Though some roads are still accessible only by mule or 4WD, paved roads have given unprecedented entry to Morocco's 'happy valley' with its mudbrick towers, reddish ighremt (stone-reinforced houses) and rich, cultivated terraces. Scattered throughout the valley, 25 douars blend mimetically with their spectacular backdrops. Cliff sides are dotted with tiny plots of wheat and barley inside stone-walled terraces. High in the hills, you’ll spot villagers collecting wild mountain plants to make herbal remedies and natural dyes, and in the broad alluvial valley are acres of lovingly tended fruit orchards.
The Y-shaped valley centres around the zawiya of Sidi Moussa, which sits on a cone-shaped hill at the centre with the villages of Imelgas and Ikhf-n-Ighir to the northeast, Tabant to the east and Tikniouine and Agouti to the southwest. Tabant, with its weekly Sunday souq, school and official mountain-guide training centre, is the heart of the valley and the main transport hub.