#BucketList: Be Awed By The Ancient Fortress Of Aït Benhaddou

The renowned UNESCO site plays host to many television and film sets

Photo: Shutterstock 

Can you picture Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen zipping over the village on her dragon? Or perhaps the heroes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade exiting the fortress and galloping off into the setting sun?

Well, it doesn’t come as a surprise for Morocco’s Aït Benhaddou to jog any film or television-watcher’s memory as the desert frontier town of Ouarzazate has lent its magnificent facade for the backdrop of numerous films and the only TV show being Game of Thrones.

Sitting amidst a valley near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the Ksar is a fortified city, made up of well-preserved Kasbahs, or equally fortified houses. Formed entirely by organic material, the buildings demonstrate the impressive Moroccan earthen clay architecture, where every inch is covered by a rich red mud plaster. The city, aside from domestic buildings, is a labyrinth of sandstone coloured towers and walls, including a mosque, a caravanserai and public square that are encircled by high walls to keep transgressors out.

Historically, the structure played a key role in the Sahara Trade Route, during a time when traders passed by with their barang barang of spices, gold and um, slaves.


The best timing for photos is evening, at sunset, when the structure turns into a dreamlike state with the sun’s glow gently brushing its crimson exterior.

But if sand and rock do not tickle your fancy, Chefchaouen will set to thrill you with its rich culture imbued into the sleepy town’s striking blue-washed buildings.

For more natural marvels found in Morocco, travel with EU Holidays on its 12D9N Great Morocco with Sahara & Chefchaouen tour.