todra gorge, high atlas mountains

Todra Gorge, High Atlas Mountains

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Top 10 Places Not to Miss > Todra Gorge, High Atlas Mountains

Travel to Morocco & Visit the Todra Gorge
The Todra Gorge is a trench of gigantic rock walls that, change color and run through the High Atlas Mountains creating an absolutely magnificent spectacle. Many Morocco travelers visit the Todra Gorge as they journey through the south on the ‘Road of One Thousand Kasbahs’, a route from Ouarzazate to Erfoud where these century old pisé fortifications remain. The mining town of Tinerhir is the base town for visiting the Todra Gorge. The Gorge is breathtaking and easy hike by foot with many places to stop to photograph along its well-maintained dirt road. Part of the spectacular scenery includes an opportunity to see how the local Berbers live as nomads; as they stroll through the gorges many winding roads hering their donkeys and camels.
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During the drive from Tinerhir to the gorge there are thick passages of palmeries and Berber villages. What ever direction you begin your journey the route that brings you to the Todra Gorge should taken slowly as it is truly remarkable. This is especially true if you are coming from the barren parts of the oases before the Todra.
The palmeries that begin from Tinerhir line both sides of the Todra River and can be reached by car or bicycle. Traveling this region of Morocco by 4x4 along with a guide is recommended. However if you are not traveling during the summer time and you will be in Morocco for several weeks then consider renting a bicycle to explore the gorge as it will add charm to your trip.
The palmary that leads up to the gorge is best visited a couple hours prior to sunset as the affects of the suns rays make every color on the palm leaves stand out. Make sure to stop along the way to enjoy the fragrant smell of the pomegranate, almond and fruit trees that lie just beyond the olive terraces. Within the garden, there are also ksours (single Kasbahs) around to explore.
Once you arrive to the gorge, you will be eager to explore it. In recent years, the Todra Gorge has attracted allot of attention from serious climbers and hikers. The rock formations vary between twenty- five to three hundred meters and there are over one hundred fifty hundred routes to explore.
Come prepared with an itinerary if you are an independent traveler or it is likely that you may feel pressure from the guides huddling around the bottom of the gorge to take a tour. A tour is suggested if you don’t have your own itinerary as it will provide you with a history lesson on the gorge and the Berber population that lives nearby.
If you think that you may want to stay the night surrounded by the jaw dropping beauty of Todra, you can do so. It is possible to stay at the mouth of the gorge, right next to the three hundred meter cliffs. This option is especially popular with gorge climbers and hikers who explore until the last bit of light leaves the area. The three hotels by the foothills of the cliff are simple and inexpensive. However, if weather permits an even better option is to spend the night outside just underneath the overhanging cliffs, the most dramatic part of the gorge. Les Roches and Yasmina are the hotels there; their prices fluctuate depending on the season. An interesting sleeping option both hotels provide is to sleep underneath the stars on their terraces.
On a final note, be prepared to see a wholesome amount of tourists. As the Todra Gorge is not difficult to reach, many tourist buses make a stop on their way to the villages of Tamtatotoucht and Aït Hani. 
If you want to see traditional Berber villages, it is easy to do so from the Todra Gorge as they are located on the surfaced road running between Tinerhir and Tamtatoucht. Add adventure and mystery to your expedition by making the trip on a mountain bike or ask your guide take an offbeat route so you can stop to visit a local Berber family for couscous and tea.
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