Due to its rich soil with minerals and metals: iron, silver, manganese, gold, marble..., Mining has been present in the Drâa-Tafilalet Region for decades. Among these treasures is the amethyst, a semi-precious stone chased after by mineral hunters all over the world.
Trails to explore Ouarzazate region have been perfectly developed, leading to the Amethysts track hikes. This is a wonderful cultural, athletic, and scientific adventure to try.
The purple gold rushes
The journey starts in the center of Ouarzazate and continues through the hill between the Anti Atlas and the High Atlas. After crossing the hill and rivers, the trail continues to a pass at 2500 meters, with views of the plain and Ouarzazate Lake. We then travel 60 kilometers north of Ouarzazate to the villages of Tighert and Tiliouine, the main points of departure towards the valley of amethysts.
Hikers crisscross the valley through spectacular landscapes chasing the purple stones at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains. There is also the option of going on a quad excursion.
To get the most out of this experience, it’s best to be accompanied by a certified guide.
The explorers will undoubtedly be provided with simple but useful equipment to support them in their mission. Caves and old abandoned mines were the place for precious stones. The trip takes half a day and is difficult to accomplish on foot or by mule. The region is not easy to explore due to a 350m difference in altitude and rocky tracks. Endurance and a keen sense of observation are both needed.
The hikers deserve to enjoy a delightful traditional meal and an authentic human experience after they return to the starting village once they have finished collecting amethysts, agates, manganese, and fossils.
Often hunted by mineral collectors, amethyst is a popular crystalline stone. It has unique colors and ability to stimulate the mind and emotions. It is a symbol of serenity and wisdom. A type of quartz, the amethyst is distinguished by its colors which differ depending on the minerals. Its high iron content defines the colors.
Amethyst is a precious stone that is used in the most luxurious adornments, including the British Royal Crown Jewels.