Oussikis Valley

The discreet valley near Dades

On the heights of Dades, the gentle valley of Oussikis, nicknamed “the apple valley”, stretches from the village of Tadadat to the dam of Aït Yazza. It is covered with fields and orchards fed with water by the wadi Oussikis.

It shelters some small rural villages with ancient kasbahs and stone houses of modest size and undeniable charm.

The village of Aït Yazza is now made up of 3 villages: Aït Oun’bagui, Aït Yazza and Aït Bou Ouknifène. It marks the end of the road that can be driven by car, but leads us to the beginning of many hikes in the valley and the High Atlas, to discover rock carvings as well as to discover a path between Tadadat and M’semrir, to the assault of remote gorges.

Trout fishing at the dam of Aït Yazza

The dam, 30 minutes walk from the village, was originally planned to generate electricity in 1989. Its initial function has changed, it now irrigates the valley and regulates flooding during heavy rains and snowmelt.

We find “rainbow” trout, imported from Canada to be farmed in Azrou, a village in the Middle Atlas, and then brought into the dam. Spoon or fly fishing was practiced from June to September.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of August 2011, a major flood momentarily transformed the water from the dam into mud that decimated the trout farm. A project to redevelop the Oussikis dam is under study, which will hopefully be followed by the reintroduction of trout.

Social life

The villages live mainly from agriculture, of which the apple is the flagship.

In order to meet the growing needs of the demand, the wholesalers of Agadir or Marrakech coming regularly to buy apples, a cooperative was created at the beginning of 2011.

Families, like many rural villages, women weave carpets, burnous, handira, (coverage of women of the Aït Atta tribe) and djellaba… for family use and from time to time for sale.

Everything is made of wool or cotton, often with vivid natural colours and geometric patterns. In the village, a blacksmith makes the mules’ irons, sharpens the forgeries, repairs and prepares the agricultural equipment.

Coming to Oussikis

From Boumalne Dades, take the road that runs along the Dades valley in the direction of the gorges and M’semrir. On the heights of the valley, 3 km before M’semrir, at the entrance to the village of Iminouareg a track on the left leads to the village of Aït Yazza at 6 km.

This mountain path is accessible by car. It crosses many fields and apple orchards. Pick-up vans shuttle daily between Boumalne Dadès and Aït Yazza.

Hiking in the Oussikis Valley

The Oussikis valley is spread out over a few kilometres and hikes in the heart of the valley take between one and two days depending on the route.

For example:

1 day: From Aït Yazza (2 000 m) to the Takouchtamte springs (2845 m)

On an easy level, this family stroll goes through small wild paths to the springs, which are surrounded by gardens and overlooked by the Isk ‘n’ Takouchtamte jbel (3166 m). Allow 2 hours 30 minutes of walking to reach the springs and 3 hours back by another path.

During the day and without great difficulty, the hike that leads you to the Agoudal gorges of Aït Oun’bagui is a little longer than the previous destination, about 3 hours 30 minutes walk and 3 hours for the return. If the heart tells you so, don’t resist the pleasure of sleeping in a tent under the stars…

2 days: Akka (gorge) Taghfist

It is also an accessible hike with a night in the caves or under the stars. Return by another path. Stony route to the gorges crossed by a stream and populated with gardens. 8 hr round trip.

Aït Yazza – Taghia gorges. Climbing spot 1 or 2 days walk from the village.

The gite of the Fadil family proposes rooms and beds in dormitory, and gives all the information necessary for the participation or the organization of excursions.

Their welcome is warm and it would be a shame to come all the way here without greeting them from us.

Contact: Lahcen / Said Fadil BP 09 Aït Yazza – Oussikis 45 542. Tel: +212 (0)5 24 83 10 39

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Cities
Boumalne Dades  
Dades Valley  
High Atlas  
Hotels
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Le Jardin de la Source

Dades Valley – From 25 €

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Auberge Miguirne

Dades Valley – From 25 €

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La Fibule Du Dades

Dades Valley – From 27 €

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Maison Amazigh

Dades Valley – From 20 €

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La Perle du Dades

Dades Valley – From 55 €

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Auberge les Jardins du Dades

Dades Valley – From 25 €

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