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Ksar of Aït-Benhaddou

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.

Get in[edit]

Aït Benhaddou is accessible from Ouarzazate and Marrakesh.

By bus[edit]

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.

By taxi[edit]

A grand taxi seat from Ouarzazate costs 20 dirham (as of 2023). From or to the junction at the highway, it is 10 dirham.

Or, you arrange a private hire of a taxi for the trip. During the daytime, grand taxis are always waiting at the crossing.

From Marrakesh it will be a full day trip and thus a private tour might not be a bad idea.

By car[edit]

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.

Get around[edit]

Map of Aït-Benhaddou

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.

  • 1 Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou. Aït Benhaddou (Q309436) on Wikidata Aït Benhaddou on Wikipedia
  • 2 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.



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