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Ait Ben Haddou and Ouarzazate: Hollywood's Favorite Filming Locations in Morocco

Scores of movies have been filmed in Morocco, and for good reason. The scenery is great for long camel treks with the Dothraki (Game of Thrones), or jumping from building rooftop to building rooftop in the Prince of Persia, not to mention countless films of Arabia, Indiana Jones and so on.

clay and sandstone rooftop buildings view

But considering that all this is basically shot in the desert, you've got to accommodate for the film stars, yea? Enter the town of Ouarzazate.

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Fly in, drive in, or take a grand taxi, but Ouarzazate is a popular starting point for many travelers and film stars to reach the neighboring splendors of Morocco's desert lands.

Find French-inspired golden age of Hollywood types of restaurants like Dimitri in the center of town for the feeling of the Bogart and Hepburn days.

girls makes a funny face with a wall of black and white photos behind her

While you're there, check out the magnificent Taourirt Kasbah on the road leading out of town.

taourirt kasbah sandstone building with palm trees

Not only is it stunning from the outside, the inside corridors offer loads of entertainment (and photo ops) for the curious visitor to see life in earlier times.

Take in lunch across the street from the Kasbah at any of the rooftop cafes that speak to your soul.

rooftop lunch with tile table

Then, head into town for some modern shopping, or perhaps further east to explore the deserts near Zagora. Spend the night in a berbere camp, or perhaps in our other featured destination: Ait Ben Haddou.

Ait Ben Haddou

We were there in 2017, so granted this list is totally out of date, but it gives a good representation of the amazing films that were shot in Ait Ben Haddou's breathtaking village.

list of films made in ait ben haddou

Essentially an oasis in the desert, a castle-like village juts out over the sand and clay backdrop, adorned with greenery and palm trees.

sandstone village with palm trees

Go in the afternoon and you'll find you have the village almost to yourself. Shops will begin to close near dusk, where earlier buses of tourists came through to snap pictures and shop for wares at little boutiques.

There are no cars in the village, so you must park outside of the fortress in the modern town of Ait Ben Haddou. You will find many hotels and restaurants there, but lucky travelers will spend the night in the old village at guest houses like where we stayed at the Kasbah El Hajja guest house in the center of Ait Ben Haddou.

a man, woman and their donkey carrying goods

In our hotel we took dinner in a candlelit cave and joined our hosts in sharing stories and making music together all night long.

candlelit cave dinner

We took in views from our hotel rooftop of the village and felt lucky to be enjoying such amazing scenery.

a woman stands under a bamboo roof with a beautiful village in the background

Clearly the beauty of this place could be found at every vantage point.

a woman looks out across a desert village

Although a brief visit to Hollywood's favorite filming locations in Morocco, Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou were stunning. To explore tour and ticket options for these towns, see more at Viator's round up for Ait Ben Haddou.

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