Draa Valley, Morocco’s longest river
The Draa Valley extends from Ouarzazate to the Sahara Desert in Morocco’s southernmost region. This luscious oasis is an enchanting place that features Berber settlements, majestic Kasbahs, undulating sand dunes, verdant fields of grasslands, and the snow-capped Atlas Mountains along with numerous palms trees stretching beyond sight and its iconic river – The majestic Draa; Morocco’s longest river!
Imagine standing in the middle of a vast desert landscape, tracing the path of an ancient river that once flowed for hundreds of kilometers until it reached the Atlantic. Although much of this mighty river has since dried up, its legacy lives on through one of Morocco’s most beautiful terrains. Follow in the footsteps (or rather, flow) of history and discover what makes this region so special today.
Pre-historic existence in Draa Valley
The grandeur of the Draa Valley is not only limited to its extraordinary landscape; it has a legacy spanning thousands of years, evidenced by the prehistoric drawings and engravings located in this area. It was here that researchers found an ancient statuette known as Venus from Tan-Tan – one of the earliest sculptures ever discovered. Furthermore, previously being renowned for its significance as a major stop on trans-Saharan trade routes along with being considered a vital hub for Jewish, Arab Berber, and Christian civilizations makes alluring beauty even more captivating.
Draa Valley, home to various nomadic tribes
The valley was a battleground for various nomadic tribes during the 17th and 18th centuries, resulting in its reputation as home to numerous Kasbahs. These fortified structures served both as protection from enemies during sieges and also housed tribal leaders along with their families. Constructed using mud and straw sourced from Draa river banks, these fortresses-cities were equipped with mosques, public baths, stores, and gardens to cater to all needs of inhabitants while enduring extreme temperatures. Even today, many remain inhabited, such as Amezrou, Tamnougalt, El Caid Ouslim, Ait Hammou Ousaid, and Touririt, which are among the most famous ones in this region.
The Berbers of Draa Valley
The Berbers of the Draa Valley have preserved their rich history, culture, and fame through generations. They continue to live in a way that is reminiscent of their ancestors – riding donkeys, washing clothes in the river, and building houses with clay. Visiting this place will transport you back to an ancient time when traditions are still valued above modernity. It’s hard to believe that just a few hours away lies Marrakesh, one of Morocco’s most cosmopolitan cities!
Tourism in Draa Valley nowadays
The blissful Draa Valley is turning into one of Morocco’s most sought-after tourist spots due to its picturesque scenery and rich background. As a result, many highly equipped hotels have surfaced along the valley – offering tourists a chance to experience magnificent mountain treks or take camel rides across the deserts, marveling at sights such as Chgaga or Tinfou dunes while being treated with starry nights in utter serenity, all for an affordable cost!