Zagora & Dunes of Tinfo


ITINERARY

Pick up at the Your Riad or Hotel in Ouarzazate at 9:00am.

►Begin your one-day excursion to Zagora.  Zagora is a Saharan desert town in the southern Draa Valley. Zagora is favored by travelers for its desert dunes, palms, 45 varieties of dates and its Hollywood sunset mountain backdrops. Take the road by pise (windy road) to discover the land where caravans once transported sugar, tea, dates and other dry goods to Ouarzazate.

►Zagora is referred to as the “direct door to the Sahara” since it is the last town before one reaches the heart of the Dunes of Tinfo, M’hamid and Erg Chegaga.

►Drive along the long palm tree oasis that produces dates and is known for it’s trade routes, volcanic rock and date palmeries in the Draa Valley region. Pass thethe the village of Agdz and visit the panoramic view which boasts spectacular scenery of the Draa palmery filled with date palms. The earthy, massive adobe structures seen along the route are divided into houses that serve as habitations for families of these Kasbah villages where life has continued unchanged over many centuries.

►Visit Kasbah Tamnougalt. Tamnougalt is a village in the Draa River valley in Morocco, 95 kilometers south of Ouarazate. The village is close to Agdz and has a famous kasbah. It is the former capital of the Mezguita region and residence of former caïds. Its name means ‘meeting point’ in Tachelhit. Each year, in the first week of October the Moussem Ellama is held, a cultural and religious festival for all villages in the neighbourhood. The history of Tamougalt is connected with that of the oasis Mezguita of which it was the capital. When it was built is unknown. Tamnougalt was possibly a garrison in the Saadian epoch. Its political and economic role began with the coming of the caid of Taleb El Hassan. He was made caid by the Alaouite sultan in the 18th century.

Walk the palmery and hamlet set amid lemon, almond and olive trees, and gardens of the village of Amazrou. Visit the former Mellah (Jewish quarter), where a mosque now stands. Amazrou is inhabited by Arabs, Haratines and Berbers who continue the Jewish tradition of silver making. Amezrou, also home to the old Jewish Kasbah, was once the center of life for a community of talented jewelers. Most of the Jewish people are no longer there, however Berber craftsmen have taken over the tradition and their workshops are open to the public.

►Take a camel excursion across the Dunes of Tinfo and visit the old Kasbah Ait Lkaid in the village of Tamegroute.  At the end of the main road you will find the famous road sign to Timbuktu that reads “52 jours” – 52 hours by camel.

►The Dunes of Tinfo (as well as many other sand dunes in Morocco) are famous for their healing qualities for rheumatoid arthritis. Ask your guide to bury you in the sand from head to toe for this a 20 minute spa-like experience.

►Enjoy lunch at a local Kasbah restaurant in the town of Zagora or learn bread baking and have lunch with a a Moroccan Family in a Berber Village

►Visit Tamegroute, a village located in the heart of of Zagora, has a Koranic Library that once held 40,000 volumes and theological college dating from the 11th century.  The library contains a collection of illuminated Korans, the oldest of which are written on gazelle skins. These Korans are the some of the most precious manuscripts in Southern Morocco.

►The holy village of Tamegroute’s claim to fame through out history is the beautiful pottery created that has a glaze made of henna and is sun dried. Take time out to learn first hand how the pottery is made and glazed. Try spinning it on a local wheel by hand.

►Upon return to Ouarzazate we will take the road back through the Draa Valley’s mystical Berber villages with a first hand look at local, traditional dress of the regional people living there. Option to stop on return for tea in a Berber home or shop in one of the charming, dusty Saharian towns for precious and unique Southern Moroccan pieces.

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