A Blend of Geological History and Adventure
Morocco, a land known for its vibrant culture, exotic landscapes, and rich history, is home to numerous hidden gems waiting to be explored. Among these gems, Todra Gorge stands tall, captivating travelers with its awe-inspiring beauty and intriguing past. Located in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains, Todra Gorge offers a unique blend of historical significance and thrilling activities. In this blog post, we will delve into the history of Todra Gorge and highlight the must-visit attractions and activities that make it a true paradise for adventurers.
A Glimpse into Geolocial History
Todra Gorge, also known as Todgha Gorge, has been shaped by the relentless forces of nature over millions of years. Carved by the Todra River, this magnificent canyon stretches over 15 miles and reaches heights of up to 980 feet, making it one of the most impressive natural wonders in Morocco. The gorge has served as a vital passageway throughout history, connecting the Sahara Desert with the rest of the country.
Ancient civilizations, including the Berbers, have left their mark on Todra Gorge. The local Berber people have inhabited the region for centuries and have preserved their unique cultural heritage. Exploring the gorge allows visitors to connect with the Berber way of life and gain insight into their traditions and customs.
What to Do in Todra Gorge
Hiking and Trekking
Todra Gorge offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with its diverse hiking and trekking trails. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you can embark on a memorable adventure through the gorge’s narrow passages and towering cliffs. The breathtaking views and ever-changing landscapes will leave you in awe.
If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, Todra Gorge is a rock climber’s dream. With its sheer limestone walls, the gorge presents a thrilling challenge for climbers of all levels. Experienced guides and climbing equipment are available to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Visit Local Villages
Take the opportunity to explore the nearby Berber villages and immerse yourself in their vibrant culture. Engage in conversations with the locals, sample traditional cuisine, and witness traditional crafts such as carpet weaving and pottery-making. This cultural exchange will provide a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage.
With its dramatic scenery and stunning natural formations, Todra Gorge offers countless opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture the interplay of light and shadows, the vibrant colors of the cliffs, and the contrast between the rugged landscape and the crystal-clear waters of the Todra River.
Relax and Unwind
After an exhilarating day of exploration, find tranquility by the riverside or at one of the charming guesthouses in the area. Take a moment to absorb the serenity and marvel at the sheer beauty surrounding you.
Todra Gorge is a testament to the magnificence of nature and the enduring spirit of the Berber people. Its towering cliffs, winding trails, and historical significance make it an unforgettable destination for travelers seeking a unique blend of history and adventure. Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or a culture seeker, Todra Gorge in Morocco promises an experience that will stay etched in your memory for years to come. Plan your journey to this remarkable destination and prepare to be enchanted by its wonders.
There’s something fantastic about camels that you never really understand until standing right in front of one. They’re big, over 6′ tall at the shoulders, and nearly 2/3 of a ton. They’re smart, remember kindness, and enjoy an affectionate scratch or pet (think of them as really big dogs with saddles). They’re also surprisingly photogenic and often will look right into the camera, ready for their closeup.
Riding a camel takes no experience at all. Their size and feel resemble sitting on a felt-covered, substantial couch. Unlike the jarring up-down ride of a horse, the camel gently sways from side to side when it walks and never seems to be in a hurry. You also don’t have to steer a camel. Camels are pack animals and will follow the camel guide, who usually walks on foot in front.
If you think riding a camel is easy, you’d be right. It’s getting onto it is the adventure. You don’t mount a camel like you do a horse. The camels start by sitting down until you get in the saddle. That’s when the fun begins. Then, as the camel stands, its back legs straighten first, pitching the rider forward, then the front legs straighten, pitching the rider back. Then, when it kneels, it’s the same process in reverse. So remember, saddle up, lean back, then lean forward.
Ghost Tour of Fez
Over fourteen centuries have passed since the founding of Fez. One of the largest labyrinth cities in the world, the city has seen dynasties rise and fall, foreign invasion, conquest, bloody rebellion, and liberation. It’s an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, colored with hope, and tinted with blood. Guided tours of Fez focus on today and the city’s historical monuments and highlights, overlooking its colorful and sometimes dark past.
Now, for the first time in Morocco, SaharaTrek offers its exclusive guided Ghost Tour of Fez. Starting after dinner and just before sunset, you’ll get rare access to the places and stories left out of the tourist brochures.
The tour starts before sunset with a look inside the abandoned Glaoui Palace. Once a sprawling complex of twelve houses, hammams, Qur’anic schools, stables, a cemetery, and extensive gardens, it was the base of power for the Glaoui family. As powerful as they were brutal, the Glaouis’ ambition knew no bounds. They became the enforcers for the French during the occupation (1907-1956) and conspired to overthrow Sultan Mohammed V. After Moroccan independence, the blood-soaked Glaoui family was erased from history, and their multiple palaces were seized and left to rot.
As the sun sets, you’ll be driven to the hills overlooking Fez as the call to prayer echoes from a hundred mosques before heading down into the Madina. You’ll venture by foot, following your guide down the narrow, dark alleys before arriving at the Slave Market.
Slavery was abolished in Morocco in 1925, but its shadow still lingers in the Fez Medina at the Slave Market. During the day, they auction animal hides from the tannery in the market. In the afternoon, it’s a market for used clothes. But it’s when the market is empty at night that you can faintly hear the wails of despair from enslaved Christians taken by the Barbary Pirates or the sub-Saharan Africans brought over the Salt Road.
A short 2 hours after the tour starts and the darkest of the night has set in, you’ll be guided back to your Raid for the rest of the evening.
Taste of Morocco
Here’s a joke: What do Moroccans call traditional Moroccan food? Answer: Food! And traditional Moroccan food is everywhere you go, surrounding you with the smells and tastes of the exotic. With our Taste of Morocco, you’ll experience the adventure that is Moroccan street food. In Marrakech and Fez, your tour guide will not only show you the sites of Moroccan culture and history, feeding your curiosity and desire for adventure. But also stop by the small shops and workingman’s cafes where you’ll get to sample the local delicacies feeding your stomach simultaneously. Think of it as a city-wide roving buffet that can easily replace a sit-down lunch.
As you tour the cities, keep your eyes (and noses) on the lookout for some of the specialties Morocco offers, and you’ll regret missing them.
- Shebbakia: pasta ribbons with hot honey and grilled sesame seeds, commonly found during Ramadan.
- Briouats: sweet filo pastry with a savory filling, like a miniature pasilla.
- Briouats au miel: sweet filo pastry envelopes filled with nuts and honey.
- M’hencha: almond-filled pastry coils, often covered in honey or syrup.
- Cornes de gazelle: marzipan-filled, banana-shaped pastry horns.
- Pastilla: sweet pigeon or chicken pie with cinnamon and filo pastry (a specialty of Fes).
- M’laoui: flat griddle bread from dough sprinkled with oil, rolled out, and folded several times.
- Bissara: thick beans soup, usually served with olive oil and cumin.
- Olives: come in numerous varieties,
- Almonds, walnuts, and dates.
- Bread: almost always round like a cake and tears easily by hand. It’s usually homemade and cooked in the public oven.
- Khlea: small pieces of beef or lamb marinated in light spices, then dried in the sun (gueddid) before being cooked and preserved in fat for up to 2 years. Still a homemade staple in rural areas, these days, many Moroccan families resort to buying it as it is so readily available everywhere.