city on the hill

Ait-Ben-Haddou is a famous fortress in the heart of Morocco, not too far from Marrakech. Now inhabited by no more than a few families (and hoards of tourists), this fortified city used to be a booming center back in the day. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site where a whole bunch of movies have been shot over the years (such as the Mummy, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, to mention some of the more recent ones). It is mostly known for its stone towers and houses, known as “kasbahs”.





There’s loads of neat little corners and places you can explore while walking around it. You occasionally stumble upon a gift/artisan shop and very persistent locals try to sell you merchandise. You can easily get something at a fraction of the original price, it’s all about bargaining with them, which I found to be a fun experience.




If you’re lucky, you might get a cool photo with a local (for free) 😉

From the top, you get a spectacular view of the desert-looking landscape with the Ounilla river and the many kasbahs at your feet, some surrounding villages and the snow-capped Atlas mountains all the way at the back.







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