The Todra Gorge is one of Morocco’s biggest tourist attractions. 200-300 m walls on both sides of the river are impressive! And the best thing is that you can climb them. There are quite a lot of routes in Todra, both sports and multi-pitch, bolted and trad, in a wide range of difficulties.

At the turn of March and April this year I spent 12 days in Morocco, 7 of which climbing in the Todra Gorge. Here I’m sharing some general information about the area and in separate posts you can read about:

Climbing in the Todra Gorge

You can think of Morocco as an exotic place, but there are quite a lot of bolted routes. Many of them are very well bolted, i.e. similar to what can be found in various European climbing areas. As far as I know, some routes have been bolted by instructors from the Polish Kilimanjaro school. There is even a sector named after their school.

By “quite a lot” I mean that it is a good area for several days of climbing. We were interested in sport routes in the range of approx. 5b – 6c and multi-pitch routes in the range of approx. 5a – 6a+, bolted or at least partially bolted. We weren’t bored, but if we were there for 3 days longer, we would have had a problem finding sectors and routes that we haven’t done yet but would like to. You will have more opportunities if you are also interested in trad climbing. Especially if you want to forge new routes. There are plenty of places for new ones, especially multi-pitch ones.

There are climbing routes on both sides of the gorge, so depending on your needs, you can always find a sector that will be in the sun or in the shade. But it will not always be a sector that will suit you. We just hit the weather, which forced us to look for shade and despite the theoretically large number of sectors, it was difficult for us to find the right one. Because either the routes in the sector were too easy or too difficult for us, or in the sun all day, or it turned out that the bolts were unscrewed and only the screws were left in the rock, or the beginning of the routes was occupied by Moroccan souvenir sellers.

todra gorge

Rock is also a problem in Todra Gorge. I mean, it has too much friction. The legs stand fine everywhere, but the hands are stinging. And I have sensitive skin that wears off quickly and doesn’t regenerate quickly. That’s why I climbed in gloves on easier pitches.

rock in todra gorge

A lot of sport routes are over 30 m, so it is worth having a 70 m rope. For multi-pitch climbing, I would suggest a half rope of 60 m, or even longer if you want to be sure that it will be enough everywhere.

An unquestionable advantage of climbing in Todra is the lack of mosquitoes, ticks, spiders and other intrusive insects and arachnids. We also didn’t meet any snake or scorpion that reportedly live there.

It is also worth being aware that there is no mountain rescue service in Morocco.

Climbing guidebook of Todra Gorge

We used the Oxford Alpine Club climbing guidebook. The latest, third edition from 2019.

At the beginning, the author of the guidebook advices not to take it too seriously (read Philosophy chapter).

todra gorge climbing guidebook

And indeed, we had “fun”. We often had the impression that the route was too easy or too difficult for its grade, but that wasn’t the only thing that was wrong. For example, once my 50 m half rope turned out to be too short on the pitch that was supposed to be 40 m. On some multi-pitch routes, the lengths of the pitches are not described at all. One multi-pitch route marked as “fully bolted” was perfectly bolted on all 13 pitches, and on another, also “fully bolted”, there were run-outs of more than ten meters…

A local climber-guide met in the gorge said that everything was wrong in our guidebook and recommended the other one that could be bought on the spot (there is a small climbing shop there).

Access to the Todra Gorge

From our Polish perspective: We started our journey from Wrocław to Warsaw and a flight to Marrakech.

marrakech from plane

Upon arrival, at the airport we exchanged euros for Moroccan dirhams. It is a currency that cannot be bought in Poland. I also did not see that it was possible to exchange zlotys in Morocco. You can only pay by card in supermarkets, so cash is handy.

You can also buy a SIM card with internet at the airport. Friends bought it, but they didn’t use it much, because it turned out that there is no coverage in the Todra Gorge.

It takes about 7 hours to drive from Marrakesh to the Todra Gorge, which is why we spent the first and last night in this city.

I was already in Marrakech in winter a few years ago, on the occasion of hiking to Jebel Toubkal. I remember that then I was hit by the smell of exhaust fumes in the streets. Now I didn’t feel the fumes so much, but the smell of urine was wafting in many places … Plus pushy souvenir sellers, crowd and noise, which is everything I don’t like. It only got nice late in the evening.

There is also an airport in Ouarzazate, but the flights are probably only from April and I don’t know until when and not from Poland. It’s a pity, because from there to Todra it takes only about 2 hours.

If you don’t want to rent a car, it is said that you can take a bus from Marrakech to Tinghir and from there take a taxi to Todra (about 15 km). On site, you can do without a car, because many climbing sectors are located several minutes on foot from the entrance to the gorge. Although there are also further ones that are an hour’s walk away. There is also a small shop at the entrance to the gorge where you can buy water, biscuits, yoghurts etc.

Accommodation in the Todra Gorge

In Tisgui, which is the village closest to the gorge, there are many small hotels / hostels. You can easily find them on booking.com. We stayed in Etoile des Gorges. Sanitary conditions are so-so, but it’s cheap. For 9 nights, for 4 people, with breakfast, we paid less than EUR 290, which is about 8 euro / person / night. The breakfasts were big enough for you to eat well and make yourself a takeaway sandwich.

etoile des gorges, śniadanie

We paid extra for dinner. 60 dirhams per person, which is about 6 euro.

There is wifi in the hotel, but it’s slow. And from what we read in the reviews on booking.com, everywhere people complain about wifi, so maybe you just can’t have good internet in this area.

The great advantage of this hotel is its location – right at the entrance to the gorge.

And the menu in Polish surprised me the most :)

etoile des gorges, menu

And that’s how beautiful it is in Todra :)

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