Situated on the Saharan plain at the foot of Jebel Bani, Tata was an oasis settlement along the trade route from West Africa. Its name, which roughly means 'take a break' in Tashelhit, recalls those days of Saharan caravans, as do the turban-wrapped men sipping tea in the shade. Close to the Algerian border, the small town has a garrison feel, with four types of police and military stationed here, and you may be questioned on your way into town. With good infrastructure and less hassle than other Saharan spots, Tata is poised to become more of a destination for travellers.
The town's palmeraie (palm grove) is well worth exploring. You can drive a 7km circuit of it, or catch a local bus (Dh5). Above the village at the far end of the palmeraie is a white hilltop marabout (saint’s tomb), which you can see from Tata.