Day Trip From Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou
This is a chance to unveil the veins of Marrakesh in the High Atlas Mountains. It is an opportunity to explore the picturesque ancient fortified towns of Telouet, Ait Benhaddou, and Ouarzazate. Our professional driver will pick you up early in the morning at an already appointed time from your accommodations in Marrakesh. Then, we will begin our journey in discovering the historic towns of the semi-arid plain of the High Atlas Mountains. Leaving Marrakesh to the High Atlas Mountains, we will appreciate its snow-covered peaks that will slowly become visible as we drive towards the Valley of Kasbahs. As we reach closer to the peak, we will encounter the numerous winding switchbacks of the Tizi Ntichka Mountain pass. It is a marvel of modern engineering and design. At 2,260m above sea level, we will stop at the crest of the Tizi Ntichka to gaze at the surrounding mountaintops. Returning to the mountain road, we will cruise slowly through the Asif Ounila valley and gaze at the dozens of traditional Amazigh villages lining in the valley cliffs. As we descend on the other side of the High Atlas Mountains, we will veer off the main road to visit the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. An ideal model of the many sand castle villages and Kasbah’s that dot the south of Morocco. The ancient town of Ait Benhaddou enchants its thousands visitors with its curious towers. They stand stout in face of surrounding desert resisting its harsh weather and forging a place in Morocco’s history. During the 20th century, this Kasbah was the stronghold of Ethami Glaoui as one of the most powerful men in Moroccan History. His fame was worldwide inviting V.I.P.s from all over the world to attend his affluent ceremonies. George Orwell paid him a visit in one of these Kasbah as well as in Marrakesh. Towns like Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou played an important role in Morocco’s past as key stops on the lucrative sub-Saharan trade routes. They were a safe stopover as well as a link between the vast desert and mountain ranges for commercial caravan coming from Timbuktu to the heart of Morocco: Marrakesh. Like Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate encloses an important fortified midpoint, the Taourirt Kasbah. Ouarzazate is the administrative capital and the biggest city of a province well known for its Kasbahs. The same ones that might have inspired Jimmy Hendrix during his visit to Morocco in 1965 to write his famous song “Castel made of Sand”. The etymology of the word ‘Ouarzazate’ comes from the Berber expression meaning ‘without noise’. As part of its effort to join the human struggle against climate change, the province of Ouarzazate had settled the world largest solar power plant. In a collaboration with many other international entities and organizations such as the NASA, its value is estimated at around $9 billion. These solar plants will provide 75% of the Moroccan national needs of energy. Our journey today will give us an opportunity to wonder in the old town of Taourirt with its large ancient Kasbah. Its noble founders have moved out, leaving its many towers to families of White storks. The next stop will be in Morocco’s largest movie studios. Over the years, thanks to their prime desert location, these studios have helped turn out classic films like Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000). Recently, certain episodes of Game of Thrones were filmed here. For flexibility purposes and time restraints, we will have to choose some of these options. We can also visit either the cinema museum or one of the studios. Our discovery ends in the evening. Our professional driver will take a more direct route back to Marrakesh. He will drive you your accommodations in Marrakesh ensuring your safety.

Book Now