Ouarzazate is situated in the interior of the country. The city lies at the centre of a desert plateau in stark contrast to the rugged greenery of the surrounding High Atlas mountains – an exceptional setting geographically and climatically speaking, at the crossroads of the Drâa, Dades and Souss Valleys.
Ouarzazate has been formed to become the centre of Sahara tourism, and the place has many luxury hotels.
Ouarzazate has also served as the centre of international film makers, when shooting desert and semidesert scenes. Among famous films shot around Ouarzazate we find The Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and The Sheltering Sky. Ouarzazate has an international airport.
Ouarzazate is disserved by direct flights from Paris. The International airport of Ouarzazate is very close to Ouarzazate Down Town (2 minutes).
There are also a lot of daily direct flights to Mohamed V International Airport in Casablanca from North America (Montreal, New York) and Asia. Casablanca is about 45 minutes flight to Ouarzazate. A connection pool is already available between the Moroccan company Royal Air Maroc and many others companies.
NOOR 1 SOLAR PLANT
This part of Morocco was really put on the global map recently with the opening of the Noor solar plant. This impressive project generates 160 MW of power and is connected to the Moroccan power grid. A half-million mirrors are used at the plant!
Ait Benhaddou Kasbah
Registered as part of UNESCO world heritage, this fortified village, adorned with serrated towers, is rightly considered one of the most beautiful in the country. Restoration work has been carried out to protect it against erosion, some of its clay-brick houses having been damaged and also to encourage the residents to keep the village alive.
This place of residence was formerly that of the Pasha of (XIX-th) Marrakesh and is considered as one of the most beautiful of Morocco. The buildings of pisé are established by rich apartments, by simple houses and by crênelées tours abundantly decorated. It is possible to visit the ancient apartments of Glaoui where one can admire the dining room and chamber of the favourite which kept the decoration of painted stucco and their wooden ceilings of cedar.
This small city is known for it’s hidden kasbahs and palm groves. Kasbah Amiridil is one of the most famous sites here (it even appears on the 50 dirham Moroccan note). Today it works as a living museum and showcases life in times gone by.
The landscape bumped by Dadès’s gorges (east of the city) with its deep and sinuous gorge is brilliant. The legend tells that the one that ventured into these gorges, if he escaped the bandits who controlled the passage, stayed at the mercy of the redoubtable lions of the Atlas, whose last one was killed in 1905. After Msemrir’s village, on the territory of Aït Atta, a track leads to Agoudal then to Imilchil where takes place in September famous festival ” Moussem of the Fiancés ” during which the young ladies of the region come to look for a husband. Another track leaving Agoudal leads to Todra’s gorges. The road of Todra’s gorges undertakes along a luxuriant palm plantation which lines the oued. The most impressing spectacle remains a narrow corridor of a dozen metres overhung by two cliffs 300 metres high.
Valley of Drâa
This valley goes along the oued Drâa on 200 km, from Ouarzazate to Zagora (the ” door of the desert “). The class crosses a multitude of palm plantations and villages in the luxuriant vegetation. Big classical author of the Moroccan tourism, this route allows especially to discover of very beautiful ksours in the purified lines. The brave traveler can go until Zagora and Me hamid to admire the first big dunes of the Saharan desert.