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Heading south-east from Ouarzazate, you cross the Jebel Sarhro massif, twisted and eroded into weird onion-dome shapes, into the Draa Valley, a wider, less rugged river course.

The broad gravel plains of the river bed are planted with palms stretching as far as the eye can see, protected by a network of pisé walls and kasbahs now gracefully melting away as their defensive functions are no longer required.

Around the Draa Valley

The valley peters out near the settlements of Zagora and Tinfou, where a lone sand dune sits puzzlingly in the middle of a vast gravel plain, shadowing a sign reading ‘Tombouctou 51 jours’.

Fifty-one days, that is, by camel — a measurement dating from the days when Morocco exerted control right across the Sahara into Mali.

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Map of the Draa Valley

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near the Draa Valley