Photo Series: Road Trip To Zagora

If you’re in Marrakech, short on time and in need of an escape from the craziness that is the Djemaa el-Fna, look no further than a nice two-day trip out to Zagora. It may not be the amazing Merzouga desert experience that everyone recommends (and which I sadly missed out on), but it’s a wonderful experience nonetheless.

Eight eager travellers and a guide headed out in a van on an overnight road trip to Zagora one fine morning. We were rather quiet at first, but a lovely English guy (thanks, Spencer!) started the ball rolling by introducing himself and his friend, Alex. And we found out the rest of the gang consisted of a couple from Portugal and two girls from Argentina. Add in two Malaysian girls and we were good to go.

Thankfully, there were some very interesting stops along the way – the Atlas Mountain range, Ourzazate and Aït-Benhaddou. These much-needed stops and the melodic music our guide Abdul played in the van made the winding roads a lot more bearable.

zagora_roadtrip1_atlasmountainsBonjour, Atlas Mountain Range!

zagora_roadtrip2_aitbenhaddouThe magnificent Aït-Benhaddou which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And no, I did not see any actors from Game of Thrones hanging around.

zagora_roadtrip3_aitwalkA long walk up to the top. But we were up for it.

zagora_roadtrip4_kasbahOne of the villagers in the kasbah. I just hope I didn’t surprise him with my camera.

Wait a minute! You may be wondering where the photos for Ourzazate are?! To be honest, I did not find it all THAT interesting. Maybe because the film studio wasn’t open for visitors at the time. And we stayed around for only about one to two hours to wander off on our own and re-charge for the rest of the journey. At least, we managed to hang out with the lovely Spencer and Alex and exchanged tales of travelling. That’s always a good thing ;)

Right. Back to the photos then.

zagora_roadtrip5_viewOk, we’re almost there, guys. But, let me stay here for a bit to take this shot. And rest from the heat and uphill climb. This also explains why the shot is a little crooked. My bad!

zagora_roadtrip6_aittopWe’ve made it to the top of Aït Benhaddou. Hurrah!

zagora_roadtrip7_walktopI think we were also rather excited to have found some shade.

zagora_roadtrip8_aitgoodbyeAfter admiring the gorgeous view from above, we headed back to the van. And we bid adieu to this magnificent sight.

zagora_roadtrip9_desertmorningOur little tents where we spent the night. I had one of my best sleeps ever in that tent. It could have been the journey that knocked me out though.

zagora_roadtrip10_desertsunriseGood morning, sunshine!

zagora_roadtrip11_sunriseEveryone had spread out to take in the wonderful desert sunrise.

zagora_roadtrip12_footI was just happy to have my feet in the sand. And not just ANY sand – the desert sand!!

zagora_roadtrip13_camelsrestingOur camels resting while we were busy having breakfast. They didn’t seem all that happy that we were taking our own sweet time.

zagora_roadtrip14_argentiniansEveryone’s packed and ready to head back to the awaiting van. Riding a camel certainly was a fun experience. I honestly think they have a certain charm about them and are full of character. Also, I got to live out my “Lawrence of Arabia-soundtrack-in-my-head” dream.

zagora_roadtrip15_camelsleavingWait for me, guys! Don’t leave me out here!

zagora_roadtrip16_buddiesTeam Zagora – England, Argentina, Portugal, Malaysia represented . Plus our guide, Abdul

The entire trip was filled with stunningly scenic landscapes, beautiful Senegalese music, Moroccan mint teas, camels, sand everywhere, good food, a most fantastic sleep, more sand everywhere, a campfire with local Berber music and the most wondrous night sky bursting with stars. And not to forget, a very good bunch of people and some new formed friendships.

I hope to return to Morocco someday to live out a longer desert experience in Merzouga. Until then, these lovely memories of Zagora will do just fine.

This post was part of #MondayEscapes

Packing my Suitcase

9 Comment

  1. You had me at Marrakech! I sighed from the beginning to the end of the post, haha. I really want to visit Morocco and I keep adding new places on the “To see in Morocco” list. Thanks a lot! :P

    1. You’re welcome, Vlad. And thanks for the sighing at my post. Hahaha. I don’t blame you. I was doing the same as I truly miss Morocco. I hope you do get to see this amazing country for yourself. It is intoxicating!

  2. What an incredible trip … I want to spend time in the Moroccan desert now too!

    1. Oh, Meghan. It truly was! Such a special time for me. And I can’t wait to return. I hope you’ll get your chance soon enough :)

  3. Amazing photos, Kavitha!! And what an incredible experience. I’m obsessed with returning to Morocco to spend a night in a tent and ride a camel in the desert, which I didn’t get to do last time!

    1. Thank you, G! You would love the whole desert experience. And just like you, I am also obsessed with returning to Morocco. Truly magical.

  4. Amazing!! I haven’t seen this post of yours before! What an experience… I would love to do that, sleep in the desert, wow… to my bucket list now!!! I loooooved the photos <3 <3

    #MondayEscapes :D

    1. Thank you so much, Allane. I loved every minute of my time out there. And I hope to return to Morocco someday for a full-on desert experience in Merzouga. I hope you do too ;)

      1. You’re welcome dear!!
        I really hope visit it soon!! I always hear great things about it.
        Ohhh Merzouga? Full-on desert experience? That sounds great!!

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