The original, iconic ‘Tombouctou, 52 jours’ (Timbuktu, 52 days) sign, featuring a nomad with a smirking camel, may have been swept away in an inexplicable government beautification scheme, but Zagora’s fame as a desert outpost remains indelible. The Saadians launched their expedition to conquer Timbuktu here in 1591, and desert caravans passing through Zagora gave this isolated spot cosmopolitan character. These days Zagora remains a trading post and meeting place, hosting a regional souq on Wednesday and Sunday and putting on a variety of lively festivals.