Moroccan Wonders: Take in the Wonder of the Gorges du Dadès

Picture Morocco and what immediately comes to mind for most people are the sprawling markets of Marrakesh, known for their souks selling wares ranging from herbs to slippers to traditional Berber carpets. These bustling stores are accessible by a web of narrow alleyways that could leave you lost for hours among the stalls, your senses excited by the smells of spices and the sights of dazzling woven cloths. But there’s another side of Morocco, one full of natural wonder, and that’s where you’ll find the Gorges du Dadès.

Look for the Dadès River Gorge between the Atlas and Anti-Atlas ranges in central Morocco where the mountains meet the desert. A winding road with death-defying curves brings you from neighboring towns to this place where the entire world seems to open up before you. It’s hard to say if magnificent, dramatic, or majestic is the right word to use. Rock formations rise toward the sky like monuments to Mother Nature, casting shadows on each other that shift as the sun moves toward the opposite horizon. In contrast to the craggy hills, lush vegetation springs up near the river, creating an oasis of palms. The only signs of life are the historic kasbahs built for defending the city, but the native red earth used to build them makes it appear as if they’re just another natural part of the landscape. It’s no wonder Hollywood chose the incredible backdrop of this area for films like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.

On Day 3 of our Sahara & High Atlas guided walk, you’ll be shown the breathtaking wonder of the Gorges du Dadès after an exploration of the Road of 1000 Kasbahs and exposure to the beautiful architecture of the Berber people. You’ll also take in the sights of the Dadès Valley, known as the valley of the roses, where you’ll see the fields of flowering plants that give the area its name. Buy a vial of rose water at a nearby market, and you’ll be taking home a bit of the very soil you stand on. That night, you’ll stay and feast at the modern Hotel Karam Palace, a four-star hotel with outdoor dining, a swimming pool, and green space that also happens to be a short walk from a lively public town square where you can enjoy an afternoon browsing one of the souks Morocco is so famous for.

Whether it’s the dizzying hustle of the city you’re after or the quiet marvel of the undeveloped terrain, there’s a little bit of amazing for everyone in Morocco.