From Marrakech to the desert

Hits: 684

Dreaming of the desert

MARRAKECH – OUARZAZATE: Marrakech is a place which is definitely worth spending a little time in. All the same, after discovering the charms of the "Red City", you can't help feeling the desire to discover, beyond Atlas tops, the wonders of southern Morocco, the most charming face of this country. We climb the Tizi n'Tichka pass, offering truly spectacular views; from Telouet, a huge village dominated by the evocative Glaoui Kasbah, a picturesque route of about 31 miles leads us to ksar Ait Benhaddou, one of the most beautiful and better preserved kashbas in the Atlantic region. A location for quite a number of movies ("Jesus of Nazareth," "The Sheltering Sky," "The Gladiator"), this site is protected by UNESCO.
The Ouarzazate town is located at the confluence of the Drậa and the Dades Valleys; in the inner part of the town is located the Taourirt kasbah. The Ouarzazate Studios are worth mentioning, because such movies as "The Mummy" were shot right here.

OUARZAZATE – RISSANI: the Dadès Valley stretches to the East of Ouarzazate. From here it is possible to get in contact with some of the most beautiful sites of Morocco, with their large oases and countless kasbahs, whose architecture is characterized by the use of clay. Nearby Skoura, famous for its kasbah and palm grove, is located the M'goun Valley, with its huge quantity of rose bushes from which is derived the production of rose water.

In this valley you can admire the spectacular Dadès Gorge, while moving ahead you can find Tinrhir, a large village and beautiful oasis, with its several kasbahs. At the end of the valley are located the Todra Gorges.

Once gone beyond the oasis, we enter a desert steppe. The Ziz River brings life in this area, digging a valley that stretches towards the South. The Ziz Valley is worth visiting, as it's really ravishing. Next we arrive in Erfoud and, still dreaming of the desert, we continue to Rissani.


From Ouarzazate we reach Zagora through the Drậa valley. The Drậa river flows in a wide, about 125-mile long valley, bordered with cultivated fields, palm groves and a number of ksours. We run into Agdz, a nice village to visit with its pleasing palm grove, and from there we get to Zagora.

Around Zagora you shouldn't miss a visit to the village of Tamegroute, remarkable for its Koranic library as well as the laboratories of potters.

From Tamegroute, along an incredibly beautiful track in the Sahara, we reach Ouzina; from here, a partly sandy and partly mountainous track breaking in the mountain leads to Tafraoute. From Tafraoute you take a nice, long and sandy road to get to Merzouga, the Erg Chebbi dunes and at last, still on track, to Haroun.