Hidden within the Oases of the Dades Valley is a Moroccan jewel known as the heavenly pink town of El-Kelaa of M’Gouna or more affectionately referred to as the Valley of the Roses. The town is famous for its sea of pink Persian rose landscapes. El Kelaa of M’Gouna has a vast distilling plant, Capp et Florale that accounts for producing liters of rose water popular in the nation’s cooking and perfumery. The rose capital also produces other goods made of eau de rose such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume and dried flowers that are popular among Moroccans and tourists.
The Damask rose was brought to El Kelaa of M’Gouna in 1938 by the French. At that time El Kelaa of M’gouna’s first rose water distillery was opened. Shortly after the first Rose Festival began and has been a tradition ever since.
In the Valley of Roses one will find miles of pink, small Persian roses-cultivated as hedgerows dividing the plots of land. In spring, you can buy a garland of fragrant roses from one of the Berber children who line the road.
During the month of May, an annual three-day Rose Festival takes place in the Valley of the Roses. Morocco’s Rose Festival occupies the souk area of El Kelaa, the town responsible for the rosy festivities. During this time, travelers come from all over to attend the festivities where a Rose Queen is elected to reign over the year’s scented crop. The factories in El Kelaa of M’Gouna produce 3000-4000 petals a year. With ten tons of petals required to produce a few liters of precious oil, the harvest is understandably a labor of love and the culminating festivities of the annual Rose Festival are all the livelier for it.
As with all festivals in Morocco, the annual Rose Festival boasts delicious food alongside traditional Berber local tribes singing, dancing, displaying sword maneuvers and playing traditional musical instruments; plus a parade of floats with the nominees for Ms. Roses who sit upon them.Unique to this festival are the rose perfumed streets, Moroccan women wearing traditional head scarves decorated with bright colored velvety flowers, and boys and girls wearing rose-garlands. Floral decorated floats, camel-rides, and an excursion organized by the festival coordinators to take a bus ride from Ouarzazate to the Valley of the Roses are a few of the highlights available to all.
The Rose Festival is one of the prettiest and most popular celebration in Morocco. Visitors come to enjoy breathing in the sweet scents of the petals as well as being surrounded by the natural beauty of the Daraa valley and the High Atlas Mountains
Morocco Incoming Services offers several amazing excursions to this stunning site starting from Agadir.
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