Updated August 22, 2020.
The great surprise of our trip to Morocco was something we never expected: Ouarzazate. It’s a small town about four hours from Marrakech and five hours from the Sahara Desert, making it an ideal stopping point for our desert excursion. Our most delightful surprise was definitely Ouarzazate, but our greatest regret is not staying longer! Before we left we were already trying to figure out how to get back. Here are a few things to know before you go to make the most of your trip!
How to Say It
It’s important to know what you’re saying and how to say it. If you’re asking for directions but don’t know how to pronounce your destination, there’s no telling where you’ll end up! Plus, you’ll impress the locals.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Morocco
It’s the Hollywood of Morocco
It’s true! Many epic films have been made here, including Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, and Collin Ferrell’s Alexander the Great! You can tour film studios, visit movie sites, and explore the Museum of Cinema, too!
Read on: How to Haggle in Morocco
Getting There and Getting Around
You can fly, drive, or take a bus to Ouarzazate. We took the 4.5-hour bus from Marrakech, and while it got the job done, it’s not my favorite way to travel! Limited flights go into and out of Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ), so check into those if a bus ride is not your thing. You can also drive yourself, of course. In fact, one of the gentlemen running our hotel in Ouarzazate told us that renting a car is really the best way to get around so you can do and see everything the area has to offer!
Where to Stay
Hands-down, the best hotel in town and the best hotel where we stayed in all of Morocco is Hotel Temple des Arts in Ouarzazate! Each room is themed after a movie made in the area, the staff are all kind and accommodating, and we can’t wait to stay there again ourselves!
More here: Staying at Temple des Arts
How Long to Stay
I recommend staying at least two nights so that you can have one full day to explore the area, but if you can stay three or even four nights, I don’t think you’ll be sorry! There really is plenty to do and see in the area, and if you’re headed to the Desert, you will have a perfect excuse to fit Ouarzazate into your itinerary!
Keep reading: Legendary Hotels in the World
What to Do
So, how will you keep occupied for two or three days? Here’s a quick run-down of the highlights:
- Tour CLA Studios
- Tour Atlas Film Studios
- Visit Ait Benhaddou
- Visit the Kasbah of Tifoultoute
- Visit the Old Synagogue
- Explore Oasis Fint
- Visit the Museum of Cinema
- Visit the Taourirt Kasbah
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