The Great Oasis Valleys: Places to Explore

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Djebel Sarhro and Nekob

If you pick the southern oasis route, don't miss the chance to stay in Nekob, Morocco's most kasbah-filled village. Locals have come up with all sorts of reasons for why there are 45 of them. The amusing and believable theory is that members of a rich extended family settled here in the 18th and 19th centuries and quickly set to work trying to out-build and out-impress each other. There's little in the way of showing off in the village today. The children are wild and the place a little untouched for the moment.

Just when you thought there's nothing to do here but pass through, you find out that the trekking potential to the north of town stretches as far as Boumalne du Dadès, 150 km (93 mi) away and on the northern oasis route. It's a five-day trek to Tagdift or Iknioun to the north. You can pick up handmade carpets and head scarves made by local women at the weekly Sunday souk. Or you can do very little; simply sit back, stare over the palmery, and enjoy. At the moment, Nekob is a nature-lover's dream; it may not be like this in 10 years' time, so get here soon.

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