Zagora Morocco, is located in the south-east of the country, in the region of Draa Tafilalt a few tens of kilometers from the border with Algeria, in the southernmost Morocco. It is a quiet town of about 30,000 inhabitants located […]
Zagora Morocco, is located in the south-east of the country, in the region of Draa Tafilalt a few tens of kilometers from the border with Algeria, in the southernmost Morocco.
It is a quiet town of about 30,000 inhabitants located near the Draa. Dubbed the ‘Desert Gate’, its activity revolves around a main road, as it has never been so populated as to have another type of urban structure.
This city is a good place for those who are interested in desert trips from Marrakech, delving into the dunes of Erg Chegaga, or for those who want to make an itinerary in the most hidden lands of Morocco.
Tranquility, sunshine, absolute peace and disconnection. This is what you can find in Zagora, with a real change of landscapes and culture. In fact, an itinerary in this area is one of the most original excursions in Morocco, as it has the fame of the warmest city of the country and the vegetation of its surroundings is relegated to some small green areas and isolated palms.
If you can’t stand the heat, avoid the months of July and August, because the average temperature is 45 inches C. The warm, dry winds of the Zagora desert, like the Chergui, push the thermometer upwards. The ideal time to visit this area is between October and February, because you can enjoy a milder climate.
Zagora is a stop on the caravan route. It is located at the gateway to the Sahara Desert and is a place of reflection and deserved rest. You will be surprised by the kindness of the people and amazed by the traditional architecture, the exquisite cuisine with spicy flavors and the contrast between the palm groves and the dunes that are located there.
The city of Zagora, as we know it today, was founded in the French colonial era as the administrative center of the region, next to the Ksar of Amezrou, in the 1930s.
It is named after the low mountain on which it is located and was built next to the ruins of an ancient fortress of the Almoravide era. Of this fortress you can still see the remains of the walls on the side of Jbel Zagora, in danger of building a hotel that, at the moment, is paralyzed.
The entire Draa Valley has been historically populated, and indeed the Saadi dynasty is native to the region. It was a key point within the caravan routes that crossed the Sahara descending salt and rising slaves.
The old town of Zagora and the Jewish quarter are of traditional architecture, but the rest is entirely concrete, and is growing at great speed in the north due to the proliferation of tourism. It is a rural area that has recently discovered the tourist potential, mainly with people interested in desert trips from Marrakech.
From here we organize daily all kinds of excursions in places such as the dunes of Tinfou, although other groups dare with long routes of months to Timbuktu. It is in fact a historical route, as the sign at the entrance of the city reminds us, which says “Timbuktu 52 days” (camel, you understand).
All these excursions, in Morocco or outside its borders, must be carried out with caution and responsibility, preferably in the company of an experienced guide and with off-road vehicles capable of making such routes.
Among the short excursions that we can make from this city are the ascent to Jbel Zagora, the visit to the library of Tamegroute, the Ksar of Tissergate and the road of the palm grove, which supplies the whole area with dates.
In the library of Tamegroute, 20 km south of Zagora, there is a famous Ksar that houses ancient religious manuscripts, some dating from the thirteenth century, written on gazelle skin, which are preserved in perfect condition. Interesting is also a visit to the ceramic kilns, as well as the surrounding ksar, which are magnificent fortified villages. And of course, a sunset over the dunes of the Zagora desert is an absolutely breathtaking sight.
One of the most typical routes is the climb to Mount Zagora or Jebel Zagora, about 950 meters high. From there you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Draa valley, which is especially beautiful especially at sunrise or sunset. Nearby are the remains of an ancient 11th century Kasbah, built by the Almoravids for their defense. It is currently a military settlement with limited access.
The dunes of Tinfou, a little further south, offer the most idyllic images of the Zagora desert, more similar to those of M hamid and Merzouga. Another interesting place in the surroundings is the small village of Amazrau, located just 1.5 km.
In the morning, the city is a great animation of caravans off-road preparing to build the ancient track of Paris Dakar, which connects Zagora to Merzouga. You can also see nomads and Tuaregs in the area.
Animations and parties are mostly organized by the hotels. And we recommend taking a camel trip or a 4 4 ride through the dunes!
The best way to get there depends on your starting point. Here are some common ways to get to Zagora:
By Air: The nearest airport to Zagora is the Zagora Airport, which offers limited domestic flights from Casablanca, but it’s mainly used for military purposes. So, the most convenient airports to reach Zagora are Ouarzazate Airport, which is 167 km away, or Marrakech Menara Airport, which is 440 km away.
By Bus: There are several bus companies that operate daily routes to Zagora from major cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, and Ouarzazate. The bus journey from Marrakech to Zagora takes around 8 hours.
By Car: Driving to Zagora is another option. The town is located on the N9 road, which connects Marrakech and Ouarzazate. The journey from Marrakech to Zagora takes around 7 hours by car.
By Tour: You can also join a tour to Zagora from Marrakech. Many tour operators offer day trips or overnight trips to Zagora, which includes transportation, accommodation, and guided tours of the town and the surrounding desert.
Overall, the most convenient way to get to Zagora depends on your starting point and your travel preferences.
The city is characterized by its variety of landscapes, the hospitality of its people, the richness and diversity of its folklore and the authenticity of its architectural heritage.
Added to this is its strategic location as a desert travel destination from Marrakech: located 360 km south, is one of the favorite destinations for travelers who go with the right weather but do not want to miss the excursion in the desert of Zagora in two days from Marrakech or include it as a next stop on their tours in Morocco.
The province is famous for its diverse folk arts, including: Ahidous, Ahouach, Dance Sabre, Roukba, Guedra and Rasma.
Like all provinces of the Kingdom, the province of Zagora celebrates many manifestations of a spiritual or mussems nature, which are a reminder to promote tourism in the region.
This city is becoming the main tourist center of the region and for this reason it has an abundant hotel offer for all budgets. There are several campsites and numerous hotels in Zagora.
In fact, only at the exit towards Tazarine, which is the right one to go to Jbel Zagora and on the left bank of the palm grove, were built in four years 6 or 7 new hotels.Share this tour