Desert city Zagora

This desert city right above the Sahara is a must visit whenever you find yourself in Morocco. Not only does it have this charming dusty desert vibe, the journey to get there is worth your while as well. It goes straight through the heart of the Draa Valley. A valley filled with luscious green date palms.

In Zagora we stayed at Ma Villa au Sahara. A very aesthetically pleasing kasbah, surrounded by a colourful blooming garden. What a lovely feeling to just relax in the hot, dry and dusty South. The following morning we woke to the sound of cheerful Arabic voices. The kitchen was filled with women baking msmen, beghrir and batbout. Those were served to us, still warm and with delicious homemade jams. One of the jams was even made of green tomatoes.

Zagora serves as a stunning base camp to explore nearby places. Via the N9 you can get to Tamegroute quite quick. This small village’s name literally means ‘last place before the Sahara’. Apart from that, it is the home base of the increasingly popular Tamegroute pottery. It won’t surprise you that this is where you find the traditional craft shops of the families who introduced Morocco to this green coloured pottery. It is the perfect place to learn about the production process and to buy some pottery directly from the source.

In Tamegroute you can also find the Koran Library La Zaouia Naciria. This library contains some of the oldest writings on parchment and gazelle leather. It is a sacred place often visited by pilgrims. And it has an important Sufi Islamic school too. Located right next to Tamegroute is Jnane-Dar Diafa. Over there you can enjoy some delicious food in a garden decorated with traditional Berber tents.

If you drive even further towards the South, you will eventually reach M’hammid. In fact, this is the actual last place before the Sahara. And it also happens to be the place where we met for the first time about 7 years ago.