Zagora & The Draa Valley

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The Draa Valley tends not to get the attention and adoration of its northerly neighbours, the Dades and Todra Valleys, but it’s just as worthy of attention and beginning to rival them. It has the Erg Chigaga, a sand sea larger, wider, more remote and more untouched than the better-known Erg Chebbi – a must for real desert-lovers. It has palm plantations that seem to fill the valley floor to bursting point, constrained only by steep valley sides and crumbling pisé (mud-brick) walls, it has dramatic kasbahs and unchanged ksour (fortified villages) and the remains of one of the most preeminent libraries and centres of learning in Morocco. Zagora is the obligatory unlovely modern administrative centre but is the heart of the tourism trade and plays an important role. All told, the Draa Valley has everything the aforementioned more illustrious valleys have, and is an excellent alternative, especially if you’re looking to escape the crowds.

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