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Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate is a town located 124 miles (200 km) to the southeast of Marrakech. It is nicknamed The door of the desert. If you’re planning to head to the Sahara Desert, a stop in this fortified city is a must.

Ouarzazate comes from the Amazigh words for without (ouar) and noise (zazt), meaning the “city without noise”.

Hollywood of Africa

Ait Benhaddou
Ait Benhaddou, a stunning landscape

Taourirt Kasbah
Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate

Ait Ben Haddou, views
Views from Ait Ben Haddou

Ouarzazate, Atlas Studios
Atlas Studios in Ouarzazate

Among several nicknames, Ouarzazate is also known as the Hollywood of Africa. This is due to its movie studios, including one of the largest in the world: Atlas Studios.

We highly recommend visiting the Atlas Studios where you will explore the history of the cinema industry. Films like The Jewel of the Nile, Asterix and Cleopatra or The Ten Commandments were filmed in this studio.

Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou

Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou is a kasbah (fortified town) located 18 miles (30 km) from Ouarzazate. This town has been filmed numerous times, like Ouarzazate, and can be seen in the following films: Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, The Mommy, and The Jewel of the Nile.

Taourirt Kasbah

Taourirt Kasbah is a fortified city in the outskirts of Ouarzazate. The building is made of adobe, it has crenelated towers and is considered one of the best-preserved kasbahs in Morocco.

Getting to Ouarzazate

  • Rent a car: Driving in Morocco is not easy and some of the highways are not very well kept. If this is the best option for you, we suggest getting a GPS, as not to get lost.
  • Hiring a taxi for the whole day: You can hire a taxi for the whole day for approximately 100 – 120 € if you are good at haggling. Keep in mind that most taxi drivers speak very little English, the cars are normally very old and that the driving leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Bus: The bus is the cheapest way of getting to Ouarzazate (80 dirhams per person). Nevertheless, we only recommend this option for those who are staying in the city, since some of the major attractions are in the city’s outskirts like Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou.

Location

200 km to the southeast of Marrakech

Map

Ouarzazate, location map

Hotels nearby