The great date-palm oases of the Oued Ziz and the Tafilalt come as near as anywhere in Morocco to fulfilling Western fantasies about the Sahara. They do so by occupying the last desert stretches of the Ziz Valley: a route shot through with lush and amazingly cinematic scenes, from the river’s fertile beginnings at the Source Bleue, the springwater pool that is the oasis meeting point of Meski, to a climax amid the rolling sand dunes of Merzouga. Along the way, once again, are an impressive succession of ksour, and an extraordinarily rich palmery – historically the most important territory this side of the Atlas.

Strictly speaking, the Tafilalt (or Tafilalet) comprises the oases south of Erfoud, its principal town and gateway. Nowadays, however, the provincial capital is the French-built garrison town and administrative centre of Er Rachidia, a convenient pit stop heading north, through the great canyon of the Ziz Gorges, to Midelt and Fez, or east, on a much less-travelled route, to Figuig – an important crossing point into Algeria when the frontier was open.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Morocco features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
7 places to get off the tourist trail in Morocco

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Morocco

Marrakesh? Check. The souks of Fez? Been there, bought that. Jebel Toubkal? Climbed it, twice. So what else does Morocco have in store once you’ve ticked off …

25 May 2017 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook