Zagora is a small provincial town in the Drâa-Tafilalet region of southeastern Morocco. Once a year, the district hosts the Festival of the Nomads in the neighboring village of M’hamid, where all the regional tribes gather to celebrate their peculiar culture.
Zagora is a small city in the Draa River valley in southeastern Morocco, located about 162 km east of Ouarzazate on the road N9. The city is well known for its sign that points out that Timbuktu is 52 days away by camel. Once Zagora was a trade camel caravans road to Mali. The wide avenue Mohammed V where are all necessary services and shops are located, crosses Zagora. The market day takes place on Wednesday and Sunday. Zagora is a popular destination for adventure tourists who are seeking the desert experience. Most visitors chose to spend a night in a nomadic camp in the dunes of Nakhla outside town or a multi-day camel trekking.
The Zagora’s climate during the summer is mostly dry and can be very hot during the day. The average temperature is around 45 degrees Celsius. In the other seasons, it can be cold at night, so it’s definitely recommended to take some warm clothes with you even if it’s warmer during the day-time. At the end of April and the beginning of May, there’s a chance of dealing with sandstorms.
M’Hamid El Ghizlane is located about 97 km from Zagora. It is a small oasis village where the real Sahara desert begins and where the asphalt road ends. Every year a 3 days international Nomad Festival is held at M’Hamid. Approximately 60 km from M’Hamid lay the highest sand dunes of Erg Chigaga. Erg Chigaga can be reached only with a four-wheel vehicle (3 hours) or by foot (2 to 3 days).
There are a number of guesthouses, hotels, and riads in the city and the quality varies. Riad Lamane has nice rooms and a beautiful garden in the middle of the palm grove. At the dunes, there are desert camps where you can sleep under thousands of stars or in a Berber tent.
Things to do in Zagora
Below you find a short description of some things that you can do in Zagora, as well as the points of interest.
– You could hike to the top of the magnificent Jebel Zagora to enjoy the dramatic landscape view over the Draa valley.
– Stroll around the palm garden grove in Amazrou. Here you can also do a short camel trek.
– You could take a camel trek to the sand dunes of Nakhla and overnight in a desert camp.
– You could rent a four-wheel vehicle and take a trip to Erg Chigaga and spend one night in the desert.
– Visit Zaouïa Naciria in Tamgrout. The Zaouïa was founded in the 17th century and includes manuscripts of nine hundred years old.
– Visit the market day. The town’s Souk days in Zagora are on Wednesday and Sunday.