Marrakech to Telouat :
Ait Ben Haddou day trip is a perfect choice for those who want a glimpse of the desert and beautiful kasbahs built by Berbers who ruled the Salt Road caravan routes. A three hour drive takes you to the gateway of Sahara, traversing the Tichka Pass over the High Atlas mountains. Just after the pass, our Ait Ben Haddou day trip from Marrakech turns left and we find ourselves on the ancient route caravans used to bring the much sought- after goods at the court of the Sultan. We soon reach Telouet and its former pasha’s palace dominating the village, a fortified citadel that is both a microcosm of an empire and its demise. Pacha Glaoui had managed to overshadow the sultan by controlling most of nowadays Morocco and decided to erect a palace in the middle of nowhere, where his family had originated from. He had employed the most skilled artisans to build and decorate his main residence and, in its golden age, armies, stables and Christian slaves were confined within its walls while a flourishing Jewish community was managing the nearby salt mines.
Ait Ben Haddou :
In the afternoon, Then is the time to visit Ait Ben Haddou, the postcard- like UNESCO adobe citadel. A fat, red sun, only underlines the beige tones of the mud and straws mixture and through the covered passages and stone walls, the past filters itself into the present. In spite of the local ‘guides’, the best is to just lose yourselves in its alleyways. There is always a new way to reach its peak, from where the snowcapped Atlas Mountains framed by the denim blue sky will steal your breath away. If the climb up hadn’t already. Half hour later, our trip crosses Ouarzazate, made famous by its film studios where scenes of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Gladiator’ were shot. At this point, a camel trek can be accommodated around the walls of the Kasbah, by the river bed.
We will then start our way back crossing the High Atlas, this time on the tarmac road that used to be the route first laid out by the French Foreign Legion over the Atlas Mountains. The excursion serpents its way past abrupt valleys and mountain peaks to reach Marrakech later in the evening.