Marrakech to merzouga desert tours 2

VALLEY OF AMANDIERS AND VALLEY OF ROSES

Marrakech to merzouga desert tours

The winding road winds its way along the banks of the M’Goun River and takes us on a journey through small palm groves and gardens that make up the Almond Valley and the Rose Valley. The latter takes its name from the Damascus roses which flourish in the region only twice a year, from late April to June. Fortunately for us, we are right in the blooming season and the landscape is lined with oleanders, roses, poppies, almonds, cherry trees, fig trees, and other mouth-watering orchards. The air in the area is scented with delicate scents of wildflowers.

 

A little stop is needed to stock up on local products sold at the roadside: The natural rose water is now part of the essentials of my travel kit.

Festival of roses

Marrakech to merzouga desert tours

A Moussem (festival) of roses is organized every year in mid-May celebrating the flowering with traditional dances and songs, accompanied by a procession of flower floats that run through the town of Kelaat M’Gouna.

 

VALLEY OF THE GORGES OF DADES

Marrakech to merzouga tours

After this charming stop, we go straight to the Valley of the Dades Gorge. The road ripples again through the flanks of the Atlas where douars and small villages are hung with adobe houses that merge into the scenery. We follow the Oued Dades who has laboriously dug his bed in the hollow of vertiginous cliffs of sandstone and limestone rocks. The inhospitable mountainous landscapes follow one another punctuated by a succession of palm groves with mosques, Ksours, and Kasbahs so typical of the region. The panorama is spectacular. One can only be in total admiration of these millennial geological formations and these fertile palm groves that make this valley one of the most beautiful in Morocco. A visit to Dades is the perfect opportunity for hikers to plan treks through the valley or in the High Atlas to meet the different nomadic and pastoral Berber tribes of the region.

 

PALMERAIE DE TINGHIR AND GORGES OF TODRA

GORGES OF TODRAWe stop at the village of Tinghir for a quick tajine break before visiting the huge Tinghir palm grove famous for its elaborate irrigation system and for its mellah, a former Jewish district entirely designed adobe houses teeming with activities where you can buy all kinds of handicrafts. We admire the panorama from the top of the ruins of the Kasbah Glaoui before starting a walk along a picturesque path that runs along the bed of the river and sinks into the Todra Gorge. It feels so small in this hollow in the middle of high limestone cliffs. The gorges of Todra are a real eldorado for lovers of hiking and climbing. This roadtrip from Marrakech to Merzouga will not cease to amaze us.

…..To be continued