Ruins of a kasbah in Kalaat M'Gouna, Morocco
© Leonid Andronov/Getty Image
Morocco in bloom
Millions of roses are harvested in May and June each year in the Dades Valley of Morocco, known as the Valley of Roses. (It's also known as the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, after the many traditional fortresses found here.) The Asif M’Goun River flows from high in the Atlas Mountains, bringing water to the valleys below.
The town of Kalaat M'Gouna is the centre of the rose harvest each spring, when thousands of pounds of roses are plucked from the valley’s many bushes. Their fragrant petals are used to create the oil that goes into a potpourri of perfumes, creams and other products that are for sale in local bazaars. No one knows how the roses originally appeared here but it’s said that a travelling merchant from the Syrian capital Damascus first brought them to the region hundreds of years ago, giving the local rose its name: Damask.