Tafilalet Oasis: Top Reasons to Visit and Things to Do

If you haven’t been to Tafilalet in Morocco as yet, you should. It is the largest oasis in the world and lies right at the center of the Moroccan Sahara. Tafilalet is located on the Ziz River and surrounded by the magnificent Ziz Valley.

Tafilalet, Photo by Christopher Rose, Flickr

Tafilalet, Photo by Christopher Rose, Flickr

The word “Tafilalet” means jug in Arabic, or to be precise, a jar made from clay, which is used to store water, especially in arid conditions. This Sahara desert oasis Morocco is towards the south of Fez and Meknes regions. It takes a 10 day journey to go from Meknes to Tafilalet, with the Atlas Mountains in the backdrop.

So why visit Tafilalet? What about the things to do at the world’s largest oasis?

Once you get to Tafilalet, you should visit the Hassan Eddkhil dam first, followed by a sightseeing trip to the city of Errachidia. Why not take your breakfast here. You will love the flavored Moroccan tea, which comes with a mlawi, which is basically a pancake that is baked with wood fire. Have a couple of beldi eggs as well, for a sumptuous breakfast.

Stand, teapot & bellows used in preparing mint tea, Rissani, Morocco, via Flickr

Stand, teapot & bellows used in preparing mint tea, Rissani, Morocco, via Flickr

Now that you’ve had your traditional Moroccan breakfast, it’s time to get a glimpse of the traditional rural life of this region. You will find beautifully constructed houses dotting the landscape. You will notice that none of the houses are particularly large.

Then you can visit an organization that is dedicated to manufacturing products made by the local women, called the Wahati cooperative. Here you will find lots of dates, jam, syrup and more, enough to fulfill every culinary taste.

Dates Tafilalet, via Flickr

Dates Tafilalet, via Flickr

Next, it’s time to make your way to Erfoud, a historic region and an archaeologist’s delight that is packed with fossils of Orthoceras and fossilized marble or Ammonites. Here you will get up close and personal with large dinosaur fossils. This is certainly a must visit for families with small children.

vanadinite, goethite, via Flickr

vanadinite, goethite, via Flickr

Okay, you’ve done a lot of sightseeing, and walked a lot amid the beautiful palm trees of the oases. Enjoy your traditional Moroccan dinner and retire for the night.

Up already? Your second day at Tafilalet should begin with a trip to the beautiful Lake Yasmina. Get your best camera with you, as you’re going to get the amazing visuals of flamingos.

You can now mount a camel and go all the way to the highest sand dune in Morocco, Erg Chebbi.

Erg Chebbi, by Christopher Rose, via Flickr

Erg Chebbi, by Christopher Rose, via Flickr

Okay, now it’s time to make your way to Rissani Morocco. At Rissani, you will love taking a stroll through its busy and bustling souk. Shop to your heart’s content and don’t hesitate to bargain – that’s the Moroccan way!

This place was once the center of extraordinary riches, in the period from the 8th to 13th centuries. Do visit the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif.

It’s time to move on. Do visit Jorf, and find out how farming is done at the largest oases in the Sahara desert. You will find the irrigation system, called as the “khattara” or canals of water, to be of a particular interest.

Irrigation from the Ziz River, Photo Via Flickr

Irrigation from the Ziz River, Photo Via Flickr

Conclude your trip with a walk through the palm grove of the beautiful oases. There are just so many wonderful experiences you will have at Tafilalet, the greatest Sahara desert oasis in Morocco. We wish you a fun-filled and exciting trip

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