Ouarzazate originally was a small trader town enroute to Europe and northern cities in Morocco and was a garrison town ...
Zagora is a modern market town in a beautiful part of the Draa valley which is famous for the roses, thousands upon thousands of rose bushes. Palm trees and oasis abound in this region and at the end of the main street is a mock-serious road sign to Timbuctu – “52 days to Timbuctu”. The dramatic mountain range rises up from behind the town.
There are some remains of the Almoravid Fortress on top of the Zagora Mountain. Originally it was called ‘Tazagourt’, Berber for ‘twinpeaks’, referring to the form of the mountain. In old European maps Zagora Mountain is already indicated although Zagora was built up by the French troops after the difficult victory of Tafilalet Battle, that took place between 1916 and 1932.
Festivals in Zagora are always entertaining, with the Moussem of Moulay Abdelkader Jilali, being celebrated during the Mouloud and other national festivals, such as the Fete du Trone.
However, the main reason for visiting Zagora is to head into the Sahara desert. It stretches across most of North Africa and is almost the size of the United States. The part that is reached easily from Zagora is rolling sand dunes, which change colour depending on the time of day. Sparse vegetation mainly in the form of a few sprigs of grass are dotted in the massive dunes and every now and again you see the footprints of some of the hardy animals that brave the desert. A night out under the stars with silence all around is truly unforgettable.