Car Travel

The only practical way to tour the Great Oasis Valleys is by car. Being surrounded by gorgeous, largely unexplored hinterlands—like the Todra or Dadès gorges—without being able to explore safely and comfortably defeats the purpose of coming down here. Driving the oasis roads requires full attention and certain safety precautions: make sure you have enough fuel, slow down when cresting hills, expect everything from camels to herds of sheep to appear in the road, expect oncoming traffic to come down the middle of the road, and be prepared to come to a full stop if forced to the right and faced with a pothole or other obstacle. Additionally, consider buying a local sim and a data scratch card for your smart phone as Google Maps will be your friend. That said, there is a big road-building program in Morocco, so new roads may not be on your map. Also, many towns and villages have no signs, so you may have to stop and ask exactly where you are. Moroccans get around by asking directions; don't be afraid to do the same. If you haven’t rented a car someplace else, you can rent one on arrival in Ouarzazate. Consider getting a 4x4: it's not essential but definitely makes life easier in some places.

Rental Cars

Europcar. A good range of cars at decent prices offered by a pleasant, helpful staff. You can pick up in town or at the airport. Av. Mohammed V, Pl. 3 Mars, Ouarzazate, Souss-Massa-Drâa, 45000. 0524/88–20–35; www.europcar.ma.

Hertz. A reliable option in the area offering good cars at a reasonable rate. 35, av. Mohammed V, Ouarzazate, Souss-Massa-Drâa, 45000. 0524/88–20–84; www.hertz.com.

Tafoukt Cars. Locally owned and the owner is very helpful. You can also hire a car with a driver. 88, rue Er-Rachidia, Ouarzazate, Souss-Massa-Drâa, 45000. 0524/88--26--90.

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