What you do not know about Zagora?
Last Updated: May 13, 2023

Mohssin Mazar

Zagora city Located in the middle of the Draa Valley, Zagora is a stopover for travelers to the south of Morocco. Beneath crimson skies, the windswept and sandy town of Zagora offers many opportunities for the surrounding area to stroll through the desert on foot, camel or 4×4.

What you do not know about Zagora city

Zagora seduces adventurers with its captivating beauty and desert charm. The city also offers stunning views of the Sahara Desert, with towering sand dunes as well as vast open landscapes. Travelers can also take camel treks to witness the magnificent sunsets and spend the nights under the starry desert sky. Zagora’s rich history is also evident in ancient kasbahs, such as the well-preserved Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou. As the city also serves as a gateway to the Draa Valley, lush palm groves and traditional Berber villages await exploration. Zagora’s appeal lies in its rugged landscapes, cultural heritage, and promise of desert adventures you will never forget.

Zagora city

Located just a few kilometers from the first desert dunes, Zagora also experienced a renaissance in the 11th century when the Almoravids built this imposing fortress that repelled attackers for centuries. The city’s shady alleys, which run along both sides of Avenue Mohammed V, make for a pleasant stroll. You can reach the heart of Zagora through the imposing Ouarzazate Gate. At the southern end of the city is a well-known signpost for the road that leads to Timbuktu.

Zagora city, located at the threshold of the desert

Zagora, a Moroccan city in the Souss-Massa-Draa region in southern Morocco, Surrounded by a number of beautiful Kasbahs. Near the desert, the landscape takes on a metallic splendor, the radiance of which is reflected in the buildings. With a total area of 2,180,307 hectares and a population of 65,000 inhabitants, it is bordered to the north by the wilaya of Ouarzazate, to the east by Errachidia, to the southwest by Tata, and to the southeast by the Algerian-Moroccan. border. Zagora is also a gold mine for movie buffs and art deco aficionados, as you’ll discover when exploring this beautiful area. Zagora’s cultural diversity is not limited to its architectural monuments, ksours, and kasbahs. The multi-ethnicity of the country makes it a melting pot of African and Arab cultures. Its wealth also lies in its ability to enhance its heritage and integrate it into modernity. Tinfou, M’Hamid, El Ghislane, Chegaga, Erg Lihoudi, and N’Khila have golden   Sand dunes surrounded by a variety of flora, fauna and nature.Zagora is also famous among the palm groves that are the pride of the Draa region. Where explorers who ride camels and drive cars realize the generosity of this desert, which provides them with serenity, purity and holiness.

Zagora city food and traditions

Zagora delights food lovers with its delicious cuisine and cherished traditions. The city offers a taste of authentic Moroccan dishes, including hearty tagines and fragrant couscous. Local specialties such as ‘mashwi’ (slow roasted lamb) and ‘msemen’ (traditional flatbread) tantalise the palate. Zagora’s culinary scene also showcases local ingredients such as dates, almonds and saffron in its cooking. The city also holds traditional tea ceremonies, where mint tea expresses hospitality with sweet pastries. They also keep cultural traditions alive through folk music, dance, and festivals such as the Tinfu Wet Festival, where locals celebrate the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Zagora’s mix of enticing flavors and cherished customs offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of Moroccan culture.

Zagora is a town located in the Draa River basin in the Draa-Tafilalet region of Morocco.

At the base of Mount Zagora, the ruins of an Almoravid fortress are still visible. The precise location of the former Almoravid mosque remains contested. Zagora annually celebrates the moussem (festival) of the Sufi cleric Moulay Abdelkader Jilali. In this city, Moroccan Arabic, Tachelhit, and Tamazight are spoken. A sign at the town’s frontier reads “Tombouctou 52 days,” which is the amount of time it is said to take to reach Timbuktu, Mali, by foot or camel. A mural painting has supplanted the original sign.

Excursions and camping near Zagora city

From the southeast of the city, go up both sides of Mount Zagora. This is a very nice trek that one has to do very early in the morning to see the sunrise and take advantage of the coolness (bring a flashlight). Whereas, after one hour of hiking, you will discover a stunning view of the city and its surroundings. You will see the mighty cliff of Zagora in the distance. Whereas, just a few kilometers southeast of Zagora, you can explore the Tinfo dunes! You will reach for this compact erg for all vehicles and it is very portable. You will also spend the night in a bivouac until you witness the magical sunset and sunrise in the desert. Where Tamegroute, an important religious center in the region, is located nearby. This is the site of the first library in the desert, which contains very valuable ancient manuscripts. Tamegroute is also famous in the nation for its pottery skills. The road passes through the Tensakht Bridge, which leads to the upper Draa Valley. Then travel to Amzrou, a small village at the base of the former “Jewish Kasbah”. This massive 12th century castle is located within a palm grove. While you enjoy sipping mint tea, you can take advantage of the property’s charming gardens. Winding streets lined with mud-brick houses will lead you to the elegant minaret of the mosque in the center of the village. Then go to the market, which is located in the small square in front of the Desert Gate.

Beneficial information

There is a small airport in Zagora. Where you can reach the city also by road (95 km) from Ouarzazate; The journey takes about 3 hours. With daily connections to Ouarzazate, Marrakesh and Casablanca, public transportation in Zagora is very convenient. Also, since Zagora is located at over 700 meters above sea level, it experiences slightly less heat than its neighbors. The region is also already affected by the arid climate: summers are hot (35°C – 42°C), and overnight temperatures at the end of winter can drop to -10°C.

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