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Aït Ben Haddou - Wonderful Ksar of the High Atlas

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Aït Ben Haddou, Marrakech Excursions, Haut Atlas, Riad Dar Chacha

Aït-Ben-Haddou: a UNESCO World Heritage protected city beautifully preserved

Aït-Ben-Haddou is a spectacular site, nestling in the foothills of the southern slopes of the High Atlas in Ouarzazate. This emblematic Ksar is a true masterpiece of southern Moroccan architecture. Inside its defensive walls, you'll marvel at the harmonious layout of its houses, some modest, others resembling veritable urban castles with their towers adorned with mud-brick motifs. Explore the lively public spaces, including a mosque, public square and even Muslim and Jewish cemeteries, and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this former trading post on the route from Sudan to Marrakech.

Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco, Excursions, Riad Dar Chacha

The Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou is a truly captivating architectural synthesis of the beauty of Morocco's pre-Saharan regions.

Immerse yourself in the preserved authenticity of the Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou, which is distinguished by its original architecture, forms and materials.

Its architectural style has been carefully

Credits: Toa Heftiba @ Unsplash

preserved, with earthen buildings that blend harmoniously into the natural and social environment, adapting perfectly to the climatic conditions. The magnificent houses at the bottom of the village, with their decorative motifs intact, are meticulously maintained.

Ait Ben Haddou, Aït Ben Haddou, Haut Atlas, Riad Dar Chacha

Thanks to rigorous monitoring by the Infringement Control Committee, the introduction of modern materials such as cement has been avoided. Even the few reinforced concrete elements have been concealed under earthen plaster, preserving the traditional authenticity. Particular attention has been paid to the doors and windows in the alleyways, where wood is favored over metal. Discover this unchanged architectural treasure and immerse yourself in an immersive experience full of history and authenticity.

Credits: Jure Tufekcic @ Unsplash

Aït-Ben-Haddou: a bit of history

From the time of the supremacy of the Aït Aissa clan until the arrival of Youssouf ibn Tachfin's army, this strategic location became an essential passage for caravans crossing the Tizi Telouet and Tizi Tichka passes. Despite the initial abandonment of the ksar, the resurrection of Aït Ben Haddou has been made possible by tourism and the cinema.

Discover the breathtaking Tichka Pass road, winding majestically through the High Atlas Mountains between Ouarzazate and Marrakech.

Aït Ben Haddou, Ait Ben Haddou, Haut Atlas, High Atlas, Morocco

At an altitude of 7,410 feet above sea level, this high mountain pass offers breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains. As well as being the gateway to the Sahara Desert, this natural treasure overlooks the vast plains of Marrakech.

On your journey, you'll have the chance to stop off at some of the charming cafés along the way, where you can refresh yourself while taking in the stunning scenery. What's more, near the summit you'll discover an abundance of arts and crafts vendors, adding a touch of local culture to your experience

Credits: Mr Harter @ Unsplash

As you begin the descent, prepare yourself for a visual metamorphosis: the landscape changes dramatically, plunging you into a desert atmosphere. That's when the sumptuous Kasbah Aït Benhaddou appears before you, looking like something out of a mirage. Listed by UNESCO, this fortified citadel features towers decorated with captivating geometric motifs. The site is also very famous and is often used as backdrop for films. Movies like Lawrence of Arabia or Sahara were shot there. You'll have the chance to visit it and maybe even see a film being made!

📍 where to find Aït Ben Haddou : click here for location

Ait Ben Haddou, Ait Benhaddou, Haut Atlas Marocain, High Atlas, Morocco

Credits: Unsplash

When discovering Marrakech, enjoy our Riad Dar Chacha:

Riad Dar Chacha, Terrace, Terrasse Riad Dar Chacha, Marrakech Medina, Médina Riad, Marrakesh

Discover Marrakesh, a historic jewel registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Soak up the history and antiquities of North Africa by visiting the Medina, the city's cultural center. Discover its traditional riads, historic buildings and iconic sites such as Jemaa El Fna Square, the Badii Palace, the Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs and the Ben Youssef Medersa. Immerse yourself in colourful, lively atmosphere, rich in culture, emotions and scents.

For an authentic and exotic experience in Marrakesh, choose Riad Dar Chacha. Nestled in the heart of the old city, our Riad offers a peaceful atmosphere to recharge and relax. With its 150 m2 garden-terrace, our Riad is ideally located to visit all the historical places of the medina. Our friendly and helpful staff is dedicated to your well-being and will make your stay unforgettable. Choose the comfort and charm of our Riadfor a memorable experience in Marrakesh. Contact us for more information.

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