INTO THE OASIS
This morning’s drive on the N10 east from Aït Benhaddou follows one of the great old caravan routes. Camel chains a mile long would spend months lumbering along this trail in order to trade salt and gold with towns deep in the Sahara; you’ll be passing through the regional capital of OUARZAZATE within an hour.
Beyond here, at SKOURA, you’ll get your first (startling) sight of the south’s mighty oases, the swathe of date palms sweeping back from the road in an incongruous carpet of green. A couple of kilometres before Skoura village itself, follow signs along a dry riverbed to the seventeenth-century KASBAH AMRIDIL [open daily from 9am | 10dh], the most famous of several kasbahs concealed within the palmery – once home to a local chieftain, it now appears on the back of the 50 Dirham note. Réda, the friendly custodian, is great with children, and it’s well worth taking a tour with him (70dh), both for the rare insight into the working life of a kasbah and for his historical anecdotes as he leads you through the old prayer hall, the kitchen, with its beehive-shaped ovens, and the bedrooms of the chieftain’s various wives.
If you’re staying at Les Jardins de Skoura, 700m west of Skoura village, you can spend the afternoon relaxing by its lovely pool or exploring the surrounding palmery – the hotel has a couple of (free) bikes for guests and runs guided walks where kids can hitch a lift on the back of one of their endearing little donkeys.
WHERE TO STAY
THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN
Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods and drinks your kids must try, and some key cultural advice
From ancient kasbahs to stylish riads in the Marrakesh medina – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in Morocco
NEED TO KNOW
A handy overview of Morocco’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit
Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety and how to get around
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