Azrou and its surrounding area is my favourite part of Morocco. This all-day 114-km circuit on blue non-technical pistes and roads takes in many of the highlights—monkeys, volcanoes and some spectacular rock formations which look like the album covers of old ‘Yes’ records, hence the name of the route!
My favourite extract for this route reads, "You are now descending into the caldera of an extinct volcano..." How cool is that!
So drop your luggage, and gird your loins for a cracking day out.
km5.7: Barbary Apes in the cedar forests near Azrou
km8.3: Cedre Gourand is supposed to be over 800 years old but looks as lively as a Norwegian Blue Parrot
smooth limestone gravel pistes—they aren't all like this
km18: the 'blue' ski slope at the Mischleiffen in spring...
... and winter
the one on the left must be a red or even a black. The King's Lodge is visible in the trees
km30: great network of pistes
km31.6: on the edge of another caldera with a volcanic cone in the background...
... and gas-bubbled ejecta in the foreground
km34.5: Jebel Hebri, another ski slope, and yes, another volcano
km40: descending through cedar trees
km44: once more in the open, heading cross country towards Ifrane
km46: collecting drinking water from fresh water springs in the limestone karst
km68.5: face off in the Valley of the Rocks
Topographical Oceans anyone? These rocks are really massive.
km82: running up the side of a limestone valley
km86: turning west for Ifrane
km92: pretty limestone valley
km94: white Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) are small heron that feed on insects disturbed by large mammals