(This is a six-part series on rural tourism in Southern Morocco, told through members of the newly formed rural tourism association, Réseau de Développement Touristique Rural (RDTR), located in the Souss Massa Draa Region in Southern Morocco. Previous posts: Part I, Part II, Part III)
When Abdelhakim (Hakim) Sabri was a child, his father had dreams of opening an inn or guesthouse in their village. At km 69 on the road from Agadir to Marrakech, that dream has manifested in the two-story Auberge Zolado majestically set on the hilltop overlooking Morocco’s Bigodine Valley and Abdelmoumen Dam. Sitting on the terrace one can get lost gazing over the valley dotted with palm, argan, and wild fig trees.In 1999, Hakim first opened his doors as a restaurant and visitors came from Agadir to enjoy traditional Moroccan salads, tagines, couscous, and brochettes. A few years later as demand grew, they expanded to accommodate guests overnight. In September 2011, Auberge Zolado marked its grand reopening after extensive renovations to its courtyard and added a pool and jacuzzi where visitors can take a dip while overlooking the valley. Zolado’s 10 rooms—doubles, triples and suites—are staffed by a quaint team of five from the local community.
While staying at Zolado, guests can drive four-wheelers through the nearby mini-desert, go on trekking expeditions in the valley, enjoy local musical performances and folklore, learn how to make honey with a local farmer, visit traditional Berber houses in the village, or visit the world’s largest beehive in Inzerki, just 20 km away.
“Develop rural tourism and you are developing the lives of the people,” said Auberge Zolado owner Hakim Sabri, who noted that 80% of the facility’s supplies—including oil, honey and kitchen goods—are sourced from local community. “Many people from the village move to the cities to find work,” Sabri added. “Developing rural tourism will give them a means to live and earn a living in their home villages.”
To learn more about Auberge Zolado, visit: www.aubergezolado.com.
Km 69 Route de Marrakech | Km 4 Route de Miel—Agadir
Tel: +212 6 61 17 19 06
Fax: +212 5 28 82 06 36