10 Things to Do in Ouarzazate: Morocco

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ouarzazate
Source: Valdiney Pimenta

Ouarzazate is one of the wonderful destinations in Morocco offering a huge list of things to do and see keeping you occupied all the time. The name of the city literally means ‘the door of the desert’ and it is the last city before the desert starts. It is also a famous film-making location and Morocco’s biggest studios are there. Here is the list of some of the most popular sightseeing places you must see if you decide to go there.

1. Visit the Famous Ait Ben Haddou

ait
Source: Maureen

This village holds some of the best examples of old Moroccan architecture. That is why many famous Hollywood directors used it as a setting for their films. It is a fortified settlement standing on a hill offering you stunning views of the desert and mountains. The buildings are made of wood and earth, using the traditional techniques and are well maintained. It is listed as the Unesco World Heritage Site. You can see a couple of old inhabitants still living there, but the others live in a modern village just across the old one.

2. Travel To Kasbah Taourirt

kasbah
Source: Jean & Nathalie

Kasbah Taourirt is one of the most beautiful places in Morocco and it is locaed near Ouarzazate. It was built by the Glaoui and today it is a historical monument giving the tribute them. Kasbah Taourirt is set between the wonderful mountains and the awe-inspiring Sahara desert. Its closely set houses and dignified towers made of shalk and sand mixture blend into the surrounding landscape. You have the opportunity to walk into the spectacular building and experience the real ancient kasbah. The Kasbah has almost three hundered rooms and you will love their great decoration. There is a cafe nearby where you can relax and maybe watch a sunset from its terrace.

3. Stay the Night in the Sahara

sahara
Source: Dimitry B.

If you go to Ourzazate, plan an trip to M’Hamid. Stayin in the Sahara all night will make an unforgettable experience and probably the best part of your holiday in Morocco. You can find a lot of agencies in Ourzazate that arrange treks to the desert, or you can rent a car and go there with your friends and arrange to stay in one of the inns offering overnights. The trip may be long, but there were many great stops along the way, helping you learn a little about Berber culture. You usually visit the sand dunes in Zagora and Erb Chebbi, camping for the night or two, enjoying the beautiful stars at night and unbelievable sunrise in the morning.

4. Walk around Tifoultoute Kasbah

On your way to Zagora, you will visit some great places and Tifoultoute Kasbah is one of the most beautiful ones. It dates back to the 18th century when it was build on a strategicaly important location. You can visit the kasbah, see its inside and get to know a little bit more about the region’s history and culture while drinking a cup of deliciou tea. While there, climb the top terrace of the kasbah and enjoy the stunning view of the valley.

5. Go to the Sunday Market

market
Source: Dylan Tomas

If you want to see and learn more about everyday life of Moroccan people, then you must not miss going to the Sunday market in Ouarzazate. It is a place where you can get all the sensations of different sounds and smells. It is the typical local market selling various food and house items. Do not expect to find shops there, there are no any. People usually put their goods on the carpet and sell it like that. You can find some nice local handcraft, so you can get a good souvenir or a gift to take back home.

6. See Tassoumaat Old Medina

This is one of the places in Ouarzazate you must visit. It is a very special and unique place. Medina is located near the river and actually a real inhabited village with houses made of mud bricks. There are families there and you can see children play around, or their mothers making bread inside their houses. There are many sheep all over the place and many other interesting things. Get to know some of the true Berber life. The people are all friendly and warmly welcome all the visitors.

7. Take a Tour to Atlas Studios

studio
Source: Ilyass T.

Speaking about land area, Atlas Studios in Ouarzazate is one of the world’s largest film studios. Some of the well-known historical movies were filmed there: Lawrence of Arabia, The Living Daylights, Kingdom of Heaven and Babel and others. The location is also used in some of the popular TV series like Game of Thrones and Prison Break. Walk along the giant film sets and go into another world, world of films. The studios’ buildings have kept the accent of Moroccan desert houses, but with modern furniture and design. You will enjoy your time there.

8. Enjoy the Abundance of Nature

Skoura Oasis
Source: Paul Barker Hemings

If you are a true nature lover, then you must go to Skoura Oasis. This is the place in the middle of the desert with two seasonal rivers which give life to its lush vegetation. It is a great place to rest on your way through the desert and enjoy stunning natural beauty. Another good reason to visit this large oasis is the 17th century Amerhidl Kasbah. It is the biggest and most lavishly decorated kasbah and you can walk through its rooms, once the kitchens, see the mosque and a Koranic school and chief’s bedrooms.

9. Climb the Jebel Sahro Mountains

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If you like hiking, there is a wonderful place near Ouarzazate to do it. It is called Jebel Sahro and it is located between the Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert. Go there and you will have the most exciting hike ever. You will walk through different places, small villages, high mountains, various landscapes. You will sleep under the nomad tents near the houses of some local people. It is a difficult hike, so do not go there if you are not well prepared; and take a guide.

10. Ouarzazate Cinema Museum

If you want to have a couple of hours of real entertainment, then you should visit the Ouarzazate Cinema Museum. You can spend a great afternoon, posing and taking photos in the famous film sets walking freely without having to pay attention to the ‘keep off’ sings. The museum is quite small, but interesting and you will love seeing the sets and some of the costumes, accessories, cameras and different machines used in films.

Information

  • Name: Ouarzazate Cinema Museum
  • Address: Av. Mohamed V, Ouarzazate, Morocco
  • Tel: 0524890346

Ouarzazate region is rich in culture and amazing architecture. If offers infinite mountain and oasis landscape and as such makes a perfect place to take some really marvellous photos during your visit. We hope this article gives you a good idea of where to go when in Ouarzazate.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Africa, Morocco