Ouarzazate (ورزازات) is a city in Morocco.
Ouarzazate is relatively small (~60 000 inhabitans) and for Morocco quiet town, built mostly along main street - Avenue Muhammed V. Ouarzazate is situated at an elevation of 1,135 metres. Its name comes from a Berber phrase meaning "without noise" or "without confusion". Once in its history, Ouarzazate had been crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe. During the French period, Ouarzazate expanded considerably as a garrison town and administrative centre. It is largest town in saharan Morocco.
- Inezgane(close to Agadir) twice a day 80 dirhams (prices are negotiable, can be reduced till 50 DH)
- Marrakesh- CTM Bus 70 dirham(twice a day, morning, evening), grand taxi 100 per person
Regional bus is cheaper, but not as nice, and runs more often. There are two bus stations, one for regional bus, other for CTM bus.
Often two flights a day during the week from Casablanca. Note that as with the rest of the town, the airport shuts down in the middle of the day for siesta (at least during the summer), so make sure you have cash with you when you arrive, or you may find yourself stranded at the airport!
The area around Mohammad V is very walkable. The CTM station is there as well. Petits taxis for within the city (no more than 10Dh from the airport to the hotel), grands taxis for between cities (no more than 300Dh to Ait Benhaddou and back...though you can probably get it lower), including to Ait Benhaddou and surrounding Kasbahs.
Don't be surprised if during a local taxi ride the driver requests you to "transfer taxis" or has "a friend to pick up on the way." When this happens, a friendly English (or other language) speaking person will start pitching you outings, most of them to Erg Chebbi near Merzouga or Zagora. If you are not interested, just politely tell them so, but if you are, you can negotiate a reasonable price with them.
Ouarzazate is very safe, but don't wander into weird corners at night. Crime throughout the Moroccan south is minimal, but its best not to take (too many) chances.
- Ait Benhaddou - one of the best preserved Kasbahs . Taxi can take you there for 300 dirhams (probably possible to haggle cheaper price), driver will wait couple of hours. Very picturesque place, lots of movies were shot there (Gladiator). 10 dirham to visit kasbahs. You don't need a guide, but locals will follow you pretending to help and at the end will ask for money. Careful not to get too wet from the river when crossing it, since there's been reports of Schistosomiasis contracted from the water.
- Walk along the central square behind Muhammad V at night when everyone comes out. The kids go out to play football on the square, people go eat and socialize, and you'll get a feel for the community just walking around.
- Go to Atlas Studios. It lies about ~ 4km from town center. Entrance ticket is 50 dirhams. Most of movie decorations are a bitt crumbled, but egyptan decorations is still impresive.
- Plan an expedition out to M'Hamid. A night in the Sahara is unforgettable and can be the best part of your Moroccan adventure. Ourzazate is the last big town in the south where this is easy and cheap to do. There are lots of agencies around that can arrange a trek like this, though this is the more expensive way to do it. A cheaper way, if you don't mind worrying about a few details, is to rent a car, go out there yourself, and negotiate an overnight in the desert with a Merzougan auberge (most of them offer overnights in the dessert). Renting a car and driving the way is relatively easy if you drive a stick. The roads out that way are very good and easy to navigate. The overnight in the Dunes should only cost about 400-500Dh. A grand taxi will also take you out that way and back for 1500-2000Dh. Everything out here is negotiable, so shop around for the best price. Local agencies alsou offer trips to mountain valley of Dades.
Whatever you buy, it is likely you won't find it cheaper in Marrakech or Fes. Realize everything is negotiable! In Ouarzazate, there is souk, some local stores. At the towns center, there two western like shops with fixed (but pretty high) prices, but at these you can by alcohol including judeo-berber vodka and local wine.
Plenty of cheap restaurants along Mohammad V street and in central square near market. Normal price for tagine should be about 30Dh.
Bottled water is cheap (10Dh) and widely available.
Plenty of hotels of all ranges around town. Ask a cabby to bring you to one, but realize he'll pocket commission for bringing you there.
- La Gazella- clean, cheap hotel (156Dhm double room with hot shower), safe parking in the courtyard, ATM just next door, bakery across the road.
- Hotel Saghro A bit out of town across the river (you'll need a grand taxi to get there), but the rooms are nice and there's a restaurant on site. They even have a pool.
- Hotel la Vallée(Hotel Ouarzazate), Km 1 route de Zagora, Taboute Ouarzazate Morocco(Located in Ouarzazate Tabounte district on the way to Zagora), ☎ +18.104.22.168.34, . Hotel La Vallée offers quality accommodation, unbeatable restaurant service, swimming pool, Moroccan caidal tent party lounge, tours and organized excursions in Morocco and 4wd / ATV adventure activities. The hotel is divided into different areas spread around an area of 500m2. Hotel La Vallée provides fully equipped quality accommodations combining great comfort with local decoration. All rooms and different and decorated maintaining Moroccan traditions and basic folk features.20 Euros to 30 Euros per person with breakfast and Dinner included.
Dar Ahlam is a spectacular 10-room hotel in Skoura, about 40 km from Ouarzazate. It is expensive, but distinctive in every element: architecture, style, service, and food. Possibly the best hotel in Morocco. Ask to stay in one of the villas.
- I Roccha(Irocha), Tiseldey/Tisselday, . Extremely friendly hosts and international mix of travellers. Quiet and relaxing place overseeing a valley in a small village of Tisselday. For New Year holidays, normally confirms booking only for those who visited previously (and hosts liked them).
Tours & Excursions
- Anaam Tours(Anaam Tours), Hay Lhassania N° 89, Ouarzazate Morocco, ☎ +212.6135.1688(firstname.lastname@example.org), . Transport Company specialist in 5 days tours around Morocco: from Marrakech, from Ouarzazate, from Dades Valley, from Zagora, from Merzouga.
- Ligne d'Aventure(Ligne d'Aventure), B.P 570 Ouarzazate - 45000, Morocco, ☎ +212.4868.0907(email@example.com), . Ligne d’Aventure is a family run business that offers guidance and transport on quite a few numbers of tours and excursions in Morocco. Ligne d’Aventure headquarters is placed in the city of Ouarzazate, south of Marrakech.
- Oasis Aventure(Oasis Aventure), BP 361, 45000 Ouarzazate, Morocco, ☎ +212.6143.8432(firstname.lastname@example.org), . Oasis Aventure offers tours and excursions across Morocco that takes you from the most important cities to the most off the beaten desert tracks and sand dunes.
- Ideal Tours(Ideal Tours), Avenue Moulay Rachid BP 310, 45000 Ouarzazate, Morocco, ☎ +22.214.171.124.63(email@example.com, fax: +126.96.36.199.64), . 4x4 and Minibus Company in Ouarzazate, Tours and Excursions in 4WD and Minibus around Morocco, the Great South, The Sahara desert in Merzouga, Zagora and Mhamid, Tours in Marrakesh and Tours in Ouarzazate.
- Marrakech Expedition 4x4(Marrakech Expedition 4x4), Tigami Lajdid Tarmigt BP 576, 45000 Ouarzazate, Morocco, ☎ +212 62 37 24 47(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +212 24 85 42 48), . A team of professionals with a large experience in the tourism industry offers you great escapes inside a beautiful country yet to be discovered. Tours in 4X4 - 4WD or with van / minibus at your service.
- Transport Tifinagh(Transport Tifinagh), N° 06, Rue Mansour Eddahbi, 45000 Ouarzazate, Morocco, ☎ +212 24 88 64 51(email@example.com, fax: +212 24 88 64 50), . Transport Company settled in the city of Ouarzazate with brand new fleet of vehicles 4×4, minibus and private cars.
There is a bus line which runs from Ouarzazate to Er Rachida, a mid-sized administrative town which can be a good launching pad for Merzouga and the desert, note that on this line touts will join the bus at stops along the way and try to lever you into going on a 'discounted' desert tour. They are persistant and will ask you about yourself. Claiming to be a 'veteran' of Saharan travel (perhaps more convincing if you can speak French) and already booked into a hotel at your destination may help convince them to let you be.
This page was last edited at 06:51, on 15 March 2009 by Wikitravel user GF. Based on work by João Leitão, Edgars, David, Denis Yurkin, Abdessamad IDRISSI, firstname.lastname@example.org and moha awessar, Wikitravel user(s) Jo34, Morph, Cacahuate, Lone.guner and W66LinkBot, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.