Ouarzazate nicknamed the door of the desert is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in the Souss-Massa-Drâa of southern-central Morocco.
The top toursits spots around ouarzazate are Tinghir, Mhamed, Zagora, Sekoura, Kalaa de megouna the small town that knows the rose festival every year which take place early summer time, the kalee de megouna festival attracts local and foreign visitors.
The sights are very few and far in between, but the Kasbah Taorirt and Kasbah Tifoultoute on the outskirts of town both deserve a visit.
Kasbah Taourirt is located at the east end of town, a twenty minute walk from the centre. This was built by the Galoui chiefs in the 19th century and reached its height in the 1930s when it was considered the largest Kasbah in Morocco – an enormous construction housing the family of the chief, his servants and followers as well as a community of labourers, builders and craftsmen.
10 kilometres to the north of Ouarzazate stands the Kasbah Tifoultoute, said to be over 300 years old. However, the present structure is largely 20th century, the original property of the Glaoui clan. The Kasbah has been converted to a hotel in the 1960s for the cast of Lawrence of Arabia. It is still a hotel serving adequate food and giving some magnificent views from its terrace. The Kasbah is open for visits for a small fee: you can climb the roof for amazing panoramic views over the countryside and a stork’s nest on the turrets.
Since Lawrence of Arabia was shot in Ait Benhaddou in the 1960’s, Ouarzazate and its region has been a popular filming location for many of Hollywood blockbusters. The magnificent desert and mountain scenery and the plentiful supply of authentic-looking extras have been a favourite directors’ choice.
To see the sets of some international blockbusters, such as Gladiator, Kundun, Alexander the Great and Kingdom of Heaven, visit the Atlas Film Corporation Studios, 5 kilometres west of town on the Marrakech road. The Atlas Film Corporation Studios are open to the general public for mini-tours for a small fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Morocco is safe to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Morocco tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Valid Passport with 6 months validity beyond your travel schedule is a must. Visitors frm United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland can enter without visa. Entry visa with USD 27 per passport is available upon arrival in Morocco airports for specific nationalities or you can obtain a visa from Morocco Consulate before departure.
Arabic is the official language, English and French are studied in Moroccan schools. Fewer Moroccans can speak Italian, Spanish, and German. Professionals in the tourism sector are accustomed to visitors who cannot speak Arabic.
Morocco is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
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The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), it is about 0.10 to USD. Money exchange is widely available and Credit cards are largely used.
Morocco enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Morocco is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.