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Ait Benhaddou

A fortified settlement (ksar) housing some of the best conserved Kasbahs in Morocco and a backdrop to many films.


An oasis with magnificent Kasbahs and lovely 'off-the-beaten-track' guest houses for a relaxing retreat.


Marrakech is the gateway to Morocco for most visitors. One of the four Imperial Cities, it is an exciting city with true Moroccan soul and culture and a feast for the senses that caters well for visitors.

14 A Kingdom of Kasbahs

Stunning Scenery and Places To Explore

Four hours and a world away from Marrakech are the famous Kasbahs (feudal family castles) of the Southern High Atlas and the Skoura Oasis. The hundred or so Kasbahs date mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries and provide an interesting insight into the lives of the powerful families that controlled the trade routes to and from the Sahara.

Your journey takes you south from Marrakech over the spectacular Tiz-n-Tichka pass (the highest pass in Morocco)with its views of dramatic mountain views and down to the Dades Valley on the northern edge of the Sahara and desert landscapes.


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Our recommendations

Season: all year round except mid winter.

Length: 7 nights (a 5 nights' itinerary is possible for a short break holiday but for more time to explore, 7 is ideal).

Flights: Marrakech.

Pricing: See Details tab - from £705 pp based on 2 persons sharing (B&B), excl. flights. Price varies by room, season and exchange rate.

Transport options: *This itinerary is based on a chauffeur driven trip (vehicle/driver/fuel for 5 days) except where a taxi is indicated; option to have a driver or a taxi or minibus with driver. All travel times are approximate.

Extension options: Deep desert and High Atlas extensions are easily available on this suggested itinerary.

Weather: Please have a look at our 'Weather' page with further details and an average temperature guideline in various locations throughout the year.


Kingdom of Kasbahs Holiday Suggestion

The area south of Marrakech, through the High Atlas and into the entrance of the Sahara is a place rich with wonderful Kasbahs and easy to explore in 7 nights, for example:

Prices from £705 per person (7 nights) excluding flights*

Day Nights' Stay Typical itinerary for illustration
1 2 Fly to Marrakech. Transfer** from Marrakech airport to Skoura (5 hrs) over Tizi n'Tichka pass in the High Atlas Mountains.
2   Explore the Skoura Oasis with visits (with or without guide) to local Kasbahs, which may include Kasbah Amerhidl, Dar Aït Sidi el Mati and Kasbah Aït Abou.
3   Visit Kasbah Taorirt (45mins) in Ourzazate, one of the largest Kasbahs in Morocco.
3 2 Drive to Kasbah Ellouze at Tamdaght nearr Ait-Benhaddou (45 mins) a very atmospherc building in a traditional Kasbah hamlet.
4   Visit the World Heritage site of Ait Benhaddou whose ancient Kasbahs date back to the 16th century and are some of the best conserved in Morocco. Its location is on the former caravan trading route for salt, gold and ivory between the Sahara and Marrakech. More recently it has been a backdrop to a number of well-known Hollywood films.
5   Vist the Kasbah of el Glaoui at Telouet (1hr), a stunning Kasbah with a beautiful mountainous backdrop. The huge structures are crumbling but still impressive.
5 3 Drive to Marrakech (2.5 hrs), and in the afternoon visit to the souks and evening visit to the main Place Jemma de Fna.
6   Visit the historic sites Saadian Tombs, Badii Palace, Bahia Palace and museums Maison Tiskiwine and Musee de Marrakech and the Medersa Ben Youssef, take lunch in the main square (a guide can be arranged).
7   Depending on flight times visit the Mellah and the Marrakech souks, gardens or museums (a guide can be arranged) and taxi transfer to airport.

Pricing: * Based on 2 persons sharing (B&B), excl. flights. Chauffeur driven trip (car/vehicle/fuel for 5 days; day 1 to 5). Accommodation staying at El Borj (Marrakech), Kasbah Ellouze (Ait Benhaddou), Les Jardin de Skoura (Skoura) - accommodation is mid-price range. Naturally Morocco can offer a rangeof alternative accommodations if required. Price varies by room, season and exchange rate.


Ait Benhaddou

A striking fortified settlement (ksar), renowned as a backdrop to many films (including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator), and deservedly designated as a World Heritage Site, it houses some of the best conserved kasbahs in Morocco.


An oasis settlement 45 minutes' drive to the north east of Ouarzazate, it boasts magnificent kasbahs such as the magical Kasbah Amerhidil and significant palmeries with hidden lovely off-the-beaten-track guest houses.


Marrakech is the gateway to Morocco for most visitors, and understandably so. One of the four imperial cities, it is a lively city with a true Moroccan soul and culture, a feast for the senses that caters well for visitors. From the atmospheric souks of the medina, to the villages of the High Atlas Mountains a short drive away, Marrakech offers a vast range of options for the visitor either on a short trip or as part of a longer adventure.

5-7 nights