Myth has it that Morocco's Atlas Mountains were formed when the hero Perseus turned the eponymous Titan to stone by forcing him to look at the head of Medusa the Gorgon. A visit to the town of Ouarzazate, on the mountains' edge and 400 km outside Marrakech, might lead to you to believe that Atlas survived and that the giant is now amassing a collection of supersized toys. Roman amphitheaters, Tibetan temples and Egyptian sphinxes tower over the arid terrain, left behind at the appropriately named Atlas Studios by crews working on films including Kingdom of Heaven, Kundun and Gladiator. (Producer Dino De Laurentiis is on the set of Slave of Dreams in 1994.) Moroccan entrepreneur Mohamed Belghmi had a hunch that the ethereal light quality in Ouarzazate would appeal to filmmakers, so he founded the film studio in 1983. Since then, the sets and natural landscape have provided the stunning backdrop to actors Orlando Bloom, Gérard Depardieu, Russell Crowe and Halle Berry, among others. Royal Air Maroc offers round-trip flights to Ouarzazate from most Moroccan cities, so it could be a day trip, but it might be more fun to stay on location at the modest Oscar Hotel, tel: (212) 44 88 22 12, where many an A-lister has sipped steamy mint teas.