This is one of Morocco's most visited natural sights. From the former oasis (now major town) of Tinerhir, the lush Todra Palmeraie that feeds off the Oued Todra winds upstream for 15km (9 1/3 miles) before reaching the entrance to Todra Gorge. The palmeraie is a stunning sight, a river of green slicing through the otherwise endless, rocky, brown landscape. Down here is a thriving agricultural industry -- palm and fruit trees, crops of grains and vegetables -- that supplies the region year-round. This is possible thanks to the Oued Todra that rises above the ground opposite the Hotel Yasmina to casually flow down to Tinerhir before again descending below the earth to feed the numerous palm groves farther down its course. There are a couple of handy viewpoints alongside the road.
Understandably popular with tour groups, independent travelers, and Moroccans, Todra Gorge can be quite busy some days, but it's worth it for the first view from its narrow mouth. Only 50m (165 ft.) across and with 300m-high (985-ft.) walls, this is the gorge at its most dramatic. During certain times of the year, the height of the cliffs and the axis of the sun prevent any direct sunlight from reaching the gorge's floor. Mid- to late afternoon is generally the best time to visit, as the sun is absorbed by the gorge's walls and produces beautiful shades of orange and red. The largely hidden Oued Todra emerges as a spring here, and the cool stream is a nice spot to dip your toes and watch the comings and goings of visitors and locals. The gorge, 300m (985 ft.) in length, opens up into a valley on the northern end, which is popular with hikers. The road is tarred from here to the village of Tamatoucht, 17km (11 miles) farther up, and there are usually roadside Berber tents selling water along the way.