Kalaat M’gouna rose festival

Kalaat M'gouna

   Kalaat M’gouna is a small town located in the Dadès Valley of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It is situated about 90 kilometers northeast of Ouarzazate and about 300 kilometers southeast of Marrakech.

    The town is known for its annual Rose Festival, which takes place in May and celebrates the blooming of the local Damask roses. The festival attracts many visitors who come to witness the colorful parades, music, and dance performances, and to buy rose products such as rose water, perfumes, and cosmetics. The town is also a major producer of rose water and it is said that the roses grown in Kalaat M’gouna are of the highest quality in the world.

   Apart from the Rose Festival, Kalaat M’gouna is also a popular starting point for treks and hikes in the surrounding mountains. Visitors can take a guided trek through the beautiful and rugged landscape of the High Atlas Mountains, passing through small Berber villages and seeing traditional farming practices.

   Overall, Kalaat M’gouna is a charming and picturesque town with a unique culture and stunning natural scenery that make it a must-visit destination for travelers exploring Morocco.

The History of Kalaat M’gouna: A Town Built on Roses

Kalaat M'gouna

Kalaat M’gouna is a town located in the southern part of Morocco, known for its production of roses and rose-based products. The history of the town can be traced back to the pre-Islamic era when it was a Berber settlement. In the 13th century, the town was incorporated into the Almohad Empire and became an important center for trade and agriculture.

However, it was not until the 1930s that Kalaat M’gouna became famous for its rose production. French settlers introduced Damask roses to the region, which thrived in the local climate and soil. The town quickly became a hub for rose cultivation, with thousands of hectares of land dedicated to the crop.

Over time, the rose industry grew in importance, and Kalaat M’gouna became known as the “Rose Capital” of Morocco. The town’s annual Rose Festival, held in May, attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The festival is a celebration of the town’s rose production, featuring parades, music, dancing, and the crowning of a “Rose Queen.”

Today, Kalaat M’gouna’s rose industry remains a significant part of the town’s economy, providing employment and income for many local families. The town is also home to several rose cooperatives, where local women work to produce rose water, perfumes, and oils.

Overall, the history of Kalaat M’gouna is one of a small Berber settlement that grew into a major center for rose production and trade. The town’s reliance on roses has shaped its identity and culture, making it a unique and vibrant destination for visitors.

A Look at the Rose Industry in Kalaat M’gouna:

   The rose industry in Kalaat M’gouna is a vital part of the local economy, providing livelihoods for thousands of people. The town produces a range of rose-related products, including rose water, rose oil, and dried rose petals, which are used in various industries, such as cosmetics, perfumery, and food. The rose harvest typically takes place in April and May and involves a large number of workers who manually pick delicate flowers. The flowers are then transported to local distilleries, where they are processed to extract their fragrant oil and water.

The Significance of Roses in Moroccan Culture:

  Roses have a special place in Moroccan culture and are used in various aspects of daily life. For example, rose water is used to perfume clothes and homes, and is also used in cooking. Rose oil is used in perfumes and other cosmetic products and is believed to have therapeutic properties. Additionally, roses are a symbol of love and hospitality in Moroccan culture and are often given as gifts or used to decorate homes and public spaces.

Exploring the Rose Festival of Kalaat M’gouna:

Kalaat M'gouna

   The Rose Festival of Kalaat M’gouna is an annual event held in May to celebrate the town’s rose harvest. The festival features a variety of activities, including parades, concerts, and traditional dances. Visitors can also watch the rose harvest in action, and purchase rose-related products from local vendors. The festival is a major tourist attraction and draws visitors from all over Morocco and beyond.

Rose Water: The Traditional Product of Kalaat M’gouna

   Rose water is one of the most popular rose-related products produced in Kalaat M’gouna. It is made by distilling rose petals with water and is used for a variety of purposes, such as cooking, perfuming, and skin care. The rose water produced in Kalaat M’gouna is renowned for its high quality and unique fragrance and is exported to various countries around the world.

Rose Oil: The Versatile Product of Kalaat M’gouna

   Rose oil is another important product of the rose industry in Kalaat M’gouna. It is extracted from rose petals through a process called steam distillation and is used in a variety of applications, such as perfumes, cosmetics, and aromatherapy. Rose oil is highly valued for its therapeutic properties and is believed to have a range of health benefits.

The Process of Rose Harvesting and Production in Kalaat M’gouna:

    The rose harvest in Kalaat M’gouna typically takes place in April and May, when the flowers are in full bloom. The harvesting is done manually by a large number of workers, who carefully pick delicate flowers without damaging them. The flowers are then transported to local distilleries, where they are processed to extract their fragrant oil and water. The production process involves several stages, including sorting, cleaning, and distillation. The petals are sorted to remove any damaged or discolored ones and then cleaned to remove any dirt or debris. The petals are then placed in large copper stills, along with water, and heated to produce steam. The steam passes through the petals, extracting their fragrant oil and water. The resulting rose water and oil are collected and separated and then bottled for sale.

The Economic Impact of the Rose Industry in Kalaat M’gouna:

The rose industry is a major contributor to the local economy of Kalaat M’gouna, providing employment opportunities for thousands of people. The industry supports a range of businesses, including farmers, distilleries, and product manufacturers. In addition to creating jobs, the industry also generates revenue through the sale of rose-related products both locally and internationally. The industry also helps to promote tourism in the region, as visitors come to witness the rose harvest and purchase rose-related products.

The Role of Women in the Rose Industry of Kalaat M’gouna:

    Women play a significant role in the rose industry of Kalaat M’gouna. They are involved in various aspects of rose cultivation, such as planting, pruning, and harvesting. Women also work in the distilleries, where they operate the stills and oversee the production of rose water and oil. The industry has provided many women with opportunities for employment and economic empowerment, particularly in rural areas where job opportunities may be limited.

Sustainable Agriculture Practices in the Rose Farms of Kalaat M’gouna:

    Sustainable agriculture practices are increasingly being adopted in the rose farms of Kalaat M’gouna. These practices aim to minimize the impact of rose cultivation on the environment and promote the long-term viability of the industry. Some of these practices include using organic fertilizers and pesticides, conserving water through drip irrigation systems, and implementing crop rotation to maintain soil health. These practices help to protect the natural resources and biodiversity of the region, while also ensuring the continued success of the rose industry.

The annual Rose Festival in Kalaat M’gouna celebrates the blooming of Damask roses and is a major cultural event that attracts tourists and provides an economic boost to the region. The festival features traditional music, dance, and crafts, and showcases local rose products such as rose water, oil, and perfumes. Overall, the festival is an important cultural tradition that celebrates the beauty and significance of roses in the region.


  1. Souhailla


    Do you have a Marrakesch/Merzouga tour including the rose festival for 3 days?

    Kind regards,

    • desertme

      Dear Souhailla,
      Thank you for contacting us, you are welcome to Morocco.
      We already sent you details about your trip in your Email.
      Best regards

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