Ouarzazate lies in a valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains.
It's popular with tourists on their way to the Sahara Desert. Scenic
day trips into the surrounding region offer a glimpse of times gone by
in the ruins of ancient Kasbahs. It's a good place to stock up on
provisions for desert treks.
the film capital of Morocco, with everything from Lawrence of Arabia to
The Mountains of the Moon and Star Wars being filmed there. The studio
outside town is an impressive sight, and open to the public for tours.
Of course the town has its share of luxury hotels, expensive restaurants
and shops. The Kasbah is very nice, recently restored and has been used
as a movie set many times. The shopping in Ouarzazate is pricey, and the
merchants inflexible. The town has an Artisans Cooperative with some
nice rugs worth seeing.
Ait-Benhaddou The Ksar of Ait Benhaddou is
one of the most beautiful in Morocco and was recently classified as part
of the world heritage by UNESCO. Mostly uninhabited, the fortified
village is a fine example of clay architecture.
Possible excursion from Ouarzazate:
½ day visit of Ouarzazate :
: the Taourirt kasbah, the Tifoultout
kasbah former Glaoui Pacha residences. Atlas film studios can be visited
when there is no shooting
day to Fint Oasis :
15 km/10 mi far
by land rover. Beautiful pre-Saharian landscapes leading to Fint Oasis.
Visit the plantations and the irrigation system of this rich oasis.
day to Tineghir & Todra Gorges by the Dades Valley :
175 km/109 mi
far. Tineghir is a market town and administrative centre, built on the
top of a hill which overlooks the splendid Todra valley. Two types of
dwellings can be seen : towards the Drâa, the kasbah with a corner
tower. Tinghir Oasis, famous for its magnificent Todra Canyons which
rocks reach an altitude of 250 meters/820 feet. Optional lunch in an
Auberge or under nomads' tents at the feet of the gorges.
day to Zagora and the Drâa Valley :
195 km/ 122 mi.
far. After passing the Tizi N'Tiniffit pass (1.660 m/450 feet) the road
descends to the Drâa valley leading to Agdz situated at the foot of the
rock face of the jebel Kissane. Then the road follows the Oued Drâa
river with palm groves laid out along the banks and dotted with about 50
kasbahs and ksours. Then on to Zagora, the 'gate of the desert' and
possibility to continue towards Tamegroute passing by the palm groves.
The Tamegroute library contains manuscripts and illuminated Korans
dating from the 12th century. Magnificent Berber pottery.
½ day to Aït Benhaddou :
33 km/21 mi far.
The fortified village of Aït Benhaddou has been classified by Unesco as
one of the world's cultural treasures. It's considered as one of the
most beautiful villages of its kind in Morocco and has served as decor
for many great movies. Optional lunch in the auberge facing the kasbah
for an immemorable souvenir.
day to Marrakesh :
210 km/131 mi
far. Visit the Koutoubia mosque exterior (12th cent.), the Saadian tombs
(16th cent.), the Mellah Jewish quarter, the Bahia palace (19th cent.) ,
the Menara garden, the souks and Djemaa El Fna square. Optional lunch
with belly dancer in a Moroccan Palace.
Perfect luxury on the way to the
It may be being hidden away on a dusty
road somewhere between the Atlas Mountains and the desert in the
Skoura Palmgrove, but as soon as the soaring red-brick citadel
of Dar Ahlam comes into view, you know this “House of Dreams” is
in an oasis that was once part of a medieval sultan’s hunting
ground, it simply oozes a unique class that mixes traditional
Moroccan values with French chic. It’s as if you are entering a
universe of refined decoration and a meeting of styles. This is
thanks to team of Parisian entrepreneurs lead by Thierry
Teyssier who decided to renovate this 19th century Kasbah, and
the result is a stunning tour de force that manages to be both
modern and traditional at the same time.
Its eight suites and three villa, for
example, are all superbly decorated with unusual pieces and
antiques, silk drapes and take in a kaleidoscope of traditional
shades ranging from light to deep purple, pink and olive green.
There’s nothing to separate them, yet each one is unique making
for an exceptional stay - and that’s just on the inside. With
the house being surrounded by a palm grove, the landscape is
haven like and perfect for contemplation or a dip in the
beautiful heated swimming pool. The independent villas, located
on the edge of the grounds, though part of the property can also
be rented out separately. Given its singular location, Dar Ahlam
makes a perfectly luxurious, stopover to the Sahara desert and
Adhering to local culture, the hotel is built
in the Kasbah style and with a mix of Berber and
traditional crafts, an ambience of space and charm has
been created. Centrally located on a high point, the
hotel has 240 air-conditioned rooms each with private
terrace/patio, satellite TV, phone, mini-bar, bath &
shower. Facilities include large pool, dining room
serving Moroccan and international cuisine, grill and
Golf in Ouarzazate:
Ouarzazate Royal Golf Club
Make a beautiful drive and
watch your ball fly up towards the eternal snow! The
spectacular High Atlas can be seen from all points on the Royal
Ouarzazate Golf Course. Which is all the more remarkable when you
consider that the course stands at the very gates of the desert, where
the Kasbah Trail begins. Playing here is both incredibly captivating and
complex. The broken terrain of the fairways with their slopes and
embankments wind their way between palm trees around an immense lake
which also serves as a barrage on the challenging final hole. In the
Deep South, man's determination and invention make everything grow: this
nine hole oasis will soon be extended to 18.