Africa

Nature at its best in the Todgha Gorge

After the Dades Valley and the Roses Valley, the next stop of our Moroccan adventure was the Todgha Gorge. This series of canyons is a bit more touristy and better known than the previous places and we did notice that on certain occasions. Luckily it’s not yet swarming with tourists so it doesn’t take anything away from the beauty of this canyon.

One of my favorite memories in the Todga Gorge was our evening hike through the palm tree oasis behind our hotel. It was so unexpected and ended up being a perfect evening activity.

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After a 75 km drive, we arrived in the Todgha Valley. It was already around 5pm so our hotel -Auberge Camping Atlas- was the first destination we headed for. We were warmly greeted by the owner, who didn’t shy away from a few jokes. Funny guy, that one!

We were planning on just relaxing a bit on the lovely patio of the hotel when the owner informed us of the palm tree oasis behind their property that we could access through a little door on the side. He didn’t need to tell us twice. We put on our hiking shoes, crossed the small river and into the oasis we went.

There were no real hikes indicated, but there were a few paths visible. These paths are also used by the people working on the fields in the oasis. We could see many of them still farming their lands. We wandered through the beautiful oasis for little under two hours, just going where our feet would take us. It was absolutely amazing.

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I’m sure the other hotels close to ours also have one of those backdoors into the oasis, but that alone made our hotel one of my favorites of our journey. After checking into our hotel, it was too late for us to still take the car into the canyon, and this way we had an amazing and close evening activity. I can only recommend it! Dinner and breakfast at Auberge Camping Atlas were also really amazing, so another reason to stay there.

The next day we took our car into the gorge. There is a scenic route of about forthy kilometers through it. We left early in the morning and had the place mostly to ourselves. Bliss!

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The main “attraction” in this canyon is the 600 meter where the canyon walls are only ten meters apart and a whopping 160 meters high up. You can drive through it, but only by actually walking through it, you can really get the height of those walls. So that’s exactly what we planned on doing.

We parked our car close to that narrowest part, but first took a little hiking trail in the other direction as it just happened to be there and we were curious about those views. It led quite far and was probably a full hiking trail that went on for several kilometers. We only hiked part of it as we didn’t have all that much time. But it was another great surprise to have found that. And once again, not another person in sight.

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By the time we returned, the buses and other tourists seemed to have arrived and it was a lot busier. The path through the narrow part was full of people and street vendors. It was such a big contrast with an hour earlier. But since you’re mostly looking up towards the walls, it wasn’t all that bothersome. You only had to make sure you didn’t bump into other tourists, that’s all.

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And then it was -finally- time to head to the Sahara Desert. The part of our roadtrip I was looking forward to the most. To say I was excited would have been an understatement!

♥♥♥

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