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Skoura

By the time caravans laden with gold and spice reached Skoura, the camels must’ve been gasping. After a two-month journey across the Sahara, blue-robed Tuareg desert traders offloaded cargo from caravans in Skoura, where Middle Atlas mountaineers packed it onto mules headed to Fez. Ouarzazate, 39km west, is now the region’s commercial center, but Skoura’s historic mudbrick castles remain, and traders throng Monday and Thursday souqs brimming with intensely flavorful desert produce. When market days are done and palm-tree shadows stretch across the road, no one seems in a hurry to leave.