The Draa Valley, also known as the Draa River Valley, is a scenic and historic region in southern Morocco, located between the Atlas Mountains to the north and the Sahara Desert to the south. The Draa River, which is the […]
The Draa Valley, also known as the Draa River Valley, is a scenic and historic region in southern Morocco, located between the Atlas Mountains to the north and the Sahara Desert to the south. The Draa River, which is the longest river in Morocco, flows through the valley, creating a lush green corridor that contrasts with the surrounding arid landscape.
The valley is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, with palm groves, oases, and rocky mountains forming a stunning backdrop to the traditional mud-brick villages and kasbahs that dot the landscape. It is also home to a rich cultural heritage, with ancient Berber villages, historic kasbahs, and pre-Islamic rock carvings that date back thousands of years.
Visitors to the Drâa Valley can explore the region on foot, by car, or on a guided tour. Popular activities include hiking, camel trekking, and visiting local markets and festivals. Some of the must-see attractions in the valley include the Aït Benhaddou kasbah, the Zagora palm grove, the Tamegroute pottery village, and the Draa River itself, which is known for its scenic beauty and excellent fishing.
Additionally, you can even find some cave paintings and rock engravings in the amazing Drâa Valley region, or you can go on a trip to the Marrakesh desert.
The Drâa Valley is an intriguing valley with a wide array of alluring attractions. The valley’s breathtaking natural beauty is deserving of a visit.
You can enjoy the sight of an endless plantation on each river bank as you follow the river downstream from the High Atlas Mountains, which are made up primarily of palm trees. Before the desert appears and completely takes over the landscape, the plantation continues for several kilometers.
But the true desert doesn’t begin until you get to Zagora; before that, it’s just a stone desert with the occasional lone sand dune. The real endless sand sea, however, covers the entire horizons once you pass M’Hamid, and the real dunes take over the landscape. Here, you can experience authentic camel trekking through the desert in a caravan.
In addition to the plantations, which grow henna, vegetables, and other crops, there are also six oases, which are groves of palm trees with an average width of 3 kilometers and a maximum width of 100 kilometers. These oases—Mezguita, Tinzouline Ternata Fezouata Ktaoua, and Mhamid el Ghuzlan—are incredibly beautiful, and the contrast between that beauty and the aridity and dryness of the surrounding area is quite striking.
The numerous rock art engravings and petroglyphs that can be seen in the Drâa Valley are additional attractions worth seeing. Rock art can be seen at a number of locations, but the most well-known ones are Foum Chenna (Tinzouline), A’t Ouaazik (Asguine Tarna, Tazzarine), Tiouririne, and Tisguinine (Zagora).
Along with these rock engravings and paintings, Foum Larjam, which means “Mouth” or “Passage of the Tombs,” on the Djebel Beni-Selmane, south of Tizi Beni-Selmane, also contains a necropolis that dates back to prehistoric times.
Since most of the Drâa Valley’s history can be attributed to conflicts between various nomadic tribes, it should come as no surprise that the Drâa is well known for its Kasbahs, or Islamic fortresses.
There are numerous Kasbahs along the Drâa Valley, but the most well-known ones are, from North to South, the Kasbahs of Aït Hammou Ousaid & near by Agdz, the Kasbahs of Oulad Outhmane & El Caïd Ouslim in Tamezmout, the Kasbahs of Achnna N’Kob & Foum in Tinzouline, the Kasbah of Tat Ifli in Beni Zouli, the Kasbahs of Amezrou, Ouziguen, Aït Ali Tighramt and Laglaoui in Zagora, the Kasbahs of Agouim Nouaadjou in Tagounite, and the Kasbahs of LaAllouj, Oulad Driss, Aït Bounou & Rgabi in M’hamid El Ghuzlane.in Mhamid el Ghazazlan.
Along with the natural, historical, and architectural wonders the Drâa Valley has to offer, the valley is home to a number of small communities where time seems to have stood still due to how little modernity has affected them.
Women in these scattered villages wash their clothes on the banks of rivers while always wearing full face coverings, and the men seem distant and watchful, perhaps unaccustomed to foreign visitors. In addition to Arabic, these people also speak a dialect of Berber called Tashelhiyt.
There are several bus companies that operate daily services from Marrakech and Ouarzazate to Zagora and other towns in the Drâa Valley. CTM, Supratours, and ALSA are some of the most popular bus companies that operate on this route.
The nearest airport to the Drâa Valley is the Ouarzazate Airport, which is served by several airlines with domestic and international flights. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to the Drâa Valley.
If you prefer a guided tour, there are several tour operators that offer trips to the Drâa Valley from Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and other major cities in Morocco. These tours usually include transportation, accommodation, and activities such as camel trekking and visits to local villages and kasbahs.Share this tour