Agdz, Entrance of the Drâa Valley
Dominated by the Kissane Jbel, recognizable with its tajine dish shape, Agdz opens to the Drâa valley, 69 Km south of Ouarzazate.
Located on the old caravan road connecting Marrakesh and Timbuktu, Agdz, which means “resting place“, is a well deserved name. It is now articulated around the main square with its small souk (market), the downtown area with its friendly atmosphere and all the services you could need.
Downhill is the old village with its old traditional houses and little gardens surrounding the palm grove.
Agdz is crossed by the Mohammed V Avenue, with the big “Place de la Marche Verte” at its centre. Around here you will find taxis, buses, banks, chemists, mountain bikes rental shops, as well as groceries, restaurants and coffee shops.
The post office, open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm, as well as a health center and many shops are on Hassan ll Street, starting at the mosque and leading to the palm grove.
Petro-stations are at the exits of Agdz on the Mohammed V boulevard.
Mountain biking is a nice way to discover the narrow trails of the palm grove, you can rent one at a little shop located on the “Place de la Marche Verte” just next to the bus stop.
Hotels and Guest Houses in Agdz
There are also some small hotels on the “Place de la Marche Verte”, although most of them are located on the road going to the palm grove.
Located 70 km from Agdz, Ouarzazate airport (OZZ) offers direct flights to and from Paris. There are four flights per week and the duration is 3h10.
From most other International Capitals, you will have to make a stopover either in Casablanca or in Marrakesh.
Agdz Bus Station
Located on the “Place de la Marche Verte” where you can also find shared taxis. To and from Zagora and Ouarzazate: several daily connections.
Places to See
Famous for its tajine dish shape, the Kissane Jbel overhangs Agdz. This long notched rock edge is about 20 km from the city. It borders the bed of the Drâa river for about 40 km.
Go around five km on the Ouarzazate road then take the trail at your right for 10 km up to the village of Tizgui. A ten minute walk allow you to reach this natural pool supplied by the west Drâa, and depending on the season you can enjoy a swim there. There is also a little coffee shop providing mint tea and various drinks.
On the left bank of the Draa, 4 km south of Agdz, stands an impressive ruined kasbah on a rocky promontory with an exceptional panorama.
Below, the 16th century fortified village of Tamnougalt is one of the oldest ksour in the valley. A maze of alleys and various rooms, passes by a vast mellah and plunges us underground to emerge in the heart of a courtyard of stables, lined with horseshoe arches. Some doors are still decorated with Arabic, Andalusian and Berber Jewish motifs.
Other interesting kasbahs are those of Oulad Atman which dominates the valley 32 km south of Agdz, and a little further on the kasbah of Igdaoum impresses by its size and the height of its pyramidal towers.
Do not miss the village of Tinzulin where every Monday is held one of the most lively souks of the Draa Valley.
Hart Chaou Community Gardens
Following several years of intense drought, the association for the development of Hart Chaou has, under the impetus of associations and various partners, set up a pilot field for market gardening by allocating 12 plots of 450 m2 to the inhabitants.
This is a typical example of a partnership project that works perfectly in the form of a self-managed association.
Located at the exit of Agdz in the direction of Zagora, the community vegetable garden has grown considerably to reach a perimeter of more than 2 hectares composed of about forty cultivable plots.
To obtain these lots, a questionnaire was submitted to the applicants. The criteria adopted were, of course, poverty, material needs and the individual skills of each person, the number of these areas being limited.
The follow-up is ensured by an accounting journal kept by each participant. Irrigation is provided by 1 well built on each of the 2 fields housing the forty or so small gardens.
Zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes and peppers are grown there in summer. In winter, onions, carrots, radishes, beans, cauliflower and salads. Fertilizers come from manure and organic matter. These organic gardens provide most of the food needs of over 120 people.
Irrigation is carefully managed by the farmers. The association also lives off the income from the drinking water distributed in the village.
In addition, the association now manages the sports equipment for young people in the village of Hart Chaou and acts as a referee between the village and the community garden.
An example to follow in the Draa Valley…
An overflight of the Ksar, partially in ruin and the work in the windy gardens. A discovery of the interior architecture of this majestic place.
Agdz by bike
Beautiful bike ride from Agdz to Ouarzazate towards its desert limestones. The climbing of Tizi N’Fedrhate, 2200 meters, isn’t an easy task but the snow-covered top of the High-Atlas make it worthy. Under shiny sunshine and in hard rocky trails this is hard hiking.