A day trip through the Ziz Gorges to Erfoud, you will leave all the city activities behind and head for the High Atlas Mountains and soon reaching the great cedar forests of Azrou. First, let’s start off at the Ziz Gorges, series of canyons in Morocco characterized by two artificial gates at the southern and northern ends. At the southern end are the Hassan Addakil dam and an artificial lake. At the northern end is the Tunnel de Légionnaire that creates a passageway through the Ziz Valley. Ziz River cuts off through the High Atlas Mountains as a result from the two artificial gates. Moreover, the Ziz Gorges is an area with a tremendously abundant zone of ancient fossils you can see on the top of the hills.
Finally, end your day trip journey at Erfoud located in the Meknes region of eastern Morocco after passing the palm fringed towns along the way from Ziz Gorges. At Erfoud, red sand buildings surrounded by deserts await to be discovered. A nice hotel to stay in is the Kasbah Hotel Xaluca where you can enjoy buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. Due to Erfoud’s oasis areas and the surrounding Sahara Desert, it is a famous filmmaking destination. The Mummy (1999) and Prince of Persia (2010) to name a few were filmed here. Things to see at Erfoud are Erfoud Royal Palace, Erfoud’s Souq (Erfoud Market), Jewish Cemetery and many more.
Still a journey along the Grand Canyon of the Sahara Desert, explore the surroundings of Todra Gorge in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains. Todra Gorge is a spectacular place for an easy hike along the tiny glacier stream where you can see the local people’s houses and they will be seen herding their donkeys, camels and goats. It is possible to go down to the locals’ living area for some Berber tea and hear insights of the locals’ daily life and beliefs from a local religious leader (Imam). Next, be prepared for a night journey and dinner over at the Hotel of La Berbere Palace, Ouarzazate.
What a nice way to end your sightseeing trip along the Todra Gorge and get your energy piled up for another day trip at Ouarzazate. After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, cruise around Ouarzazate filmmaking location with Atlas Movie Studios (Morocco’s biggest film studios). Here, movies such as The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000) and Hanna (2011) to name a few were also filmed here. Furthermore, Ouarzazate is a Kasbah Town (The Road of the 1000 Kasbahs) where Aït Benhaddou is a great place to see. All the elements of the deep South (Kasbahs, oasis and desert) are gathered here. Continue your trip along Dadès Valley where you will be passing the rose country of El Kelaât M’Gouna. Here, rose water from rose growing petals were used for perfumes is celebrated each year during a festival in May. That concludes your journey along the Sahara Desert and the High Atlas Mountains.