It is a one-street, modern market town with a big collection of hotels and government buildings. You only have to walk a mile or so out of the town to find yourself in the middle of the palms and oasis cultivation. Berbers, Arabs and African ethnic groups lived together in the valley and many traces of these century-old cultures still influence the area.
The Almoravides built a fortress in this strategic location in the 11th century to maintain control of the Saharan trails and the road of the Drâa valley. You can admire panorama of the city and miles of palm grove on a rocky viewpoint at the exit of the city.
Each year the festival of the Sufi saint moulay Abdelkader Jilali is celebrated at Zagora. Languages spoken in the city include Moroccan Arabic, Tachelhit and Tamazight. A well known sign at the town border states “Tombouctou 52 days”, the supposed time it takes to get to Timbuktu, Mali on foot or camel.