Dades Valley
Last Updated: May 13, 2023

Abdellah Moutahir

Dades Valley captivates visitors with its stunning landscapes and natural wonders. It is located in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The He Valley is also famous for its dramatic rock formations and picturesque valleys.

Travelers can also explore the winding Dades River. It winds its way through rugged terrain, creating stunning canyons and lush greenery along its banks. As the valley is filled with traditional Berber villages, visitors can also experience the rich local culture and hospitality. Scenic treks along the “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs” offer panoramic views of the majestic beauty of the valley.

Whether it’s hiking, cycling or just enjoying the panoramic views. Dades Valley is a haven for nature lovers and those looking for tranquility amid stunning natural surroundings.

The Dades Valley captivates the Atlantic

The Dades Valley and its tributaries lie between the east and southeast of Marrakesh. Between the High Atlas and Jebel Soghro. The Dades River is also nearly 200 kilometers long, and half of it is in a mountainous area. As along its course, there are four sequences of 200 to 500 meter deep valleys and gorges.


The gorges were originally formed from sedimentary rocks deposited in the marine environment from the Jurassic to the Eocene over a long period of time. Subsequently, they revealed these layers when the Oligocene Alps were formed. They were created by the Dadès during the uprising; As a result, it descended by antecedents in rocks that were pushed up, with the result that valleys were formed in marls, sandstones, and limestones.

Dades Valley Demography

The majority of the first inhabitants of the valley arrived in the 1850s from nearby urban centers that corresponded to the main cities of the time, such as Ouarzazate, Zagora, etc. The king of that period wanted to populate these areas.

A trip through the Dades Valley

The core of the valley is a haven of freshness and awe-inspiring landscapes, populated by the most hospitable of people. Explore the Dades Gorges in the spring, when the valley’s vegetation is exceptionally thriving. In the midst of gardens of almond, argan, palm, poplar, and walnut trees, one can find solace.

The Dades Gorges

Make sure to take the route through the gorges that leads to At Moutad in order to see all of the valley’s splendor. Before reaching the mountainous foothills of the Atlas, along the Dades, you will see magnificent orchard scenes. Stop at Tamlalt, about nine kilometers after Boulmane. Here you will find the peculiar rocky outcrops known as “monkey fingers.”

Geological marvel

This geological wonder is particularly captivating at sunset. Explore the ancient ruins of the Kasbah on the other side of the ravine, a landscape steeped in mystery and gloom. This is the beginning of a three-and-a-half-hour trek along the Dades that will bring you to the village of At Oudinar.

Be very careful if you are not driving a 4×4 vehicle past the bridge. Every turn offers a breathtaking view of the valley!
Following the profane path, you will enter the “défilé d’Imdiazen” valley. This is a perfect place for picnics, angling or just relaxing on the water’s edge.

The road will then lead you to M’Semrir, the starting point for many excursions to the Todra Valley or the Atlas Mountains. This delightful little Berber village is located about 60 kilometers north of Boumalne.
Next, visit the Sidi Boubaker Gorge, where a simple trek through the region’s wildest terrain awaits.

Find out too

From kilometer 13 on the Route des gorges, after an hour and a half of trekking, you will come to a wonderful location. In the natural pools of Sidi Boubaker, enjoy a moment of peace and relaxation.

Discover Dades Canyons, a scenic five-hour trek recommended by fit hikers. This trek requires the services of a local guide. An extraordinary journey through the passes of Dades also required the right supplies and equipment. The starting location of the gorge road is the 25th kilometer.

The gorges are also located southwest of Tinghir, 110 kilometers from Ouarzazate. Follow the N10 road from Ouarzazate to the Citadel and Boumalne Dades in the middle of the Rose Valley. Public transportation will get you there, but if you rent a four-wheel drive car, it will give you the most freedom and independence during your travels.

Berber Civilisation

The Dades is also known as “the valley of a thousand Kasbahs’; dozens of fortress cities dot this route, a reminder of the civilizations that once flourished in these fertile valleys where roses blossom in the Skoura and El Kelaa des Mgouna oases.

Stunning Views

The road north from Boumalne Dades, with its dramatic and ascending zig-zagging roads slicing through the mountain, creates the most magnificent views and is a spectacular way to see the natural beauty of the gorge itself, as well as the unnatural assortment of roadside attractions and wares set up to attract the passing tourist’s attention!


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