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The Dades Valley

©Suzanne Plumette

An excursion in the Dades Valley

Whether you are more of a leisurely traveller or an adrenaline junkie, magnificent excursions are in store for everyone in the Dades Valley! The Dades oued, with its source in the High Atlas has dug some of Morocco’s most spectacular canyons. On your agenda: hikes, rafting and rock climbing!

The heart of the valley is a haven of freshness and surprising landscapes inhabited by incredibly welcoming people. Discover the Dades Gorges in the spring when the valley is brimming with an exceptionally flourishing nature. Escape amidst gardens of almond, argan, palm, poplar and walnut trees.

The Dades Gorges

To see all of the valley’s splendours, make sure to take the route through the gorges that goes until Aït Moutad. Along the Dades, you’ll admire beautiful scenes of orchards, before reaching the mountainous Atlas foothills. Stop at Tamlalt, about nine kilometres after Boulmane. Here you’ll discover unusual rocky outcrops the “monkey fingers”. This geologic curiosity is particularly enchanting at sunset. On the other side of the oued, explore the ruins of an ancient kasbah, a landscape steeped in mystery and melancholy. This is the beginning of a three and a half hour long trek that will bring you along the Dades until you reach the Aït Oudinar village. After the bridge, be very cautious of you are not driving a 4WD vehicle. Each turn stuns with a new panorama over the valley!

Following the gorge route you’ll penetrate a narrow canyon: the “défilé d’Imdiazen”. This is a great place for picnics, fishing or just to relax at the edge of the water. The road will then take you to M’Semrir, starting point of many excursions in the Todra Valley or towards the Atlas. This charming little Berber village is about 60 km north of Boumalne.

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Next head to the gorges of Sidi Boubkar: an easy hike across the region’s wildest lands is in store for you. From kilometre 13 on the route des gorges (gorge route), after an hour and a half of walking, you will find yourself in an incredible place. Live a moment of utter peace and relaxation at Sidi Boubkar’s natural pools…

Finally, discover the Dades canyons, a spectacular five hour long trek recommended for strong walkers. For this excursion the services of a local guide are necessary. Plan provisions and good equipment for this exceptional tour of the Dades gorges. The starting point is at kilometre 25 on the gorge route.


The gorges are located 110 km from Ouarzazate, south west of Tinghir. From Ouarzazate, follow the N10 route that goes by El Kelâa and Boumalne Dades, in the heart of the valley of roses. You can get there using public transportation but the best way to see it is by renting a four wheel drive vehicle giving you freedom and independence in your travels.

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