For more details about individual destinations throughout Morocco, please visit the Destinations page.
Southern Valleys and Gorges
As the High Atlas Mountains converge with the Anti-Atlas Mountains ranges in the south of Morocco, magnificent gorges, oases, canyons and rivers are formed. The area that stretches east from Ouarzazate along the old trade caravan route, guarded by a series of mud-built fortresses or kasbahs, is called the "Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs." Along its route, as far east as the Sahara desert at Merzouga and down south through the Draa Valley as far as M’Hamid el Ghizalne, is the region that we have defined as the Southern Valleys and Gorges.
Inevitably your tour will be leading you to the Sahara desert dunes of Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga either via the East or the Southern routes. To view our Desert Tours that take you on a journey through the Southern Valleys and Gorges you should click here. You can also combine visiting the "Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs", the gorges of Todra and Dadès with all the Moroccan Imperial Cities in our Imperial Cities with Sahara Desert and Southern Valleys tour.
EAST - Dadès Valley with Dadès Gorges and Todra Gorges: There is stunning scenery throughout this region and some of the highlights include the bizarre rock formations and ravines of the Dadès Gorge, the rose-filled valleys of the southern slopes of the High Atlas Mountains around Kelaa M’Gouna, known as the “Valley of Roses,” the kasbahs and palm groves of Skoura, the towering cliffs of the Todra Gorge and the wide open spaces and stark mountains of the Jbel Saghro massif that dovetail into the Anti-Atlas. At the eastern edge is the Tafilalt Oasis, the largest oasis in the world, filled with date palms and taking in the desert towns of Erfoud and Rissani. The Southern Valleys and Gorges region is explored in many of our Sahara Desert Tours which extend to the dunes at Erg Chebbi. It is an ideal part of Morocco for trekking, horse riding, off-road cycling and rock climbing – all of which we can arrange as add-on activities. We also offer a special-interest rock-climbing holiday based in Todra Gorge designed for families and novice climbers.
SOUTH - Draa Valley: Morocco’s longest river, the Draa River, runs from the confluence of the Dadès River and the Imini River in the High Atlas. It flows down through the Draa Valley, nourishing a spectacularly lush and abundant date-palm oasis as far as M’Hamid el Ghizlane at the door of the Sahara. The river generally disappears underground here before re-emerging to enter the Atlantic Ocean near Tan-Tan. In 2014, however the exceptional winter rainfall saw the river banks bursting even in M’Hamid and the desert flats near Erg Chigaga were flooded. The Draa Valley forms part of the old trade caravan route for slaves, salt, gold and other commodities brought from Sub-Saharan Africa. The valley was guarded by several kasbahs and fortified villages called ksars dating back many centuries. The oldest Kasbah which is open to visitors is at Tamnougalt, south of Agdz. Important destinations and highlights in our tours through this branch of the Southern Valleys and Gorges region are Agdz, N’Kob, Zagora and Tamegroute, before finally reaching the end of the tarmac road at M’Hamid el Ghizlane where the Sahara desert stretches out all around. One of the areas of special interest to travellers interested in arts and crafts is Tamegroute, a small town with a centuries old tradition of pottery and ceramics. We at SheherazadVentures offer opportunities to get practical experience working alongside local artisans to learn their craft. See our Special-Interest pottery-making holiday centred at one of the Berber co-operatives for a 3-day intensive workshop or our and add-on activities whereby you can spend just a couple of hours learning a few basic techniques. The journey through the Draa Valley is one of the most beautiful drives you can imagine. It can also be enjoyed at a slower pace by planning for some hiking, off-road cycling or camel trekking. It features in many of our Sahara Desert Tours which lead you to the high dunes of Erg Chigaga before then continuing your Morocco adventure holiday into other neighbouring regions.
Throughout the Southern Valleys and Gorges region we offer accommodation in characterful, local guesthouses, small boutique hotels or converted kasbahs. Luxury 5-star options can also be arranged in certain parts of this rural and remote area.