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Things to Do in Ouarzazate

With its strategic location at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains and on the brim of the vast Saharan sands, Ouarzazate has become one of Morocco’s most important holiday destinations, popular among both locals and tourists. Long known as the ‘Door of the Desert’, Ouarzazate makes a common launch pad for camel trekking and camping trips into the Draa Valley and the surrounding Sahara desert, as well as tours of the famous UNESCO-World Heritage listed city of Aït Benhaddou and hiking excursions into the mountains.

Ouarzazate is also the heart of Morocco’s film industry, with the region’s mud-built towns and striking Kasbahs providing the scope for dramatic onscreen landscapes. Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy and Gladiator were all shot in the area, along with recently shot scenes for HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, earning the town the affectionate nickname of ‘Ouallywood’.
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Tizi-n'Tichka Pass
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252 Tours and Activities

Winding through the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco from southeast of Marrakesh to Ouarzazate, the Tizi-n'Tichka Pass (Difficult Path) offers one of the nation’s most dramatic and hair-raising drives. This high mountain pass offers stunning views of the Atlas Mountains around every hairpin turn — and there are plenty of them. Built by the French for military use in 1936, the road follows Route Nationale 9 and reaches an altitude of 7,415 feet (2,260 meters).

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Atlas Film Studios
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On the edge of the Sahara Desert in Ouarzazate, Atlas Film Studios is not only the center of Morocco’s film industry, but the largest film studio in the world. Founded in the early 1980s, the studios boast an impressive pedigree, having hosted iconic film sets such asGladiator andStar Wars, as well as scenes fromGame of Thrones.

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Kasbah Amridil
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Travelers seeking the typical Kasbah experience will find it at the 17th-century destination known as Amrdil. This well-preserved (and equally well restored) structure offers impressive views of nearby landscapes, including the Skoura palm groves, and showcases an ancient slice of life that’s difficult to find anywhere else.

Visitors can tour the grounds of the main sand-colored structure and visit the popular museum, where handmade tools, historic wells and traditional bread ovens. It’s possible to explore the grounds solo, but travelers will likely find local and informal guides eager to offer up their services at a reasonable price.

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