Zagora, the Draa Valley at erg Chegaga
Dominated by the djebel Zagora on the road leading to the great Saharan erg Chegaga, Zagora stands on the edges of the wadi Draa.
Approaching the bridge over the Draa River, the palm grove and on the other side of the river, the neighbouring village of Amzrou, is located 1.5 km south of the centre of Zagora. In its former Jewish quarter, the mellah, craftsmen still make jewellery with traditional Berber, African and Muslim motifs.
Zagora is crossed by the wide Mohammed V avenue where all the necessary services, souvenir shops and many cafés-restaurants are located. The souk takes place on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Along Boulevard Mohammed V, fairly cheap restaurants offer simple Moroccan cuisine: tagines, omelettes, skewers and grills. Most hotels and guest houses serve meals, often on reservation. Some hotels have a bar open to all, notably at the fibula of the Draa, the kasbah Sirocco or at the riad Lamane.
Zagora extends along a vast palm grove, offering us many excursions in the surroundings, notably to discover the villages and kasbahs scattered around the palm grove.
Ksar of Tinezouline
31 km north of Zagora, in the direction of Ouarzazate, the Tinezouline ksar dominates the road and palm grove on the right. At the entrance to the village, a large enclosure welcomes a lively souk on Mondays. A small track leads to the rock carvings at 7 km from the ksar.
A few kilometres north of Zagora, this village made up of ancient Kasbahs with adobe walls is traversed by narrow and covered lanes in order to protect passers-by from the ravages of the sun. It houses the Draa Valley Museum of Arts and Traditions and leads to the palm grove.
The small village of Amzrou is next to Zagora in the south once the wadi has passed. The mellah, made up of narrow alleys and underground galleries surrounded by imposing ramparts, is the cradle of a tradition of jewellery craftsmanship initiated by the Jews and pursued by the Berbers.
At the exit, beautiful walks in the palm grove along the river Draa, and further on, the taghadirt, the old lookout post stands above the houses and overlooks the valley, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
In the south, a village of adobe famous for its very special dark green ceramic craftsmanship, as well as the 4,000 religious and scientific manuscripts preserved in the village’s Koranic library.
25 km from Zagora, the dunes of Tinfou give a foretaste of the desert, bivouac, nomad tents and camels at the foot of the dunes.
At the exit, beautiful walks in the palm grove along the river Draa, and further on, the taghadirt, the old lookout post stands above the houses and overlooks the valley, offering unobstructed views of the surroundings.
Banks are generally open Monday to Saturday from 8:45 am to 3:45 pm, the post office is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:15 pm and some cybercafés run along Mohammed V Avenue, the main artery of the city.
You will find your daily newspaper, with a delay of 1 to 2 days, at thePaper bookshop ‘ el Majd’ avenue Mohammed V.
Africa petrol station is located on Mohammed V Avenue at the northern entrance to Zagora.
Hotels and guest houses in Zagora
There are some cheap hotels in Zagora; however, you will find some of them near Mohammed Avenue V.
Below, in the direction of Amzrou, begins the hotel area where beautiful residences offer bed and breakfast. Several campsites have settled at the edge of the palm grove along the road which leaves on the left once the bridge crosses.
At 165 km from Zagora, Ouarzazate International Airport is the closest, but not the best served.
Bus and bus station
The bus station is located on the road to Ouarzazate, 2.5 km from the city centre. Daily connections in to M’ hamid.
In the opposite direction: towards Ouarzazate then in function: Agadir, Marrakech, Tinghir…
CTM and Supratours
The CTM and Supratours branches are located Avenue Mohammed V.
- To Ouarzazate and Marrakech: a daily link
- To M’ Hamid: daily connection by CTM only.
Bivouacs and excursions in Zagora
Most of the excursions proposed in Zagora will take you to the arid desert slopes to spend the night under a starry sky in the heart of the erg Chegaga dunes.
The region has beautiful sights, historical villages and in the hamada plains, fossils and meteorites, the agencies offer a large choice of excursions.
With transfers to and from Marrakesh or Agadir
With the Tourist Office, the series’ à la rencontre de…’ makes us discover Mohamed Ahansal. Marathon runner from Zagora, he wins four times the marathon des sables, a very hard race under extreme temperatures.
Sports itinerary started early with running to and from school. Races in the wilderness before seriously starting an international career.
Zagora film festival
A good report France 24, starting with beautiful Saharan views of the surroundings of Zagora to present the ninth edition of the Trans-Saharan Film Festival. Workshops, writing competitions, good initiations to the desert gates for the young people of the region to learn that the environment is not just a simple setting, however magical it may be.
After two days of theory, a practical realization. Young people are already dreaming of a film school, and much more.
Between desert and oasis
From very beautiful images and discoveries in the desert light. A méharée walking on a nice music.
The oued Draa, the valley’s soul, flows abundantly from its source into palm groves. Superb villages and kasbahs dotting the oases of the Draa, rock carvings dot its course.
Two million date palms and other crops scattered throughout the six oases of the valley take advantage of its benefits before it is lost in the desert.