Aït-Benhaddou is a city in Morocco.
Aït-Benhaddou is a traditional mud brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has been featured in many films, mostly as a stand-in for Jerusalem. It has appeared in more than 10 films, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
Overnighting in Aït Benhaddou is recommendable as you get to see the Ksar in different lighting conditions. It looks very different in the morning when sun rises or when the sun is just setting.
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.
Most buses do not go directly to Aït Benhaddou but can drop you off at the turn off about 7 km away from where you will have to find a lift. Or, you can get dropped off a little earlier at Tadoula, from where you can walk through the desert for about 5 km.
A grand taxi seat from Ouarzazate costs 15 dirham. From or to the junction at the highway, it is 9 dirham.
Or, you arrange a private hire of a taxi for the trip. During the daytime, grand taxis are always waiting at the crossing.
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. It's quite a scenic drive to Aït Benhaddou. 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.
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).
The town itself is the main attraction, with mud buildings climbing up the side of the hill.
- Granary (at the top of the hill). impressive and well worth the effort to get up there. Free.
- Mausoleum of Ben-Haddou (is at the base of the hill).
- Koranic school.
- Climb to the top the hill for breathtaking views.
- Rent a bike and drive up the road to Telouet (~50 km). It was 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.
Many touristy restaurants and cafés.
- 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, ☏ , email@example.com. Clean, comfortable rooms. Great food.
- Riad Ksar Ighnda, Douar As Falou, Ait Benhaddou, Morocco (3 km past Ait Ben Haddou), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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), ☏ . 11 rooms, restaurant, room service, panoramic terrace, free parking, free internet. 200 dirham/person per night in half board.
- Kasbah Tebi, Ksar Aït Benhaddou, ☏ . Authentic renovated Berber Kasbah. Magnificent view. Tranquility. Hospitable. 400 DM per person per night (halfboard).
- Hotel Riad Caravane, ☏ . Chic hotel in restored Berber house. Small pool and views towards the Ksar. Located around one kilometre from the village.