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Earth : Africa : North Africa : Morocco : High Atlas : Aït-Benhaddou
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Aït-Benhaddou is a city in Morocco.[8]

This is a traditional Mud Brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has featured in many films, mostly as a replacement for Jerusalem.

It has appeared in more than 10 movies, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.

Get in

Ksar of Aït-Benhaddou

Aït Benhaddou is accessible from Ouarzazate and Marrakesh

  • Buses do not ply direct to Aït Benhaddou but can drop you off at the turn off about 20 km away from Ouarzazate where you will have to find

a lift to Benhaddou (9km).

From Ouarzazate goto Ouarzazate Bus Station and take a bus to Marrakech (tell the ticket seller/helpful guys/driver that you want to go to BenHadou). The driver will stop at the crossing and let you out. Costs: 10 DH.

At daytime, grand taxis are always waiting at the crossing. A seat costs 10 Dirham to which they might add for luggage. The cost for the whole taxi will be 60+ Dirham (if you do not want to wait and pay for the emty seats).

If you have money than it will be better to arrange a private hire of a taxi for the trip. Outside Ouarzazate Bus Station is Grand Taxi stand. They quote between 150 and 200 DH for drive plus 2 hour waiting.

  • Car: Aït Benhaddou is 9 km off the main Tizi n Tichka road, which links Ouarzazate to Marrakech. Coming from Ouarzazate, turn to the right after about 18 km from the town. You cannot overlook the turn off. It's quite a scenic drive to Aït Benhaddou, but only one lane. On the way into town there is a slight turn to the right, which is a popular spot for great views over the town and the Kasbah.
  • From Marrakesh it will be a full day trip and the best advice is to organize a private tour if you do not have much time.

Get around

Once inside the Ksar you can only walk or climb. There are two main entrances into the Ksar. One can be reached by new bridge. To reach the second, it is necessary to cross the river using the stepping stones (in dry season the river is completely dry).

After the new bridge they try to sell entrance fee. The exit/other entrance is well marked and no checks.


  • The town itself is the main attraction, with mud buildings climbing up the side of the hill.
  • The Granary at the top of the hill is impressive and well worth the effort to get up there, though be careful of any little 'entrepreneurs' eager to help you climb to the top level inside the granary. They wait till your back is turned before quickly dissembling their makeshift bridge which you used to climb up and it's not until you throw down some baksheesh that they'll let you climb down again.
  • The Mausoleum of Ben-Haddou is at the base of the hill on the opposite side to the town.
  • Ait ben haddou Travel, Ait ben haddou, [1].
  • [2]. The website of the Ksar ait ben haddou :


  • Climb atop the hill for breathtaking views.
  • Rent a bike and drive up the road to Telouet (ca. 50km). It has been paved a few years ago but traffic is still scarce.


There are several shops within the town that sell souvenirs from all over the Sahara, particularly prevalent are Models of the Ksar and wooden artifacts from the Dogon people in Mali. There is a very friendly carpet shop in the newer part of town near the post office.


  • Hotel la Baraka in the newer part of town has a restaurant with a nice courtyard.



  • Auberge La Goulade. The first auberge along the road into Ait Benhaddou, run by a French man and his Moroccan wife. Very friendly, excellent food and good price.
  • Hotel Restaurant La Rose Du Sable, Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, Morocco, +212 (0) 5 24 89 00 22, [3]. Clean, comfortable rooms. Great food.
  • Riad Ksar Ighnda, Douar As Falou, Ait Benhaddou, Morocco (3km past Ait Ben Haddou), +212 (0) 5 24 88 76 44, [4]. In an authentic yet modern setting, Riad Ksar Ighnda opens its doors for you onto the Atlas Mountains with rooms in tadelakt with air conditioning.
  • La Fibule d'Or Ait Benhaddou (Ait Ben Haddou), ait ben haddou (ait ben haddou), +212 (0) 6 274 62 652 (), [5]. 11 rooms, restaurant, room service , panoramic terrace, free parking, free internet. 400 dh per/person per night in half board.
  • Kasbah Tebi, Ksar Aït Benhaddou, +212 (0) 6 61 94 11 53, [6]. Authentic renovated Berber Kasbah. Magnificent view. Tranquility. Hospitable. 400 DM per person per night (halfboard).
  • Chez rachid, Assfalou,ait ben haddou, 0618750102. For travelers seeking a family atmosphere and the human touch, the homestay is a great way to meet and cultural exchange. The Berber homestay allows travelers to to completely immerse themselves in the daily life and culture of the indigenous population.


  • Ecolodge Adventures (Ait ben haddou Tours), Ait Ben Haddou (Ait Ben Haddou), 00212677632035, [7]. Ecolodge Adventures Ait ben haddou Tours and excursions

Get out

Grand Taxi back to the crossing 9D per seat, then 14D to Ouarzazate. You might also be able to catch a bus to Marrakesh (they stop if they have seats available). There's a local bus that goes past the crossing at about 10.30am to Agadir and another to Marrakech at about 10.45am (4hrs).Local buses only have destinations in Arabic so unfortunately you'll just have to flag them down and ask the driver where he's headed.

On the way back you need not to wait for a full grand taxi. No other tourists - I managed to go back to the crossing for 10 DH after hard negotiation. On the crossing flag down bus to Ouarzazate. Note: The bus stops exactly at the T-crossing. If you can see cars coming from Benhadou and cars/bus from Marakech then you are at the right spot. The Grand taxi waits 50m after the T crossing and they want to lure you away (I guess more business if you do not want to wait or you did not figure out how flag down bus works...).

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