Since reading a feature about the artisans and way of life in Morocco’s Ait Bougemez Valley in the High Atlas Mountains
in Lonely Planet back in 2011, I knew I had to go explore this remote area of Morocco often overlooked by travelers. So when an invite arrived from Said Marghadi to spend a week at his Touda EcoLodge as part of a press trip, I jumped at the chance.
It’s a valley where time seems to have stopped and children still play freely throughout the villages. Friendly locals greet each other and welcome visitors in for a cup of tea and heartfelt hospitality. And centuries-old traditions and techniques are still employed. It’s a place where life beyond the mountains encompassing Morocco’s longest valley seems impossible. And the stillness and simplicity of life are quickly embraced after leaving city life behind.
Get away from it all. Unwind after a long trek. Or just immerse yourself in the local culture. At Touda EcoLodge, we invite you to make yourself at home. Sip a mint tea and enjoy the view. Soak up the sounds of traditional live music. Take a second helping of traditional Berber cooking prepared on site. It’s the way of life here in the Valley.
Perched at 2200 metres above sea level, Touda EcoLodge is ideally located for guests looking to explore the heart of High Atlas Mountains. – from the Touda EcoLodge website
The small Touda EcoLodge guesthouse staffed by the most heart-warmingly welcoming team took care of our every need – preparing us delicious home cooked meals throughout the day, preparing pots of mint tea in even the most remote locations, guiding us on hikes through the valley and to a nearby glacial lake. Through our limited language capabilities, we managed to share jokes, learn traditional recipes in the kitchen and hear tales of life in the Valley – a place that feels otherworldly coming from Marrakech.
The opportunities to immerse oneself in the local community are endless. Weekly markets provide not only an opportunity to stock up on supplies for the week, but to experience rural living first hand. Treks through the valley, passing crumbling casbahs and farmers working small plots of land provide a sight for the eyes. Interactions with the locals enable cross-cultural connections that just don’t exist freely anymore.
This week, the guest house launched its new English website.
How I work with Touda EcoLodge
Said and I kept in touch following my week at Touda EcoLodge and I was delighted when he asked my public relations agency Say Something Communication to write the text for the new English-language website, along with a couple of blog post and an electronic newsletter sent to targeted publics. Having spent a week experiencing the guest house first-hand, I was able to write authentically, but also in a voice that represented the guest house, its personnel and the experiences available to travellers. But as a travel insider here in Morocco, I was also able to consult on targeted publics, content creation and communications strategy to reach the English-speaking market.