Tafilalet: “The valley from mountain to desert”
On the edge of the great Moroccan south, the Tafilalet Valley is crossed by the Ziz and the Gheris, two oueds that are usually dry, but whose underground waters fertilize the entire region’s gardens and crops. The junction of these rivers is marked above ground by a vast plain of superb acacias! Between valley, desert and high mountains, very beautiful hikes await…
At the gates of the Sahara, Tafilalet and Rissani are the cradle of the Alaouite dynasty. Rissani, an old trans-Saharan crossroads is located between Erfoud and Merzouga. This is where you’ll find the ruins of Sijilmassa, the legendary gold and ivory trading post on the road to Timbuktu!
- When travelling in the region of Tafilalet, stop at Rissani and soak in the lively colours of its souk. Stroll a moment along its alleyways shaded by reeds before taking off to discover the ruins of Sijilmassa. In the middle of a flourishing oasis, this city of fabulous riches knew great wealth from the 8th to 13th centuries (2 km from the centre in the direction of Erfoud).
- Two kilometres south of Rissani, stop to see the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif. This masterpiece of Islamic art owes much of its beauty to the ebony artisans of Fes and Meknes. A few footsteps away, you can visit the ksar Akbar and the ksar Oulad Abdelhalim, two more architectural marvels!
- Take a day trip in the heart of the Tafilalet palm grove and get up close and personal with the valley’s many ksours: Asserhine, Zaouïet El Maati, Tabassamt, Ouirhlane, Tinrhenas…Don’t hesitate to venture down the alleyways of these fortified villages. From the top of their ramparts, the panoramas over the palm groves are breathtaking!
In the heart of the Tafilalet Valley, Rissani is twenty kilometres south of Erfoud, and 50 kilometres north of Merzouga and the Chebbi erg. Get there by public transportation or rental car. No matter how you get here, as long as you don’t miss out on this exceptional region between the Atlas and the Moroccan Desert.