Gorge to Gorge - is it possible to drive the R704 in a hire car?! by Natalie Budgen
Many people have asked us whether it’s possible to drive a normal car from Todra Gorge to Dades Gorge along the scenic road of the R704. The answer we always give is “no it’s better not to”. Reason being that this road is a dirt track after you reach the town of Agadoul and is suited more for Motorbikes and 4x4’s. We did however decide to see if what we had been advising was correct and we set off in a rented Renault Clio to see if the journey was possible.
We started our adventure at 10am in the morning not knowing what to expect or how long this journey would take. The 1.5 hour journey to Agadoul from Todra Gorge is stunning and you get a real feel for rural Moroccan life. The kids wave and the locals smile whilst going about their day, talking with friends, working in the fields etc. They look genuinely happy to see International people travelling through.
As we got to Agoudal we saw a sign that most Europeans are happy to see…..coffee! Auberge Ibrahim is a small lodging located as you enter Agoudal and indeed has a nice courtyard and a proper coffee machine so we stopped to enjoy an espresso and talk with them. If you have more time we would recommend staying here for a night and exploring. There is a lake nearby and potential to visit some caves. Get in touch with us for more details.
Once we had our caffeine fix (this turned out to be even more important for our designated driver – Dan!) we were back on our way. Here is where the road gets tricky. To Agoudal was very straight forward and absolutely possible in a normal car. You can also continue up to the lovely little mountain town of Imilchil without any problems and all the way up to the North. However, to continue onto to Dades from here you have to now go off road as it were. The road becomes a dirt track and what google says is a 4 hour journey by car in reality it actually takes 8!
8 hours of stunning scenery and natural beauty to enjoy. This drive is breathtaking but not for the faint hearted and for the driver it is 8 hours of pure concentration. We recommend you stock up on snacks, water, packed lunch etc before you leave or eat in Agoudal.
Yep that's the road!
We laughed that even in the middle of nowhere there are still signs for auberges, here it seems that everywhere is an auberge and we are sure many travellers have been thankful for this if a problem occurs on this route. This is the main issue with the route. If you are halfway and get a tyre blow out or problem with your car you have no phone reception and are hours driving either way to the local towns to get help.
We really enjoyed this drive and was very happy that we did it and didn't have any problems, however we came to the conclusion that the advice we have been giving is correct. We recommend that if you want to drive this route to do so on a Motorbike or in a 4x4 that way you will have less risk of coming into any problems, will be able to enjoy the journey more and it will be quicker than in a normal car.