Aït BenHaddou & Ouarzazate
After spending three days in Marrakech, we hit the rod again. One of the first destinations that we decided for our trip was Ait Benhaddou. Located about 10 miles from Morocco's Hollywood destination, Ouarzazate, this walled Kasbah was built by Berber community around the 17th century.
Getting there: We took a bus from Marrakech to Ouarzazate, it usually leaves in the morning around 9 or 10 depending on the operator and takes about 4.5-5 hours (with two rest stops). Costs about £10 pp. This beautiful journey is through atlas mountains. This could be done as a day trip too, although I'd recommend hiring a grand taxi and share with 5 to 6 people as that'd be easier and less expensive for a day trip.
We stayed at Dar Rita in Ouarzazate. A lovely little hotel with decent sized rooms and some of the best food we've tried in Morocco. There's a terrace where you could enjoy dinner or tea and also lovely views of towns nearby. I highly recommend staying here!
Places to visit:
- Atlas film studios, CLA studios and Film museum in Ouarzazate
- Market square
- Markets in nearby towns
- If you're staying over at Ouarzazate, you could rent a taxi for 3 hours for about 300 Dirhams; they'll take you there, wait for a couple of hours and bring you back
- You could also stay at Ait-benhaddou if that is your primary reason for visit
- There are some oasis towns from Ouarzazate to Ait-Benhaddou that provide absolutely stunning photo opportunities, so stop on your way
- There is a Wednesday and Sunday market a few miles west of Ouarzazate
- Try restaurants that are away from the main street as these cater for locals and the food is consistently good
Next up, Merzouga :) After spending an evening in Aït-Benhaddou and exploring the town of Ouarzazate the next morning, we took a bus to Merzouga, our first sight of Sahara at last! Here's a sunset from that bus trip an hour away from Merzouga.
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