traveler & Poet


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