About Southern Morocco
Southern Morocco is a wondrous region filled with such variety and open spaces, it is ideal for those seeking a slightly different experience to the Imperial cities further north. In fact it is possible to combine any number of the locations featured here within southern Morocco either on a self drive itinerary or with one of our excellent private drivers.
Best Bits of Southern Morocco
Ouarzazate was built in 1928 and is now, among other things, the starting point for trips into Southern Morocco. The Taourirt kasbah, with its ochre, adobe buildings, was made a UNESCO World Heritage site; more recently Ouarzazate has been unfailingly linked with cinema (since 1984) due to its climate, geographical situation and economic conditions which have encouraged film studios to locate there. Nor can you leave Ouarzazate without visiting the Tiffoultoute and Ait Ben Haddou kasbahs, these remarkable examples of traditional architecture give a foretaste of the famous Route of the 1000 Kasbahs.
Travelling east from Ouarzazate ...
The Skoura palmeraie, where many fruit trees grow - pomegranate, almond, apricot, date, fig and olive (42km east of Ouarzazate); it also houses several kasbahs, more and more impressive as you penetrate deeper and deeper into the palmeraie. The Dadès Valley runs from Ouarzazate to Boumalne, it is dry and lined with kasbahs and unique fortified villages. By continuing your trip along the Dadès you pass through the rose country, El Kelaât M'Gouna, where rose water, so vital for treatments of the skin, is produced. In May, the rose has the place of honour in a three-day festival held throughout the area - you can see rose water being made and buy associated products or just enormous bunches of roses to dry. Further east via the town of Tineghir you arrive at the magnificent Todra Gorge; it narrows as its sides tower higher and higher (up to 300m) above you.
Travelling south from Ouarzazate ...
The Drâa Valley extends for almost 200km towards the south, irrigating a narrow oasis where dates and henna grow. After leaving the Drâa Valley, a series of oases rapidly succeed each other along the fine desert-like road leading to Zagora, the starting point for trips into the Sahara. For the most impressive dunes continue to Erg Lihoudi and into the wild and exotic Ch'gagga dunes which extend for 150km.
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Cities to visit
Ouarzazate is the first town most see after crossing the High Atlas; the unofficial capital of the south of Morocco. Formerly a Foreign Legion outpost it is a useful base for adventures further south.
Hotels to visit
P Greaves, UK, March 2016
J Elmer, USA, May, 2015