Ouarzazate has grown from a nondescript camel stop to a major destination for international winter tourism. Although its central location—near the Draa and Dades valleys and various oases, the High Atlas and the Sahara—is its main asset, other reasons to visit include Taourirt Casbah, its Ouazguita carpets (geometric designs of red-orange on black background) and its exotic charm.
Ouarzazate can be seen as a day trip from Marrakech, but we prefer to overnight there en route to Merzouga, using it as a base for exploring the nearby casbahs and ksour (residential buildings). For an in-depth tour of the area, you'll need at least four days. If you have less time available, take an excursion to Ait Benhadou, a Berber village with many casbahs. Ouarzazate is 80 mi/130 km southeast of Marrakech.
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