Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

The Great Oasis Valleys Travel Guide

Ait Ben Haddou

The ksar (fortified village) at Aït Ben Haddou is something of a celebrity itself. This group of earth-built kasbahs and homes hidden behind defensive high walls has come to fame (and fortune) as a backdrop for many films, including David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, Ridley Scott's Gladiator, and Oliver Stone's Alexander. Of course, it hasn't always been a film set. It got going in the 11th century

as a stop-off on the old caravan routes, with salt heading one way and ivory and gold heading back the other. Strewn across the hillside and surrounded by flowering almond trees in early spring, the red-pisé towers of the village fortress resemble a sprawling, dark-red sand castle. Crenellated and topped with an ancient granary store, it's one of the most sumptuous sights in the Atlas. The ksar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When not teeming with camera crews, it can get inundated with visitors desperate to capture the postcard-perfect snap. But you can usually manage a moment or two alone with the ksar to take in its beauty, no matter how many people are there.

Read More

Explore Ait Ben Haddou

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trip Finder
X

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.