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Witness the magnificent setting of the Ksar of Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient fortified hilltop village.

Watchful Chimp at Gombe National Park
Ait Benhaddou - World Heritage Site

Inscribed by UNESCO in 1987 as a ‘World Heritage Site’, the Ksar of Ait Benhaddou is a striking example of the architecture of southern Morocco. The ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. 

A very picturesque setting and the backdrop for many a major movie, Ait Benhaddou is a very popular place of interest for travellers en route between Ouarzazate and Marrakech. Accommodation is available for visitors wishing to spend more time exploring the well-preserved ruins. 

Other than wandering around the Ksar, exploring some of the many rooms and enjoying fine views, Ait Benhaddou is also now home to a number of artists and artifact sellers. Head for the high point on the hill above the Ksar for particularly fine views. Allow 1 to 1 ½ hours for a visit but if you have time, spend a night in a Kasbah hotel nearby to really experience this dramatic location.

Camels are available for hire on the edge of the riverbed in the new town. Several restaurants and cafés in the new town provide a place of shade, often with views overlooking the Ksar. 

Located 30 km from Ouarzazate and easily accessible by vehicle along a 9 km single lane asphalt road. Once in the new town of Ait Benhaddou, vehicles can go no further with access then on foot to the Ksar. An alternative route is possible via Telouet.

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