Our second day trip took us to Aït-Ben-Haddou through the Atlas Mountains. It was a three hours epic journey, we went through the highest mountain pass in Morocco and the views were just phenomenal.
On the way, we stopped several times to take pictures and surprisingly we met berber vendors selling minerals and Fanta along the road.
Aït-Ben-Haddou is the name of one of the most beautiful Kasbahs in Morocco. It may have been founded around the year 750 by Berbers, led by Ben-Haddou, who is said to be buried somewhere within the ksar. A kasbah is built as a kind of fortress and part of the medina. In the case of Aït-Ben-Haddou, it is made almost entirely of clay and partly built against a hill. On the outside, the building has been reinforced with some watchtowers and inside you can wander through a labyrinth of narrow alleys.
It was a hub for trade routes between the Sahara and Marrakesh. Inhabitants of the city live nowadays in modern houses in a neighborhood on the other side of the river. This place has featured in numerous Hollywood productions and served as a setting for Gladiator and Game of Thrones, among others.
Inside the kasbah, we strolled leisurely through the various streets.
We followed our guide who led us to the top of the hill. From there we had a great view of the area.
Before we turned the steer back to Marrakech we dropped by to Ouarzazate, where we visited another kasbah and the film studio Atlas.
Ouarzazate is home to the largest film studio in the world called Atlas Studios. Several well-known films were shot in this studio. The city is called the “Hollywood of Morocco”.
After the film studio, another three hours drive waited for us with a wonderful sunset above the Atlas Mountain.