The dreamlike oasis of Aït-Benhaddou
A few hours' drive to the south of Marrakech plunge yourself into the setting for some of the great action-packed scenes starring Daenerys, heiress to the Iron Throne in the TV series. At the heart of a peaceful oasis, the small town of Aït-Benhaddou welcomes you inside its walls. Built on a hillside in the 17th century, this ksar (“fortress” in Arabic) is one of the most striking examples of Moroccan architecture with its high ochre ramparts and houses that look like miniature castles.
As you climb the narrow alleys of this bastion, a UNESCO World Heritage site, bit by bit, you will recognise the imaginary city of Yunkai where the Mother of Dragons liberates the slaves. When you get to the top of the agadir, the loft that overlooks the town, a breathtaking landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. In this romantic corner of the pre-Sahara, the sun casts its orange rays onto the surrounding dunes.
To enjoy the ksar from a different perspective, head to the Kasbah Valentine, a traditional Berber restaurant outside the town walls. From the terrace, you can once again admire the golden walls of this natural film set while you sample the local speciality, a tomato and onion omelette. It is a moment of pure magic.
+212 668 398991
The entire Game of Thrones series are available to watch again on OCS Go.
Ouarzazate – a city made for cinema
Some thirty-odd kilometres to the south of Aït-Benhaddou, you will stop off in the stunning city of Ouarzazate. There, you will continue your fabulous tour in the Atlas film studios. It was in these sets dropped in the middle of the desert that the city-state of Pentos from the first season came to life. Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Alexander… and countless other cinema classics have passed through these iconic studios. Take a stroll past an Egyptian temple, followed by a traditional North African village and even a Mongolian palace. It is a timeless visit that envelops you in the wonderful atmosphere of the orient.
In the evening, you can set off for a memorable night in the desert, care of “Bivouac sous les étoiles”. Your guide will take you by camel to a traditional camp where you can sleep under the stars, if you so wish. Above you, the night sky reveals its spectacular constellations. This really is the stuff of a tale from One Thousand and One Nights.
Route de Marrakech
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Bivouac sous les étoiles
Avenue Mohamed V
Kissariat el Ghifari
+212 524 846175
Essaouira – where the desert meets the sea
In the medieval streets of Essaouira, two and a half hours by road from Marrakech, the delicate fragrance of jasmine and orange blossom waft harmoniously together on the Saharan sirocco wind. As you wander along the ramparts, sit a while and watch the waves crashing on the rocks below. The sound will remind you of the fighting so prevalent in the city of Astapor in Game of Thrones. It was here that a lot of scenes from the third season were filmed.
Away from the roar of the ocean and the battles of your favourite series, you deserve a bit of out-of-town relaxation. The Riad Baoussala ecolodge extends a warm welcome. Environmentally friendly with its green energy and eco-build, this luxury guesthouse includes a spa, steam room, heated pool and even a small library. In the shade of the hotel's eucalyptus garden, you can play back the film of your tour. You might then sink into dreams of dragons and knights, intrepid queens and epic love stories, perfectly evoked by the great landscapes of the Marrakech region.
Douar El Ghazoua BP 423
+212 606 068885