The Great Oasis Valleys: Places to Explore


  • Agdz

    Agdz, at the junction of the Draâ and Tamsift rivers, marks the beginning of the Draâ palmery. A sleepy market town and administrative center, Agdz (pronounced ah-ga-dez) has little to offer other than... Read more

  • The Dadès Gorge

    The town of Boumalne du Dadès marks the southern entrance to the Dadès Gorge, which is even more beautiful—longer, wider, and more varied—than its sister, the Todra Gorge. The 63 km (38 mi) of the Dadès... Read more

  • 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... Read more

  • Erfoud

    Exploring A French administrative outpost and Foreign Legion stronghold, this frontier town on the Algerian border has a definite Wild West (in this case, Wild South) feel to it. The military fortress... Read more

  • Merzouga

    A sunrise trip to Erg Chebbi has become a classic Moroccan adventure. A series of café-restaurant-hotels overlooks the dunes, and most run camel excursions out to the top of the dunes, a 45-minute walk... Read more

  • M'Hamid

    Properly known as M'Hamid el-Ghizlane, or Plain of the Gazelles, M'Hamid neatly marks the end of Morocco's Great Oasis Valleys and the end of the asphalt road. The modern village of M'Hamid is not particularly... Read more

  • Ouarzazate

    Ouarzazate is Morocco's Hollywood, and the industry can regularly be found setting up shop in this sprawling desert crossroads with wide, palm-fringed boulevards. Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, Angelina Jolie... Read more

  • Rissani

    Rissani stands on the site of the ancient city of Sijilmassa, Morocco's first independent southern kingdom, which thrived here from the 8th to the 14th century. Founded in 757 by dissident Berbers, who... Read more

  • Tamegroute

    Tamegroute (literally "the last town before the border," an accurate toponym when the Algerian border was closer than it is now) is the home of the Zaouia of Sidi Mohammed Ben Naceur, a sanctuary devoted... Read more

  • Tinfou

    The hamlet of Tinfou is famous for the unique (and very small) sand dunes that circling winds have deposited 2 km (1 mi) north of the Tamegroute–M'Hamid road. Beyond the dunes the sheer cliffs of the Djebel... Read more

  • Tinzouline

    Tinzouline holds an important weekly souk. If you're here on a Monday, take this opportunity to shop and make contact with the many peoples of this southern Moroccan region where communities of Berbers... Read more

  • The Todra Gorge

    The 15-km (9-mi) drive up from Tinerhir to the beginning of the Todra Gorge will take you through lush but slender palmeries, sometimes no wider than 100 feet from cliff to cliff. An inn and a café await... Read more

  • Zagora

    Zagora is—and does feel like—the boundary between the Sahara and what some writers and travelers have referred to as "reality." After Zagora, time and distance are measured in camel days: a famous painted... Read more