Ouarzazate city
Last Updated: May 13, 2023

Mohssin Mazar

The city of Ouarzazate is a city and the regional headquarters of the state of Ouarzazate is located in the Draa-Tafilalet region, south-central Morocco. Ouarzazate is located at an altitude of 1,160 meters (3,810 ft) in the middle of a desert plateau south of the High Atlas Mountains.


The majority of the city’s population is Berber, and they were responsible for several notable kasbahs (known locally as Iman). Since Ouarzazate is a major tourist destination in Morocco and a starting point for trips to and through the Draa Valley and the Sahara. The fortified community of At Benhaddou, which lies west of the city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You should know that

The Ouarzazate region is a popular location for filming, as many international companies invite to work with the largest studios in Morocco.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), The Day of the Living (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Kundun (1997), Legionnaire ( 1998), Hanna (2011), The Hills Have Eyes (2006), and Salmon Fishing in Yemen (2011) have all been filmed here, as has been part of the TV series Game of Thrones.

In February 2016, they connected the neighboring solar power plant in Ouarzazate, which was jointly funded by the League of Arab States, and the Moroccan electricity grid.


In history, Ouarzazate was a small point through which African merchants traveling to northern Morocco and Europe crossed. Sheikh Abu al-Abbas Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Wazkaiti al-Warzazi, the emir of the Kasbah of Ouarzazate and the father of Lalla Masouda, also contributed to the Saadi domination of the Souss-Draa region in the sixteenth century.

During the French occupation, Ouarzazate flourished as a garrison city, administrative center and customs post. It is the site of his son’s former kasbah, the Kasbah of Taourirt, which was later acquired by Tohamy El Glaoui. Today, the Krupp field cannon that secured the authority of Kalawi is located in front of the Kasbah.

In addition, the area is known for its Ouazguita rugs with red-orange geometric designs on a black background.

Ouarzazate city also known as “the quiet city,”

The city of Ouarzazate, which is the gateway to the great south. will lead you to the vast desert spaces of Morocco. Where the valleys Oued Driss and Oued Dades meet, near Ziz, the landscape transforms into a kingdom of palm plantations, orchards and gardens, as well as ergs and regs.

Ouarzazate city location

Ouarzazate is located 1,160 meters above the valleys and edge of the Sahara on the high plateaus of the Atlas. This also leads to the region’s unusually mild climate. Winters are mild (around 15°C), and summers are warm (around or slightly above 35°C). Also, make sure you don’t avoid this sleepy town!

During the French protectorate, Ouarzazate was a garrison city in the middle of the Saharan universe. Where an important caravan route intersected between Marrakesh and the Sahara.

There is also a crossroads of civilizations. The region has enjoyed prosperity for centuries and has a thriving craft trade.

Discover the Udupi Kasbahs, guardians of the history and traditions of the south, along the Oasis Route. Ouarzazate is an ideal starting point for day trips to the oases and dunes of southern Morocco.


What to do in Ouarzazate city?

Market Street, Avenue La Poste, and Avenue Mohammed VI surround the center of Ouarzazate. Where the majority of the city’s businesses, cafés, and restaurants are located. Also, stroll through March 3rd Square to see the city’s vibrant evenings.

City Souk

The city Souk is located on the outskirts of Mohammed V Avenue. And if you visit the artisan area in the city, you will find your purchases. Here, you can visit the studios of stone-carvers, brass-carvers, and silversmiths.

The Kasbah of Taourirt, where the ancient residence of the Pasha of Marrakech is located, is also a must-see during a trip to Ouarzazate. On the other side of Avenue Mohamed V, overlooking the El Herafeyeen Center.

This massive adobe structure has a veritable labyrinth of passages, stairways and luxurious rooms. Explore the maze of shady alleys in the fortified village of the Kasbah, where the quiet atmosphere is so pleasant.

It’s a movie shooting location

In the middle of the desert plateaus that surround Ouarzazate. You can find a number of film studios. Often these sets are reproductions of the old villas or retreats they use to set historical epics and other American movies. The most interesting sets are also located in the Atlas Corporation studios, which can be easily recognized by the huge Egyptian statues guarding its entrance.
Hiking near Ouarzazate

And you’re on the road

On the way to Zagora, visit the Kasbah of Tamesla, also known as the “Castle of the Stork”. As it is only two kilometers from Ouarzazate to Tabunte. From here, you can take an enchanting stroll in the vicinity, and it’s also far from the typical tourist attractions.

After the Tabounte Bridge on the road to Zagora, turn right towards Tiffoultoute kasbah. This site also offers a stunning view of the Draa Valley. After three kilometres, take the road on your left. And also enjoy the black cliffs that surround the Lesser Atlas before the desert. Follow the valley for a lovely walk through the Vint Gardens.

And also take the Tinghir road, about twenty kilometers east of Ouarzazate .To reach the shores of Lake Mansour Eddahbi at the foot of Jebel Kissane. This site is the starting point for many excursions in the vicinity. Then take the Kasbah road south to M’Hamid, where there are many desert excursions…

Arrival in Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate is about 200 kilometers (4 hours) from Marrakech and 442 kilometers (7 hours) from Casablanca. The international airport is also located in Ouarzazate Three kilometers from the city center.


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