Ouarzazate: Filmmaker’s Global Destination

Ouarzazate, Morocco, is known as ‘The gateway to the Moroccan desert.’ Its distinguishing features include various landscapes, friendly people, rich and diverse mythology, and an authentically built environment. Situated at an elevation of 1,160 meters, Ouarzazate is surrounded by mountains.

Ouarzazate

ouarzazate morocco

Ouarzazate arose as a Foreign Legion outpost built in 1928 and is still a significant garrison city today. About 69 420 people live and work here, making it more of a starting point and ending point for travels to the south than a destination. Visitors to the “red city” often choose an excursion to Marrakech Ouarzazate.

Ouarzazate is a must-stop for anyone traveling the Oasis route. It has recently seen a surge in film production due to its region’s natural landscape, which is ideal for filming. As a result, it is a significant draw for significant film producers and directors, including those in Hollywood. This city has several film studios where many feature films, including some Oscar winners, have been shot: Lawrence of Arabia, Kundun, Gladiator, Asterix, Obelix, Tea in the Sahara, Babel… There are three film studios and a museum in the city.

With 3,937 rooms in various high-quality hotels, Ouarzazate is well-suited to tourists. Because of this, it is a city that offers all the necessities for visitors to stay and take advantage of the city’s sights and activities.

What to See and Do in Ouarzazate

market ouarzazate

The Central Market, Al Mouahidine Square, and the handicraft souk are some of the city’s best-known places. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Kasbah of Ouarzazate or Taourirt is outside the town and is open to the public. Kasbah: It’s not just the main thing to see in the area. It’s one of the most interesting in Morocco. During the 18th century, the Glaoui tribe built this adobe castle flanked by crenelated towers. It was built for the gold route from Marrakech to Timbuktu, a long way. It is possible to go inside, where the glaoui dynasty lives, with one of the guides who will help you.

In addition to visiting the Kasbah of Ouarzazate, you can also visit the craft center, which is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The region’s pottery, stones, tapestries, and rugs are made and sold here.

The film studios are also worth a quick stop to see the sets of films shot in the area. The Atlas Film Studios and the Oscar Hotel have had many movies. It has recently gained popularity among “Game of Thrones” fans, as Ouarzazate uses it as the setting for Game of Thrones, and parts of its settings can be seen in film studios.

Around Ouarzazate, there are kasbahs and Amazighvillages.

Ait Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou

Aside from an excursion to Ouarzazate, we recommend visiting Ksar-Ben-Haddou, also known as Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, located about 26 kilometers south of Marrakech. UNESCO has designated this magnificent fortress as a World Heritage Site. It is currently restored. Since antiquity, it has been a significant economic and cultural crossroads. On foot, you’ll find a breathtaking view of the town, surrounding fields, and the Moroccan desert at the summit.

Ouarzazate’s Palm Grove

Ouarzazate’s Palm Grove

It is 40 kilometers from Ouarzazate and 1,188 meters above sea level, sandwiched between the Atlas, Anti-Atlas, and Dades valley. It is famous for its olives and oil. It provides a calm oasis and a labyrinth of gardens shaded by date palms, pomegranates, fig, almond, and cereal fields.

This forest contains a collection of spectacular kasbahs, and tour guides refer to it as “the route of a thousand kasbahs.” It is an ideal location for tours of all kinds, whether by car, 4 x 4, mountain bike, hiking, horses, mules, etc. Another intriguing idea is to spend beautiful nights in tents in the middle of the oasis.

How to Get to Ouarzazate

Because the train stops in Marrakech, the only way to get to Ouarzazate is by car or air. By car, taking a bus with CTM or Supratour is a good option. It takes about 4 to 5 hours. The cost is less than 100 dirhams per person. Another option is to hire a taxi in Marrakech: the trip is shorter, lasting between 3.5 and 4 hours. However, remember that the taxi will only leave when complete (6 people: 2 in front plus the driver and 4 in the back) unless you purchase multiple seats. The cost is also less than 100 dirhams per person. The price of a minibus or 4 4 with a transport agency will be higher than the previous options. Still, you will have the convenience of stopping anywhere to take photos.

The leading airlines fly into Ouarzazate Airport.

Getting Around Ouarzazate

The city center is a little small. To get around the city, take a taxi for about 4 dirhams (5 DHS if it is after nine at night). The cost of a taxi from the airport to the city is usually around 50 Dhs. These taxis have a maximum seating capacity of three people.

Ouarzazate shops, restaurants, and hotels

Avenida Mohamed V is lined with shops, hotels, and restaurants. The pedestrian zone, the ‘prince,’ is right behind you, which also houses shops and restaurants. Many sellers will try to catch your attention on Taourirt.

The weather in Ouarzazate

The climate of Ouarzazate will depend on how logical it is on the date we travel. Still, its average temperature is 19.1 ° C. Summers are scorching, and winters are cold and dry. The best time to visit Ouarzazate is between March and May. From September to the end of October, temperatures are at their highest. Noted that Ouarzazate is close to the Atlas mountain range, specifically near the high Atlas, snowfalls are common in winter, and the Tizi n tichka mountain pass connects Ouarzazate with Marrakech, which may be cut off.

Hotels in Ouarzazate

Find the best accommodation and hotels in Ouarzazate at the best prices.

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