The Roses Valley
Down the Mgoun, the roses valley
If the valley of the Roses begins its way with the round rocks of Imassine, as virtually laid in precarious balance, it’s from Kelaat Mgouna, going up the river Mgoun, that it delivers us all its splendor.
It’s one of the most beautiful valleys of the High Atlas and the South of Morocco. Ascend this succession of palm groves and gardens, that constitutes the roses valley, is a true enchantment.
The road winds its way along the banks of the Mgoun river and offers us many traditional villages with their adobe houses, old douars and ancient kasbahs, and some, like the Mirna kasbah, can be visited.
Opportunities are numerous for stopping along the small mule tracks leading to the Atlas slopes. Also for visiting the countless gardens bordered by oleander hedges, rose bushes, almond trees and other orchards where a small agricultural world works all day long to maintain all these splendors buried along the banks of the river.
The rose of Damascus
It is from February, when the almond and cherry trees blossom, and from April to June, during the flowering and the harvest of these famous roses of Damascus, that the colors and the odors flourish and exhale their perfumes and beauty.
Benevolent nature spreads from season to season, and the often cold winters do not detract from the raw beauty of these savage lands.
It is in mid-May, during an incessantly perfumed flowering that takes place the famous Roses celebration in Kelaat Mgouna. During three days, traditional music, dances and songs accompanied by flowery carts go through the city, ending a cycle of hard work.
Visiting the roses valley
Passing the small villages of Agoutzi and Tigharmatine the road takes us to the picturesque ksar Tourbist. This place used to host a large Jewish population before the Six Days War and their massive migration to reach Israel.
The old Mellah and the know-how for the daggers making are now their legacy, as local craftsmanships continue to perpetuate it at the Azlag Cooperative.
Berber architectural treasure made of adobe houses, tightly pressed against each other, and traversed by a maze of narrow alleys surmounted sometimes by majestic covered passages; this small typical village, nestled on the banks of the river Mgoun and down the surrounding Atlas deserves more than a small halt.
And beyond … the Mgoun
This getaway finally leads us, to Bou Tharar, one of these beautiful valley’s high villages. It overlooks the river M’Goun, on the edge of which are grown numerous fruit trees, walnut trees, almond trees …
It’s from here that the oued Mgoun forms small gorges, and from their cliffs the paragliding can be practiced.
Bou-Tharar, nestled on the cliffs edge, offers old adobe houses. Women wear ritual tattoos and fine braided mats rising on their ears. The scenery is total. It is also a starting point for many excursions on the mule tracks which crisscross the surroundings, through the gorges or along the river.
But this is not the end of the road for the adventurous wanting to sink even higher up the summits of the Atlas.
From Bou Tharar, the trail connects to the west the Skoura palm grove, along a mountainous route passing through Aït Toumert and Toundout, where remains of large dinosaurs were discovered in the 1990s and make us discover extraordinary sites.
If you chose to go east the trail joins the gorges of Dadès until Ait Youl, about twenty kilometers north of Boumalne Dades.
High mountain enthusiasts will cross the Tizi-n-Aït-Ahmed peak, 3,050 m, passing by Amejgag and Amesker, and will admire its impressive waterfalls and the Tizi-n-Ait Imi, 2 910 m before reaching the threshold of the valley of Aït Bouguemez, vast valley of the High Atlas.
Valley of the roses – From 18 €
Valley of the roses – From 25 €
Valley of the roses – From 32 €
Valley of the roses – From 35 €
Valley of the roses – From 39 €
Valley of the roses – From 40 €