Exotic Valleys In Morocco
Oh!! The beauty of the valley of a thousand kasbahs! The Dades area is filled with lush valley oasis towns, set against the immense blue Moroccan sky. This area is almost surreal in its ancient charm. Each town has its own distinctive trait, so don’t be fooled into thinking they are all the same, as you speed by them in your car. Be ready to take breaks in your journey to step out of the car, and walk along the riverbed during the morning or in the late afternoon to fully appreciate the ruined Kasbahs and vast fields of date palms. Many of the Dades kasbahs are in ruin, which lends to the mysterious atmosphere. However, there are a few that remain in perfect condition where Berber families continue to live along the fertile bed of the river. Interesting stops on the road from Ouarzazate are Skoura, Boumalne Dades, the Dades Gorge, Tinerhir and the Todra Gorge.
The Dades gorge is a spectacular place! It has a relaxed atmosphere, so you may want to recover if you are in need of a rest from the daily hassle. The gorge is as interesting as the valley. The valley is wonderfully colorful as the green of the riverbed is surrounded by red, scarlet and carmine rocks and soil. It starts out rather wide and then narrows at Ait Oudinar.
The Kasbah of the Rocks is a mystical landscape of dark red eroded volcanic rocks. The beauty of this place is in its visual transformation as you change perspectives. From different angles and distances, the rocks transform in front of your eyes, in shape and form. The Kasbah is marked by the Cafe Meguirne, 14 km down the road. The kasbahs of the Ait−Atta look vulnerable and fragile as they lie under a massive volcanic rock formation. The kasbahs blend in perfectly with the soil and rocks. It is a perfect place to draw, sketch, write or have a pic−nic.
The Todra Gorge is one of the most spectaculars trips you can make by 4WD. The countryside is spectacular. There is a wonderful hotel at the mouth of the Todra Gorge on the south side. You stay right between the rock walls. Beautiful and recommended.
If you like rock climbing, Todra Gorge is a good place to do it. As you walk on the road at the bottom you’ll see many preanchored routes up the faces.
The semi−tropical Sous valley and the Anti−Atlas mountains are two of the most unique regions of Morocco. The stunning physical beauty of the country, the welcoming Berber people and the availability of cheap flights to Agadir make it an excellent introduction to Morocco.
The people of these regions have a tradition of independence from the central government, as well as an independent culture and language. The regions are dominated by the Chleuh group of tribes who speak the Tachelait Berber dialect. The Chleuh are famous for their industry and business skill, as well as for their very unique music.
The center of the region is Agadir with an international airport, buses (the train line doesn’t yet reach this city) and car rentals. The appeal of this city is small, however outside of Agadir, you can explore the splendor of the mountains and the coast. Taroudant, the ancient capital of the region, lies to the east. Surrounded by ancient ocher walls, this relaxed city is worth a stay with its old hotels, wonderful cooking and busy souk. To the south, the pink−walled city of Tiznit has an interesting atmosphere with its reputation as a center of prostitution (in the not so recent past), exquisite silver jewelry and blue men from the Sahara. The oasis village of Tafraoute is surrounded by splendid rock formations in the Anti−Atlas Mountains. This region is filled with fascinating people and fantastic natural beauty, one could spend one month exploring the region and still not be full of the famous Berber tajine.