Ouarzazate & The Dades Valley

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The Dades Valley, known as The Valley of A Thousand kasbahs, hugs a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the soaring mountains of the High Atlas and the fissured, folded mountain domes of the Jebel Saghra. For much of its course the land is arid, but at various locations there are bursts of fertility, great swathes of date palm plantation, encircled in crumbling pisé (mud-brick) walls, watched over by imposing kasbahs and serviced by farmers living in ksour (fortified villages) unchanged in appearance for centuries. Ouarzazate is a more modern place, originally built by the French to try and control the troublesome south of their Protectorate, and now the heart of the Moroccan film industry. It’s the jumping off point for most of the great oasis valley routes in the south so it’s likely you’ll pass through at least once!

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