Between Marrakech and Ouarzazate lies one of the most scenic routes in Morocco. It traverses the High Atlas mountains via the stunning Tizi n’ Tichka pass (2260m) and is possibly the most beautiful route in Morocco.
A little over 20km before reaching Ouarzazate is Aït Benhaddou, a 'fortified city', or ksar, along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. It is situated on a hill along the Ounila River and is known for its kasbahs. Most of the town's inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; however, ten families still live within the ksar.
Aït Benhaddou has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 and several major films have been shot there, including Gladiator and The Mummy.
Ouarzazate is the gateway to the Sahara and lies in a valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. It's home to Kasbah Taourirt (pictured below) and Kasbah Tiffoultoute, the ancient residences of Glaoui (Old Pacha of Marrakech).
It is also the film capital of Morocco, boasting one of the largest film studios in the world. Several historical movies were shot there, including Lawrence of Arabia, Asterix and Obelix, and Babel. The studios are open to the public.
Depart Marrakech: 07h00
Return Marrakech: 20h00
Journey time: approximately 3 1/2 hours each way