Kalaat M'gouna, Valley of Roses, Morocco (with Map & Photos)

The village of Kalaat M'Gouna is located in the Dades Valley, at an altitude of 1,450 meters. It means "the fortress of M'Gouna" just as Calatayud was Kalaat Ayub and it means "Fortress of Ayub." Also known by tourists as the Valley of Roses, since the cultivation of roses drives the economy of the entire area.

Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses
Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses

The Draa Valleys, the Dades Valley and the Todra Gorges are also associated with the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs and the meandering Draa River.

The region lies at the foot of the High Atlas, and stretches for thirty kilometers from the city of Kalaat M'gouna to the village of Bou Tharar.

Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses
Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses

Flowering is from mid-April to early May, outside of those dates the spectacular flowered landscape can only be seen in the photos of the little shops that sell products made with roses.

With cultivated roses, a thousand and one cosmetic products are made, from perfumes, oils, cream tonics, lip balms, soap, water for ablutions before meals and much more.

In spring the valley is filled with the sweet smell of roses, and after the harvest in April the festivities are celebrated in which a queen is named. The beauty of the valley is pleasantly surprising in which the aridity of the terrain intermingles with the oases, the huerta (gardens), gorges and volcanic peaks, with scattered kasbahs that go almost unnoticed near the river bed.

Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses
Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses

A little information about the Valley of the Roses


Each spring more than 4000 tons of rose petals are collected, and not all the petals are distilled here, many travel to high-end cosmetic distilleries, in which there is no mention of the origin of the valuable raw material. There are many organizations that are fighting to create the appellation of origin, due to its great ecological value since they do not use pesticides, and thus increase the benefits that recognize the area and promote local development.

The vast majority of tourists stop here to eat and continue on their way to the Todra Gorges.

Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses
Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses

The visit caused me very contradictory feelings at the same time. In many respects you move to another era with all its harshness, where women wash clothes in the river, children work to help with the family economy, and life is very hard.

The whole area is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts, in addition to being able to visit many famous kasbahs, from here you can also make the three or four-day ascent to the Ighil M'Goun, one of the four- thousand of Morocco, with a guide.

Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses
Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses

A little historical perspective


The variety of rose that is grown is the damascena, from Saudi Arabia. Possibly it came to this area because it was brought by a pilgrim who returned from Mecca in the 10th century. The population is mainly Berber.

After the harvest is collected by women and children, the Festival of Roses is celebrated. In the great party that lasts three days from Friday to Sunday, on Saturday the Queen is proclaimed. There is no lack of music during the parades. The dates depend on the weather each year, and vary each year, although it is usually celebrated in the first half of May.

Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses
Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses

Our companion, Rachid, asked us if we wanted in the afternoon, instead of visiting the city of Ouazazate, to pay a visit to a nomadic family from the Atlas that our driver knew. We do not doubt it! But that is part of the next article.

Travel Notes


The color of rose water is white, if it has a pink color it is almost in all probability synthetic and not natural.

There is not much accommodation in the area, if you want to spend the night in the area it is advisable to book.

Kalaat M'gouna Valley of Roses Map