Ksar of Ait BenhaddouAit Benhaddou is a “Ksar,” a fortified village in the foothill of the Atlas Mountain. This famous ksar was once a significant stop for traders carrying gold, salt and slaves along the caravan route between Sahara and Marrakesh. It was named a UNESCO Heritage Site and was a location of many famous films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Jesus of Nazareth, The Mummy, etc.


Ksar of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco Inside the ksar’s defensive walls are collective dwellings built from clay brick and has public areas that include a mosque, public squares, cemeteries and a caravanserai.  This ksar is a perfect example of earthen architecture that is typical in this region of Morocco.


Ait Benhaddou girl crossing ksarResidents making their way to the ksar. Only ten families remain living in the ksar.  Most of its former inhabitants moved to modern villages nearby.


man carrying wood to Ait Benhaddou  ksarA man carryng wood materials to the ksar.


The view of the ksar from a cafe.


Children of Ait Benhaddou


Young lady of Ait Benhaddou

Ruins of Kashbah in TamdaghtOnly six miles away from Ait Benhaddou is the village of Tamdaght, dominated by the canyon walls of a Glaoui Kasbah. This famous kasbah was built by Gloui family who ruled south of Morocco for half century beginning in the late 1800’s.


Village of TamdaghtThe earthen village of Tamdaght was also a backdrop to many films such as Alexander the Great.


View of village of Tamdaght from Kasbah EllouzeWe had never heard of Tamdaght until the manager at our guesthouse in the Sahara Desert oasis advised that we stay in this village instead of Ouarzazate to break our travel between Sahara and Marrakech.  Ouarzazate, the Hollywood of Morocco, he said was “too touristy, no soul.” He recommended this guesthouse in Tamdaght, Kasbah Ellouze, and even made the reservation for us.


Terrace of Kasbah Ellouze in Tamdaght, MoroccoWe were happy with his recommendation. Tamdaght was scenic and relaxing and Kasbah Ellouze was stunning. This is one of the several charming terraces of Kasbah Ellouze, which is just right next to the ruin of the historic Glaoui Kasbah.


The view of the surrounding rock mountain from the lower terrace of Kasbah Ellouze.


Tamdaght door of ruin

 Doors on the ruin of the neighboring kasbah.


antiques against a wall in Tamdaght MoroccoAntique items against the wall of the neighboring ruin.


Breakfast in the dining terrace of Kasbah Ellouze that overlooked an almond grove and rock mountain.


We looked down from the dining terrace and saw this adorable white camel looking up at us.

Looking from another side of the dining terrace, we saw this camel being herded by a woman.


Relaxing at Kasbah EllouzeWe intended to leave the kasbah right after breakfast but we decided to linger a bit more to enjoy its relaxing, charming atmosphere and its spectacular surrounding.


Courtyard of Kasbah Ellouze in Tamdaght MoroccoReluctantly, we got ready to leave the beautiful Kasbah Ellouze to make our way to Marrakech.

The porter of Kasbah Ellouze waiting for us by the doorway.


Tamdaght Kasbah Ellouze porter carrying luggage in wheel borrowThe porter wheeled out our  luggage on a wheelbarrow!

Follow our journey to vibrant Marrakesh.

Related posts:

About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

6 responses to “Morocco: Ait Benhaddou and Tamdaght

  1. Carrie Sieber

    I love the rawness of these beautiful places. They seem so remote and so exotic. It’s interesting that they’ve been featured in a lot of movies. I love the photos of the children and the porter carrying your baggage in the wheelbarrow! I look forward to your Marrakesh piece.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Carrie, they beautiful and interesting places indedd. We’re glad you enjoyed them.

  2. Craig Siimone

    Interesting places! You guys know how to travel.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Craig, they’re interesting places indeed. Glad you enjoyed them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge