If you want a very unique and insightful experience while visiting Morocco, you must visit the Dades Valley in the Atlas Mountains and spend a night or two at Kasbah des Roches. I did and had a wonderful time! The Dades Valley is easily traversed and is one of the most picturesque places in all of Morocco. It is filled with groves of fruit trees, traditional Berber architecture and warm, friendly people. Its sheer mountain walls and fantastic geological rock formations add to its uniqueness and splendor, especially when the sun is shining and the sky is clear blue. The Kasbah des Roches is a small, traditional family-run hotel and restaurant that is located about 100 meters south of the Dades Gorge. My goal was to use it as a base from which to explore and hike in the valley and the mountains. My host and proprietor of the Kasbah des Roches, Lachen, exceeded my expectations in every way- from his warm and friendly manner; to the delicious meals of couscous and tagine filled with chicken and vegetables that he served; to the basic but clean and comfortable accomodations he provided. But most memorable of all was Abdou, Lachen's 20 year old son, who was designated as my guide. After resting a bit, we drove south for 15 minutes, parked and departed on a two hour valley hike. We crossed the river to an old kasbah, walked through several small villages and then came face to face with a long wall of fantastic geological formations (Five Monkey Fingers). The following morning Abdou took me on a longer and more arduous four hour hike. It began at the doorway of the hotel, from where we climbed into the mountains and over the Dades Gorge to an area favored by nomads tending flocks of sheep and goats who lived in rock caves. I was incredulous to meet people who still live in caves in the 21st century! The views were fantastic, and we sat for a long time to savor the moment while eating delicious oranges and dates. Initially we had planned for a full day's hike further into the mountains, but the river had flooded the road at the gorge the day before making it possible for only trucks to get through. Therefore, we headed back down to the valley floor and walked through several interesting villages, one of which was abuzz due to the weekly souk, where Abdou was well known. As we approached the north side of the gorge along the road, we saw small groups of people waiting to hitch rides through the flood waters. Eventually some villagers appeared from the other side, wet from the waist down. We considered the alternatives, and decided to slowly and carefully cross by foot as well. The water was ice cold, but otherwise all was fine, and we simply walked another 100 meters to the hotel and changed into dry clothes. For a fantastic experience with a personal and friendly touch visit the Dades Valley and stay at the Kasbah des Roches. You can e-mail Lachen at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.