Where to stay in Ouarzazate: the best Riads and boutique hotels

If you are planning a trip to the Sahara, Ouarzazate is a must-see. This extraordinarily beautiful region, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, is Morocco's film capital due to its numerous film studios. It competes with other cities of equal charm and greater fame such as Fez, Marrakech and Essaouira, but Ouarzazate undoubtedly has an essence that makes it unique and different. The best place for a romantic getaway.

The fabulous desert landscapes of the surrounding area have been used countless times as the backdrop for films such as Lawrece of Arabia, Gladiator and Star Wars. If you are lucky, your trip may coincide with the filming of a movie. Feel like you are in Hollywood.

In addition to its natural sites, Ouarzazate has many monuments to visit, such as the extraordinarily well-preserved Kasbah and the Glaoui Palace, at the highest point of the city. This architectural ensemble is used not only as a film set, but also as a starting point for discovering the wonders of the Sahara Desert.

From this region you can access the route of the "thousand kasbahs" and the Dades Valley, an enclave of wild nature where tourists can admire the contrast of snow on one side and the desert on the other.

All the roads leading to Ouarzazate will transport you to a spectacular setting of remote villages, natural wonders, and architectural gems.


Our favourite towns, villages, and accommodations in Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate, also known as "The Gateway to the Desert" has a multitude of tourist attractions, from the Central Market, to Al Mouahidine Square or the craft souk (where you can find the best typical products such as pottery, stones, tapestries, and carpets from the region).

On the outskirts stands the Kasbah of Taurirt, one of the main attractions of Ouarzazate and one of the most impressive Kabahs in Morocco. This adobe Kasbah, flanked by crenellated towers, was built in the 18th century on the gold route from Marrakech to Timbuktu. Its interior is truly impressive and contains the rooms of the Glaoui dynasty in an excellent state of preservation. A must-see for history lovers.

There is an area at the foot of the mountain range that looks like a small miracle, with more than 70.000 palm trees, fig trees, almond trees and pomegranate trees. We are talking about La Palmerie de Skoua, an oasis of fertile land thanks to two rivers flowing from the Atlas Mountains, perfect for your first stop before heading into the desert, and we have just the right charming riad hotels in Skoura. Visit the Kasbah of Amridil, it is very well preserved and very interesting.

On the outskirts of Ouarzazat is Ksar-Ben-Haddou, about 30 kilometres in the direction of Marrakesh. It is an imposing fortification, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is well worth exploring it on foot in its entirety and reaching its summit, where you will find a beautiful view of the natural desert landscapes that surround it.

Forty kilometres from Ouarzazat is another of the region's major tourist attractions: the Atlas Mountains and the Dades Valley, famous for its olives and olive oil. This place offers a cool oasis and a spectacular labyrinth of gardens shaded by palm, pomegranate, fig, and almond trees.

Here we find a collection of kasbahs, hence the name "The route of a thousand kasbahs"; the ideal place for trekking or spending wonderful nights in tents in the middle of the oasis.

Gastronomy in Ouarzazate

In Ouarzazate you can taste the most delicious dishes of Moroccan cuisine such as meat, chicken and fish tajines, accompanied by ingredients less common in Western cuisine such as apricots, honey, sultanas and dates. Couscous is another staple of Moroccan cuisine and is particularly good in Ouarzazate, where it is served with lamb sweetened with fruit and honey.

The character of Moroccan cuisine lies in the use of herbs and spices that flavour the delicious traditional dishes. The rosewater and orange blossom water used to scent some foods is another sign of the Moroccan taste for food that can be enjoyed not only with taste, but also with sight and smell.

Mint tea is another of the delights of Moroccan cuisine. It is served in an interesting ceremony, the fruit of Moroccan traditions. The tea is usually accompanied by a sweet typical of the region, generally made with almonds or honey.

Our collections

Don’t know where to go? Let our collections inspire you.