Zagora Travel Guide

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    One of the few photos that you can't...
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  • Zagora
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  • Zagora
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Zagora Highlights

  • Pro
    angiebabe profile photo

    angiebabe says…

     good choice of hotels for a stopover after a stunning drive down the Draa Valley or as a base for the sights around the area such as on further to the sahara sands and stunning Beni Slimane Pass 

  • Con
    suvanki profile photo

    suvanki says…

     Camel riding can be VERY uncomfortable! 

  • In a nutshell
    deeper_blue profile photo

    deeper_blue says…

     Gateway to the desert 

Zagora Things to Do

  • Tinfou dunes

    After driving along about 5 km of flat and stoney terrain to the left comes into sight an orangeish dune of sand in the distance - quite unusual really - and this has been named the 'dunes of Tinfou'.There are camels there at the ready for the tourists who want to take their maybe first ride 'by camel in the desert' and there are also possibilities...

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  • A Camel trek into the desert

    Our trip was part of an organised 8 day tour Exodus - Marrakech and The Sahara, but it is easy to arrange camel treks into the desert from Zagora independently.We'd set off from Ouarzazate, stopping for lunch in Agdz, before arriving in Zagora mid afternoon. A quick toilet break at the nearby Hotel Kasbah Aamaa, checking our overnight bags and...

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  • Berber camp fire, Zagora

    Time for a Berber sing song - complete with plastic bottle drums and tourists sitting watching absolutely knackered (at least I know I was). Deciding to spend the night in the open rather than in the tents was an interesting experience, with the distant sounds of Berbers still next to the camp fires arguing like mad over Iraq, Israel and Palestine....

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  • Camel riding in the sunset, Zagora

    Nice sunset and even nicer knowing that the lions that lived in the area as little as 20 to 30 years ago no longer exist. Human habitation has wiped out many of the main carnivores that used to live here, including lion and leopard, and in the dim and distant past, cheetah. About the largest carnivore is a small fox with large herbivores (and a few...

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  • Grumpy Victor, Zagora

    ...named after Victor Meldrew, the well known grump on British television. Meet the most miserable camel in Morocco, who along with his fellow camels moaned constantly at having to cart a load of tourists across the desert to a Berber camp.Effective lawn mowers too, as any piece of green in their path instantly disappeared.

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  • Berber and his camel, Zagora

    A pretty picture from a camel ride to a Berber camp in the desert on the way to sleep under the stars. No tips here!!!I can hear the girls swooning now (at least my female travel companions were - darn him for spoiling my chances with the girls just by being there!!!).

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Zagora Hotels

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Zagora Restaurants

  • Couscous at Riad Ksar Malal

    For my second night staying here i was so impressed with the night before's dish that i was contemplating ordering it again but already arranged for me was Harira followed by an impressive Couscous dish.From all the couscous ive tried around Morocco this one was up in the top taste tests - slightly too salty for me but very flavoursome and lots of...

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  • is this the best Tagine ive had yet!!??

    The dining room in the riad hotel has loads of character and with waterfall fountain in the middle of the room rather pleasant. having a candle lit on the table at night is quite a nice addition too. The food was excellent.I was unfortunately so tired or too tired but starving after a long day of taking too many photos enroute the very scenic road...

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  • Snack n Ride

    Ok, so not a restaurant, but a welcome and pleasant foodie experience.About halfway through our camel trek, the man who'd been leading my camel, and the 3 behind mine suddenly stopped, left the camels, and shimmied up this tree.My initial reaction was to wonder why he'd done this, closely followed by the realisation that no one was holding onto the...

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  • Saharan Dining

    After our camel ride to this camp, we had all built up an appetite, and were more than ready to sit on our saddle sore bottoms at our desert camp table.The 2 round tables were just large enough to accomodate our party of 16, plus Mohamed our guide. The cloths were strewn with rose petals.Our starter was the traditional Harira soup, served by our...

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  • excellent Mhamid brochettes

    There was a huge group that took up most of the large verandah - a campervan rally!! about 5 campervans and their occupants so there was a bit of german language going on - but it was still a good place to sit and see Mhamid main street from our lunch table.got a bit of a breeze here and there too to relieve things a bit from the increasing...

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  • Exquisite surroundings, terrific food

    There were several areas where we could eat -- in the courtyard (which we chose), on sofas with tasselled cushions under exotic awnings, or indoors altogether. The service was good, if not crisp, and our waitress was charming. We had two half-bottles of wine (we were staying at the hotel!), tagine of chicken and lemon, tagine makfout (beef), lots...

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Zagora Nightlife

  • Midnight at the Oasis

    As I was part of a group, our evening was spent eating a traditional meal, washed down with a few glasses of wine or beer, and chatting.Entertainment during the meal was provided by a sandstorm blowing in, with a cabaret of nomads hurriedly trying to mend the holes in the roof of our sleeping quarters, where sand was pouring in.For an encore,...

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  • Watching "Berber television" ...

    This is one of my fondest memories in the desert. Sitting on a dune with big blankets on the shoulders and watching the star-studded sky (the "Berber television" as they like calling it) with nice Berbers who were telling us stories or charades. I saw a lot of shooting stars and made a lot of wishes. I can't tell you what it was but I'm sure that...

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  • Singing all night long

    Again, one of my fondest memories. Shame on us who sing false ! Idir, Hussein and Mohammed entertained us with Berber rythmic songs and played music with everything they could find : the table, the glasses, jerry cans. It was amazing.

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Zagora Transportation

  • Track from Foum Zguid to Zagora

    The distance between Foum Zguid and Zagora is 120 KM. Sometimes the track between the two towns was sandy, but luckily the most of the time it was solid. There were a lot of stones on the track and many times our driver couldn't avoid the stones. So we had a flat tyre after some time. We travelled with three landrovers, so the two drivers of the...

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  • Travel by landrover

    We didn't take the Draa Valley to reach Zagora by paved roads, but came from the other side from Foum-Zguid. It is only an unpaved track, so here you need a four-wheel drive. Sometimes the track divided in many tracks, but, if the track headed east and you stayed on the plain between the two mountainridges at the left and right, there was no...

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  • Getting there, getting back

    I travelled to and from Zagora by grande taxi from Ouarzazate: the grande taxis arrive and depart from the old bus station in the middle of the main road through the older part of the town. The main bus station is around a kilometer beyong the northern gate: most of the buses to Ouarzazate depart in the morning.True to form the CTM service remains...

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Zagora Shopping

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  • A desert excursion

    It's a little shop on the principal street of Zagora (avenue Mohammed V). We were greet there by Douini the owner and a cup of tea. The shop is mostly selling some berber clothes and some silver jewel. But you can find the cheapest desert tour of all Zagora! Remember that BARGAIN is the name of the game!!! For a day trip to the desert we paid 350...

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  • Gibe me your very,very,very,very best...

    The shop has all kinds of stuff stocked. Carpet, jewelry, crafts, lamps etc. It's small but big enough to show you every carpet you want and to make you a fresh mint tea.The shops owner is a very nice person. He invited us in just for luck. Sales goes the Berber way, you should not pay more than max 50% of the opening price and take your timeOf...

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  • Zagora Hotels

    17 Hotels in Zagora

    5 Reviews and Opinions

Zagora Local Customs

  • Camels

    The camels we encountered during our trip were mainly dromidaries- the 1 humped model!These ships of the desert have carried man and cargo over the centuries, aiding the Trans- Saharan trading development. Nowadays, their ancestors earn their living by transporting travellers and tourists from near and far, into the Saharan experience. Plus...

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  • Drinking tea again and again !

    Maybe the Berbers drank so much tea because they talked and sang a lot !! As far as I'm concerned, I had never drank so much tea, especially when it's so strong. But it was good anyway.

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  • Mint Tea

    Probably the most popular drink in Morocco. It was introduced in the 19th century by the british (who else?). Here they use the Green Tea (Gunpowder) with mint leaves and sugar.It is not only a drink (better than water for the thirsty moments) but a tradition and a ceremony (they prepare it pouring it from one glass to another). If you are offered...

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Zagora Warnings and Dangers

  • The Desert!

    Well although our overnight camp wasn't that far from civilisation- (we could see the lights of the town, and 4x4's passed nearby quite frequently) we were aware that we were still in the desert.A sandstorm blew up while we were eating our meal, which was a bit of an inconvenience!Some of our party had enquired if they could sleep outside, if it...

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  • The kids

    Hanging out around the hotels are "the kids" it's annoying at first but they're actually pretty harmless. Here's how the system works - The local shop owners send their teenage sons out to hang around the hotels and bother the tourists until they can lead them back to the family shop, where dad will sell them stuff. They've got all kinds of goofy...

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Zagora What to Pack

  • Desert Overnighter

    A small rucksack - enough just to carry overnight suppliesThe camels carry these bags on your saddle - sleeping bags etc are carried in panniers. Comfy loose fitting trousers /cut offs, long sleeved shirt for sun protection, hat or scarf, sunglasses.Sandals are ok for riding the camels, but if walking, there are some sharp thistle/cactus type...

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  • Take as less as you can

    Just take a little bag so that it's not to heavy for the dromedary. -Don't forget to take some water. -A "cheich" can be very useful too in the desert : it protects against the sun, the wind, the cold ... -Warm clothes for the night. -A sleeping bag if you have one (otherwise, you'll have warm blankets anyway). -Toilet paper can also be useful...

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  • Pack for hot climate

    Morocco can be very hot, especially from March to October, so don't forget to bring some light clothes, T-Shirts and shorts.Bring some warm clothes too, if you are planning to go to the desert (it get's really cold at night), and some long trousers if you want to visit mosques and religious buildings.

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Zagora Off The Beaten Path

  • visit a ksar

    Walk through the ksar behind the Riad Ksar Malal which is part of the ksar but newly restored to create a lovely hotel and place to stay and see the area. 17 km north of Zagora on the Draa Valley road it makes a good base to see the surrounds and travel into Zagora and further south to other attractions such as Tamgroute, Tinfou, Mhamid and the...

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  • A desert excursion

    I guessed it's off the beaten path of the normal Imperial City tour. It's quit a thing to do 1,3 or 5 in some berber tents.

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  • Tinfou Dunes

    About 23 KM south of Zagora are theTinfou Dunes. These are some isolated sanddunes. Here we got just a a small taste of the desert. We made a short camelride, just for fun. It was a pity, the cameldrivers didn't allow us to ride on our own.Such a short touristic camelride gave not a comparable feeling as a cameltrip of more days, we did the year...

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Zagora Favorites

See all 10 Favorites in Zagora
  • Deciding on dunes of Mhamid/Zagora or...

    Ive got some pages of my visits around the area - the road to Mhamid is fine by normal car - BUT if you want to go into the desert you will need a 4x4 from there - there are agencies with 4x4s to take you into the full on sahara desert of Erg Chigaga or some that just take you into the nearby sandy hamada desert with some small dunes - you will...

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  • Zagora Practicalities

    HOTELS AND ALTERNATIVESZagora has a very good offer of hotels in all price ranges. There is a handful of budget offers, and three 4/5-star hotels. Prices are at a normal Moroccan level. RESTAURANTS AND ALTERNATIVESBeyond the restaurants which are found in most hotels, there is little in Zagora to make hungry travellers enthusiastic. But the hotel...

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  • On tour with the king

    During our four day landrovertour we were always in the same area as the king was on tour.We didn't see him personally, only his portraits like this one at the roundabout in Zagora. Zagora and all the towns and villages on the route were decorated with many red and green flags.Sometimes the king was very near. Than the road was blocked or we could...

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Explore Deeper into Zagora
Date Palms - Antiatlas.
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Tombouctou, 52 jours
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A camel trek into the desert 3
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Once a famous centre of learning
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Oulad Driss
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Sunrise in the Sahara
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Timbuktu sign
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A Camel trek into the desert 4
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A camel trek into the desert 2
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take the chance to see the ksar mosque
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Beni Selmane Pass - Zagora to Mhamid
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see the animals in the desert
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4x4 thru stoney desert to Chigaga
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visit the Sahara sands of Chigaga from Mhamid
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take a tour around ksar malal
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M'hamid, last oasis before the great sahara
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Drive to the end of the road at Mhamid!
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village and ksar of Tamegroute
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Amezrou Kasbah des Juifs
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Spectacular Jebel Zagora
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the famed '52 days by camel to Timbuktu' sign
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Camel trek
Transportation
Overnight in a tent.
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Of course, this is why you're here...
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Climbing up the rocks
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Arrive in Zagora
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Bus ride to Ouarzarzate
Transportation
About the Draa Valley
Things to Do
Riding thru the Draa Valley (part VI)
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Riding thru the Draa Valley (part IV)
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Riding thru the Draa Valley (part III)
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Riding thru the Draa Valley (part II)
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Riding thru the Draa Valley (part I)
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Chicken lemon Tajine
Restaurants
Before leaving
Transportation
Follow the guide !
Transportation
On a camel
Transportation
Riding with a dromedary!
Things to Do
Sleeping in a berber tent!
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Sunset in the desert
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Map of Zagora

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