Ah Morocco…land of deserts, Berber tea, trees with goats in them (yep, they’re absolutely real), and plenty of kasbahs to explore. Let us here at Tripio share the best and most beautiful Kasbahs on earth with you. I assume you’ve heard The Clash song before (although, they spell it with a ‘c’ instead of a ‘k’), but for those folks who have never traveled to northern Africa it may not sound that familiar. A kasbah is a fortress, typically fortified within the center of a city. Basically, it’s the African equivalent of a European castle or temple. That said, there are a wide variety of different kasbahs that serve a variety of different purposes, from watchtowers to pirate strongholds to the homes of rich and influential people.
Here are four fantastic, scenic and Tripio-worthy kasbahs that you can explore today!
Before we move on, did you know that every week we send out a newsletter featuring:
- New Destinations on the Tripio app
- Highlighted Itineraries on the Tripio app
- Articles from the Tripio blog
Subscribe to Tripio’s Weekly Newsletter!
If you read my other Moroccan-themed blog about famous movie sets you can see in Morocco, you may have already heard of this one. Tifoultoute Kasbah was featured in the classic movie Lawrence of Arabia, but its legacy expands far beyond the silver screen.
This fortress once belonged to the family of Thami El Glaoui, who served as a pasha (similar to knighthood in European nations) from 1912 all the way till his death in 1956. Glaoui holds an…interesting place in Moroccan history. He once conspired with the French protectorate in Morocco in their overthrow of Sultan Mohammed V in 1953, only to turn around and announce his support of the sultan’s restoration only two years later.
Today, the kasbah is not only a historical treasure and favorite stop on cinema lovers’ bucket lists: it’s got a restaurant too! Stop here to enjoy the sunset, a good meal, and the chance to explore the part of the kasbah restored during the 18th century (sadly, some parts of the kasbah are off limits due to the aging architecture).
This mud brick Mecca for lovers of African architecture is perhaps the most historic kasbah on Tripio’s list of already-historic kasbahs. Unlike the other kasbahs Tripio has listed, which tend to be located in populated urban areas, Kasbah Telouet can be found in the outskirts of the small Berber village bearing the same name. It was this strategic location that gave the El Glaoui family (the same family mentioned in the listing above) control over the caravan routes and major salt mines that made this region so important to the Moroccan economy.
Construction began in 1860, and would require the hard-working hands of over 300 craftsmen brought in from all over Morocco. As the El Glaoui family’s fame and fortune (and everything that goes with it) expanded, so did their treasured Kasbah, incorporating different elements of Andalusi-Moroccan style to the local Berber structure.
Today, the kasbah is open to visitors, but be warned; reconstruction efforts are underway, and parts of this kasbah are no easy adventure. Nevertheless, this great kasbah deserves a spot on every Moroccan explorer’s itinerary.
Moroccan history and long and multi-faceted, with a little smattering of Greek, Roman, Spanish, and Arabic influence sprinkled in. One cannot forget the Berber people, however, especially those who took up residence in modern-day Sale.
For Tripio readers and followers from the states, you might be somewhat familiar with the First Barbary War. This was technically the United States’ first global conflict, as President Thomas Jefferson led his fledgling nation against the Barbary pirates that had been terrorizing the waters of the Old World for centuries. These pirates would infamously raid the trading ships of other European nations, demanding tribute for daring to sail through their domain. Most of these countries simply paid the pirates off, knowing a war with them would be far more expensive.
In the case of the United States, however, these were payments they simply couldn’t afford…thus necessitating the conflict.
The Kasbah of the Udayas was a famed stronghold of the early Barbary pirates, even serving as a capital building for the short-lived Corsair Republic. Today, the kasbah is a UN World Heritage Site, and a great place to view the water and even do some shopping in one of the nearby markets.
Not a “kasbah” in the historical sense, but definitely one in terms of grandeur. Kasbah du Toubkal also has a unique spot on this list as the only kasbah you can actually stay in!
Located in the High Atlas Mountains, this four-star hotel is the perfect stop for those looking for traditional Moroccan accommodations. Even if you already have a place to stay, however, this gorgeous eco-lodge is worth the trip. You can try some of the traditional food or mint tea offered here, horse or mule rides to the surrounding mountains and nearby village, or venture out into the Toubkal National Park.
It’s the perfect way to get out from the crowded and high-energy urban centers of Morocco, and an even better place to zen out and try something new.
Use Tripio to Plan Your Next Step Back in Time
History can be found in every corner of Morocco, especially in the many kasbahs dotting the landscape. Whether you’re a simple traveler looking for that next great vacation or adventure or a seasoned historian, you’ll find what you’re looking for in these four historic fortresses.
You can also use the Tripio app to add to your trip, before travel or while you travel. Using the app, select the plus icon at the bottom of the screen titled “Create.” This will take you to the trip creator, which can create custom top 10 lists and a custom itinerary in under 60 seconds! It’s never been so easy to plan a great adventure or vacation.
The kasbahs listed above, and other arts and historical stops listed in the app, are under the Historical and Cultural category; make sure to give it a 5 for trip importance, to ensure your custom top 10 itinerary has a focus on these activities. To really round out your top 10 itinerary, consider adding Easy or Moderate Adventures to stay in shape on the go, and Good Eats for when you get hungry.
Stop waiting to take that bucket list trip; get Tripio today!
Interested in South Africa? Check out: Cape Town: A First-Timers Vacation To South Africa
or maybe more of Morocco, check out: A Cinephile’s Guide To Morocco
-Joshua Faulks, Tripio Guru