Travelers who like non-hikers will make Morocco’s Ameln Valley a real treat. Located north of Tafraoute in the Tiznit province in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region, the Ameln Valley features the majestic Jebel el Kest against a backdrop of golden and copper colored terrain dotted with lush green soil irrigated by springs and irrigation canals. This valley has 26 villages that stretch on the lower slopes of Jebel el Kest. Each of them has its own specificity and is of temporary value.
The village of Oumesnat is made up of a series of houses, many of which are built on the remains of crumbling old buildings, some of which are propped up on stilts as they cling to rock faces. Village visitors should look for La Maison Traditional, where the local Berber family offers an interesting look at the culture and daily life of the villagers.
Anameur is a natural spring, while the village of Tazoulte has an ancient Jewish cemetery of historical interest. It should be noted that although the Jewish community left the area several years ago, Jewish symbols were engraved on most of the cutlery in the area, as was customary for the area’s cutlery.
The highest village in the Ameln Valley is Tagudiche or Tagdihte. The roads are bumpy and best traveled by 4×4 or on foot, but the views are worth the effort. At the top of the village is a black frozen embankment (crystallized molten rock) and a shrine. To the north, along the sparsely populated village of Tirnmatmat, there are rock carvings of hunters and animals believed to be prehistoric. There are also hiking trails along the ridge south of the village, which offer stunning views of the Ameln valley.
One of the most popular ways to explore the valley is on foot, as the villages are not very far apart. Alternatively, a bicycle or taxi can be rented. Climbing enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunity on the rock faces of Jebel el Kest and Adrar Mkorn, which are mostly quartzite. There is no accommodation in these villages and it is usually a good idea to use Tafraoute as a base for exploring the Ameln Valley.