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Morocco itinerary - Morocco tour - Morocco Desert tour

Morocco itinerary
Morocco itinerary - Morocco tour - Morocco Desert tour

Explore Morocco

Ouarzazate (pronounced Warsasat) has transformed itself from a former military base into a clean, modern city with a population of almost 100,000 (290,000 in the entire province). Ouarzazate was already an important military base during the protectorate period, and after the war German prisoners of war were also interned in Ouarzazate. After independence, the Moroccans continued to use the site as a military base.


 In the 1980s, Ouarzazate's tourist infrastructure was expanded as part of the promotion of desert and round-trip tourism, and the city was given a new face. Brown and red houses, walls with white crenellations, a pretty main square (Place du 3 Mars) with a fountain, a pedestrian street lined with palm trees (Rue du Marché) and a large hotel district give the place the look and ambience of a tourist town with a Moroccan feel. lime colour. The concept worked: many international tour operators use Ouarzazate as the starting point for round trips. Package tourists fly in from Casablanca to the city's small airport. But Ouarzazate is not just one today.


But today Ouarzazate is not just a tourist town with good infrastructure, but primarily a film metropolis. A monument with two rolls of film in the middle of the roundabout at the entrance to the city from Marrakech symbolizes this status. Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock are just a few of the famous directors. who chose Morocco as their film location. The filmography is long: It began in 1956 with Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. This was followed - to name just a few - by "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962). The "Jewel of the Nile" (1985). Morocco itinerary 8 Days



Desert Skies (1990), all episodes of The Bible (1994-1999), Kundun (1997), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Alexander ( 2004), "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005), "Pope Joan" (2008), "The Physician" (2013) and episodes from the TV series "Game of Thrones" (2016). Some scenes can be admired in the Atlas or the CLA film studios (www.cla-studios.com) a few kilometers before Ouarzazate (coming from Marrakech) (see route description "Continue to Ouarzazate" at the end of the last tenth chapter "The Northern High Atlas"). In addition, the Musée du Cinéma opposite the Kasbah Taourirt provides information about the history of the film city (see below). Due to the great demand from the international film industry, a film school was even set up in Ouarzazate, where training in production management, stage, make-up and costume design is offered.

worth seeing


Ouarzazate has only a few sights to offer. Because of its central location between the High Atlas and the desert, the city is a good starting point for excursions into the surrounding area. 7 Days Itinerary in Morocco


 The Kasbah Taourirt (daily 8 am-6 pm, DH 20 admission) on the eastern edge of Ouarzazate - once the residence of the Pasha of Marrakech (Al Glaoui, see Marrakech and Telouet) - is the epitome of the city-like Kasbah with a princely residence and residential areas. The huge nested structure behind high walls once offered shelter to an entire tribe. The Kasbah district behind the palace building is still inhabited today. The palace area, which is worth seeing, has beautiful wood and stucco decorations in the (empty) interiors. An official guide, there is also a German-speaking gentleman - charges about 100 DH (for a whole group) for an hour-long tour.


The kasbah district behind the Kasbah Taourirt (passage to the left of the main entrance to the palace) is a village in itself: multi-storey mud buildings, a castle, towers and a mellah (Jewish quarter). Everything comes together as a whole, the Kasbah - in this case the entire old town, once one of the largest in Morocco. Jewish residents no longer live in the mellah. A carpet weaving workshop is housed in the synagogue. A tour through the winding streets of the Kasbah quarter is a fascinating experience, even if a few souvenir dealers have settled down in the meantime and children have been forced to act as guides.


 Opposite the Kasbah, on the other side of the street, all kinds of souvenirs and carpets are sold in a shop complex. Next to it is the entrance to the Musée du Cinéma (daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., in midsummer lunch break between 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m., admission: 40 DH), which provides information about the film history of the city. On the site there is, among other things, the backdrop of a white church from the Bible film "Bethlehem". The false bell tower can be seen from the upper floors of the Kasbah Taourirt, for example, and often causes confusion among European visitors. 20 Days Morocco tour


Aït Benhaddou



The Ksar Ait Benhaddou has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Numerous films were shot here and at the Ouarzazate film studios (see this term), including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Martin Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Jesus (1988), Gladiator (2000), Alexander ( 2004), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010).


Aït Benhaddou is a beautiful example of traditional Berber mud architecture. The ksar (= fortified village) on the eastern side of the Oued Mellah consists of a maze of houses, towers and collective granaries, of which there were six in Aït Benhaddou. The houses, built from rammed earth and adorned with ornaments, are nested one inside the other on the mountain slope and are an impressive sight as an ensemble. For a long time the buildings fell into disrepair as the residents moved into modern houses in the new district on the west side of the Oued Mellah (mellah = salt, named after the slightly salty water) and the kasbahs were no longer maintained. Many kasbahs have only been renovated in the last ten years.


You first reach the new district via the asphalt road. There are many hostels, cafes, restaurants and souvenir stalls catering to tourists. At midday, visitors flock from the buses and stop at a restaurant before visiting the old ksar. If possible, plan the early morning or late afternoon for your sightseeing tour. Don't let guides who only want to collect money or who want to impose themselves as illegal guides lead you to supposed car parks.


Auberge Khadija (see below) guides its guests competently through the town.


 There is a large car park on the right hand side of the road when coming from Ouarzazate (on the left when coming from Telouèt) in front of the large Hotel La Kasbah. From there the path leads past some souvenir shops down to the Oued and the Ksar on the other side of the river. Old Ksar is only accessible on foot, an ugly concrete bridge spanning the river. When the water level is low (which is usually the case), you can cross the Oued on sandbags. There is no entrance fee for the two official entrances to the Ksar: One leads to the far left over the pedestrian bridge, the other to the far right on the other side of the river into the Ksar (white inscription "Entrée" on a clay wall, then white arrows If you enter the ksar through the archway in the middle, you come into a private kasbah (entrance 10 DH as a renovation contribution).


 Alleyways and stone steps lead through the impressive complex of dozens of kasbahs, taking you up to the top of the hill with an old agadir (collective granary for the local residents). From up here you have a great view of the surroundings, the houses below and the many stork nests (in spring) on the ornate towers. Important buildings in the complex, such as the old mosque and the Koran school, were provided with information boards.


The "Maison berbère" of the Ibach Brahim family can be visited (tip). The simple typical house with some original interior gives an idea of traditional living. Another "maison traditional" (tip) is in the upper part of the village too find. It belongs to the extremely nice Ali Ait Malik and his family. 11 Days in Morocco

 In the ksar, many souvenir shops and galleries offer their wares. The demonstration of the watercolor painters, who paint postcards and pictures with initially transparent colors made of green tea and saffron, is worth seeing.

Morocco itinerary
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