Travel to Draa Valley – Ksour, Kasbahs & Palm Groves
Located south of the High Atlas mountains, the stunning Draa Valley, lined with old Kasbahs, Ksour and palm groves, spreads from Ouarzazate in the west to Zagora in the east. A drive through the valley is undoubtedly one of the most scenic journeys in Morocco.
The River Draa starts in the High Atlas and has, over many years, cut a channel between the Jebel Saghro and the Anti Atlas mountain ranges, making sheer canyons famous for their colourful rocks.
Arabs, Berber, Jew and descendants of Mauritanian slaves all live in the valley, which is scattered with old fortified villages, known as ‘Ksour’ where the villagers lived to protect themselves from marauding nomads. Many of the Ksour are still bustling communities that are worthy of a visit. The Draa river often dries up and rarely manages to make it all the way to the Atlantic.
The valley contains a wealth of Kasbahs and Ksour. After crossing the stark desert plateau of Jebel Tifernine, the hills give way to canyons on the climb to Tizi n’Tinifift Pass (1698 m). To the north are the foothills of the High Atlas, and to the east, the Jebel Saghro range. Reaching Agdz, the route follows a sequence of oases leading to Zagora. Main attractions include the majestic Ksar of Tamnougalt and Timidert Kasbah.
A day could easily be spent exploring the villages and palm groves in the valley to get a real taste of local life. Birdwatching is also a possibility.
The Draa Valley is very scenic – take your journey slowly to really appreciate the landscapes, date palm plantations, fields and kasbahs.
The Draa Valley road extends for some 96 km between Agdz and Zagora (with a further 69 km to Ouarzazate). It is a relatively easy self-drive route, though a 4WD with driver/guide will allow access to a little-used off-road track which runs through the valley, away from the main road, north of the river.
- Explore the Ksar of Tamnougalt and enjoy fine views
- Take a look inside one of the palm groves adjoining the river
- Enjoy the dreamlike scenery on a slow drive to Zagora