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Todra Gorge Fact File


Getting to Morocco

Morocco is well connected with major European cities. Casablanca and Marrakech are the most common entry points, the former being slightly cheaper, the latter being much more convenient. An indirect flight from London can cost from as little as 160 return, a direct 250. It is also an easy hop by ferry from Southern Spain, though it's a fair old hike from the north coast to Todra.

Marakesh Market

Every night Marrakech's main market comes to life as an eating event of international importance.

Getting around

Could not be easier. Buses cover the majority of the country on generally well-maintained highways. On shorter local hops (e.g. Tinerhir to

Balancers

Balancing Folk; One of the many sights in the main square in Marrakech

Todra) run colectif taxis which are quicker, more comfortable and a lot more fun than buses. Figure on about 35 km/ by bus, 50% more by taxi. Trains run from Fes through Rabat and down to Marrakech. These are comfortable, quick and quite expensive. Timetables for all of these modes of transport are somewhat flexible, as are the tourist fares.

Getting to Todra

Arriving in Marrakech you should get the bus from the main bus terminal. There is at least one bus that goes all the way to Tinerhir (8 hours), otherwise you will have to change (or stop over) at Ourzazate (4 hours, 35 dirham, loads daily). From Tinerhir there are the aforementioned colectif taxis departing about 200 metres east of the bus terminal. A spot on this should cost you 6 dirham. Arriving from Casablanca, the easiest way of getting to Marrakech is by train (5 hours, 75 dirham). If all runs smoothly then it is possible to get from Casablanca to Todra in under 24 hours.

Marakesh Market

Mara Market - the souks of Marrakech

Accommodation and food

Hotel Mansour is the climber's hotel of choice. It has four rooms (50 dirham/person) and ample space on the roof (10 dirham/person). There is a handy folder of information and the manager is entertaining and friendly. They also dish up excellent nosh if you order it several hours in advance. The hotels further up the gorge are often packed out by coach parties and are more expensive, but also more comfortable. There is a collection of campsites 6 km from the gorge (on the road to Tinerhir) which are supposed to be nice but not particularly well situated.

Ait Ben

Ait Ben - At Ben Haddou, the beautiful old Kasbah near Ourzazate.

What to take

A 60 metre rope, a dozen quickdraws, a rope bag, plenty of chalk and sun lotion are the only essentials. Optional extras include a sleeping bag for roof-top sleeping, a camera, baggy trousers, sandals and space in your bag for a magic carpet. A grasp of French and/or Arabic is also handy.

When to go

Spring and autumn are best; summer is just bonkers hot.

How much will it cost?

Not a lot. 10-15 a day provides a comfortable but basic standard of living. If you want posh hotels then expect the daily cost to rocket, but it's still cheaper than continental venues .

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