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...
...cool in the summer
km70.0: Auberge Chez Ahmed set off by Almond blossom