Ait Ben Haddou – A Complete Guide for Beginner Travelers

What is Ait Ben Haddou?


Ait Ben Haddou is a village (kasbah) situated in the stunning landscapes of Morocco, is has gained recognition as a popular tourist destination. While its UNESCO World Heritage status and architectural marvels are well-known, this ancient city holds a treasure trove of hidden gems and must-do activities waiting to be explored. Embark on a journey to uncover the secrets of Ait Ben Haddou and create unforgettable memories with these top experiences.

Is Ait Ben Haddou situated within the Sahara desert?

Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified village with a history spanning nearly a millennium, holds the prestigious title of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a distinction shared by only a few locations in Morocco. Similar to many other ksars in the Sahara region, the mudbrick structures of Ait Ben Haddou have undergone gradual erosion, prompting the need for new walls to be constructed.

Where Is Ait Ben Haddou Located

Aït-ben-Haddou is located 30 km from Ouarzazate, in the Ounila Valley, south of Télouet, the stronghold of the Glaoui clan. This valley was a traditional caravan route connecting Marrakech to the southern Sahara.

How To Reach Ait Ben Haddou From Marrakech

the distance between Ait Ben haddou and Marrakech is 182 kilometer (113 miles).

if you don’t want to self drive from Marrakech to Ait Ben Haddou, here some other alternatives:

Here Are 4 Options to Consider When Visiting Ait Ben Haddou

  • Option One: Self Drive

For those seeking flexibility and the chance to explore more, self-driving to Ait-Ben-Haddou from Marrakech is a fantastic choice. Renting a car near a main road in Marrakech makes for an easy start to your journey. Driving across the mountains provides breathtaking photo opportunities, and you can even drop the car off in Ouarzazate if you prefer not to return the same way. Ouarzazate’s international airport offers an alternative arrival point, allowing you to start your adventure with a shorter mountain crossing.

  • Option Two: Bus

Traveling by bus is a convenient and cost-effective option to reach Ait-Ben-Haddou. Private bus companies like CTM and Supratours offer quality journeys throughout Morocco. Tickets can be purchased one-way or return in Marrakech, saving you the hassle of driving. Buses drop you off in the heart of town, close to guest houses. While online booking without a Moroccan bank card can be challenging, many guest houses and websites can assist you in booking tickets upon arrival.

  • Option Three: Fly into Ouarzazate;

 A lesser-known option is flying directly into Ouarzazate, a short 20-minute drive from Ait-Ben-Haddou. Negotiating a reasonable taxi fare or arranging a pickup with your accommodation host is straightforward. Ouarzazate airport offers flights from Marrakech and other Moroccan cities at reasonable prices. Consider starting or ending your trip here to minimize mountain crossings and maximize your time exploring the desert.

If you prefer guided experiences and want to immerse yourself in the local culture, consider booking a tour to Ait-Ben-Haddou with an overnight stay. This option allows you to enjoy both a sunset and sunrise in the picturesque town. The tour typically includes visits to other captivating Kasbahs and provides insights into the Berber way of life. Don’t miss the chance to explore the intriguing film studio at Taourirt Kasbah.

Important Notice:

read also : Did Ait Ben Haddou Got Hit By The Earthquake That Morocco Suffered In The 8th of September-2023?

Best Day Trip to Ait-Ben-Haddou For travelers with limited time

For travelers with limited time, a day trip from Marrakech to Ait-Ben-Haddou offers an excellent solution. The itinerary includes a mountain pass with stunning views, a visit to the Atlas Film Studios featuring recognizable sets from various films and TV shows, a stop at a great restaurant for lunch, and exploration of the stunning fortress. Convenient pickup from your Marrakech accommodation ensures a hassle-free experience.

Here are the top 8 places to stay in and around Ait Ben Haddou village:


  1. Riad Caravane: Located in Ait Ben Haddou, Riad Caravane offers a convenient location and a traditional Moroccan experience.
  2. Kasbah du Jardin: Situated near Ait Ben Haddou, Kasbah du Jardin is a charming guesthouse nestled amidst lush gardens.
  3. Kasbah Valentine:Situated in the nearby village of Tamdaght, Kasbah Valentine is a family-run guesthouse with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
  4. Kasbah Imini: Located a short drive from Ait Ben Haddou, Kasbah Imini is a traditional Moroccan kasbah offering comfortable rooms and a peaceful atmosphere.
  5. Hotel La Fibule du Draa: Situated in the village of Agdz, Hotel La Fibule du Draa is a charming hotel with a traditional Moroccan style.
  6. Dar Mouna: Located in Tazentoute, a few kilometers from Ait Ben Haddou, Dar Mouna is a peaceful guesthouse surrounded by beautiful gardens.
  7. Chez Brahim: Situated in the village of Tifoultoute, Chez Brahim is a cozy guesthouse offering comfortable rooms and a relaxed atmosphere.
  8. Ksar Ighnda: Located about 10 kilometers from Ait Ben Haddou, Ksar Ighnda is a luxurious hotel offering a blend of Moroccan architecture and modern comforts.

Here Are 8 Things To Do When Visiting Ait Ben Haddou:


1. Exploring the Ancient City of Ait Ben Haddou

Take the time to wander through the enchanting alleys and hidden corners of Ait Ben Haddou. Beyond the well-trodden paths, you’ll discover lesser-known architectural wonders, each with its unique story to tell. Marvel at the intricate details of the clay-brick structures and be captivated by the ancient charm that permeates the city. The labyrinthine layout invites exploration, where every turn reveals a new perspective and a sense of wonder.

2. Trekking the High Atlas Mountains

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds Ait Ben Haddou by embarking on a trek through the High Atlas Mountains. These majestic peaks, with their snow-capped summits and rugged trails, offer a playground for adventure enthusiasts. Traverse the winding paths, soak in the panoramic vistas, and discover hidden valleys and cascading waterfalls along the way. The High Atlas Mountains provide a serene retreat and a chance to connect with nature in its purest form.

3. Visiting the Nearby Berber Villages

Venture beyond Ait Ben Haddou to explore the traditional Berber villages that dot the surrounding landscapes. These villages offer a glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of the indigenous Berber communities. Engage with the friendly locals, learn about their traditions, and witness their craftsmanship firsthand. Experience the warmth of Berber hospitality as you share a cup of mint tea and engage in conversations that bridge cultural divides. Each village has its own unique character and charm, ensuring a memorable and immersive encounter.

4. Experiencing Berber Hospitality

Ait Ben Haddou hotels and accommodations

To truly immerse yourself in the local culture, consider a homestay or guesthouse experience with a Berber family. This allows you to delve deeper into their way of life, share meals together, and participate in cultural activities. From learning traditional weaving techniques to joining in lively music and dance sessions, these experiences create lasting connections and provide a genuine understanding of the Berber heritage. 

and don’t forget to have some breath- taking photos in this magnificent senaries of Ait Ben Haddou ..!

5. Sampling Local Cuisine

Indulge in the flavors of Morocco by savoring the delectable local cuisine available in Ait Ben Haddou. Traditional Moroccan dishes, such as tagines, couscous, and aromatic mint tea, tantalize the taste buds with their vibrant spices and unique blends of flavors. Explore the local restaurants or visit bustling food markets to sample these culinary delights prepared with love and expertise. Be sure to try local delicacies and allow the flavors to transport you to the heart of Moroccan gastronomy.

6. Sunset and Sunrise Photography


Capture the magic of Ait Ben Haddou during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset. As the sun casts its warm hues across the ancient city, it creates a captivating spectacle of light and shadows. Find the perfect vantage point to witness the city bathed in a soft glow, highlighting its architectural splendor against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. Capture the beauty of this enchanting landscape through your lens and immortalize the mesmerizing moments.

check sunrise TIME  here: Ait Ben Haddou sunrise time

7. Exploring Film Locations


Ait Ben Haddou has played a starring role in numerous movies and TV shows, making it a haven for film enthusiasts. Explore the iconic film locations within the city and retrace the steps of your favorite characters. From “Gladiator” to “Game of Thrones,” each corner of Ait Ben Haddou holds a piece of cinematic history. Step into the world of filmmaking and discover the magic that brought these stories to life.

8. Shopping for Local Crafts


Embrace the opportunity to bring a piece of Ait Ben Haddou’s cultural heritage home with you by shopping for local crafts and souvenirs. The artisans of the region are known for their skill and craftsmanship, creating intricate pottery, handmade rugs, and traditional Berber jewelry. Visit local shops or explore bustling markets to find authentic and unique items that reflect the spirit of Ait Ben Haddou and serve as lasting reminders of your journey.

Here Are Several Outdoor Sports Activities You Can Enjoy in And The Surrounding Area.


Hiking and Trekking: The stunning landscapes surrounding Ait Ben Haddou provide excellent opportunities for hiking and trekking. You can explore the nearby Atlas Mountains, visit the Telouet Valley, or embark on multi-day treks to experience the natural beauty of the region.

Camel Trekking: Experience the traditional way of traveling in the desert by embarking on a camel trek. Take a guided tour through the desert dunes, witness the breathtaking sunset or sunrise, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Sahara.

Off-Road Adventures: Join an off-road excursion and explore the rugged terrain surrounding Ait Ben Haddou. Hop on a 4×4 vehicle and venture into the desert, discovering hidden valleys, remote villages, and ancient kasbahs.

Mountain Biking: Rent a mountain bike and explore the scenic trails and dirt roads around Ait Ben Haddou. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes as you ride through the valleys and hills of the region.

Quad Biking: Experience an adrenaline rush by taking a quad biking tour through the desert. Ride across the sandy terrain, navigate the dunes, and enjoy the thrill of off-road adventure.

Rock Climbing: The rocky cliffs and gorges near Ait Ben Haddou provide opportunities for rock climbing enthusiasts. Test your climbing skills and conquer the challenging routes while enjoying panoramic views of the landscape.

Paragliding: If you’re looking for a truly exhilarating experience, try paragliding over the stunning landscapes of Ait Ben Haddou. Soar through the sky and enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the village, desert, and mountains.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ait Ben Haddou:

  • Do you need a guide for Ait Ben Haddou?

While you can explore Ait Ben Haddou on your own, having a local guide can enhance your experience by providing historical and cultural insights. It’s recommended for a more in-depth visit.

  • are there any entrance fee to Ait Ben Haddou kasbah?

there is no entry entrance fee to go inside Kasbt Ait Ben Haddou (even if sometimes there might be someone at the gate asking for money) ;don’t give them money.

  • How much time do you need to visit Ait Ben Haddou?

You can see the main attractions in about 2 to 3 hours. However, if you want to savor the beauty, consider spending a night to witness the stunning sunrise or sunset.

  • How much time to spend in Ait Ben Haddou?

To fully appreciate the site, spending a night is ideal. This allows you to explore leisurely and enjoy the magical lighting during sunrise or sunset.

  • How to visit Ait Ben Haddou from Marrakech?

To visit Ait Ben Haddou from Marrakech, follow the N9 road, which leads through the Atlas Mountains. Exit the N9 at Tabourahte and take the P1506 road north for approximately 10 kilometers to reach Ait Ben Haddou.

  • Where to stop between Marrakech and Ait Ben Haddou?

You can make a stop in the small village of Télouet to visit its kasbah, which is on the route between Marrakech and Ait Ben Haddou. It’s a great opportunity to explore another historical site.

  • Do people live in Ait Ben Haddou?

Yes, some people still reside in Ait Ben Haddou. However, the population has reduced over the years due to modernization, and many buildings are now used for tourism-related activities.

  • Why is Ait Ben Haddou famous?

Ait Ben Haddou is famous for its well-preserved ksar, a fortified village made of earthen buildings. Its stunning architecture and unique beauty have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular location for numerous films and TV series.

  • How to get from Ouarzazate to Ait Ben Haddou?

Ait Ben Haddou is located about 30 kilometers from Ouarzazate. You can reach it by taking the P1506 road north from Ouarzazate. This route is easily accessible by most types of vehicles.


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