Morocco’s rugged High Atlas region, and the desert that lies just to its east, is home to the country’s most raw and spectacular scenery. Villages snuggle into deep valleys, or cling precariously to mountain slopes. Snow-capped peaks shimmer on the horizon, while below a carpet of lush green fields roll out before you. This is the number one destination in Morocco for outdoor activities, and the attractions of hiking and mountain biking bring thousands of outdoor enthusiasts here every year. Even if working up a sweat isn’t your thing, this region has plenty to offer. The kasbahs of Ouarzazate, Ait Ben Haddou, Tifoultoute and Telouet should convince even the most seasoned city slicker that there’s sightseeing aplenty here.
Located on the crossroads between the Draa, Dades and Ziz Valleys, Ouarzazate is home to the magnificent Taourirt Kasbah (fortress). Surrounded by dramatic landscapes that are beloved by film crews (scenes from “Gladiator”, “Kundun”, and “Alexander the Great” have all been filmed here), this town has become a popular base for excursions further into the High Atlas region. The weekly Sunday market is a vibrant affair that sells everything from produce to craft-work. Don’t miss it if you’re in town at the time. Taourirt Kasbah is town’s only real sightseeing attraction. Built in the 19th century, the kasbah was used extensively by the Glaoui family in the early 20th century who ruled over much of this region during that time.