Through this day trip to Ait Benhaddou you should know that this spot is more than just a film set, though; it is a ksar, a fortified village whose history goes back almost a thousand years, although the maze of narrow and crenulated towers you see these days are mainly from the 17th century. As a strategic stop for caravans of camels, often numbering hundreds, on the trans-Saharan trade route from the Sudan to Marrakech carrying gold, silver and slaves and returning with salt, it would have been a thriving town, home to thousands. And Ouarzazate is the “Door of the Desert,”
At 8:00am you driver/tour guide will meet you at the closest point to you Riad or in you hotel to head south through Tizi N’Tichka pass (2260m) in the High Atlas Mountains. You will enjoy a windy road, beautiful landscapes with different colors and Berber villages lined along the way. The first pause will be in Ait Barka village. It will be around 10:00am to take beautiful pictures; sip a cup of hot drink (tea-coffee …) loosen up and continue your route via the Highest Atlas Mountains by its TIZI N’TICHKA. The second pause will take place in the peak of TICHKA. Arriving to Ait Benhaddou where you will be guided by local guide, for 1 hour, to shed light on the history of this amazing heritage. Then you will have free time for lunch and it will be around one14:00pm. After that you will head to explore Ouarzazate, the “Door of the Desert”, by its famous Taourirt Kasbah and the «Ouallywood» studio.
Ait Benhaddou is more than just a film set. It is a 17th century UNESCO-protected red mud-brick ksar, which has formed the backdrop for many Hollywood movies production such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, Gladiator, Game of Thrones and many others.
It is a ksar, a fortified village whose history goes back centuries ago, although the maze of narrow and crenulated towers you see these days are mainly from the 17th century. As a strategic stop for caravans of camels, often numbering hundreds, on the trans-Saharan trade route from Tumbuktu to Marrakech carrying gold, silver and slaves and returning with salt, it would have been a thriving town, home to thousands. In the Ksar the road winds endlessly through the hills of rich reds and pale white.
At the crest of another hill, seemingly like all the others, appears a vista unlike any other. The water that flows in the winter has created an ocean of green – trees and grass – life amongst the rock and where there is life you will find the humans. Cut into the hills is an ancient village, the squares edges the only thing distinguishing it from the hills into which it is built. Rising to the top of the hill, families still live and work amongst the tourists.
Socoma 1, N° 17 & 18, Flat 3, 1st Floor, Marrakech – Morocco