The city of Ouarzazate lies in the southern part of Morocco, and is a city of vibrant cultural and artistic traditions. It derives its name from a Berber phrase meaning without noise or without confusion. It was traditionally the small crossing point for African traders moving towards the northern cities of Morocco as well as Europe. During the French regime it was developed and expanded as a garrison town and administrative centre as well as a custom post.
Ouarzazate is, by all standards, a different city from most Moroccan cities of its size (about 40,000 inhabitants). Its focal point is the long and wide street Avenue Muhammed V which leds into the city, continues along the modern buildings, the kasbah of Tifoultoutte, and then leads out of the city.
Ouarzazate is designed for heavy tourism, and is well established with numerous hotels of high standard, but relatively few restaurants. There is a strange and empty feeling to Ouarzazate, except in the centre where a typical Moroccan market dominates. It is often the favorite stop for Moroccan tour companies on their way to the Sahara Desert. Most of them stop over to stock up provisions for their further journey to the great deserts.
If you are planning a custom tour, you can surely plan a stop over for a day or two in the city of Ouarzazate, it is worth a visit. Many people are amazed by the marvelous and spiritual moments of the life in this city before moving ahead to virgin Sahara. Another reason for its popularity is the huge movie studios that are present here.