Ouarzazate came from the Berber composed word Warzazate "war=without |zazate=noise”. Ouarzazate is a small city located in the southern Morocco, a deserted landscapes that contrasts with the snow peaks of the High Atlas section. Nicknamed the gate of desert, Ouarzazate is meeting point of the rivers from Dades area which makes the big Draa valley.
Ouarzazate is located at an altitude of 1136, it’s weather is influenced by the Saharian air masses
and masses south-west Atlantic with the domination of the first which makes Ouarzazate climate very dry, the Atlas mountains stands as obstacles and tow main factors that makes the climate dry.
The temperatures differ from winter between 0.5 and 20 to 30 and 40 in summer time.
What makes Ouarzazate special and attractive tourism destination is, first it’s location between the mountains, plains of arid valleys and oases of green palm groves, second the architecture of the kasbahs, the buildings. Ouarzazate attracts the attention of geographers and historians from ancient times as well as the filmmakers and hikers and rallies organisations.
Ouarzazate is also the capital of crafts, folklore, culture and architectural heritage of Moroccan south. At the gates of the desert, the city of a thousand Kasbahs contains strengths and attractions of great values untouched and offers an extraordinary opportunity for relax stays for both Moroccan and international visitors.
The natural assets and potentialities of Ouarzazate area are an impressive contrast, in an alternative deserted landscapes and snowy mountains, green oases and diversified valleys in which the natural composition is unique in Morocco and among the finest in the world. The city lies in the middle of a desert contrasting landforms and vegetation of the High Atlas Mountains nearby. It benefits from its unique geographical location and climate to the crossroads that links the valley of Draa, Dades and Sousse.
Major city located in the south of the Draa Valley. The Almoravid dynasty who uses to rule Morocco built a fortress in the early 11th century. Towards the east of Zagora leaving the Draa Valley, the vegetation and green spaces disappears to make way for a huge red soil and beautiful scenery.
Mhamid village is located in the deep south of Morocco, beyond Tamgroute, you see the first sand dunes of Tinfou but if you want to see the real desert dunes you should travel to M'hamid (Day Market on Monday). Mhamid village inhabited by men in blue.
The most famous kasbahs in Morocco:
Former residence of the Pasha el Glaoui. Taourirte is the name of the Berber village that has existed since the twelfth century. Taourirt kasbah is a monument heritage site since 1953.
This kasbah is located on a defensive site at 7 km from Ouarzazate, giving a 360 °. This place is very popular with the filmmakers.
Ait Benhaddou Kasbah:
Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ait benhaddou kasbah served as a decor for filming international movies as well as a major economic and cultural crossroad since ancient times.
On the way to Skoura palm grove (40km from Ouarzazate) this kasbah of the 17th century is an important place to visit while travelling on the road of thousand kasbahs, it is now under renovation, but the visits are welcomed by the owner.
This village the obligatory custom passage point for caravans to pay a royalty to the Glaoui tribe. In the early 20th century, the pasha of Marrakesh has built a palace which je join adjoined to the fortress. A guard will welcome you to make a visit of the ceremonial halls (or reception hall).
When we leave Boumalen Dades towards the gorges along the Dades valley, you won’t see the palms but almonds orchards, oleanders, peach and apple trees, that is due to altitude.The valley views are magnificent from both sides of the river and create an impressive setting.
This is a successive of kasbahs and ksours including the Kasbah of Ait Arbi built at the foot of the rocks and ocher Tamlalte "monkey legs" so called because the rocks shaped rounded up on a piece of a cliff.
The winding road climbs over a pencil to vertiginous walls in a peaceful place of outstanding beauty, or live to cuffs and where you can fish in the river.
From El Kelaat M'Gouna towards the peaks of Jebel M'Goun, water have cut into the folds of M'Goun a deep gorge with sheer canyons full of oleander trees. Water flows from the peaks in truly mountain oasis. The Berber inhabitants have installed their villages along the river, and cultivate fields of maize in over that 2200m, and in the bottom of the valley, there are orchards. From M'Goun summit (4068 m) the view is impressive.
You will walk along the valley on the right side and cross a large palm grove called Todgha. You will explore spectacular and varied sites: Mountains with surprising colors throughout the route, offering remarkable views of the valley and its palm grove, a mixture of old and new villages in both side of Todgha gorges. After the ford, we enter the most spectacular gorges (canyons) with a parade of impressive height of deflection, a favourite place for rock climbers.
The valleys of Moroccan south:
A luxuriant palm grove founded i the twelfth century, an attractive area with its kasbahs and the Khettaras (Old underground irrigation system). The Skoura kvalley is full of green fields from Ouarzazate to Toundout village remain very attractive and popular with tourists lovers of ecotourism.
Beautiful fields of roses that you will discover along 150km most beautiful sites of Morocco. On the way you will assist to a large number of ksours and Kasbahs built by pise in a Breber architecture style which emerges sometimes the dome of holy man (Saint).
The city of Kelaat M'Gouna and its beautiful kasbahs like pearls in a necklace which you can admire the ornamental richness of Berber architecture style. Commonly known, the valley or road of thousand kasbahs located between two large mountains Jbel Sagho east and the High Atlas to the west.
The Dades valley cross the green valley and gives it attraction. Each year in May, the village becomes an attractive pole, its scientific name Rosa Damaskina: 500 tons of rose petals are processed (1 ton of rose petals is needed to extract 1 kg of concrete and distilled).
From Kelaa Mgouna towards Boutaghrar, a geographical area which became an attractive tourism destination for natural/green/mountain lovers. You will discover magical landscape architectural canyons first and the famous gorges of M'Goun where it is almost dark during the day, the source of the Berber name «the twilight of Ait M'Raou».
The Draa valley is a huge oasis, with its palm groves dotted with some fifty kasbahs and ksours.
The Draa valley length is more than 200 km, covering over 23.00 km2. The Draa is the longest and longest river in Morocco around 1200km, which ended its course in the Atlantic Ocean next to Tan-Tan city. The Draa valley is bordered on the north by Djebel Saghro, east by the rising northern Djebel Bani to the south by the Hamada of Draa and west by the mountains of the Anti-Atlas section.
The most spectacular landscapes in the valley are located on the way to the valley that leads to M'hamid village where we find the old Kasbahs and Ksours as well as many green gardens with tree that gives fruits. The Draa valley is part of the bioclimatic Sahara. The average annual rainfall is very low, decreasing from north to the south. The regional topography is compartmentalized in valleys, mountains, plains and desert plateaus. The palm trees, stretched to the middle of a vast barren landscape, give the image of exceptional richness.
The Fint Oasis is at about 15 kms from Ouarzazate, the green oasis contrasting with the dark rocks that cross the plateau of the Anti-Atlas. It is recommended as half day trip.
Morocco Desert Dunes:
Dunes & Desert:
Tinfou Dunes in Southern Zagora:
Desert landscapes in southern Morocco characterized by the predominance of dry rivers, stony plains (Regs), Saharan plateaus (Hamadas) and spectacular sand dunes (Ergs). The dune systems of the Draa valley is divided in three forms: isolated dunes, mini systems generally consist of a dune mother surrounded by a series of small dunes and dune grouped into true cords covering large areas including the Erg Lihoudi and Chegaga around M'hamid. Among the dunes isolated and made by desertification are Tinfou Tiguida dunes.
A few kilometres after Zagora and Tamgrout in south direction of M'hamid village, you will encounter the first dunes Tinfou their golden colour makes these dunes very beautiful to see. Located near the road, they peak at 120m high over an area of 4 hectares. Very easy access without risk you approach you will taste the desert. Some nomads tents settled in camps offer camel rides and night under the tents.
Mhamid and Chegaga Dunes:
M'hamid is the final administrative center of the Draa, its day market is held on Monday, it is sometimes visited by "men in blue, nomads camel drivers of the Sahara.
With a camel, on foot or with a 4x4 vehicle (water and food) you can finally discover the desert and its vast dunes of Chegaga through the sacred oasis where you can enjoy the shade of Tamaris trees.
A sunset and a sunrise in the dunes are unforgettable moments.
Marrakech is a millennium city, an imperial city, city of art and culture, enchanting city, the pearls of the south, the capitals of many dynasties who use to rule Morocco in the ancient time, Marrakech is a magical destination that attract visitors worldwide. It is the Moroccan tourism capital thanks’s to its capacity hotels which constantly increasing.
Classified historic town on the World Heritage list, has numerous monuments, places and gardens, themselves recognized and protected internationally, this city has always been fascinated by its climate, its environment, its history and the friendliness of its population. Marrakech, the eternal city, becomes the new secondary residence for many artists, business leaders and celebrities, happy to find a haven of peace and rest and to tap new sources of inspiration.
Essaouira or wind city as they call it, is a small coastal town surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and limited South by the Ksob river that flow into the bay and separates the old city with the village of Diabet. This village housed in the sixties, a community formed the hippie movement. The islands of Mogador, these vestiges of a glorious era, surrounded by water where fishing is an easy activity, seem to defy the new city.
Known until XNIII century under the name of Mogador, the Alaouite Sultan Ben Abdallah Mohamed build a city wishing to compete Agadir, appealed to Theodore Cornu French engineer. Essaouira city drawn with straight from the Vauban ramparts, surprised by its unique architecture, houses with blue shutters its fortifications and guns pointed at the ocean.