The route of the MDC2024:
The return of the legendary "coast to coast"

Years ago, the Morocco Desert Challenge made history through its epic and legendary "Coast to Coast" route. A 3000km rally-raid adventure from Agadir and Plage Blanche at the Atlantic Ocean, to Saïdia at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Almost everything Morocco has to offer, in 8 days of cross-country racing.

After 3 years of absence and a 2023 edition that ended in Merzouga, we have decided, at the request of many participants, to go 100% for the "full monty": The MDC2024 will once again connect both seas with new, challenging tracks.

The advantage of this route is the enormous variety: fast as well as technical sections, wide African plains, lots of dunes, salt lakes, river beds and the old, legendary Dakar tracks. Nearly all of the eight stages start and finish in the bivouac and liaisons are kept to a minimum.

In Saïdia, with the support of the Governor, all vehicles will be safely parked within the walls of the marina so everyone can enjoy a smashing final party at an all-inclusive 5-star hotel, included in the entry fee. And with the 2 international airports of Nador and Oujda nearby, and the port of Nador just 80 km from the hotel, transport is no longer a major concern either.

8 April 2024: end of Ramadan

11 April 2024: day 1 of technical and administrative scrutineering in Agadir.

12 April 2024: day 2 of the technical and administrative scrutineering in Agadir.

13 April: Stage 1 (prologue with a start 80 km south of Agadir) and a liaison to Guelmin (bivouac 1)

14 to 20 April: 7 challenging stages between Plage Blanche and Saidia.

Details of the route will be available on our website shortly after the first reconnaissance tour in September.

This was the 2023 edition

Stage 0 | Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd April


Technical and administrative checks

On Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd of April 2023 the Morocco Desert Challenge kicks off with scrutineering in Agadir, one of Morocco’s friendly seaside resorts with an international airport. Bivouac 0 is at Place Al Amal, Agadir’s largest public square. The rally hotels, where everybody is accommodated, are located along the square.

Stage 1 | Sunday 23rd April

Agadir - Agadir (prologue)

Liaison to the start = 33,5 km
Distance SS1 rally & raid = 38,4 km

Assistance = 0 km

Prepare for a prologue that will make you lick your fingers. The general comment during the verifications in late February: "This is one of the nicest stages we have ever ridden in Morocco!". In this first 38-kilometre special, you get a nice succession of turns, bumps and jumps in front of your wheels. Following the winding tracks, you ride through a landscape reminiscent of an African Savannah. The tracks consist mainly of a soft, sandy yet fast surface, and above all: there is not a stone to be found! The pistes are narrow, making overtaking difficult at times. Towards the end, the final kilometres present you with a tough navigation exercise. In short: a stage where you can immediately make the difference if you aim for a top position on Plage Blanche.

Stage 2 | Monday 24th April

Plage Blanche - Assa

Liaison = 271 km
Distance SS2 rally = 356 km
Distance SS2 raid = 233 km

Assistance: 348 km

For stage 2 we make the one and only liaison (260 km) to Plage Blanche. We start at low tide with 25 km full throttle on the virgin beach, after which we dive into the beautiful oued with impressive rocks on one side and beautiful dunes on the other. When exiting the oued, the landscape also changes. Via fantastic winding tracks we head for the hills. The first part after the oued is a test for the navigators. After CP1, the gas is back on for a succession of wide, fast slopes alternated with a narrow, more technical section through the Oued Draa and a few strips of stone slopes. From km 200 to the finish it goes full speed through the beautiful vast landscapes.

Stage 3 | Tuesday 25th April

Assa - Foum Zguid

Distance SS3 rally = 416 km
Distance SS3 raid = 418 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

Assistance: 386 km

Fast tracks, nice chotts, fesh fesh and some dunettes, that summarizes stage 3 from Assa to Foum Zguid. The stage starts with a succession of fast to very fast tracks through the military zone along the Algerian border; an area where the average Moroccan visitor is not allowed. From time to time there are some stony parts and the typical 'pistes africaines' with an obstacle every 100m: a ditch, step-up, step-down, some bad slopes with 'ondulés' – not a real washboard piste but just bumpy tracks . At km 174 you enter a fantastically beautiful chott with breath-taking views: a real pleasure to drive. Before you get to the fuel stop, you first have to make your way through a section of fesh fesh. Watch out for hidden obstacles! After the RAV, a short series of dunes with beautiful dunettes follows. Here it is especially important to follow the road book carefully. Finally, some more typical African tracks before you turn onto the asphalt to the bivouac.

Stage 4 | Wednesday 26th April

Foum Zguid - Foum Zguid

Distance SS4 rally = 281 km
Distance SS4 raid = 196 km
Liaison = 0 km

Assistance = 0 km

Today the first dunes are on the menu. We leave from the bivouac in Foum Zguid for a loop of … km. The first part of the stage is about fast and especially good tracks, interspersed with sandier oueds towards Lake Iriki. Via a great, sandy oued you drive to the supply point where you can fill up with the necessary energy for the real thing: the dunes of Erg Chegaga. As a warm-up you get a series of dunettes in front of your wheels for a few kilometers, but soon you come to the big dunes. The special goes through this beautiful dune section for 40 kilometers. At the exit of the dune series, a stretch of off-road follows over battered terrain with many pits and bumps to an abandoned barracks. There you dive into the oued Draa again. When you exit the oued, you follow some more passable pistes that zigzag nicely between some dunettes. This track takes you back to Lake Iriki and finally the bivouac of Foum Zguid.

Stage 5 | Thursday 27th April

Foum Zguid - M'hamid

Distance SS5 rally = 335 km
Distance SS5 raid = 164km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 57,2 km

Assistance: 212 km

At the start of stage 5, your navigation skills will be put to the test for a few kilometers, after which you will arrive on the old Paris-Dakar routes. These iconic tracks are fun to drive and take you through beautiful landscapes parallel to the Algerian border. The striking and well-known stone hills along the piste show you where to go from afar. The road book takes you further past impressive rock formations that are reminiscent of the better western films. Via magnificent tracks, interspersed with a number of off-road sections, it goes towards Lake Iriki, always a pleasure because the speed really increases here. Beyond the lake, the surface gradually softens and once again you dive into the dunes of Erg Chegaga. Zigzagging through the camel grass, a bumpy and sandy track takes you to a beautiful oued that eventually leads you to the finish of this top stage.

Stage 6 | Friday 28th April

M'hamid - M'hamid

Distance SS6 rally = 343 km
Distance SS6 rally = 158 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

Assistance = 0 km

Today we drive a large loop around M'Hamid. To wake everyone up from the start, we start right away with a very challenging track and some first dunettes. Then the throttle can open for a piece of fast track. It continues into a mix of off-road and sandy tracks towards the beautiful oued Draa. You keep following this for several kilometers until you enter the dunes of Erg Chegaga. After 25 km you leave the dunes at Lake Iriki and you can pick up speed again on the beautiful tracks around the lake. The stage then heads east towards M'Hamid. A stone track takes you past the 'source sacrée' – the holy spring – after which you dive into another fantastically beautiful oued with sandy but fast tracks. After the 'Dune du Juif' (Jewish dune) there is another off-track section to the finish line in the bivouac of M'Hamid.

Stage 7 | Saturday 29th April

M'hamid - Merzouga

Distance SS7 rally = 325 km
Distance SS7 rally = 391 km
Liaison = 0 km

Assistance: 362 km

After a fast start the special goes through an alternation of sand pistes and dunettes past the old military post towards the faster tracks near the Algerian border. The route follows the border and turns into a strip with many stones. Here it is especially important to watch out for flat tires. This is followed by a number of faster pistes with many, sometimes bumpy, parallel tracks. Via a sandy track with many twists and narrow passages here and there you eventually reach the main track from Zagora to Merzouga and the supplies in the beautiful Kasbah Marabout, where "mama Jeanne" with her sandwich bar is waiting for you. After the fuel stop, the most beautiful part of this stage follows. You will cross the dunes of Erg Ouzina and Erg Znaigui with a wonderful variety of sandy slopes, dunes and oueds. Here and there navigation will be tricky. We finish with the beautiful dunes of Erg Chebbi and the finish at Hotel Yasmina, our last bivouac place. Stage 7 is without a doubt the most beautiful and most varied of the entire rally.

Stage 8 | Sunday 30th April

Merzouga - Merzouga

Distance SS8 rally = 145 km
Distance SS8 rally = 92 km
Liaison = 0 km

Assistance: 0 km

The sting is really in the tail this year. Don't let the length of the last stage fool you. Of the 145km, no less than 32km are through the high dunes of Erg Chebbi. They are guaranteed to shake up the final standings. Right from the start you go through fast tracks over a beautiful sloping plateau. Good navigation is key here. After about 20 kilometers the fast tracks change into a technically difficult piste with narrow, winding tracks, hills, pits, stones and small abysses. After CP1 you dive into an oued that initially contains a lot of stones but gradually becomes sandier and takes you again to the beautiful dunes of Erg Chebbi. This time you cross the dunes from south to north. Not easy, but all the greater will be the reward and emotion at the finish arc of the MDC2023.

On Sunday 30th April the finish & award ceremony will take place in the mythical dunes of Merzouga. The airport of Errachidia is just around the corner. The day after the rally, you can be home.

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.