Touring Morocco by Bike (11): N’Kob – Zagora
N’Kob – Zagora (95km)
Most of the Southern part of Morocco is flat and dry, It was extremely boring to cycled there, as I did a day trip from N’Kob to the mountain on a dirt road, which evoked my passion for taking a adventure, that’s why I took this unknown route from N’Kob to Zagora.
I headed west from N’Kob, there were a few abandoned buildings that looked like a watchtower next to the road, reminded me the reasons of numerous Kasbahs were built in N’Kob, was because the valley was a strategic position for trading from Sahara to the coast. I turned to a small road after 25km and climbed a small hill to a basin, landscape was not super scenic but I was invigorated of climbing a pass. The road was asphalt until Ait Lahcen, about 15km from the turn, was much better than I expected, it seemed the road was just reconstructed recently.
I went along the periphery of the village, with fields and many palm trees, locals were riding donkeys. I followed a dry valley with layered flat top hills, I couldn’t find any river but the area was lines with palm trees, which was quite special. After 15km, I reached another simple and remote village, but strangely there were several impressive Kasbahs. It seemed there was no inhabitants between two villages, but I saw many women and kids in colorful dresses walking on the road, likely they were going to attend a wedding banquet. But… how long they have to walk?
I turned right from this village, and it was a vast flat land but the road became extremely bad – 25km washboard! It was little tough ride to join back the main road which goes along Draa Valley. I was completely shocked when I saw a broad river with rich running water, when was I saw so much water before? Probably 2 weeks ago at Meski~ Even in those oasis that I passed, I just saw plenty of plants rather than the water source. (Someone told me this ‘wonderful view’ is formed because of irrigation, even in this Draa Valley, which is sufficient for water supply, can do this only in every few months.)
From there I cycled south for the last 15km gently downhill to Zagora, one of the biggest city in the southern Morocco. Draa Valley is very special because it was a historical caravan routes, and I will talk about this more in the next article.
In Zagora, don’t forget to go to the peak of Jebel Zagora, you can have a panoramic view of this important oasis city, which looks like a small village in this endless desert-like area, Palmeraies stretch along the water source and become a giant green river, the scenery was so unforgettable especially during sunset.
Information / Accommodation:
There is a a small cafe at the road junction about 25km from N’Kob, I took the smaller road to Beni zoli, where you can find a restaurant, few km south from there is Camping Oued Draa (GPS: 30.406867, -5.869992)
- Zagor is a popular tourist destination, there are many campsites within 5km from the city, and there are two near the center, Camping Sindibad (GPS: 30.326051, -5.833492) and Jardins de Zagora (GPS: 30.32823, -5.833017), they are both 40-50MAD per day, but seems not as good as where I stay – Oasis Palmier.
- There is no supermarket, the wet market (GPS: 30.329193, -5.838653) near the bus station is the best place for fresh food, and there are also several kiosks near Amezrou.
- Camping Oasis Palmier (30MAD, Hot shower, WI-FI…very slow)
- GPS: 30.323634, -5.825826
- Tel: 0613985231
- Email: email@example.com
- Located on the other side of the river, it’s more quiet and takes about 30minutes to walk to the city center. You can use the table/chair in the campsite, and they has fresh bread in the morning.