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To see and to do in the surroundings

Morocco owns a large landscape diversity. 4 very specific geographic areas cover this territory.

North and Riff's region, lined with the mediterranean coast (Tanger, Chefchaouen…), the atlantic coast (Rabat, Essaouira, Agadir) which is a rich and agricultural region, and Atlas mountain range from North-East to South-West (medium Atlas, high Atlas and anti-Atlas), a real climatic barrier you will have to get over to reach the moroccan grand South with a drier weather and green oasis like the Drâa valley.

We present here this moroccan grand South. It has been for a long time the scene of the big getting through of merchant caravans going to Tombouctou.

Some representative cities : Ouarzazate, Merzouga, Zagora, Tata, etc.…

Ouarzazate


Crossroad of two big valleys, Drâa valley and Dadès valley, this city owns a very old Ksar and the Taourite Kasbah.

To be visited : film studios at the town entrance coming from Marrakech. Let's remind you that famous movies have been realized there (Laurence of Arabi, Kundun of Martin Scorsese and many others).
The majestic Grand Taourite Kasbah is worth the detour, as well as the very old ksar with an architecture exceptional and representative of the grand South. Outside of the city Mansour dam is a big  water tank for the town and the controlled irrigation of Drâa valley.

From Ouarzazate to Agdz – The anti-Atlas road



The road leading to Agdz offers a succession sight of mountains (anti-Atlas), plateau and mineral deserts of shimmering colours. 70 km between Ouarzazate and Agdz. If you go by car make sure to have enough fuel.

You are now in berber country ….. This old caravan road going to the famous city of Tombouctou borders the Drâa Oasis from Agdz along 80 km. It is a green bridge between mountain and desert. The Drâa river gave birth to a vast date palm oasis 200km-long at anti-Atlas bottom. This valley leading to desert doors has been covered for a long time by nomads, and Drâa inhabitants had to fortify their houses (casbahs) and their villages (Ksour).

On the road, before reaching Agdz, you find the trail going to Tizgi rainfall (10km). It is a surprising place with a small water hole to get fresher.

Agdz and its area




In Mezguita area Agdz is now a mean city of around 15000 inhabitants.

If you choose to stay a few days take advantage of this to discover the Drâa valley Oasis which represents the region fame. You will find in these 6 palmgroves following the Drâa Wadi bed a very diversified subsistence agriculture : lucerne, wheat, henna, diverse vegetables …… and fruit trees : orange tree, date palms, olive trees, almond trees, pomegranate trees, vines…..

It is a privileged environment where you can easily observe in the shade of the palms an incredible multitude of bird species. A perfect place to rest, enjoy the fresh air, do nothing, be simply in harmony with the nature where life goes slowly.

You will find on the main square the date souk, the vegetable souk and a lot of shops. At the city exit, the big souk attracts the population of all surrounding villages. Don't miss it !
A Hammam in the city : a pleasantful experience. One building is  reserved for women and another one for men.

Go trekking on the Kissan mountain overhanging the area (best with a guide). Everybody agree that it looks like a Tajine dish.

From Agdz to Zagora – the Drâa valley road




10 km after Agdz you can make out the Tamnougalte village on your left in the palmgrove, where there is an awe-inspiring casbah looking like a fortress belonging to the old Mezguita capital.

On this road leading to desert, you can see along the landscapes a lot of douars (villages), Casbahs (big fortified abodes) and ksours (old city-states). These abodes are as proud as men of this country, they impose themselves and fight since the mists of time against  chergui (desert wind).

Don't hesitate to stop or to make a detour through a douar to see them closer.
At the end of the day enjoy the sunset spreading its glimmering colours intensifying contrast between green palmgrove and ochre mountains.

From Zagora to M’Hamid – the road to desert doors




Desert starts at Zagora's exit. It is a mineral desert streching until Ouled Driss and then M’Hamid at desert doors.

18 Km after Zagora you pass by Tamegroute a small potter village owning a famous mosque with blue faience roofs and white minarets. Further into the village you can visit its koranic library created in the XVI century and holding superb illuminated korans.     
Everywhere in the village a lot of potters are in activity and present the famous green enameled pieces. There's also an artisan potter cooperative.

Ouled Driss is a fortified village (Ksar). It is different by its authentic architecture : pisé houses and observation towers from the tribal war age. Covered lanes lead to a central square. You will find there in a traditional casbah a small and very interesting berber culture museum.

From Ouled Driss you can go for a camel trek of one or more days and bivouac in the desert.



A loop tour from agdz

After Agdz, 20 km further by going down along the Drâa valley, turn left to N’koob, Merzouga, Elrrachidia and go up along the Dadès valley by the south, Tinhérir, Boulmane of Dadès, Khala M’gouna, Skoura and Ouarzazate.

N'Koob


Small city of 43 Kasbahs

Erfout and Merzouga sand dunes

Desert streches until algerian territory along hundreds of kilometers. Possibility to do camel treks and to bivouac in the desert.

Tinjdad – Oasis museum

We recommend to all travelers to go there. They will find a surprising and very well locally integrated  concept. Museum and hostel. A real gold mine of informations about berber culture. Thematics like history, heritage, religion, customs, agriculture… are very well developed and open knowledge doors at the widest mean. The place is very charming.

Dadès Valley, "the rose valley"


Located between the Sarho djébel and the High-Atlas mountain, the Dadès Wadi winds along an arid and desert landscape to supply an oasis series. Among its numerous casbahs you can notice those of el Kabbaba, Dar Aïchil, Dar Aït Souss and Amerhidi.  

Rose culture is a very important activity allowing to extract the famous « rose water » and other products that you can find in many shops.

Tinhérir city

Real merchant exchanges croassroad, dynamic city worth seeing.

Todra Gorges


High and narrow cliffs (max = 300 m). A tarred road allows to go  quite far into the superb gorges by following the river bed. Then a trail takes over.

Dadès Gorges

A cold river runs along these gorges.

The Skoura palmgrove and its numerous casbahs

And back to Ouarzazate ……….

Have a nice trip !








 
 

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BP 99 - 45100 AGDZ - Province de Zagora
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