In southern Morocco, near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, Ouarzazate has established itself on a vast desert plateau, heralding the arid lands of the Sahara that point to the south. The city thus bears the revealing nickname of '' door of the desert ''.
A true enigma, Ouarzazate, destination worthy of a tale of the Thousand and One Nights has everything to intrigue us.
The architecture of Ouarzazate is famous for the number of kasbahs (fortresses) which the city is endowed with: the best known, the kasbah Taourirt, dating from the seventeenth century, always watch over the medina. The calm of the city always attracts more curious visitors and amateurs of wide open spaces and several Moroccan berber rugs.
To see, to do in Ouarzazate
The desert is nothingness! that's another misconception that has no foundation. The desert is not only beautiful, it is so rich and so captivating. Never will you find a sky as bewitching as bathed in stars as that of the desert. Ouarzazate is the perfect destination to illustrate this.We will begin with the famous and countless world-famous Kasbahs. From "Aït Benhaddou" with its mosque standing in the middle, next door there is a dance floor and a space for weddings and circumcisions, film locations also: Laurence of Arabia and The Gladiator. A "Amridil" with its four levels and very original architecture, the second floor is well worth the detour; the decoration is sumptuous. Passing through the "Kasbah Taourirt" symbol of Ouarzazate, four centuries old and "one of the first great Berber architectures". Not to mention Amzrou next to Zagora and La Kasbah Tamnougalt with its beautiful interior decoration.
We will link with the beautiful palm groves. Not one or two but your four senses will be spoiled. From breathtaking scenery to breathtaking sights, smells of intoxicating essences, succulent fruits, colorful and strong in taste, the warmth of sand sliding between your fingers like a caress. From the beautiful oasis of Fint just 3km from Ouarzazate, to the palm grove of Skoura or the valley of Tinghir, the charm of this region will bewitch you.Finally, do not miss the valleys. From Dades where a surprising landscape is offered to you, the valley of the kasbahs called Drâa valley, the valley of Toudgha the most beautiful of the oases and the valley of Ziz the true door of the desert. Not to mention the impressive Gorges of Toudgha and Dades, they are imposing and silent, they will impress you.
Gorges of Toudgha
Main attractions in Ouarzazate
Kasbah Ait Benhaddou is one of the best preserved kasbahs in Morocco. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a very picturesque place where a lot of movies have been shot (Gladiator). It’s also full of beautiful bazars and Berber Rugs shops The cinema seems to particularly appreciate the region of Ouarzazate, there are also two studios:
-The Atlas Studios where Asterix & Obelix were shot: Mission Cleopatra, Lawrence of Arabia, The Man who wanted to be king, Cleopatra, Kundun, Gladiator, Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven and Babel. Studios are open to the public.
-you can also visit the studios CLA Dino de Laurentis, it is on the same road as the Studios Atlas.
Excursion to Ouarzazate, at the doors of the desert
An excursion to Ouarzazate can very well be improvised during a trip to Morocco without necessarily going through a tour operator: by renting a car from Marrakech, by taking the bus lines that make the trip or by sitting in a collective taxi, the round trip is organized without problem.
Once there, we have the choice to stay in Ouarzazate. Several large hotel-clubs (swimming pool, bar, restaurant, etc ...), not necessarily given obviously, are grouped mainly in the center, with some small hotels and cheap residences. To change hotels, the choice can be on one of the guest houses / riads present around the palm grove for example, or squarely away from the city. Prices are affordable.Main tourist interest of Ouarzazate, its proximity to the desert, which makes it an ideal starting point for a getaway in arid environment ... the hirers are present in town to get a car or a 4x4, according to the program.
Travel agencies are also numerous to organize guided tours in the desert, just as some hotels in Ouarzazate offer this type of service: small day / night excursion, multi-day expedition, alternation between off-road vehicle and back dromedary, bivouac and hotel night, everything is included.
Author : K.G