The Spectacular Oases of Akka

The Moroccan town of Akka is located near the Algerian border in the Tata Province of the Guelmim-Es Semara region. With its red clay houses and wide open streets, Akka serves as the administrative and trading center of the oasis villages lying to the north. Attractions in Akka include the ancient Kasbah and Agadir Azro, a huge fortress which served as a food storage facility in a region where food scarcity has historically led to conflict. There is also a spring and pools that bring life-giving water to this oasis settlement which is surrounded by miles of barren desert.

Traveling north from the main center of Akka, visitors will find the oasis village of Aït Antar, where traditional life continues oblivious to the developments of the modern world. Housing resembles fortress structures, designed to protect inhabitants from the unrelenting heat. As with all the settlements of Akka, lush greenery surrounds the village, with countless palm trees providing both sustenance and shade. Just beyond Aït Antar is the oasis of Tagadirt with its small center housing some of the population of more than seven thousand people residing in the group of oases that make up Akka.

The settlement at the oasis of Taourirt features a number of large two-story houses, reddish in color and built in the square and rectangular shapes familiar to the region, with small windows limiting the glare of the sun and keeping the interiors relatively cool. Palm trees are the predominant vegetation around and in between the houses. The rugged mountains and cliffs overlooking Aït Rahal make this oasis village quite different from the other Akka settlements. Some of the houses have been built right up against the mountains, separate from the main settlement. The architectural style is typical of desert villages, with covered walkways providing shelter from the sun.

Akka is the ideal destination for travelers who enjoy visiting spots that are off the beaten track. As there are very limited tourism amenities, it is generally recommended that Akka be enjoyed as a day-trip from Taghjijt, Tata or Goulimime. There are no facilities for changing currency, and it is best to pack your own refreshments and food, as well as sun protection.