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"Ouarzazate and the South Oasis Region" Top 5 Page for this destination Ouarzazate by amsterdam_vallon

Ouarzazate Travel Guide: 149 reviews and 467 photos

About Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate, the " door of the desert ", was initially a garrison town. Its strategic position at the crossroads of the roads of Marrakech and Agadir, of the South and the East, decided its creation into 1928. It was to be an important place in the vast plan of pacification which had set up the Lyautey General.

City in Morocco with 40,000 inhabitants.

Ouarzazate is situated in the interior of the country, south of the High Atlas mountains, at an elevation of 1,135 metres.

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.

19th century: The Glaoui family gets control of the region, and settles in the Taourirt kasbah.
1928: Ouarzazate is established as a French garrison and administrative centre, right north of Taourirt.

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At the discovery of Ouarzazate and the South Oasis

The Draa Valley, is stretch from Ouarzazate in the south and to the Tafilalt Valley, south of Er-Rachidia are the two axes to join the Sahara.

Those two valley are join together by the Dades Valley who stretch on a desertic plateau for 120 km and at an altitude of 1 000 to 1 500m.

A good week is necessary to visit this region, taste the charm of the Oasis and visit some of the remarquable Ksour.

The Region in a glimpse:
Ait Benhadou -3-
Boulmane du Dades -11-
El-Kelaa M'Gouna -10-
Erfoud -21-
Er-Rachidia -19-
Dades Gorges -12-
Todra Gorges -14-
Ziz Gorges -18-
Goulmina -16-
Jbel Sarhro -3-
Taourit Kasbah -2-
Merzouga -24-
Mhamid -8-
Midelt -17-
Ouarzazate -1-
Tafilfalt Palm Groove -22-
Rissani -23-
Skoura -9-
Meski Blue Source -20-
Tamegroute -7-
Tamttatouchte -15-
Tinerhir -13-
Draa Valley -5-
Zagora -6-

The Kasbah

Traditional fortress and palace of towns in pre-colonial North Africa.

The kasbah served as the seat of the local ruler, or feudal master, as well as the hiding place of the local population during attacks. The kasbah was constructed for defence, with high walls and with small or no windows at all. Often kasbahs exploited the terrain to make them easier to defend: they were situated on hill tops or near the approach to harbours.

Up until modern times all villages had each their kasbah, and the existence of a kasbah was a prerequisite for the survival of the village. In some areas, villages could be consisting of several kasbahs, this often expressing the wealth of individual families.

Kasbahs survived well into the time of colonization which started jin 1830 in northern Algeria, and finishing more than 100 years later in the Moroccan mountains.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Kasbah Country and the Door of the Desert!
  • Last visit to Ouarzazate: May 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (8)

  • suvanki's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2006 at 2:33 PM

    Hi, Thanks for your useful information, will be very helpful for my trip in September. Best Wishes, Sue x

  • mistressmau's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2005 at 4:44 PM

    Most excellent and informative travel pages. A great insight. Thanks

  • Sharrie's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2004 at 1:02 AM

    Looks like great fun... strange landscape is just my kind of place :-) Well done! Thanks for the excellent info & pix!

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2004 at 7:45 AM

    Beautiful photos and nice information. Going there soon--so I was just taking an advance peek at what i'll be seeing.

  • deeper_blue's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2004 at 1:57 PM

    Great page on the Ouarzazate region, excellent photos.

  • suvaa003's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2004 at 7:49 AM

    Very good page well done wants me to go back now

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Feb 29, 2004 at 6:57 AM

    Very impressive page.

  • fool_moon's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2004 at 8:32 AM

    Very nice page, very nice pics ! Brings back some experiences


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