THE ROUTE OF THE THOUSAND KASBAHS
3rd step: from Dadès valley to Tinghir
The road runs between Boumalne Dadès and Tinghir by an absolutely desert country, whose aridity is interrupted only in two points: Imider and Timadrouine. In the first one we will discover no less than seven Kasbahs, mostly dating from the early twentieth century. Undoubtedly the most remarkable for its size and its exterior ornamentation is the Kasbah of Mohadach Ou El Haj (31º 22,215’ N - 5º 47,286 W), the same personality who later built another Kasbah in Ighrem Melloul, in the Dadès valley. The Kasbah of Ouchtouban is also great and picturesque, placed in the middle of the fields. The one named Tin Jamaia (31º 22,334’ N - 5º 47,499’ W) has been restored by the Council. The other are less important. We'll mention one of them in the page "To buy a Kasbah".
To stay in Todra valley...
In Tinghir there are many Kasbahs and an old Ksar (31º 31,170' N - 5º 31,662' W) still inhabited. It had lost its wall and the six monumental gates it had in the origin, but it is being restored from 2013. Many people names it "the Jewish quarter" because some Jews lived there formerly. Among the Kasbahs stands out the Kasbah of El Glaoui (31º 02,824' N - 7º 07,773' W), built in 1919 on a hill and enormous, although it is in a very bad state of conservation.
On the contrary, the Kasbah of Cheikh Bassou (31º 30,917' N - 5º 32,030' W) has been completely restored and transformed into a hotel. It is characterized by a courtyard surrounded by pillars and arches. You can visit it with a drink in the bar or restaurant. Inside are also presented some art exhibitions.
Near Tinghir, the mosque Ikelane (31º 31,683' N - 5º 31,466' W) is one of the must-see sights within the route of the thousand Kasbahs. It is placed inside the Ksar Afanour and it is being restored from 2007 by the Development Afanour Association with financial help from Hotel Tomboctou and from a group of Catalan architects.
Around Tinghir extends one of the most beautiful and green valleys of southern Morocco, where palm trees appear again. There are lots of Kasbahs and more than 50 Ksour. We'll mention just the more interesting ones.
North from Tinghir, the road going to the Todra gorges offers very nice views on the palm-grove and many Ksour, as the Ksar Ait Boujane, where everybody makes a photo, or the Ksar Asfalou (31º 32,674' N - 5º 33,447' W), that impresses by its location at the edge of a cliff, or the very big Ksar Ait Senan (31º 33,108' N - 5º 34,500' W). Nearly all these Ksour are in ruins. We can arrive in a pleasant pedestrian tour into the oasis, or by a secondary road of 4 km which runs along the left bank of the river.
There are also some Kasbahs, best conserved than the Ksour. We must mention among them the Ali Dani's Kasbah in Ait Zilal (31º 32,470' N - 5º 33,226' W). Nevertheless, it's not more beautiful than the Kasbahs we have seen in the Ounila, Mgoun and Dadès valleys; in fact, these are the last Kasbahs we'll find in this journey eastward, because from here all the traditional architecture consists in Ksour.
Finally, the shrines are also very abundant in the Todra valley and some of them are very picturesque.
Tizgui (31º 34,561’ N - 5º 35,121’ W) is the last Ksar before the Todra gorges and it's one of the best conserved, although not very big. Inside, an old house has been transformed into a museum (fee: 50 DH).
A path that begins a little beyond this market will lead us to the Kasbah Ait Amou (31º 26,833’ N - 5º 25,901’ W), impressive but uninhabited. In the other bank of the river we find the small Ksar Tadafalt (31º 26,471’ N, 5º 25,651’ W), surrounded by a lush palm-grove. We'll obtain its best image from the top of the hill where stands a watchtower. One of the last Ksour in this area is Agoudim n'Ait Yazza, built around 1880 and still well conserved although being abandoned. It has a very regular structure, very different from older Ksour as Tinghir.