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Visit Ouarzawood and explore the rich cinematic history of Morocco

You might be surprised to learn that many of your favorite films have been shot in Morocco! From timeless classics such as Lawrence of Arabia to modern favorites like Russell Crowe's Gladiator, and scenes from Brendan Frasier's The Mummy series. You might recognise some sights from the Jason Bourne series ad Sex and the Cityv 2, parts of which were shot in Marrakesh's old medina, or Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. Hit TV shows have also been shot here: if you've ever watched Game of Thrones, our southern port city of Essaouira doubled as the Slaver's Bay of Astapor.

But the best part is - movie fans who are visiting Morocco can see the exact spots where their favorite scenes were filmed. The Hollywood-savvy Diamond Transfers and Tours team knows exactly which scenes were shot where, off-the-map secret filming locations, and an in-depth oral history of how these movies came to be.

They say the reason that Los Angeles and Hollywood became the center of the film industry: location, location, location. The same holds true for why so many of your favorite feature films were shot in Morocco!

Like the Los Angeles area, Morocco is surrounded by various microclimates. The Sahara desert borders the country in the Erg Chebbi region of Morocco. The High Atlas Mountains surrounding the region offer luscious orchards and snow-capped summits.

So many films have used the country that the world's largest film studio (when measured by acreage), Atlas Studios, opened in 1983 in Ouarzazate. Suppose you've recently enjoyed a movie with hoards of warriors riding over the desert sands on beautiful steeds. In that case, you can bet it was filmed at Atlas Studios, or at neighbouring CLA Studios in Ouarzazate. The small town hidden deep within the High Atlas Mountains is affectionately known as "Ouarzawood."

What will you see on your movie tour in Morocco?

From Casablanca, the tour travels to Marrakesh, the most famous city in Morocco.

You can also see the marketplace in the 1999 Kate Winslett film Hideous Kinky. The Bahia Palace from the 19th century, the Saadian tombs from the 16th century, and the lush Majorelle Garden, which was initially planted by Marrakesh's renowned resident, Yves Saint Laurent, who moved to the city in the 1960s, are some additional attractions to explore in the city.

We will investigate the Jemaa El Fna market, which features renowned snake charmers and served as the setting for Alfred Hitchcock's chase sequence in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), starring James Stewart and Doris Day.

From Marrakesh, we will drive south to Essaouira, a coastal city also called “The City of the Wind.” The Atlantic breezes that lure surfers also called to legendary musician Jimi Hendrix, who was inspired to write his song, Castles Made of Sand, in Essaouira.

Film fans will remark on the statue of Orson Welles in the city square. It was erected in commemoration of his interpretation of the Shakespeare’s Othello (1952), which was shot in the city.

We will travel on to Ouarzazate, a village in the High Atlas Mountains. This is where we can see the famed Atlas and CLA studios. A tour of the studios can be arranged. Since so many movies have been made at Atlas, many of the backdrops and props for films, like Gladiator and series like Game of Thrones, are still intact and can be seen.

You will get to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified village and a living museum used as a backdrop to many films, a short 30 kilometre drive away.

You will take a camel ride to Todra Gorges. Some portions of Lawrence of Arabia were filmed here, with stars Peter O’Toole and Egyptian actor Omar Shariff learning to ride camels, particularly for the desert scenes in this Academy Award-winning picture.

Most people find riding a camel is considerably simpler than riding a horse. In contrast to horses, camels walk slowly and steadily, and they are easy to get onto.

We will journey to the imperial city of Fes, whose medieval meandering alleyways and alleys will make passengers feel like they are in the center of a city in Westeros from Game of Thrones. Traveling north from Fes, we will stop by the Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are the largest, most well-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. Ridley Scott selected this location as a backdrop in Gladiator.

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