Ouarzazate 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
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'll explore the history of the cinema industry. Films like The Jewel of the Nile, Asterix and Cleopatra, and 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 is a fortified village in the outskirts of Ouarzazate. The building is made of adobe, has crenelated towers, and is considered one of the best-preserved kasbahs in Morocco.
How to get to Ouarzazate
- Book a day trip: With Introducing Marrakech, we offer day tours with English-speaking chauffeurs and hotel pickup for just € 50 (US$ 53.90) per person. Click here to check out one of our day trips 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 to avoid getting lost.
- Hiring a taxi for the whole day: You can hire a taxi for the whole day for approximately € 100 (US$ 107.90) – € 120 (US$ 129.50) if you're good at haggling. Keep in mind that most taxi drivers speak very little English, the cars are typically very old, and their driving is often sketchy at best.
- Bus: The bus is the cheapest way of getting to Ouarzazate (80 dirhams per person). Nevertheless, we only recommend this option for those staying in the city, since some of the major attractions are in the city’s outskirts like Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou.