The stunning beauty of the Todra Gorges (known locally as Toudgha Gorge) sits deep in the rocky Atlas mountains on one of the highways to the Sahara from Marrakech, a natural oasis produced by the River Todra digging its way through limestone for many generations.
With canyon walls reaching over 400 meters in height, the gorge appears nearly ancient (higher than the Empire State Building in New York).
It’s one of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s a photographer’s, climber’s, biker’s, and hiker’s dream. The gorge has also been in the American TV show ‘Expedition Impossible’ and a Cadillac CTS advertisement since 2012.
It is a great stopover between Marrakech and the desert for an overnight or two days, but it also lends itself to a lengthier investigation.
How to Get There
If you’re flying, the closest airport is Ouarzazate International Airport, which is less than three hours away by automobile. Marrakech International Airport is another, more popular, alternative with more aircraft arriving and departing. You will need a car to go into the canyon proper, and you can either hire a car and drive yourself, or Epic will supply you with an appropriate car and driver who can also tell you all about the cities and sites of importance you pass through on the way. The main road is tarmacked, but if you want to travel off-road, you’ll need a 4×4.
When should you go to Todra Gorges?
Spring and fall are the most popular times to come since the temperature is milder but not too chilly. Be mindful that these are also the busiest periods because the gorge is a popular destination, although there are lots of less well-known spots nearby to explore if you want to avoid crowds.
If you visit in the summer, you will have the place to yourself, although temperatures can rise into the 40s, and many establishments close down (especially for the Eid holy holidays if they hit your travel window). If you visit in the winter, you should avoid the snowy months of December to February since it might be quite chilly.
Todra Gorges Activities
There are several ways to experience the gorge, whether you choose to be active outside or simply appreciate the view, drink up the culture, do a little shopping for local products, and maybe…. snap a few shots.
Hike and picnic:
The scenery is really magnificent, and walking is one of the greatest ways to observe it. We can organize treks for all skill levels around the gorge. We can supply a tour as well as a lunch to enjoy along the way. Depending on how long you choose to spend there, this might be a half-day or full-day excursion. We can also arrange longer treks that will take you deeper into the countryside to fit your schedule and degree of competence.
The gorge is Morocco’s greatest rock-climbing location. There are around 100 official routes that climbers can choose to safely explore the gorge. There are routes for every skill level, including numerous multi-pitch ones. Beginners are also welcome since the gorge is an excellent learning environment. The Todra Gorges uses the French grading system – Sport Grades – thus bring a grade translation chart.
Investigate the Todra Palmeraie:
A palmeraie is a grove or plantation of date palm trees in French, and the Todra palmeraie is an excellent example of a thriving date plantation. The beautiful palms always provide shade and, depending on the season, will be hung with clusters of dates in various stages of development. Small cottages, vegetable gardens, and pomegranate orchards are scattered across the palmeraie. It’s the perfect area to explore at your own speed on foot or by bike, learning how dates are produced and harvested and getting a glimpse into the life of the farmers. It’s also a natural wonderland and an excellent spot for a picnic. Make sure to ask your guide for a sample of the date syrup, which the locals use on their toast instead of jam or honey.
Make a pit stop in a village:
Meeting locals and creating genuine friendships are one of the delights of visiting Morocco. Epic guides can take you to some gorgeous local villages and help you converse with the people you encounter along the trip because they know Tamazight, the native language. The Berber (Amazigh) inhabitants of this region are well-known for their friendliness. They will frequently welcome you into their houses to have tea and eat delicious dates. You will be able to view firsthand the classic red clay structures and appreciate the intricate irrigation systems that transfer water from the river into the crops.
Life is simple yet rich here since the community works together and the family units are solid. The majority of families will live off the land, with a smallholding where they will cultivate vegetables and fruit, as well as some sheep and goats for meat. Often in the morning, you will observe the women leading the family cow to graze in a neighboring field.
Visit a market:
Tinghir weekly market is one of the largest in Southern Morocco, taking place on Mondays and Saturdays with a livestock market. The market has been in operation for generations and sells local food such as dates, olives, fruit, grain, spices, and herbs, as well as animals and local crafts like traditional apparel and shoes, furniture, teapots, bicycles, plants, and much more. You may take your time and stop for mint tea at a makeshift café.
Pick up a rug:
It’s excellent to buy outside of cities since it brings you closer to the actual manufacturers of artisan items. Berber carpets may be found in the region; there is a kasbah near the gorge, and local people set up shops along the path to selling their carpets. Request suggestions from your tour guide.
Explore the surrounding area:
For guests who wish to explore Southern Morocco based on their interests, Touring In Morocco can give thorough inside track ‘ungoogleable’ itineraries. We may arrange for you to stay in a very small spot with no other visitors around, or we can build a whistle-stop travel schedule that includes more well-known sights like:
Morocco’s Little Hollywood is an excellent addition to your itinerary as a stop on the route to Todra Gorges. You may explore Ait Ben Haddou, a historic Berber town on a hill that served as the setting for Lawrence of Arabia, or the Game of Thrones film location. Visit the Telouet Kasbah, a historically noteworthy structure. Visitors may also visit the film studio, ride a camel across the desert, or drive a 4×4 into the dunes.
This town, renowned as the Gate of the Sahara, is another fantastic site to stop on your journey and has lots to see. The Royal Palace, the busy souq, the renowned fossil collection, and the Jewish cemetery are all worth seeing. Stop at one of the street cafés or take a 4×4 trip into the desert to see one of the iconic architectural desert sculptures by German artist Hannsjorg Voth.
Todra Gorge lodging options
We can arrange lodging near Todra to suit your interests and budget, ranging from a modest and genuine Berber stay to a higher level of accommodation with pools and a taste of Saharan luxury, or ecologically conscious eco-lodges that nevertheless allow for day trips to the valley.
We can offer wild camping and cooking expeditions, as well as glamping possibilities in the surrounding region, for those who wish to be closer to nature. This choice is ideal for stargazers, photographers, and those who enjoy the sensation of reconnecting with nature.