Top 5 of Ouarzazate | The oasis at the gates of the Moroccan Sahara
Mysterious spices, vibrant colors and captivating music: Morocco is an experience that will awaken all your senses. Add to that a friendly people always ready to explain the traditions of the country, you will have a memorable trip.
Less worldly and hectic than its big sister Marrakech, the city of Ouarzazate is a strategic point to continue your adventure in the country of A Thousand and One Nights. Of course you will not be able to resist the urge to venture into one of the most intriguing places on our planet, the Sahara Desert.
1. Crossing of the Atlas Mountains
From Marrakech, head south where the city of Ouarzazate awaits you. For transportation, you can choose between the fast plane or the slow bus. The author's suggestion ... the bus of course!
You will also have the chance to see scrolling before your eyes striking landscapes. On this road, you will have the impression of entering real Morocco. That of the nomads and the desert. The peaks of the Atlas are white, the earth is red and the palm grove of the Draa Valley is striking green.
2. The amazing souks
Get lost in the Moroccan souks, let yourself be amazed by the treasures that are there ... this is the essence of a trip to this North African country. The first piece of advice for you future traveler, leave space for memories. You'll want to bring EVERYTHING. As in any good market, negotiation is essential. On the other hand, negotiation is different in Morocco, negotiation is a cultural thing. You can easily divide the asking price by ten, just follow a few basic rules.
Remain respectful at all times despite the seller's insistence. These men and women may seem embarrassing at times, but you have to understand that for them, it's a question of survival.
Taking your time is the watchword. Slowness is something great that we have forgotten in our western societies. There is nothing better than wandering around the shops without the stress of wanting to do everything as quickly as possible. Sellers will also be more likely to lower their prices.
If you have successfully lowered the price of your scarf by 10 dollars, please do not start taking the head of the Moroccan seller for a few extra dirhams. What does one dollar mean to you? And what does it mean for them?
3. Behind the scenes
Located 3 kilometers west of Ouarzazate, the Atlas studios are an interesting activity for moviegoers. Even if the site requires a little brushstroke and a makeover, it is still impressive to see the sets of films as famous as Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra and two memorable films by Ridley Scott: Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven.
The shooting of films in Ouarzazate is behind the creation of thousands of jobs. It is considered that nearly 100,000 people, extras, technicians but also hoteliers, traders and craftsmen live directly or indirectly from the cinema industry. Atlas Studios (Atlas Corporation) was created in 1983.
4. Camel or dromedary?
This is the long awaited moment, the moment you had imagined when you dreamed of leaving for Morocco. Like swimming with dolphins or riding on the back of an elephant, a ride on a dromedary is a must do in Ouarzazate. Although many believe it is a tourist trap, rest assured that you will have a lot of fun walking around on these funny beasts. For the small information, do you know the difference between the dromedary and the camel? The dromedary has a single hump while the camel has two humps and is mainly present in Asia.
5. A night in the desert
Probably the activity that will cost you the most, it is nevertheless worth all the dirhams you will spend. After the camel ride, your guides will take you to the Berber camp. Settled around a fire, you will enjoy a barbecue while gazing at the stars. If you believe you have seen a starry sky in your life, wait to see the one that the Sahara has in store for you. Your guides will be happy to accompany you throughout the evening, music and Berber history on the program. To sleep two options: under the tent or directly under the stars.