We meet on Friday evening to catch the 5.15 PM cruise ferry from Portsmouth to Santander and need to be at the check-in for at least 1hr before we sail. Russ will be waiting for you to check you in and to handout 2-way radios. Please fuel up before boring the ferry, it saves time when we disembark in Santander. We will have a get together on the ferry for a full briefing.
Sail 5.15 PM from Portsmouth to Santander on the Brittany Ferries Cruise ship [not included approx. £700 depending on your vehicle and cabins]. We are on the ferry overnight, so there’s plenty of time to relax and enjoy the crossing.
Arrive in Santander and regroup when everybody has disembarked the ferry. We hit the road and we will arrange a hotel for the night (cost approximately £60 not included). The adventure can start off the ferry as snowstorms are common at this time of year through the Picos mountains.
It’s on the road after a good breakfast towards Salamanca and then on to Algeciras. This is a long journey on mainly empty motorways with one toll near Seville (10 Euros). We have all day to get there and we don’t rush; there are speed cameras so be aware; fines incurred will be waiting for you when you get back to the UK. On arriving in Algeciras, we check into the Holiday Inn Express (£60 approximately. not included) for the evening with the backdrop of Gibraltar. Russ will go to the port and buy the Spain/Morocco ferry open return tickets to save time in the morning (Ferry cost of approximately £170 is not included).
It’s an early start to catch the first ferry to Morocco and we need to be at the terminal just before 6 AM. This being a recce we may sail to Tanger’s for a change. When we disembark the ferry be prepared for a culture shock; you are now in Africa! On working our way through the traffic and the city we hit the A1 along the Atlantic coast; it’s a toll road but is the quickest route to get where we need to be; the tolls are not expensive and we need to stick to the speed limit to avoid radar traps. Our target is to arrive in Essaouira, one of the jewels of Morocco, an amazing walled fishing port, that’s straight out of the film set of Casablanca. This is our first-night camping (included). This journey is 440 miles but it has to be done and is worth it. In Tangers we will buy vehicle insurance and change money for dirham.
Now the recce really begins as we head further south, calling in at Paradise Valley about 20 miles from Agadir, famous for its famous waterfalls and outstanding beauty. We will camp in the area possibly in the wilds or Agadir
Its time to start exploring! As we hug the road along the Atlantic coast, passing through Sidi Ifni, on to the Plage Blanche for some beach driving and wild beach camping.
We keep heading south along the wild coastline looking out for the many rusting hulks of ships. We will be heading for Tarfaya / Cap Judy via Tan-Tan gateway to the Western Sahara, and we will be here overnight spending time having a look around and buying food for the next leg to Laayoune, the last major town before the border. We will spend the night at Laayoune campsite.
Laayoune to how far do we go south? Before running back up alongside the berm, where we will head back up towards Smara through the Sahara Occidental.
We head towards the Oued Draa riverbed, working along the border where possible. Wild camping is on the cards for the evening.
Working our way along the Draa valley towards Assa and maybe beyond to Foum El Hisn.
Foum El Hisn to Tata making ground on the Sahara Highway, the N12. We will arrive in Tata and have a look around this border town.
Tata to Taroudant via Igherm; we have now turned north and are headed back up country. Taroudant is well worth a visit and is known as the Grandmother of Marrakesh in the Sous Valley, it is enclosed by ramparts with an excellent souk and square; here we will stay in an Auberge for the night (cost included).
It’s time to do some serious mileage by motorway back up the coast to Larache (450 miles and 8 or 9 hours). Stops will depend on how well we are keeping with the schedule.
Larache to Tangers or Tangers Med to catch the ferry back to Algeciras where we will spend the at the Holiday Inn Express.
Travel from Algeciras to Salamanca (a 400 mile drive) to the jewel in the crown for our last evening of the holiday, it’s a very special place to end your adventure.
We have plenty of time to travel from Salamanca to Santander, even time to have another wander around this historic city, before heading off on the last leg to catch the 8 PM ferry to Portsmouth.
It’s time to relax on the Brittany Ferries cruise ship as we sail back home. We should arrive in the UK at about 8.45 PM. In total, you will have travelled approximately 3500 miles.
- Other Information
- Suitable for vehicles such as Discovery 3/4/5, Defender, Range Rover, Shogun, Land Cruiser, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, prepared for off-road & camping.
- All-Terrain tyres such as BFG KO2’s or better including a full-size wheel and tyre are required. If you have an odd size tyre a 6th spare tyre is advisable.
- You will need an International Driving Permit for Spain & Morocco which can both be acquired from the main post office.
- European Assistance for your vehicle and holiday/medical insurance is essential.
- You must carry the V5 & MOT certificate (originals) for your vehicle.
- A vehicle insurance green card is mandatory and third party insurance can be purchased in Morocco at the port.
- A European Travel kit and essential spares for your vehicle, such as U/J’s, fuel filter, air filter, drive belt, oils for transmission/diffs and any item that is known to be a problem with your model, i.e in-tank fuel pump on a TD5 Defender, are recommended. Try and get sale or return from your local dealer.
- You will need a good roof or ground tent (we can hire you a RV3 Oz Tent) as well as an all-season sleeping bag as sub-zero temperatures are likely. Cooking and camping gear, table chairs, fridge or cool box (cool boxes drain a lot of power); I have a 52 litre fridge as a backup.
- All-weather clothing including hats, gloves, coats, as well as summer clothing and everything in between, is required.
- We provide, guide vehicle with support equipment, first aid, recovery equipment, diagnostic, and tools, air jack, 2-way radios for comms, an experienced guide, first aider, and mechanical knowledge
- Ardventures lead vehicle carries extra fuel, water, tools, recovery/winch equipment so you do not have to. We provide 2-way handheld radios, CB’s are good to have but illegal in Morocco, so we hide CB & aerial until through customs. We also carry a compressor for tyres when airing up after any sand driving, puncture repair kit, diagnostics for Land Rovers and Jeeps
- We carry an Emergency tracker response (SPOT) Rescue unit.