El Goumt du Dades Travel Guide

  • El Goumt du Dades
    by illumina
  • Dades Valley with 'Monkey Fingers'
    Dades Valley with 'Monkey Fingers'
    by sachara
  • Gorges du Dades
    Gorges du Dades
    by sachara

El Goumt du Dades Highlights

  • Pro
    angiebabe profile photo

    angiebabe says…

     lots of beautiful sights along this road - route of excellent scenic spots 

  • Con
    suvanki profile photo

    suvanki says…

     Watch out for sudden bad weather!! 

  • In a nutshell
    barryg23 profile photo

    barryg23 says…

     A photographer's paradise 

El Goumt du Dades Things to Do

  • abodes and life up past the Dades

    Always interesting places to see on the way up here - see where people live and make it way out in these remote areas - with their interesting homes, what they wear, going about out on their land and roadways - their fields or crops grown and nurtured in really difficult looking placesAlso the hardships of the weather - there can be a lot of snow...

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  • El -Kelaa M'Gouna or Qaaa't M'Gouna

    About 50km from Skoura, we reached the next town of El Kelaa M'gouna, famous for its rose growing and production of rose-water, for toiletries etc. This looked an interesting town, bustling with activity, and with the scent of roses perfuming the air.As it was September, I'd missed the roses in bloom. The fragrance was from the many rose perfumed...

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  • Kasbah Amerdihl -or Imridil - Skoura

    This 17th Century Kasbah has a small museum, with rooms containing utensils and tools that were used by the Berber owner's (The Nasser family) ancestors.Admission is by donation (DH10) which you pay to the caretaker. This goes towards the upkeep of the kasbah . ( A never ending job) I was shown around the different rooms - The women's room, the...

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  • Kasbahs of the Dades Valley

    After leaving Quarzazate, this was one of the first kasbahs that we came across - only 999 more to see!! The Dades Valley is known as 'The Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs'Many of these kasbahs are in a crumbling state, as you can see from the picture, but the next one we visited was in good repair, and was worth visiting. (please see my next tip)Near...

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  • Dades Gorge

    As we approached the Gorge, after negotiating the photogenic hair pin bends, the sky, which had been getting darker by the minute, let down a torrential down pour! Hossain stopped to let me take a photo, but then said that he thought it was better if we got out of the gorge, instead of carrying on further Thunder and lightening had joined the rain...

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  • From El -Kelaa M'Gouna to Boumalne Du...

    Leaving El Kelaa M'Gouna, we headed for the town of Boumalne Du Dades. The road ahead was starting to climb, so I had the chance to view the valley below, more ruined kasbahs, and small villages, with their red mud houses contrasting with the green foliage and vegetation of the oases and palmieraies..We stopped a few times to admire the viewThe...

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  • Monkey paws or Monkey fingers

    A distinctive feature of this area is of the patterns formed in the rocks by water and wind erosion, which has gouged out channels in the rock. My guide described these as monkey paws, but I've seen that other VTers have called these monkey fingers.

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  • Scenery on the way to Dades Gorge

    Stopping off at a restaurant (I'm not sure of its name, but please see my restaurant tip for more info) for lunch, I enjoyed the view from the terrace over the valley spread below. After a delicious meal of tagine, we headed further on, winding up the mountain road towards the Gorge. There was still some greenery, which contrasted with the red...

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  • Fatimas

    I was quite bemused to spot these figures near the roadside, as we headed along the road to the Dades Gorge. I hadn't realised that we would be returning here later after a bit of a hair raising experience, and what an interesting time I would have.to be continued.....

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  • Boumalne Du Dades

    Boumalne is the largest town in the Dades Valley, if passing through on a Wednesday, it's market day here. The town has a selection of hotels and auberges, restaurants, shops, a bank and a hammam. If you need a guide for trekking, you can hire one here too!Buses to/from Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Tinerhir and Elr Rachida by CTM and Trans Chihatours -...

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  • more picturesque scenes

    keep looking around you - dramatic scenes - oases of provision and community in amongst the harsh environment of these high and rugged mountains.

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  • pretty scenes between Dades Gorge and...

    really enjoyable drive - keep your eyes roaming all around you - dont have a nap in the car on this trip!!Note the lush of the fertile areas - green with yielding crop fields and trees in full foliage before the heat of the mid summer months in dramatic contrast with the ancient wind and weather worn barren mountains surrounding these fertile...

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  • looking over boulmane and up the Dades...

    Excellent views from the top of the hill on the main road leaving Boulmane - a viewpoint to pull in and park your car on your way out of town and has excellent views over the town and area- see the green fertile belts with pink oleanders flowering prolifically when in season and residential areas crammed along the river sides - and the market place...

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  • see and do the spaghetti hairpin bends

    Another attraction to this road from Tinerhr to the Dades Gorges and Msemrir this section of hairpin bends make a great visit - I notice now that it seems that a hotel with rooms staggered down the slope has been built amazingly on what was the main viewing area looking down into this valley.Previous times Ive stopped to look out, take photos etc a...

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  • more picturesque scenes

    These scenes along the roads up this way were much like some of the impressive routes and roads we've driven around Imilchil and the Ounila Valley road between Anmiter and Ait BenHaddou - very picturesque and its great looking down into dramatically eroded valleys to see fertile and colourful sights following the water courses where the locals are...

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  • Dades Valley Switchback Roads

    The switchback roads near the top of the Dades Valley are one of the most photographed sites in this area, and as it was only a few kilometres from our hotel we decided to hike up to here. Unfortunately we lost one of our memory cards which contained these photos so I can't show them here. I can remember the views very well though so it wasn't a...

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  • Hiking near Hotel la Kasbah de la Vallee

    Before leaving the Dades Valley we did a 2 hour hike into the gorge opposite the hotel. The river crossing was a small bridge behind one of the nearby hotels, and our hike took us through a long gorge, which became very narrow at times, but which never quite ended. We were hoping we’d emerge at a clearing somewhere or that we’d be able to climb one...

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  • Hiking near Tamnalt - Monkey Fingers

    We were soon climbing higher and getting near the rock formations. Ahmed, our friendly hotel owner, had described them as “Monkey-fingers” so I’ll use this name for them here. We did climb a few of the monkey-fingers though some of them were far too high to climb so we could only marvel at them from below. Up close they are so bizarre and the...

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El Goumt du Dades Restaurants

  • Panoramic Views Good Food

    After Boumalne, and before we reached the Dades Gorge we stopped for lunch here, Hossain knew the owner, and said We'd have good food here. We were the only diners, so it was quite relaxing. Afraid that I don't know the name of this restaurant - Hossain settled the bill, so I didn't have a receipt to give me the name of the place , or cost of the...

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  • Half Board at Hotel la Kasbah de la...

    After almost 5 days without alcohol - almost something of a record for us on holiday - we finally found somewhere serving wine. And good timing too as it was my birthday and I was starting to prepare myself for the first "dry" birthday in a long time. This meal was at Hotel la Kasbah de la Vallee where we were also staying. Most hotels in the Dades...

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  • Half Board at Kasbah Ait Arbi

    We very much enjoyed our meal at Kasbah Ait Arbi, which offered us half board for an excellent price. There was a nice selection on the menu - mostly Moroccan style dishes which we had become so accustomed to over the past few days. We both had a small salad and bread as an appetizer followed by a delicious harira soup as the starter. Unfortunately...

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El Goumt du Dades Local Customs

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    berber style with mountain background 4 more images

    by angiebabe Written Jan 11, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Providing interest to catch the attention of the tourists , particularly the hotels around the area and especially if done in traditional and cultural style, the buildings are rather attractive and blend in nicely with the surrounding environment.

    Mud brick homes provide some insulation from the elements - though without heating in the cold or airconditioning in the heat the elements can be harsh - and up here done with an alluring syle also.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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El Goumt du Dades Warnings and Dangers

  • Road Flooding

    Morocco for some reason does not have nearly enough bridges. To that end, be safe and pay attention to the weather forecasts and be warned that roads frequently flood over and make sections impossible.Delays can last up to several hours after the storms stop, so you should have some basics in the car (water, etc.) to make any delay a bit more...

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  • Watch the road carefully when driving!

    This is just a pointer that the road heading on up to the Dades Gorges follows a winding river that has created a fertile and lush oasis belt and therefore a lot of people do live and work along this route.This makes the road a major access road and is trafficked by all sorts and not just cars to look out for - children making their way home from...

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  • Quick change of weather

    Leaving Ouarzazate it was blue skies and sunshine, as it was until we approached the Dades Gorge, when a thunderstorm with torrential rain blew up. Rainfall can dislodge the rocks and soil from the Gorges cliff sides, resulting in rockfall and mud on the roads. This resulted in a curtailed visit, and our 4X4 skidding on the way out of the gorge!...

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El Goumt du Dades What to Pack

  • suvanki's Profile Photo
    Red rocks of Dades Gorge

    by suvanki Updated Apr 24, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: I carried a day sac, for my day trip. This is trekking country, so you might need a ruck sack.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sturdy boots or walking sandals if walking. Be prepared for a sudden change in weather - carry clothing for all eventualities - heat, cold, rain etc.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Ouarzazate and Boumalne are the main towns to stock up on stuff. Bring all essential medication with you. Sunsreen, lip salve, glucose tablets etc

    Photo Equipment: Bring as much as you can carry - photo ops aplenty! Ouarzazate has at least one photography shop - where I had to 'panic buy' a few more rolls of film - they were just out of date, and I tried to haggle the shop keeper down - he was made of strong stuff though - must have spotted the manic glint in my eye, which showed how desperate I was to have film in my camera, and stuck to his price - ok I've now caught up with the 21st century and just bought my 1st digi!!

    Miscellaneous: Binoculars, water, snacks

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

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El Goumt du Dades Off The Beaten Path

  • Drive on further to Msemrir

    A lot of people, myself included on my first trip to the Dades Gorges, would miss the stunning and dramatic scenery on further towards Msemrir.My third trip up to the Dades we decided to go on further and it was excellent. Is time consuming - took an extra 2 hours but it provided some lovely photos and stops along the way! My friend visiting with...

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  • Rock Art

    We found some very neat rock art just up the road from our second hotel, opposite the Auberge Tisdrine. Most for the sculptures are intricately designed mini Kasbah’s - one even had small cars on the switchback roads! All are built into the rock, and you could easily miss them if you walk by too fast. I’m not sure who the sculptor was - perhaps it...

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El Goumt du Dades Favorites

  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    by barryg23 Written Aug 26, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: After our meal in the Kasbah we had a great evening listening to Ahmed and sing and play luta, a type of quitar which he had made himself. Ahmed is one of 7 brothers and he runs the hotel with help from some of the other brothers, two of whom we met. He told us many young people in the valley have left the area for the bigger cities as there is little work around here.

    We then played a few games of cards against them. The first was called “Bonjour Madame” and was sort of like “Snap”. Whenever a 10 appeared you had to say “Bonjour Madame” while then a 2 appeared you had a to make a really weird throaty sound, which apparently means something in Arabic. The last person to say the correct thing picked up the cards and the winner is the firs to lose all their cards. We also thought them a couple of our games later on.

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