Posts Tagged ‘Valley of Roses’

Kelaa M’gouna, A Town of Roses & Home to Morocco’s Rose Festival, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Thursday, March 21st, 2013


At the small town of  El Kelaa M’Gouna (also referred to as the Valley of Roses) in the aSouth of Morocco, a 140km  East of Ouarzazate, in the heart of Dades Valley one can see the manual harvest of  Damas roses and the Rose Festival in May each year.

There is a thriving local industry distilling rose water, introduced by the French in the 1930’s and  cosmetic products such as soaps, gels, creams, sprays and oils and dried rosebuds these can be bought on site.The buds are dried for use in cosmetics, home decoration and cooking, while the petals are distilled into rose water and, ultimately, rose oil, a key ingredient in many  perfumes. Distillation is made in two factories in the Valley of Roses area and in April and May it is possible to visit Kelaâ’s factory, set up in a former kasbah.In Kelaâ Des Mgouna , Morocco there is also a dagger factory, in the mellah, where the Jewish craft is perpetuated, with handles and sheaths made in cedar wood or in camel bones, ornate with silver, and fixed on blades coming from another small village a few kilometres away.


The distillation plants work with 3,000-4,000 tonnes of petals a year. With ten tons of petals required to produce a few liters of precious oil, the harvest is extensive culminating in the annual Rose Festival each year in May when El Kelaa MGouna becomes a colourful centre of berber dancing and music with stalls of  local crafts and products for sale. A festival queen is chosen from a parade of brightly coloured floats which is a highlight of the event.

Driving across the desert from Ouarzazate you come across El Kelaa MGouna and shortly afterwards you arrive at the Valley of the Roses.The greenryof the M’Goun wadi, is a sharp contrast to the desert scenery on the way from Ouarzazate.The river is hidden by a dense patchwork of palms, olive and fig trees, pink roses and swathes of red poppies. The  turrets of kasbahs in a remote village cn be seen with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the background.Also well worth a visit is nearby Skoura which has old kasbahs and mellahs with impressive gardens.

The fresh mountain air has a hint of fresh roses which provides opportunities  for walks and hiking and a long drive through the Hdida Valley to the plateau of Imi-n-Louh. There are a number of ruined kasbahs to explore and many opportunities to meet the local communities. The Damascene roses were said to have been introduced into the valleyin the tenth century by Morocans returning from Mecca.They grow in profusion in pinks and reds throughout the valley and in the hedgrows. In the Spring you can buy a garland of roses from one of the local children who line the route.

vallee des roses

The Dades Gorge in the valley of the roses and the Todra Gorge provide some of the most spectacular scenery in the south of Morocco. The Dades Gorge runs along the Dades River valley separating the Atlas Mountains from the Anti Atlas.  The Gorge is best known for its scenary stunning scenery and the Kasbahs overlooking the river below.

Gravity defying rock stacks in all shades of red dominate the skyline with deep gullies created by the persistent action of weathering and the river. After exploring the gorge, if you have a guide who knows the area it is possibble to venture deeper into the surrounding country side of the Anti Atlas. Some of the piste roads that lead off this are spectacular and properly remote and well worth taking a little more time to explore either by 4×4 or using a private tented camp as a base for exploring on foot.Continuing west  brings the traveller Erfoud, a small town that for many acts as the entry point for Morocco’s western desert, the Erg Chebi.  The dunes in this region are the main attraction and well worth visiting and climbing and Merzouga is close by.

For More Information About Morocco’s Rose Festival and Tours

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate
Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.


Morocco Travel Update: King Mohammed VI Travels to Ouarzazate & US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Travels to Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Morocco Travel Update: King Mohammed VI Travels to Ouarzazate & US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Travels to Marrakech, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Morocco Travel News, King Mohammed VI of Morocco visited the Ouarzazate region today, passing through the main street, Rue Mohammed VI. The King was in the Saharian town of Errachidia prior to his arrival in Ouarzazate. King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s final destination for the day was his villa in The Royal Golf, juxtaposed near Lake El Mansour.


The Royal Golf borders Lake El Mansour, a lush, beautiful area just 20 kilometers outside Ouarzazate. Lake El Mansour is worth a visit on any Moroccan travelers vacation to the Ouarzazate region. There is a luxurious Moroccan modern Kasbah Hotel called the Royal Golf Sultana, owned by a lovely French couple (Veronique and her husband) who built this magnificent, palatial modern Kasbah overlooking Lake El Mansour. The Royal Golf Sultana is worth a one or two night stay during an Ouarzazate tour and an ideal place to relax.


When traveling to the Ouarzazate region of Lake El Mansour one can feel like he/she is in Lugano on the Swiss, Italian border. Home to Ait Benhaddou Kasbah – a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Dades Valley, the Todra Gorge (Gorge of Todra), the Valley of Roses, the Skoura Palmary, and the Draa Valley by far any Moroccan traveler can discern that the Ouarzazate region offers many unlimited Morocco travel opportunities.


This day in also marked another set of Moroccan travel news. America and Morocco continue their celebration in good historical relations with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s arrival in Marrakech, Morocco. Hillary Clinton’s visit to Marrakech, Morocco makes this visit to the Maghreb the final leg of her twelve-day North African peace effort tour. Hillary Clinton’s visit to Morocco is part of a diplomatic mission to relaunch the stalled Middle East peace process. Clinton’s visit to Marrakech includes a visit on both Monday and Tuesday with her Arab counterparts attending the sixth Forum for the Future, jointly organized by Morocco and Italy. Clinton travelled to Morocco on Sunday after talks in the Middle East with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The United States is pushing hard for both sides to resume peace negotiations, which were suspended after the Israeli offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in December 2008. The Middle East situation and furthering dialogue between the West and the Islamic world will be the two main themes at a dinner Forum on Monday evening. The Forum for the Future is a joint initiative between the Group of Eight industrial powers and some 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, along with the European Commission and the Arab League.

Ouarzazate-Day-Of King-Mohammed-VI-Arrival

Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea visited the Sahara region in March 2009 for weekend camel-riding trip in the Sahara desert.The legend of Hillary Clinton in Morocco is a long one and according to African Travel Magazine, Hillary Clinton’s family heritage is from Morocco.African Travel Magazine states, Hillary’s grandfather, a Moroccan Jew living in Rissani, married an American woman, and then immigrated to the U.S.A.”  According to the correspondent “Hillary Clinton visited her grandfather’s home in Rissani and along with Morocco’s King’s sister Lalla Myriem visited the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Chérif – forbidden to non-Muslims.” “At the same time during this trip Hillary Clinton, she also visited her sister’s daughter who is married to a Berber tourist guide and lives in the Atlas Mountains.”


Morocco and the United States have a long history of friendly relations. As a North African nation Morocco was one of the first states to seek diplomatic relations with America. In 1777, Sultan Sidi Muhammad Ben Abdullah, considered one of the most progressive of the Barbary leaders who ruled Morocco from 1757 to 1790, announced his desire for friendship with the United States. The Sultan’s overture was part of a new policy he was implementing as a result of his recognition of the need to establish peaceful relations with the Christian powers and his desire to establish trade as a basic source of revenue. Faced with serious economic and political difficulties, he was searching for a new method of governing which required changes in his economy. Instead of relying on a professional army to collect taxes and enforce his authority, he wanted to establish state-controlled maritime trade as a more reliable, and regular source of income, which would free him from dependency on the services of the standing army. The opening of his ports to the United States of America and other states was part of that new policy. The Sultan issued a declaration on December 20, 1777, announcing that all vessels sailing under the American flag could freely enter Moroccan ports. By issuing this declaration, Morocco became one of the first states to acknowledge publicly the independence of the American Republic.

King-Mohammed-V- Morocco

King Hassan II of Morocco, the father of King Mohammed VI has been considered by thousands of Israelis as “their” king. Many Moroccan Jews fled whom consider the king to be a direct descendent of the Muslim prophet Mohammad. 

 Hassan took power in 1961 after the death of his father, Mohammed V. When Hassan ascended to the throne, he was an unknown quantity with a reputation as a playboy. But ruling with a deft mixture of pro-Western democracy and traditional autocracy, he earned the respect of his people. He also survived several coup attempts.

Mohammed V was widely credited with having saved Morocco’s Jews from deportation during World War II, and Hassan continued the philo-Semitic policies of his father. Although there was an outbreak of anti-Jewish incidents following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the Jewish community was generally safe under the protection of both Mohammed V and Hassan II.

For more information about Morocco Travel to Ouarzazate

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside ResortsSahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & Waterfalls, Absolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate.

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Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806  or 1 (917)703-2078  and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today