Boumalne Dades

For many reasons, Boumalne Dades is one of the famous attractions in Morocco. In this article you will find what you need to know about the town from its history to its famous attractions.   




Boumalne Dades is situated in Tangier province, located in southeast Morocco. It is a region of 75 km squared and is situated 1500m above sea level. The town also sits approximately 120 km from Ouarzazate. 



It is difficult to give authentic facts about the history of Boumalne Dades, for it lacks textual history and most of the known facts are based on oral histories.


The name Boumalne Dades is believed comes from Bou l’Male which means a place of business and trade, especially cattle. The word Dades to be derived from the story of a nomad who came to Boumalne. The story tells that he was starving, but couldn’t eat unless he paid a fine, although the region was known for its richness in vegetables and fruits. However, after some time a person came to him and told him “Da Tech”, means “here, you can eat.” From then the expression turned into Dades.


Boumalne Dades


It is said that the region went through many stages starting from tribes shaping to the alliances’ birth. According To oral histories, Tribes in Boumalne Dades have different origins: tribes of black people, white people, Ait Atta and so on. Each tribe has its own attitude and traditions. It is unknown which tribe was the first to settle in the region.


Thus, the date of settlement cannot be defined. Nonetheless, it is believed that the first dwelling was before the Jewish Tiylit Castle, located along the right bank of the Dades River. The ancestors of Yihuda Perris’ Zahrat Lubnan came to Morocco and settled along the River after they get expelled from Spain, according to Yihuda Perris’ Zahrat Lubnan’s book Hayyim Alzafarni.


Cultural and historical sites


Jewish Tiylit Castle  


Jewish people left their traces in many places in Morocco until the 1950s, when most of them left to live in Israel. Jews lived in Tiylit castle, located on the Iourtguine land on the right side of Dades River. It is said that the name of the tribe, Tiylit, was created during the Middle Dades sovereign Almawla Aba  Amran. He was told that a jewish tribe came to settle in Dades and he answered “Til-yit” which means “let it be” in Amazigh. Since then, the tribe was addressed as Tiylit of the Jews. 


The Rose Valley 


The Rose Valley is one of the most attractive features of Boumalne Dades. It is colored with the pink flowers and contains the purest of smells during Spring. It is recommended to visit the area in April and May, during the season. In addition, the roses festival, which takes place at Kelàa Megouna, encourages tourists to explore both cities’ cultures and traditions, for their connection. They almost share the same culture and they are connected by a 30 km street, believed to be the second longest streets in Africa.


The Kasbah of Mohdach  


The Kasbah of Mohdach  is located in Aughrud, a small tribe located far from the center of Boumalne Dades. Whoever is interested in history must visit it, as it is a symbol of authority and colonization. The people of the region contributed to build it, even under hard conditions such as working from dawn till dusk without resting.


The Dades Gorges 


Daily trips are organized to discover these landscapes, located about 35 km to the north, between the center of Boumalne Dades and its outskirts. 10 km from Boumalne Dades to Ait Sdrat, one can run across an area known as the “monkeys’ fingers.” This site takes the shape of a long maze, with big rocks that make it a collection of difficult lanes, especially for people who like to live such adventures. Moreover, on the same road, there is a good place for taking souvenir pictures. The roads make such an experience unforgettable with the pure virgin nature. 


Boumalne Dades is such a beautiful place to visit and enjoy inspiring scenes. Besides, the buildings in the whole region reflect an aesthetic touch.

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