Landing at Ouarzazate Airport you are right in the middle of the Sahara Desert, straight into the magical world of the deepest part of Morocco.
Renting a car from Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ) in Morocco
is a great way to explore the region, including the stunning landscapes of the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains. Here are some considerations for choosing a car, road conditions, and traffic:
1. Type of Car:
The type of car you choose depends on your travel plans. In general, a sturdy and comfortable vehicle like a mid-sized sedan or an SUV is a good choice for exploring Morocco, especially if you plan to venture into the desert or mountainous areas. If you're traveling with a larger group or need more storage space for luggage, consider a larger vehicle or a 4x4 for off-road adventures.
2. Road Conditions:
Road conditions in and around Ouarzazate can vary widely. Major highways and roads are generally well-paved and in good condition. If you plan to visit remote desert areas or venture into the Atlas Mountains, you may encounter rougher roads and unpaved tracks. In these cases, a 4x4 vehicle can be advantageous. Be prepared for winding mountain roads in the Atlas Mountains, where driving requires extra caution.
3. Traffic Conditions:
Traffic around Ouarzazate is generally not as congested as in larger Moroccan cities like Marrakech
. However, it can still be busy, especially during peak tourist seasons. Traffic may be lighter in remote desert regions but can become busier near popular attractions.
Morocco has a network of modern motorways (autoroutes) that connect major cities. Some routes to and from Ouarzazate are served by motorways, making long-distance travel more efficient.
5. Road Signs:
Road signs in Morocco are typically in Arabic and French, but many major signs also include English translations. It's advisable to have a GPS device or a reliable navigation app on your smartphone to help with directions.
6. Road Conditions in Desert Areas:
When driving in the desert regions, especially during the summer months, be aware that the heat can affect road surfaces. Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained and equipped for desert conditions.
7. Safety Considerations:
Drive cautiously, especially in mountainous terrain, and be aware of local traffic rules and customs. Take precautions when driving in rural areas, as livestock and pedestrians may share the road.
Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ), also known as Ouarzazate-Al Massira Airport, is located in the city of Ouarzazate in southern Morocco. While the airport is situated within the city of Ouarzazate, there are several towns and attractions nearby that you may wish to visit:
Ouarzazate: The airport is located within the city of Ouarzazate itself, making it easy to explore the city's attractions, including the Taourirt Kasbah, Atlas Film Studios, and the nearby Atlas Mountains.
Skoura: Skoura is a picturesque oasis town located about 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) east of Ouarzazate. It is known for its lush palm groves, historic kasbahs, and traditional mud-brick architecture. The drive from Ouarzazate to Skoura takes approximately 30-45 minutes.
Aït Benhaddou: Aït Benhaddou is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed ksar (fortified village) located approximately 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) northwest of Ouarzazate. It is famous for its well-preserved earthen architecture and has served as a filming location for various movies and TV shows. The drive from Ouarzazate to Aït Benhaddou takes around 30-40 minutes.
Tinghir: Tinghir is a town located to the east of Ouarzazate, known for its beautiful Todra Gorge. It is approximately 170 kilometers (about 106 miles) from Ouarzazate, and the drive takes about 2.5 to 3 hours.
Zagora: Zagora is a town in the Draa Valley, famous for its desert landscapes and the iconic "Timbuktu, 52 days" road sign. It is located about 160 kilometers (about 100 miles) south of Ouarzazate, and the drive takes around 2.5 to 3 hours.
Merzouga: If you're interested in desert adventures, the town of Merzouga is a popular starting point for camel treks into the Sahara Desert. It is approximately 350 kilometers (about 217 miles) southeast of Ouarzazate, and the drive typically takes around 4 to 5 hours.
These towns offer a variety of experiences, from exploring historic kasbahs and gorges to experiencing the unique desert landscapes of Morocco. Renting a car at Ouarzazate Airport provides the flexibility to visit these nearby towns and attractions at your own pace.