Explore Marrakech From A Vintage Sidecar
While motorcycle sidecars are not necessarily a traditional Moroccan mode of transportation—though the police would often use them in the 1950’s—the staff at Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech think they offer one of the best ways to explore the city and its surrounding regions. From its location about twenty minutes outside the city, on the way to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the resort is also perfectly positioned to be a starting point for a sidecar excursion. For its exclusive experiences, Fairmont Royal Palm works with a local company that customizes the itinerary based on your interests and needs. Each tour is led by an insider—often long-term expats working as architects, teachers, or designers, who are passionate about showcasing their favorite local spots, and getaways that are further afield. Each is also well-trained in navigating the streets on an Ural motorcycle, while you sit comfortably behind them in a vintage (or vintage-style) sidecar. Water, sunscreen, helmets, and blankets (or fans, depending on the weather) are also provided.
In a small foothill village, the descendants of the original home owners will invite you in for a cup of thyme-infused tea.
From Gueliz To the Atlas Mountains
Stretching anywhere from 90-minutes to several hours, the trips spotlight a variety of highlights. First-time visitors may want to opt for The Essential Ride, which takes you to some of the more off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods of the medina (including the Mellah Jewish quarter and the Kasbah district), through the 1920’s French Gueliz neighborhood (where you’ll see a historic open-air cinema and other notable sites), or through the palm groves outside of town. The Iconic Ride experience brings to life the Marrakech of the 1960’s, during the heyday of expats like Yves Saint Laurent, while the Sadaka Ride takes you out of town to Dar El Sadaka, where you’ll visit French-born, Marrakech-based artist Jean-Francois Fourtou’s sculpture park, home to such works as "The House Fallen from the Sky."
Most popular with Fairmont Royal Palm guests is The Atlas Ride, a full-day (nearly 10-hour) adventure that takes you out to higher altitudes, along country roads lined with olive trees and paved with deep red soil. In a small foothill village, you’ll explore sixteen holy shrines and visit a historic palace, where descendants of the original owners will invite you for a cup of thyme-infused tea. Higher up, in another Berber village, you’ll enjoy lunch in the home of the village chief and his family, get to meet locals like the rug maker and school children, and then explore ancient painted caves or trek in a verdant canyon. No matter the journey you choose, you’ll arrive back at the Fairmont with new insight into the destination, and lots of stories to share.
To learn more about Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech or their sidecar excursions, please contact the concierge upon making a reservation.