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Introducing Todra Gorge

Being stuck between a rock and a hard place is a sublime experience in the Todra Gorge, where the massive fault dividing the High Atlas from the Jebel Sarhro is at some points just wide enough for a crystal-clear river and single-file trekkers to squeeze through. The road from Tinerhir passes green palmeraies and Berber villages until, 15km along, high walls of pink and grey rock close in around the road. The approach is thrilling and somehow urgent, as though the doors of heaven were about to close before you.

Besides day hikes in and around the gorge, the gorge is lined with palm oases and ruined kasbahs that are a photographer’s dream. If you want to push on, you could walk back to Tinerhir through palmeraies in three or four hours. With a 4WD or a couple of days walking, you can cover the rough piste west of Todra to Dadès Gorge.

Arrivals at the Todra are best timed in the morning, when the sun briefly illuminates the gorge in a golden moment of welcome. Souvenir vendors and tour buses clog the throat of the gorge in afternoons, until it suddenly turns dark and bitterly cold. Through the gorge and 18km up the road is the Berber village of Tamtattouchte, with Imilchil some 95km beyond.