Frequently Asked Questions About Ait Ben Haddou
Ait Ben Haddou is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the southern foothills of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. An authentic fortified village, Ait Ben Haddou offers visitors an insight into traditional Moroccan life and culture. From its stunning architecture to its bustling markets and colorful nightlife, there are plenty of attractions to explore and activities to enjoy during your visit. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day trip or an adventure-filled holiday, Ait Ben Haddou has something for everyone.
When is the best time for traveling to Ait Ben Haddou?
The best time to visit Ait Ben Haddou is during the spring and autumn months, which are generally milder in temperature and not as crowded with tourists. Spring typically falls between March and May, while Autumn is usually between September and November. During this time, the weather is warm (usually hitting highs of 28°C) but not too hot, making it ideal for sightseeing and taking in all that Ait Ben Haddou has to offer. Additionally, the days are longer so visitors can get more out of their trip!
Which area is best to stay in Ait Ben Haddou?
The best area to stay in Ait Ben Haddou is the fortified old town, known as Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience, with its traditional mud-brick houses, winding alleys and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. There are many guest houses located near the Ksar where visitors can stay for a night or two, enjoying all that this ancient village has to offer. Additionally, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes dotted around the old town where travelers can sample some of Morocco’s delicious cuisine.
Which are the most popular attractions in Ait Ben Haddou?
The popular attractions in Ait Ben Haddou include:
1. Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou – the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see for visitors, with its traditional mud-brick houses and winding alleys offering a unique insight into Berber life.
2. Kasbah Taourirt – this former royal palace is located on a hill overlooking the town and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can explore the ancient Moorish architecture as well as enjoy some traditional Moroccan cuisine at one of the nearby restaurants.
3. Ouarzazate Film Studios – these famous film studios are located just outside Ait Ben Haddou and have been used to shoot many iconic films such as Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and Lawrence of Arabia. Visitors can take a tour of the studios and explore some of the movie sets.
4. Todra Gorge – this stunning natural landscape is located in the nearby Dades Valley and is one of the best places to go hiking or rock climbing in Morocco. The bright orange cliffs provide a spectacular backdrop for photographers.
5. Telouet Kasbah – this former palace was once home to generations of Pacha Glaoui, an important family in Moroccan history.
Which food places should I try in Ait Ben Haddou?
The best places to eat food in Ait Ben Haddou are:
1. Restaurant Dar Allouch – this traditional Moroccan restaurant offers delicious local dishes, including tajine and couscous. It also has a terrace that overlooks the old town, allowing visitors to enjoy their meal with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
2. Cafe de la Place – located in the centre of Ait Ben Haddou, this simple cafe serves up tasty snacks as well as hot and cold drinks.
3. La Kasbah – located inside the Taourirt Kasbah, this charming restaurant serves a range of authentic Moroccan dishes such as tagines and pastilla.
4. La Maison Berbere – situated in the old town, this restaurant is a great place to sample some of Morocco’s finest cuisine.
5. Restaurant Berbere – located inside the Ksar, this traditional eatery offers visitors a variety of Moroccan dishes, including tajine and couscous.
6. Le Chat Qui Rit – this restaurant serves up an array of international dishes, from pizza to kebabs. It also has an outdoor terrace where guests can soak up the incredible views of Ait Ben Haddou while enjoying their meal.
What are some good shopping areas in Ait Ben Haddou?
The best places to do shopping in Ait Ben Haddou are:
1. Souk al-Djemaa – located near the old town, this market is a great place to pick up traditional souvenirs and handicrafts. It also has plenty of stalls selling fresh produce such as spices, fruits and vegetables.
2. Le Petit Souk – situated just outside the Ksar, this small market offers visitors an array of handmade items such as baskets and jewelry.
3. La Librairie des Berberes – located inside the Ksar and run by locals, this bookshop sells a range of books about Morocco and its culture.
4. Dar Laachab – situated just outside the Ksar, this shop sells a variety of traditional textiles and carpets.
5. Le Bazar – located in the old town, this bustling market is the perfect place to pick up some authentic Moroccan souvenirs. It also has plenty of stalls selling spices, fruits and vegetables.
6. La Maison Berbere – situated in the old town, this family-run store offers visitors an array of handmade items such as jewelry, pottery and carpets.
What are the best places to enjoy nightlife in Ait Ben Haddou?
The best nightlife options in Ait Ben Haddou are:
1. Cafe de la Place – located in the centre of Ait Ben Haddou, this cafe serves up a range of hot and cold drinks as well as snacks. It also has an outdoor terrace where visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the old town while enjoying their beverages.
2. Bar Baraka – situated just outside the Ksar, this lively bar is popular among both locals and tourists alike. It offers an array of drinks, from beer to cocktails, and live music on weekends.
3. Le Café du Coin – located near the old town, this cozy bar offers guests a variety of alcoholic beverages as well as traditional Moroccan dishes such as couscous and tagine. It also has an outdoor terrace that overlooks the surrounding landscape.
4. Le Chat Qui Rit – located inside the Ksar, this bar is a great spot to sip on cocktails while enjoying live music.
5. La Kasbah – situated inside the Taourirt Kasbah, this restaurant offers guests a variety of drinks as well as traditional Moroccan cuisine.
6. Le Bar Berbere – located just outside the old town, this bar serves up an array of beers, wines and spirits as well as tasty snacks. It also has a large outdoor seating area where visitors can enjoy views of Ait Ben Haddou while sipping their drinks.
What are the nearby day trips to take from Ait Ben Haddou?
The best day trips near Ait Ben Haddou include:
1. Marrakesh – located just over two hours away, this bustling city is a popular destination for tourists. It has a number of attractions to explore, from the famous Jemaa el Fna square to the stunning Saadian Tombs.
2. Essaouira – situated on the Atlantic coast and around 200km from Ait Ben Haddou, this coastal town offers an array of activities such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. It also has a number of sights to see, including its old ramparts and Skala du Port lighthouse.
3. Ouarzazate – located about one hour away, this desert oasis is home to the famous Taourirt Kasbah and Ahmed Ben Abdelmoumen hotel. It also has a number of attractions such as the Atlas Film Studio and the Cinema Museum, making it an ideal spot to explore Morocco’s cinematic heritage.
4. Todra Gorge – situated in the High Atlas Mountains and around three hours away from Ait Ben Haddou, this stunning gorge offers visitors a range of outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
5. Dades Valley – located in the Drâa-Tafilalet region and around two hours away, this picturesque valley is known for its towering limestone cliffs that have been eroded by wind and rain over time.