Deep in the Atlas rocky mountains on one of the roads to the Sahara from Marrakech is the dramatic vista of Todra Gorge (locally known as Toudgha Gorge), a natural oasis created by the Todra River carved passageway. Through the limestone for many kings. The canyon looks almost prehistoric with gorge walls over 400 meters high (taller than the Empire State Building in New York). This is an ideal spot to break the journey between Marrakech and the desert for a night or a few days but it also allows you to explore for longer.
How to get there?
If you’re flying, Ouarzazate International Airport is the nearest airport less than three hours away by car. Marrakech International Airport is another, more popular option, as there are more inbound and outbound flights. You will need a car to enter the canyon and you can rent a car and drive yourself. The main road is paved but if you plan to get off the piste, you will need a 4×4.
When to visit Todra Gorge?
The most popular times to visit are spring and autumn when the weather is cooler but not too cold. However, be aware that these are also the busiest times as the canyon is a popular spot, however there are plenty of lesser known areas around to explore if you want to stay away from the crowds. If you choose to go in the summer you will have a place for yourself but the temperatures can skyrocket in the 40s, and it’s worth noting that many businesses close (especially for Eid holidays if they do) your travel window). If you come in winter, it’s best to avoid the snowy months from December to February as it can actually be very cold.
The best time to visit is in the morning, when the sun shines over the gorge during a golden welcome moment. Souvenir vendors and tour buses clog the center in the afternoons, until it suddenly turns dark and chilly. Pass through the canyon and go up 18 km to the Berber village of Tamtetoucht, with Imilchil about 95 km away.
Things to do in Todra Gorge
There are many options to enjoy the canyon whether you are an outdoors enthusiast, or simply enjoy the scenery, immerse yourself in culture, shop for some local crafts and maybe take a few pictures.
Picnic and hiking:
The scenery is absolutely stunning and one of the best ways to see it is on foot. There are hiking treks that you can arrange for all levels around the canyon. This can be a half-day or full-day option depending on how long you want to be there. If you want to take longer hikes to bring you deeper into the countryside, you can also arrange a hike that fits your schedule and level of ability.
Mountain bike tour:
There are many mountain bike tours in Morocco for Saddle Skeddadle, so pack your knowledge and experience to plan a tour of the area. Or you can rent a mountain bike for a day to enjoy a different view of the local area and exercise. It’s possible to cycle for any level but you’ll need a basic level of fitness if you want to tackle some of the amazing engineering routes around the canyon. If you just want to relax, then a ride through Palmeraie is ideal.
Climb the mountain:
The gorge is the best spot in Morocco for mountain climbing. There are over 100 official routes that allow climbers to experience the canyon safely. There are routes for every level, many of which include multi-pitch routes. Beginners are also welcome here as the gorge is a great place to learn.
Discover Todra Palmeraie:
Palmeraie is a French word for a forest or date plantations and Todra palmeraie is a great example of a day-working plantation. The graceful date palms provide shade, and depending on when you arrive of the year, they will be hung with bunches of dates during different stages of development. Palmeraie also has small villages, vegetable gardens and pomegranate orchards scattered all over the place. This is the perfect place to explore at a comfortable pace by walking or cycling and learn how to plant and harvest dates and get an insight into the lives of the farmers. It is also a natural paradise and ideal for a picnic.
Visit a village:
One of the highlights of a trip to Morocco is meeting the locals and making a real connection. The people of this region are the Berbers (Amazigh) and known for their hospitality. They often invite you in for tea and sweet dates with them. You will admire the traditional red clay architecture and appreciate the complexity of the irrigation system that leads water from rivers into fields. Life here is very simple but very richly when the community works together and the family units are strong. Most families will live on the ground on a small farm where they grow vegetables and fruit and some sheep and goats for meat. Usually in the mornings, you will see the women who take the family’s cows into the nearby fields for grazing.
Shop in a market:
Tinghir Weekly Market is one of the largest in Southern Morocco, taking place on Monday with the cattle market on Saturday. The market surrounds and sells local produce; dates, olives, fruits, grains, spices and herbs as well as livestock, and local crafts, traditional clothing and shoes, furniture, teapots, bicycles, plants and more and more. You can take some time and stop by a chic cafe to enjoy mint tea.
One convenient and easy way for first-time visitors to Todra Gorge is to choose travel agencies. Consider the Marrakech Tour Company. This is a local Moroccan Berber people, descended from the original indigenous people of Morocco and more especially, the Sahara Desert. They have created this agency to organize all the types of Tours and Excursions authentic journeys, Morocco holidays, Desert trips, Marrakech to Erg Chebbi Dunes or to Zagora Desert Adventure, Camel Trekking Excursions in Merzouga and tour at Todra Gorge. The best time to visit Morocco depends on what you plan to do and see while there.
If your main priority is to see highlights like Marrakech include Berber Villages Nomad Lifestyle Morocco Culture and Traditions enjoy The Moroccan Desert Camel Trek in Sahara, Desert Trips from 5 days tours Marrakech To Fes, Morocco Private Day Tours from the big cities Casablanca Marrakech.
Contact the Marrakech Tour Company at the website https://marrakechtourcompany.com
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