Skoura is one of Morocco’s most attractive oases, a scenic feast renowned for its variety of kasbahs. Situated between the frontier town of Ouarzazate and the desert, this is an enticing area to explore: the Dades Valley and Todra Gorge are natural delights, and the contrasting colours in spring make this one of the country’s highlights to visit.
- Walk through the spectacular limestone Todra Gorge
- Visit the beautiful Dades Valley, lined with kasbahs
- Travel back in time at the ancient village of Ait Ben Haddou
- Marvel at the colourful blossoms in the gardens of Tineghir
With its origins in the High Atlas, the Todra Gorge is one of Morocco’s most spectacular geological features. The gorge has been carved through the limestone rock to create, at its narrowest point of just a few metres in width, vertical canyon walls that soar over 300 metres into the sky, whilst crystal clear water pours from a natural spring and flows south to bring life to the palm groves and terraced fields down the valley.
Throughout much of the year the valley is bursting with colour: clusters of yellow dates hanging from the palms and the white blossom of the almond trees contrasting with the burnt ochre of the kasbah walls which make for the perfect place to enjoy a quiet stroll.
Wider than Todra, the Dades Valley is an oasis of green with a number of stunning kasbahs set against bizarre volcanic rock formations on the valley sides. Using Tineghir as a base, this is an area of outstanding natural beauty which is easy to explore at your own pace with a self-drive vehicle.
The kasbah of Ait Benhaddou is one of the most dramatic sights in the Dades Valley and has as a result been feted by the world’s movie makers for many years, with films such as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ being filmed here. It has been almost permanently occupied since the 16th Century and its strategic importance arose on account of its position on the route from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and on to the south for the caravans laden with salt and returned with slaves, ivory and gold.
A visit to the film studios on the edge of the town of Ouarzazate for a bit of Hollywood star-spotting is also well worth it.