day trip from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou
day trip from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou
day trip from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou Overview:
This full-day trip from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou is ideal for those of you who cannot spare more than one day to get a sneak of the Morocco Sahara desert. Take this round trip of 400 km across the Atlas mountain range via the Tizi Ntichka pass at an altitude of 2269 meters above sea level. Marvel at the brilliant landscape views dotted with Berber villages. Visit the legendary fortified Berber village of Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou and its sister town of Ouarzazate famous as the Hollywood of Africa.
Ouarzazate nicknamed The door of the desert, is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in the Drâa-Tafilalet region of south-central Morocco. Ouarzazate is at an elevation of 1,160 meters (3,810 ft) in the middle of a bare plateau south of the High Atlas Mountains, with a desert to the city’s south.
Berber-speakers make up the majority of the town’s inhabitants, who were responsible for the creation of many of the prominent kasbahs. Ouarzazate is a primary tourist destination in Morocco for holidays, as well as a starting point for excursions into and across the Draa Valley and the desert. Aït Benhaddou (a fortified village) west of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Ouarzazate area is a noted film-making location, with Morocco’s biggest studios inviting many international companies to work here. Films such as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), The Living Daylights (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Kundun (1997), Legionnaire (1998), Hanna (2011), The Hills Have Eyes (2006), and Salmon Fishing in Yemen (2011) were shot here, as was part of the TV series Game of Thrones.
The nearby Ouarzazate solar power station, co-funded by the Arab League, was connected to the Moroccan power grid in February 2016.
Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah
The site of the ksar has been fortified since the 11th century during the Almoravid period. None of the current buildings are believed to date from before the 17th century, but they were likely built with the same construction methods and designs as had been used for centuries before. The site’s strategic importance was due to its location in the Ounila Valley along with one of the main trans-Saharan trade routes. The Tizi n’Tichka pass, which was reached via this route, was one of the few routes across the Atlas Mountains, crossing between Marrakech and the Draa Valley on the edge of the Sahara. Other kasbahs and ksour were located all along this route, such as the nearby Tamdaght to the north.
Today, the ksar itself is only sparsely inhabited by several families. The depopulation over time is a result of the valley’s loss of strategic importance in the 20th century. Most local inhabitants now live in modern dwellings in the village on the other side of the river, and make a living off agriculture and especially off the tourist trade.
JornVennekens wrote a review Aug 2020
I and my girlfriend went for a two-day trip with Marrakech Tour Company at the end of October. It was the ‘Four Majestic Kasbahs and Two Oases’ tour. Our driver was Hassan, who immediately turned out to be a great guide. Friendly, talkative about the region -and- caring about our wellbeing. From the first until the last moment, we felt safe and taken care of with him. The car, a Toyota Hilux 4×4, was incredibly comfortable and clean.
Our tour went from Marrakech through the Atlas mountain, via Aid ben Haddou, up to a lodge in Skoura on the first day. The next day, we visited the Skoura oasis, Ouarzazate, and the Atlas Movies Studio. On a personal note: I am a movie fan, but wouldn’t recommend visiting the studios as they were a bit disappointing. In general, the tour was a very quick and well-planned visit to the biggest highlights of the region, although Dessert Majesty went beyond the “tourist basics” by visiting slightly lesser-known places such as the Kasbah Amridil and. Ali also made sure to break up long drives by letting us walk a short distance and thus stretch our legs every now and then, picking us up with the car further on.
I should add that the first day of the tour was also my birthday. Even though Hassan only learned about it that morning, he secretly arranged a birthday cake and a band of musicians for a small party at the lodge that night. It was a great birthday!
The only downside I would want to mention is that some of the restaurants we visited weren’t great. Specifically, the first on our way into the mountains and the last on our way back to Marrakech. But it was only a minor detail that doesn’t weigh up to all the other great aspects. Hence our full five-star review – when we visit Morocco again, we’ll definitely plan a new tour with Marrakech Tour Company
Tania A wrote a review (Mar 2020)
A perfect experience from start to finish. We made the desert of Merzouga; The trip is 3 days and 2 nights by 4×4 car to get there, but thanks to Hassan (our guide) the trip was more enjoyable, he was attentive to all our requests and even anticipated our needs. The truth is that the walk, the night in the desert and what you see until you get there are worth it if you have a few days to have a first contact with the desert. Thanks to Said who organized everything with great patience from the beginning since we were 3 people and at all times he was watching us before, during and after the excursion, although he could not come with us. Thank you for this experience that we will always remember!
Lidia wrote a review (Feb. 2020)
It has been a journey that has certainly exceeded all of our expectations. Guided by Hassan, with his fun conversations, he discovered a magical Morocco, from Marrakech to Fez, and passing through the desert, we have been learning a little more about its culture, religion, customs, …
Between crazy and funny anecdotes lived together with Moha, we have lived 3 unforgettable days.
Without a doubt, we will repeat to discover new corners and take our little ones to the great desert adventure so that they can make sandboards with us and that Hassan explains to them at night that so magical sky that can only be seen between the dunes.
Hassan !! Now you can prepare to put up with our 5 children.
Celia H wrote a review (Feb. 2020)
An incredible experience, all super nice and attentive. Even the 6-hour trip was enjoyable with the great songs that our super guide Hassan gave us. The dromedary ride was also an incredible experience watching the sunset and sunrise. And the tents were better equipped than many hotels I’ve been to. It was beautiful to contemplate all the stars since there was no light practically all were visible. A 100% recommendable experience, everyone made us feel at home.
Iosune wrote a review (Feb. 2020)
We have just arrived in Morocco. Some friends recommended the agency to us and especially Hassan, and although we only contacted Marrakech Tour Company to spend the night in the Erg Chebbi desert and finally we were unable to meet Hassan as a guide, it was quite a success to contact them. The impeccable organization and Said and his companions some ten guides: friendly, attentive to any need, and creating a good atmosphere at all times. I read very good comments about the agency and I certainly confirm them. Thank you for your good work.
What’s the best time to travel to Morocco?
actually, Morocco is perfect for travel all year. the best time to visit the Sahara desert is The spring season that runs from March to May it is the best time to visit the desert of Morocco so that this period is characterized by moderate and beautiful weather, and Morocco knows calm rains and warm weather and is comfortable for tourism and enjoy its beauty, in this period you can visit all the cities of Morocco from the north To the south, especially in the month of May, which gives you the freedom to choose the region you want to spend the holiday. in the summer the weather is very hot in the Desert of Morocco, so you will want warm weather here on the Atlantic coast.
What Gifts and Memories can you return from morocco?
As soon as you start walking in Morocco, you will think about which souvenir to buy for yourself or for the people you love. The worry, believe it, you will be spoiled for choice. Here are some tips to help you.
Handcrafted terracotta pottery
Wherever you go in the country, there will be shops selling handcrafted pottery items. Moroccans still use it today: they prepare their food in tagines, on terracotta braziers, and think that a real Moroccan couscous can only be served in a clay dish. You will find ashtrays, tagines-salad bowls-salt shakers, etc. There will be all sizes but the smallest are the most practical and often more affordable, The best pottery in the country comes from the city of Safi.
Clothes, hairstyles, and slippers.
Moroccan clothes are original and distinguished, Sellers usually wear them, You will be offered djellabas-Trousers-tunics of different cuts and fabrics, embroidered or without patterns. You’ll notice that the style differs from region to region. The gandouras would be a better option: there are for men and women, take the color that speaks to you, it is elegant, comfortable, and light. Don’t forget to take the slippers that go with it, you can always use them as slippers at home. Typical Moroccan slippers are made entirely of leather, so avoid those with plastic soles.
what is the currency of Morocco?
The official currency in circulation, which is used in the Kingdom of Morocco, is the currency of the Moroccan dirham, and it can be abbreviated as (MAD), and it is also the currency that is circulated in the Western Sahara region, and one dirham is made of one hundred divisions of the denomination of sub-denomination of sub The responsibility for the issuance and circulation of the currency in Morocco with its different classes and varieties (paper and metal) by the Moroccan Central Bank, and given the Moroccan currency price against the dollar, the US dollar is equivalent to the value of 9.6560 of the dirham for one dirham, according to the exchange rate for the dirham Two thousand and nineteen.
are the lunches included in Our private Tour?
the lunches don’t include in all our tours, There will be plenty of cafes on the way to the Sahara desert where to stop for lunch. Please feel free to choose on your own, or follow your driver’s recommendation if you wish.
Is it safe to travel to Morocco?
yes, Morocco is one of the safest countries in the world, you won’t afraid about anything Morocco will make you happy.
what kind of clothes are in Morocco?
Moroccan traditional dress is the group of traditional and popular garments that Moroccans have preserved and still preserved for centuries, as it is evident that they cling to various traditional garments, especially in weddings and religious occasions, whether old or young, male or female. There is no doubt that the traditional costume is an integral part of the heritage, and heritage is one of the essential elements for the construction of civilization, it is necessary for the development of civilization, as the traditional costume is a tool for defining nations and a symbol for their distinctiveness and uniqueness and is the best witness to the degree of their awareness and the diversity of successive civilizations.
Can I customize my trip?
yes, you can do it, Contact us and tell us where will you start and end, Our team will help you with your request.
What are popular dishes in Morocco?
The Kingdom of Morocco, like other countries in the region, is characterized by many of its popular dishes or those that were the product of pollination of some civilizations whose name has long been associated with the Kingdom’s name. In this report, we will know the most prominent of these dishes that Moroccans excelled in cooking.
Couscous … the food that is not missing from the table
Morocco is famous for its barbarian couscous food, which dates back to the time of BC. Couscous is divided into two types in the kingdom: couscous with vegetables or “seven vegetables” as Moroccans like to call it, while the second type is couscous “with raisins” or “with enough” depending on the region, and is considered Couscous is the main dish on Friday, and you can only find it on the lunch table.
“Tangia” .. Marrakech food
No one can visit the city of “Marrakech” unless it is eaten from the “Tangia” dish of the famous Jamaâ El Fna Square. This dish, which the city of “Red City” is famous for, consists of veal, ghee, olive oil, and free saffron filaments, in addition to spices. Moroccan and water.
It is the most famous traditional Moroccan dish besides couscous, which comes from the Arab Maghreb and especially Morocco, and this dish is also very common in Algeria and Tunisia, but according to many studies it is of Berber origin.
day trip from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou Highlights:
+ Drive across the High Atlas Mountains
+ Enjoy the scenery of snow-capped Atlas peaks and Tizi Ntichka Pass
+ Explore the Berber fortified village of Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou
+ Visit Ouarzazate and its film studios
day trip from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou Itinerary
We will begin our full-Day Tour from Marrakech to Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate at 8 am, traveling in the direction of Ouarzazate. Along the way, enjoy the spectacular views that the valleys of the area provide, and visit Berber villages engaged in the sale of semi-precious stones. As we move southwards, the mountainous landscape transforms into a Marrakech semi-desert. In this area, we will visit the famous Kasbah, and discover typical small houses constructed with mud and straw.
Arriving at Ouarzazate, we will visit the former residence of the Pacha El Glaoui, the Taourirt kasbah, and the kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved fortified cities in the country. Its unique architecture and environment have made it the ideal filming choice for many film and series production filming. Some of the movies and TV shows in which we have viewed this fantastic kasbah include Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Babel, Prince of Persia, The Mummy, and, of course, Game of Thrones (it is the city that Daenerys Targaryan releases in the last chapter of the 3rd season).
Also, to complement this Marrakech to Ait Ben Haddou tour, we will visit the Atlas Films Studios, where many scenes of the movies mentioned have been recorded. Thus, we will have the opportunity to discover the cinematic importance of this area of the country. Entry to the kasbah is free, but if you want to explore it with a guide, you must pay them separately at the time (about € 2 per person).
+ A/C modern vehicle was driven by an English speaking driver/guide
+ Pick up / drop off at your hotel/ riad
+ Guided tour of Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou
What's not included:
+ Optional guide 50 euros.
+ Lunch + Drinks
+ Entrance fees to monuments.