There are many fascinating Kasbahs in Morocco and here we will mention the Kasbahs of morocco between marrakech and ouarzazate, The vertiginous (and no less perilous) road which connects Marrakech and Ouarzazate crosses the most beautiful landscapes of the High Atlas through the passage of Tizi n’Tichka, the “pasture pass”, then through the Ounila valley which conceals secrets : ocher villages that blend into the multicolored mountains, terraced orchards, troglodyte ksours and abandoned kasbahs. It is a concentrate of beauty unmatched in southern Morocco.
Crossing the Tizi NTichka pass
As you move away from Marrakech, the vegetation, the reliefs and the colors change with each turn. Then the road rises above the plains winding the High Atlas Mountains, a real natural barrier between the provinces of Marrakech and Ouarzazate. Small adobe villages cling to the mountainsides. As we approach the Tizi NTichka pass, the highest point of the journey at an altitude of 2,260 meters, we dive into a thick mist before entering a frozen world. The point of view is extraordinary. The road continues towards the Tizi N’Aït Imquer pass, from where you can admire an exceptional panorama of the Djbel Tistouit, which sits majestically in the middle of a cirque of snow-capped mountains.
Telouet road through the Ounila valley
A few dozen kilometers after crossing the Tizi NTichka pass, a left fork invites the more adventurous of travelers to take the road to Telouet. Although the journey is longer to arrive in Ouarzazate, this path that crosses the Ounila valley promises a surprising journey dotted with ocher villages that blend into the mountains, valleys and terraced orchards, troglodyte ksour and kasbahs in the mountains. ‘abandonment. ” That’s wonderful ! “,” This is beautiful isn’t it “,” look how beautiful it is! “, That’s all we kept repeating to ourselves along the way. For travel bloggers, this is a fairly limited vocabulary. At the bend of each bend, the change of scenery is so surprising that we are almost speechless.
A stop at the Telouet Kasbah, a former palace of the last lord of the Atlas, stronghold of the 17th century Glaoua tribe, is a must! Despite the fact that the Telouet Kasbah at first glance appears to be falling into ruin, the interior still bears witness to the reign of the Glaoui family, with stucco lounges, zellig walls, marble and earthenware ornaments, long corridors , and surprisingly well-preserved cedar ceilings. We are dazzled by this architectural gem lost in the middle of nowhere. Berbers and Jews lived together on these lands, the former living from agriculture and livestock, the latter from the exploitation of the rich resources of salt and the distillation of Merrain, a brandy made from dates and figs. .
The winding road through the Ounila valley is in poor condition but it rewards us with mountain landscapes with a thousand colors that remind us of the rainbows mountains of Peru, green plateaus bordered by cliffs, and gorges with crystal clear waters. Another fork leads us to the small village of Tazeleft wedged between the mountains. A villager offers to accompany us for a short hike between the orchards to the troglodyte caves of Tazeleft, a series of cells cut in the rock once inhabited by semi-nomads. The beauty and tranquility of this place is indescribable.
Back on the main road in the Ounila valley, we continue our way to the village of Tamdakht dominated by the ruins of an old Kasbah of the apparently ruined Glaoui dynasty. The Kasbah of Tamdaght has a particular history because it served as a prison for the family of General Oufkir, the main instigator of the failed coup against the late King Hassan II, on August 16, 1972. Today, the Kasbah is particularly popular. photographers and filmmakers from around the world who come to be inspired by his particular aesthetic.
Ksar Ait Ben Heddou
Ait Ben Heddou Not far away, a grandiose ancient fortress classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO sits majestically on top of a hill with the snow-capped peaks of the Middle Atlas as a backdrop. This is the icing on the cake of this course through the Ounila Valley. If the scenery sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because the site has been the location of several films including the American blockbusters Gladiator, Laurence of Arabia, Prince of Persia and even Game of Thrones.
Arrival in Ouarzazate
We leave the Ounila valley with stars in our eyes. We could never have imagined a concentrate of beauty over such a short distance. We have finally arrived in Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is the petite Moroccan Hollywood star. We stay in an ecolodge ideally located on the outskirts of the city by the lake of the El Mansour Eddahbi dam. To discover this little corner of paradise: stay in an ecolodge in Ouarzazate.