Exploring the Dades Valley

Stretching from the High Atlas Mountains in the north to the rugged Jbel Sarho in the south, the Dades Valley is scattered with oases, palm groves and elaborate kasbahs. The valley itself is made lush and green by the Dades River, which rises from the High Atlas Mountains before emptying into Morocco’s largest river, the Draa. The waters of the Dades provide life for a variety of almond, fig, walnut and birch trees on the valley floor offering a spectacular contrast to the earthen-colored rocky formations rising from the valley floor. (more…)

Touring Morocco’s Diverse Landscape

desert mountain tours morocco
In many ways, travels to Morocco are defined by a trip to the Sahara Desert, which makes up the southern half of the country. But Morocco is also defined by its impressive mountains and rich cultural heritage. To appreciate the beauty, vastness and diversity of the country, consider taking a guided tour that introduces you to some of Morocco’s greatest highlights; a five-day, four-night tour is ample time to satisfy your curiosity. (more…)

Dades Valley and Todra Gorge

Near Dades Valley, Morocco

Near Dades Valley, Morocco

Traveling from Marrakesh, visitors can easily reach the Dades Valley for a day or multi-day trip. Travelers will need to go through Ourzazate in order to get into the valley, which is located in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains.  The High Atlas Mountains is a forested region with plenty of valleys, gorges, and two of the highest mountain peaks in Morocco: the M’Goun and Jbel (Mount) Toubkal. (more…)

Short but Spectacular, The Dades Valley & Todra Gorge

If you are the type who can simply get lost in the natural beauty of foreign surroundings: then the Dades and Todra Gorges is the unheralded destination you have been looking for. The soil is a deep earthy red that rubs off on the hands and leaves the scent of the earth.

As with all travel, sometimes the most amazing and unforgettable sites are found on that road, that trail, that path you never knew about until you were there. While there will always be demand for touristy cities, and certain natural landmarks will always attract the most adventurous of travelers and dare devils, sometimes it is the places in between that make the finest stops.

The Dades Valley Gorge and Todra Gorges are two of the places in Morocco that fit that bill perfectly. The Dades Valley is a great location for walking and trekking in Morocco. In the Dades Valley the vividness of the colors will stop you every few steps for a picture, so be sure to bring extra film! The soil is a deep earthy red that rubs off on the hands and leaves the scent of the earth. Further through the trail you will find towns and to your amazement the ground doesn’t lose its deep red, but actually becomes redder than you may have ever imagined the ground could get. There is thick green grass in the valleys, and the mountain walls around you twist and dance with one another in an endless pirouette.

If you are more adventurous and the words rock climbing in Morocco catch your attention, then make sure Todra Gorge is at the top of your Morocco itinerary to-do list. The Todra Gorge cuts through a mountain, getting as thin as thirty feet at some points, while you can look up the sides of sheer rock faces that reach almost 1,000 feet high. Several of these cliffs are limestone, and there are many routes that rock climbers can take in the area—in fact if you believe locals, there are far too many routes to climb even if you had an entire month! In fact, the locals will tell you there are literally hundreds of climbing routes at Todra, and these are hardly copy cats of one another. The routes have a nice variety, and it is still undiscovered enough to offer the “off-the-beaten trek” feel that many adventurers want in their travels.

These may be the best areas in all of Morocco to go rock climbing. If that isn’t your particular preference, don’t worry, the scenery is amazing and there are plenty of trails to hike through the area. There is no lack of scenery or places to walk. While you won’t find any cities, and therefore no city amenities, there are small Berber villages along the way, and their hospitality is second to none. There is always a place to eat and something to see or do, and if you just want rest, then enjoy one of the few areas where you can find a trail that leads to absolute silence. It’s jarring at first—but the peace of it all settles in quickly and you’ll know you’re at one of the high points of your Moroccan odyssey.