Ouarzazate is a well-connected city in Morocco that is perfectly designed for tourism, with a large number of hotels. If you are planning a trip to the city here is peek at its history and places to see..
Ouarzazate is by all standards a different city from most Moroccan cities of its size: about 40,000 inhabitants. Its focal point is the long and wide street Avenue Muhammed V which starts before the city starts, and continues along the modern buildings, the kasbah of Tifoultoutte, and ends after Ouarzazate ends. Ouarzazate is designed for heavy tourism, and is well established with numerous hotels of high standard, but relatively few restaurants. There is a strange and empty feeling to Ouarzazate, except in the centre where a typical Moroccan market dominates.
The city of Ouarzazate lies in the southern part of Morocco. It derives its name from a Berber phrase meaning without noise or without confusion. It is often the favorite stop for the tourists on their way to the Sahara Desert. Most of them stop over to stock up provisions for their further journey to the great deserts. If you are planning a similar visit you can surely plan a stopover for a day or two in the city of Ouarzazate, it is worth a visit. Many people are amazed by the marvelous and spiritual moments of the life in this city before moving ahead to virgin Sahara. Another reason for its popularity is the huge movie studios that are present here.
The city of Ouarzazate is a city with vibrant cultures and artistic traditions. It was traditionally the small crossing point for African traders moving towards the northern cities of Morocco as well as Europe. During the French regime it was developed and expanded as a garrison town and administrative centre as well as a custom post.
Ouarzazate is a quiet province with broad streets, numerous hotels and gardens. It is at an altitude of 1160m and at the intersection of the Draa valley and Dade. You would find it interesting to visit the Finnit Oasis to the south of Ouarzazate which has the beautiful Pise-ksour. It also houses the Casbah of Taourirt which was built in the 18th century and renovated in 1994. You can also find the Krupps field guns that were used by Glaoui to secure power.
You can also visit the Atlas film studios that lie 6km outside Ouarzazate. It is a huge studio covering about 30,000m large piece of desert. It is open to public on most of the days and you may even be able to catch a glimpse of filming of some movie. There have been movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, and Gladiator that have been filmed here in part or their entirety. It is also popular location for movies that require the desert scenes.
You can also have a trip to the el-Mansour Eddahbi dam reservoir built in 1972 and provides permanent irrigation to the palms groves and farmland around. It is also a major source for the reforestation program that has been started in the area. It is a major source for power generation to provide electricity to the valley. You may visit the market for shopping though you may find it a bit costlier than other parts of Morocco. However the recently restored Artisans Cooperative is worth a visit. Ouarzazate is well known for its pottery and carpets as well as for its cultural splendor. You may also visit the nearby Ksar of Ait Benhaddou, Zagora or plan excursion through the Valley of Draa River.
You can even find dining a delight at the Chez Dimitri restaurant that serves great pasta and salads. You can find many hotels for accommodation and would surely enjoy the traditional Moroccan food they offer. There is a display of Moroccan singing and dancing with groups of women in traditional wear.
There is actually a lot to see that meets the eye when you enter the city. You can have a great leisure trip to the city in your visit to Morocco.