the todra valley


most climbing spots have only a few hours of direct sunlight per day, but you can easily go from one to another, following the sun. in november the sun already sets around 6:30 in the evening. at the base it's often cold and breezy, especially in the canyon itself. the best time to go is between march-april and september-november. this is the average weather for tinerhir/tinghir. it should be more or less the same in the todra canyon. careful if you go to todra in the winter, it can happen that the tichka pass is closed because of snow. ask at one of the police checkpoints outside marrakech.



the most common language in morocco and especially in the atlas is the berber. but most people in the towns and bigger villages, especially the younger generations, will speak a bit of french. people working with tourists usually also speak english and spanish. if you speak french it's perfect but you also get along pretty well with english or spanish.
it also helps knowing a few arabic words, here the most important:
- hello: salam aleikum
- goodbye: masalamaa
- thank you: saha
- sorry: asif
- my name is...: ismi...
- what is your name?: maa ismuka?


the currency in morocco is the dirham, dh. one euro equals more or less 11 dh. usually the best thing to do is to get dirhams from an ATM, it has the better exchange rates. there are some exchange offices where they don't take commission, like the one under the hotel ali on the jamaa el fna. euros are accepted in most hotels and also in some shops.

the spice market in the souk of marrakesh


there is some great food in morocco. the national dish is the tajine, cooked in a special pan with all sorts of vegetables and meats. in the markets they sell most varieties of vegetables, fresh and dryed fruits and in the small shops you get bread, delicious olives and canned meat and fish. bread costs 1-2dh, a big bottle of water 10-20dh and a small can of beer (250ml) 20dh. there is no alcohol in todra, only sometimes in the hotel dar ayour. you can find beer and some other drinks in supermarkets in tinerhir. be careful when eating salads and other uncooked vegetables or fruits, if they are not washed properly you'll risk getting ill.

the tajine, the classic food for dinner
photo by lara briz

the climber's lunch...
photo by lara briz


people in morocco are used to tourist with big cameras and irritated by it. you can always make pictures from shops in which you are buying from or from the salesman, if you ask politely. but it's rude to take pictures of people on the street or in the fields without asking and they'll probably shout at you. if you ask nicely, maybe even in arabic they normally consent... for the price of 5dh! this is quite common and an understandable reaction to be photographed all the time.

or be sure they're fast asleep...