advertisement
  • The Dadès Gorge: The 35km (22-mile) drive along this gorge's southern edge is one of the most scenic in Morocco. At the northern end of this drive, the gorge narrows considerably, the road rises and then falls in a series of hairpin bends, and one or two strategically placed cafe-restaurants take advantage of the grand views. The Dadès Gorge is often passed over by most visitors, who are intent on reaching the better-known Todra Gorge to its east or the "bright lights" of Ouarzazate to its west. Those self-drivers, however, who take the time to turn off the highway can often have this beautiful gorge to themselves.
  • Ouarzazate to Zagora: This 168km (104-mile) stretch of road offers harsh yet beautiful mountain scenery as it winds up and over rocky, barren Jebel Anaouar before descending into the Dra Valley and its string of palmeraie and oases. The two-lane road is in pretty good shape, and there are plenty of opportunities to pull over and take in the views.
  • Asni to Imlil: Formerly a potholed gravel track, the road from Asni to the mountain trail-head village of Imlil is now tarred the whole way. Along this 17km (11-mile) drive are pretty villages clinging to the cliff sides or nestled on bends of the Oued Mizane, all the while watched over by the looming, often snowcapped peak of Jebel Toubkal.
  • Tizi n'Test Pass: The drive from Marrakech to Taroudannt takes in some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Morocco. Dissecting the Western High Atlas, the road (the R203) has its fair share of hairpin bends and blind corners, and culminates roughly 134km (83 miles) from Marrakech and 87km (54 miles) from Taroudannt at the 2,092m-high (6,864-ft.) Tizi n'Test pass. From here the sweeping views of the Souss plain to the south are simply breathtaking, while the highest peaks of the Western High Atlas loom to the northwest.
  • Tizi n'Tichka Pass: An impressive feat of French road building, this pass lies roughly halfway between Marrakech and Ouarzazate on the tarred and relatively wide N9 highway. Higher than the Tizi n'Test to the west, the 2,260m (7,415-ft.) Tizi n'Tichka offers a harsher yet just as spectacular view, with just as many twists and turns in the road to reach it.
  • The Dadès Valley: This 70km (43-mile) stretch of highway is also called the Valley of the Kasbahs, thanks to hundreds of desert castles dotted along its route. A section of the valley is also Morocco's premier rose-growing region, and shops selling all manner of rose-based products line the tarred road. There are plenty of opportunities along the way to pull over for pictures of the closer kasbahs.
  • Tetouan to Chefchaouen: This drive leaves behind the Mediterranean plain at Tetouan and almost immediately begins the steady incline into the Rif mountains. Along the way are clusters of family compounds and small villages, inhabited by the resilient Riffians, the women often clothed in their distinctive traditional dress and wide-brimmed hats. The drive is only 59km (37 miles), but in the process the hustle and bustle -- and extremely busy traffic -- of Tangier and Tetouan is replaced by the chilled-out Riffian vibe.
  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.