The Ziz Valley is between Rich and Merzouga. The route is one of the most spectacular to take by hired car as the distances between one place to another is surprisingly far. Stepping out of the car for a few hours yields vistas of Ziz Gorges where guided walks teaches visitors about date palms and production. The Ziz Valley is becoming one of the hottest areas to visit while in Morocco. Small villages and contrasting palms and brown bluffs seemingly play tricks on your eyes.
The Ziz Gorges have a bit of a history that is quite fascinating. The French built a tunnel du Legionnaire, which is 20 kilometers from Rich. This tunnel helps route vehicles to the gorges, but also the other towns in the area. In fact, you will be able to tour around dams created in the area. One dam is Barrage Hassan Adakhil. The water in the dam is such a magnificent blue you can see it from the road. Seeing the water, you will want to take a day trip around the dam to explore it and the countryside.
In the Ziz Valley there are several Morocco trekking opportunities. Depending on the amount of time you wish to spend in the area, you can drive to the trail heads at various intervals or hike for a day or more.
After the dams, the route takes you through Bleue de Meski, which is just beyond Er- Rachidia. In central Morocco you start getting out of the mountain terrain into desert and dunes. As you make your way towards Merzouga the land will start as rolling hills of sand.
Just outside, Er- Rachidia is another town with quite the history due to the military base that was formed there. In fact the military base is still there and used today. The town is full of amenities if you are starting out on a trek through the dunes.
We mentioned earlier the Bleue de Meski. It should be mentioned that this area is a natural spring. It is worth stopping at the springs before moving on to Merzgouga, because the springs are a lot like a swimming pool. They are warm, calm, and wonderfully relaxing. The best time to camp and visit the springs is during the week, as the weekends tend to be busier. The whole area has more to offer than can be seen on a busy schedule. If you pick and choose wisely, you can soak up all the scenery and spots worth your holiday time.
by Sam Mitchell