When you are visiting Morocco, you do not want to miss out on witnessing Ouarzazate, one of world’s destination of filming site and a home to Aït Benhaddou, the fortified village (or also known as ksar), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ouarzazate is given the nickname, “The Door of the Desert”, and is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in Drâa-Tafilalet, a region of south-central Morocco. It is also located in the middle of a bare plateau south of the High Atlas Mountains.
How Did You Visit Ouarzazate?
Being in Morocco, my main goal was to visit one of their beautiful deserts. Knowing that my trip in Africa is short, I found a tour online called, Marrakech-Desert-Trips.com, and found a package for 2 days tour to the Zagora Desert. You can choose a private or a shared tour, which is a little more expensive for the former option. I paid for just €65.00 for the shared tour and upgraded to the luxury option for another €15.00 (more on camping in the desert in “Zagora, Morocco“).
As part of the package, the tour takes us to visit a couple of locations along the 8-hour drive to the Zagora desert, with one of them being Aït Benhaddou. You have the option to opt out of this tour and do your own thing, but if you wish to visit the Ksar, you will have to pay around €2.00 per person, that is around 20 Dirham. There will also be a tour guide that takes you around the site, so don’t forget you will need to tip the tour guide at the end, as well.
What to Expect
Time Spent: ~ 2.5 hours
One of my tip traveling out of the main city such as Marrakesh is to buy your own water bottle as it gets more expensive the closer you get to the desert or in touristy areas such as the ksar. I bought around 3 bottles, which lasted me pretty well throughout the whole 2 days of the trip.
At the end of the Aït Benhaddou tour, our guide takes us to a restaurant nearby (I am pretty sure they have partnered up to get mutual customers), so do expect a somewhat expensive meal compared to the souk in Marrakesh (I paid around 300 Dirham for a chicken couscous). You will be hungry at this point and there are not a lot of options nearby if you want to stay close to your group since you need to manage your time strictly to catch the same bus to the Zagora Desert for another 4-5 hours.