On your Moroccan desert safari, Zagora is probably the last major town you’ll hit on your way to Erg Chigaga, one of the two major dunes of the Sahara stretch. Though most travelers won’t spend more than a night in the Zagora oasis, it’s a destination in its own right which provides a glance of traditional Moroccan life in the picturesque surroundings palm groves and Draa River. Your Morocco desert tours are incomplete without Zagora in the itinerary.
This small town in the Draa River valley in the Drâa-Tafilalet region of south eastern Morocco, got its name from the Zagora Mountains and was built in the 20th century. As per history, the Saadians launched their expedition to conquer Timbuktu here in 1591, making Zagora a traditional desert outpost through which caravans used to pass by. Today this town hosts few renowned international events such as the ‘Zagora Marathon’ and ‘the Nomads Festival’ in M’Hamid. On your trip to Morocco, you can enjoy these lively events and be a part of the same.
- Vallée de Draa
This valley region with lush green cover soothes your eyes. The stream is dry and you’ll be able to ride among the scenic palm trees, bushes and endemic trees; wandering in the vast palm groves. An amazing place, with delightful Liz natural depression to the east or on to the road to Tafroute within the west. Almost 30 varieties of dates grow in this region, harvested from September to November. Zagora is renowned for having the best dates in the country. On your Morocco vacation don’t forget to try these delicious dates.
- Zagora Oasis
A quiet stroll in the oasis of Zagora can be a lifetime experience that you would cherish. This serves as a stunning stop between the deserts. Spending some time in solitude among luxuriant vegetation, scenic garden with flowers, chirpy birds and full grown palm trees can be fascinating. You can enjoy the stunning views of sunset and sunrise over this date palm oasis, while you opt for a local home-stay for some rural experience.
- Dinosaur Park
A visit to this unique park is must on your trip to Morocco. Off the main road past the city center, two dinosaurs stand tall behind the gates of this small park. The T. Rex and Triceratops statues were creations of local artist Amer Oubani, whose aim was to immortalize some of the region’s cultural heritage. Several important dinosaur fossils have been discovered in and around Morocco and this park symbolizes the same.
This Berber Citadel forms major tourist attraction in Zagora. The fortified towns with high towers at their four corners, built of sun-dried mud bricks are curiously reminiscent of the ancient past. Probably here, in these remote protrusion of the desert, a very old building style has been preserved which once extended over wide areas of the near east and north Africa and whose furthest extensions are to be found in the south of Arabia. A must visit place for photo enthusiasts on their Morocco vacation.
- Zagora Souks
You cannot miss the hustle and bustle of this souk on Sundays and Wednesdays. Vendors flock to the marketplace just outside the city centre to sell their goods and produce. The massive souk is divided into different sections – fruits and vegetables, meat and live animals are sold alongside traditional clothing, local handicraft, toiletries, kitchenware and furniture. There’s flea market that sells used items, such as bicycles, tents and clothing, which are typically brought over from Europe. During the autumn date season, the souk is dominated by date sellers. A visit to these vibrant souk can be truly exciting.
- Musee des Arts and Traditions de la Vallee de Draa
Located 8 kilometer north of town, a triple-storey mud brick building houses this fascinating desert culture museum that is dedicated to the Amazigh way of life in the valley area. You can witness plenty of exhibits of jewelery, weapons, wedding outfits, vintage ham radio, a gramophone and tea glasses and get fascinated with the lives of the desert people and their culture.