Located in 32km from Ouarzazate, the kasbah of Ait Benhaddou is the cream of the Deep south’s desert architecture.
Also, the first visited destination from Marrakech with Morocco Tours Organizer. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. It’s a fortified village of towering kasbahs and crumbling walls. While in the 1940’s, more than 90 families were living in the kasbah, today only five families are still living in the fortress. The name of this great fortress was derived from the tribal group whose leader is named “Haddou”, ‘ben’ in Arabic refers to son or sons and ‘Ait’ in berber in this context is the inhabitants; therefore, the kasbah was originally built by the sons of the tribe leader “Haddou”. With it souvenir shops and constant stream of tour groups, Ait Benhaddou is one of the most spectacular sights of the Atlas, piled upon a low hillock above a shallow, reed-strewn river.
Popularly known for its special architecture, the kasbah has been the backdrop of several movies and TV series. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in the fortress, of course; Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodom and Gomorrah, The Mummy, Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus of Nazareth, Babel….In addition to that, Game of Thrones chooses the site of Ait Benhaddou to represent the slavetrading city of Yunkai in the season 4. Once in the kasbah, explore the area on your way; walk through the old buildings and try to find families living there, and also admire the local crafts; the souvenirs here are different from anywhere.
In order to have a completely different view of the surrounding area, you can climb the hill across or above the kasbah. In the evening, the fortress offers one of the best sunsets views in Morocco; find a rooftop café, have a cup of mint tea and get your camera ready and watch the sun slip over the horizon. About eating, local restaurants in the area offer yummy food you should try when visiting this historical site.