At one time the mention of the ‘Telouet piste’ would prompt discussions of the difficulty of the route and the steep rock steps, but this is all in the past as the route has been totally reengineered then was finally asphalted in December 2010.

This 90-km route from Ouarzazate is a neat way to tie together a road trip to the famous ksah of Ait Benhaddou with a journey north up the beautiful Ounila valley and a visit to a salt mine.

You then visit the marvellous Glaoui kasbah at Telouet which was the headquarters of T'hami Glaoui, the Last Pasha of Marrakech and the Lord of the Atlas, before heading west for the Tichka pass, continuing to Marrakech on route 'C15 Tizi n'Tichka'.

All is not lost for offroad fans as six en-route piste detours are documented in the route notes. You could also use route ‘S23 Film Sets and Ait Benhaddou’ as an alternative to the initial part of this route.

The photos below are from a variety of trips at different times of the year.

suggestion: before starting, visit the Glaoui family's Taorirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate...

...where you can sit on the Krups 77mm canon that changed the history of Morocco when Sultan Moulay Hassan
gave it to Madani el Glaoui in 1893

km22.6: Ait Benhaddou Ksar in February with the almond trees in blossom

km22.6: much better photographs early morning or late evening

km27.1: The bridge has since been repaired

km28.7: the Stork Kasbah of Tamdaght being used for filming

km28.8: Oued Mellah (the salt river)

km39.1: corn threshing circles at the village of Taifest

km44.1: looking south in 2005 with four 4x4s on the piste

km44.1: same spot in 2010—piste re-engineered and widened, but before the tarmac was laid

km46.3: rocky piste heads south east from here

km47.0: the contrast between the oasis of the valley floor and the mountains

km48.1: grain stores (agadirs) built into the cliff face

km49.1: the pretty minaret at Ait Oumazir

km50.0: Rob Eley heading south on the old piste

Don't worry, the road building is finished now, this was February 2010

km55.8: cross to the western side on the old bridge

km55.9:just around the corner a new bridge has been built

offroute: exploring the piste from the bridge

which climbs above the road

but is ultimately a dead-end

km62.1: the side valley leads to salt pans

offroute: I had a taste—a bit gritty!

offroute: salt leeching out of the ground

km67.0: the ksar near Camping Tasga

km69.1: The Glaoui family's Kasbah at Telouet

rather crumbling entrance (20dh to visit)

but renovations are underway

garage to right is where the Rolls Royce was kept

a taster of the opulent interior... in the summer

km70.0: Auberge Chez Ahmed set off by Almond blossom