Situated in central Morocco, the Dadès Gorge should be at the top of the bucket list for adventurous souls in search of astonishing scenery and immersion into authentic Berber culture. The gorge (actually a series of separate gorges) was carved out by the passage of the Dades River and is navigable via a road known locally as the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs. Those that drive its hairpin bends can expect to discover breathtaking rock formations in colors that range from tan and beige to gold, rust red, and dusky mauve. The historic kasbahs and ksour, or fortified villages, of the Berber people overlook the valley, where the river breathes life into groves of palm and almond trees. Local people still inhabit some of these villages, while many of the kasbahs have been converted into boutique hotels for Dadès Gorge explorers.
The geological history of the Dadès Gorge began millions of years ago when the surrounding area was still submerged beneath the sea. Eventually, the tectonic movement led to the creation of the Atlas Mountains and the establishment of the Dades River. The river eroded a path through the mountains’ soft sedimentary rock, making the gorge broader and deeper with every passing flood season. Today the Dades River flows for some 220 miles from its source in the High Atlas Mountains to the edge of the Sahara Desert, where it joins with the Draa River. The walls of the gorge reach 1,600 feet in height in some places, and local people have learned to use the river to irrigate rose fields, olive groves, and thatches of almond and palm. In the surrounding mountains, nomads continue to dwell in troglodyte caves as they have for hundreds of years, using the valley as a seasonal pathway to grazing pastures in the High Atlas.
- Hotel pickup / drop-off
- Transfer in comfortable vehicle
- English speaking driver
- Local guides
- Meals as per itinerary
- Tips and personal expenses