Africa

Discover the beauty of the Dades Valley

It was early afternoon by the time we left the city of Ouarzazate behind us and continued our roadtrip to our next destination: the Dades Valley.

We expected magnificent views of spectacular canyons, a beautiful scenic road through the valley and an amazing landscape in which we could stretch our legs and do some smaller hikes. Check, check, double check! Especially the hike through the valley was a highlight of our trip.

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When we entered the Dades Valley, we were immediately impressed by what was in front of us. The views we were presented with were exactly what we were coming to Morocco for. Especially after the slightly disappointing Tizi n’Tichka pass this was a breath of fresh air.

Luckily we arrived in the area pretty early so we were able to still drive the entire scenic road through the valley after checking in to our hotel ‘La Fibule du Dades’. You especially have a nice view on the valley below from ‘Café-Restaurant Timzzillite Chez Mohamed’. A must do stop along the way!

There isn’t much more to say about this route except that it’s a definite must do, so I’ll just give you some pictures and let those do the talking and convincing:

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After an entertaining evening with live music from our hosts and his friends at ‘La Fibule du Dades’ and a good night’s sleep, it was time to discover this wonder of nature by foot. Easier said than done. There are no – and I mean absolutely zero – marked hiking trails available. Yeah, quite the problem. And we weren’t very keen on getting lost in this valley.

At first we were looking into just following the river to make sure we wouldn’t stray too far, but thanks to our Trotter travel guide we learned about the guided hikes of ‘Auberge Miguirne chez Ali’. Knowing that we only had the morning left to explore this canyon, we both agreed to just drive over there and get some information on those hikes.

Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by Ali’s son (we never learned his name, unfortunately) who was watering the plants around their beautiful property. We immediately got an overview of what type of hikes they offered and what would be possible within our time frame. The pictures of the hike through the Monkey Fingers – a specific part of the valley with amazing rock formations – sure looked promising. Definitely a lot better than our initial idea of just following the stream. So after a bit of negotiating on the price – we were still in Morocco after all -, we were ready to leave.

Ali’s son himself was joining us on this one hour and a half trip through this beautiful piece of nature. The hike itself was quite challenging with some steep climbs and technical parts but our guide was extremely helpful to get us up and over all the obstacles. It was just so much fun to do and then to be rewarded with the amazing views of the Monkey Fingers and the view from the top made it one of the best experiences of the trip. The only point of criticism that I have is that we often felt rushed, but that might have been because we had told him that we didn’t have so much time. Either way I can only recommend getting a guide for a hike through this valley as you will never get to those places on your own unless you’re an experienced hiker.

At 30 euros it’s a bit more expensive than another activity or entrance fee, but you do get your own private guide, so in my opinion it’s definitely good money spent. And if you are a group of people, you can also split the price and then it costs next to nothing for what you get.

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Sad that it was over, we returned to the ‘auberge’ for some tea and to enjoy the view from Ali’s terrace for a while. Ali’s son joined us and gave us some tips on other visits in the area. He recommended we visited the Vallée des Roses before continuing our road to the Todga Gorges. So that’s exactly what we did.

♥♥♥

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