The M'Goun Valley, often known as the Valley of Roses, is one of Morocco's most captivating natural attractions. Named after the thousands of rose bushes that cover the banks of the Oued Dades, it runs between the villages of Kelaat M'Gouna and Boumalne-Dades. Every year, from April to May, the valley is turned into a beautiful and fragrant rose color, creating a one-of-a-kind sensory experience.
This stop, together with Skoura and the Dades gorges, is an essential stopover when exploring the region. Aside from being a tourist attraction, the abundance of roses has given rise to a distillation industry, that supplies Morocco and the rest of the globe with rose-derived products.
A wonderful color pallet
Visiting the Valley of Roses reveals breathtaking views such as those of dry landscapes of ocher rocks and green fields irrigated by the flow of Oued Dades, which gives life to this magnificent vegetation composed primarily of large fields of wild roses. The roses bloom in April, offering the valley a distinct color. A captivating scent from the cliffs, as well as the infinity of pink-colored spots that emerge between the villages, provide visitors with a true sensory journey. It is truly a never-ending performance that culminates in the harvest, a true cultural ritual that concludes with the Moussem of Roses of Kelaat M’Gouna.
In 2014, the Valley of Roses was recognized by UNESCO as a “Global Geopark”, making it the only city in Morocco to receive this recognition.
From the Valley of Roses, it is possible to go on hikes through the plateaus and deep valleys that host many villages, and where rural life coexists in perfect harmony with a modest, but beautiful environment.
A prosperous industry
The distilled rose water is used in the production of numerous cosmetic products both nationally and internationally. The distillation factories are located in the middle of Kelaat M’Gouna, one of them is in an ancient Kasbah.
M’Gouna rose water is characterized by its purity and refreshing aroma. It is found in soaps, lotions, masks, and creams. The region exports the spirit and the concrete rose, used in Europe and North America in the perfume industry.
This industry is considered the main driver of the local economy. Some 4,000 tons of rose petals are collected each year, creating an entire economic fabric from harvest to export, through processing. Kelaat M’Gouna’s annual Rose Moussem is a perfect opportunity to get the best products and enjoy outstanding festivities. However, the sale of rose products continues all around the year.
The Damascus rose, also called Rosa Damascena in Latin, is the dominating plant in the M’Goun Valley. It is known for its cold and drought resistance. It has been introduced by returning pilgrims from Mecca in the Xth century. Rose plants are arranged as green fences and are used to prevent animals from entering the fields. A local myth says that they have magical powers, such asprotecting from evil spells and spirits.