Gorges du Dadès

Gorges du Dadès, where you will be driving just 12 inches from the side of the mountain

Gorges du Dadès is a canyon carved out by the Dadès River in the Tinghir Province of the Drâa-Tafilalet Region, in Morocco. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the world and featured in many commercial spots.

Can you drive through Gorges du Dadès?

Tucked away in the High Atlas Mountains of the country, the road through the gorges is definitely one of the must see places. It’s called R704. The drive will simply take your breath away. This winding road offers you spectacular views, a truly thrilling drive and nature in all its roughness and beauty. Not for the weak at heart.

How long is the road through Gorges du Dadès?

The road is 60.8 km (37.77 miles) long, running north-south from M'Semrir to Boumalne Dades. The area is known for the stunning rock formation and the kasbahs along the gorge. The winding road offers magnificent views of the gorge and historic kasbahs, as well as beautiful desert landscapes and palm groves. After a set of hairpins turns, you will get rewarded with stunning views from the top. The road is paved but it can be slippery, especially after rains.

Is the road through Gorges du Dadès worth it?

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 1.5 and 2 hours. The road does get busier at weekends and in the main holiday season. Dades Valley has a wild landscape, with snow on one side and semi-desert on the other, its savage grandeur and unearthly silence can be equalled only by the Grand Canyon. The journey offers you spectacular views, a truly thrilling drive and nature in all its roughness and beauty. Located along the dry but colourful Dades Valley, around 2 hours (around 100km) north east of Ourzazate, the Dades River flows through the valley quenching a miraculous, winding path of fruit, walnut, wheat, silver birch and almond trees, set against an extraordinary backdrop of spectacular rock formations. These photos make the landscape look rather sparse but wildflowers do grow in the Atlas Mountains. 

Is the road through Gorges du Dadès defiant?

This curvy road is not easy, though. Up, down, right, left all the time. Driving at night, or in poor visibility, is not recommended for drivers unfamiliar with the road. Driving Morocco’s most famous zig zag road is not for the weak at heart. You will be driving just 12 inches from the side of the mountain, and there is a steep, steep drop below you and there's no form of barrier to keep you on the road if anything were to go wrong… This winding road is usually regarded as one of top 5 most dangerous roads in the world due to its steep gradient and hairpin turns. And let’s just say that Moroccan drivers are not exactly the safest.

When is the best time to drive through Gorges du Dadès?

The best time to visit the lower valleys is from March to May and the mountains are best from May to July. The gorge has several kasbahs, but it is the stunning rock formations that are of particular note for visitors, and it is worth some time on foot to get close to these. Remember to visit the cafe atop: there is a fabulous viewpoint. The river has carved out beautiful deep gorges, flowing at the foot of vertiginous walls and bordered by a thin strip of greenery. Make use of the many overlooks on the road where you can peacefully enjoy the superb panoramas. The road follows its path, in some places climbing the sides of the gorge in a series of violent hairpin bends.