After the High Atlas Mountain range lays a mysterious, surreal and stunning landscape. This is the heart of old Morocco - the pre Sahara desert in North Africa.
It's like stepping back in time into an all forgotten world; a world of fortified villages, Berber castles (Kasbahs) and abandoned Foreign Legion outposts. These were all once major stop off points on the camel routes between Marrakech and the great trading capitals of the Sahara.
The journey here is an experience in itself. The road from Marrakech takes you up to the very top of the Atlas forests at an altitude of 7,400 feet in the area known as Col de Tichka. Then it drops down suddenly into the spectacular landscape of Ouarzazate.
The main towns in this area are Ouarzazate, Zagora, Erfoud and Errachidia. The vast, unending spaces between them are what can only be described as magnificent. The roads that connect the towns have exceptionally good surfaces. This is probably the most memorable part of the Sahara.
Although they're nothing compared to the surrounding landscape, each town in the area has its own unique character and is well worth a visit.
The Sahara region is where you'll find one of the most diverse and dramatic landscapes in Morocco. It's a land of epic mountain peaks through which through which the rivers Draa and Dades flow. With snow on one side and semi-desert on the other, it's as fascinating as it is enticing.
The Moroccan rail system runs along two branches: from Casablanca to Oujda, and from Tangier to Marrakech. Second-class travel is quite comfortable for most journeys. In summer, note that first class ensures...
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