Ben Guerir, Morocco
Region: Ben Guerir, Morocco is located in Ben Guerir
Geographic Coordinates: 32.230000, -7.950000
Climate: Ben Guerir, Morocco experiences a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
Ben Guerir is a vibrant city located in the central region of Morocco, Approximately 70 kilometers north of Marrakech. Nestled within the arid landscape of the Rehamna Province, This charming town offers a unique blend of traditional Moroccan heritage and modern development. With its rich history, Diverse culture, And stunning natural surroundings, Ben Guerir has become an increasingly popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. One of the most notable features of Ben Guerir is its strategic location along the ancient trade routes that connected Marrakech to other major cities in Morocco.
This historical significance can still be witnessed today through remnants such as ancient caravanserais and fortified walls that once protected traders from bandits. Exploring these architectural marvels provides visitors with a glimpse into the bustling past of this region. The city’s cultural scene is also thriving, With numerous festivals and events taking place throughout the year. One such event is the International Festival for Amazigh Culture held annually in Ben Guerir. This festival celebrates Amazigh (Berber) traditions through music, Dance performances, Handicraft exhibitions, And culinary delights.
It offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant culture and traditions that have shaped this part of Morocco. Nature enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by Ben Guerir’s picturesque surroundings. The nearby Atlas Mountains provide breathtaking vistas for hikers and nature lovers alike. The region boasts several hiking trails that wind through lush valleys dotted with almond trees and wildflowers during springtime. For those seeking relaxation or adventure under the warm Moroccan sun, Lake Lalla Takerkoust lies just outside Ben Guerir’s borders.
Surrounded by rugged mountainsides adorned with olive groves, This serene lake offers various water activities like kayaking or jet skiing while providing respite from urban life. In recent years, Ben Guerir has also gained recognition as an educational hub due to the presence of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). This prestigious institution attracts students and researchers from around the world, Contributing to a vibrant intellectual atmosphere in the city. The university’s focus on sustainability and innovation has led to various initiatives aimed at developing eco-friendly technologies and promoting entrepreneurship.
In terms of accommodation, Ben Guerir offers a range of options suitable for different budgets. From luxurious resorts with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains to cozy guesthouses nestled within traditional Moroccan architecture, Visitors are spoilt for choice. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient history, Indulging in local culture, Immersing yourself in nature’s beauty, Or pursuing academic endeavors, Ben Guerir is a destination that caters to all interests. With its unique blend of tradition and modernity, This captivating Moroccan city promises an unforgettable experience for every traveler who ventures its way.
- Mohammed VI Polytechnic University: One of the main highlights of Ben Guerir is its prestigious university campus. The modern architecture and beautiful surroundings make it an interesting place to visit.
- Oued Cherrat: This river located near Ben Guerir offers a serene natural setting for picnics or leisurely walks along its banks.
- Atlas Film Studios: Although not directly in Ben Guerir, this film studio complex is just a short drive away. It has been used for shooting numerous international films and TV series, including Gladiator and Game of Thrones. Visitors can take guided tours to see various sets and props.
- Jardin Mohamed VI: Situated within the university campus, this lovely garden provides a peaceful atmosphere with its lush greenery, fountains, and walking paths.
- Day trips to Marrakech or Casablanca: While staying in Ben Guerir, visitors can easily plan day trips to nearby cities like Marrakech (approximately 80 km away) or Casablanca (around 100 km away). These cities offer famous landmarks such as the Marrakech Medina, Jardin Majorelle, Koutoubia Mosque (in Marrakech), Hassan II Mosque, Corniche Ain Diab (in Casablanca), among others.
It’s important to note that while these attractions are worth exploring if you find yourself in Ben Guerir; the city itself is primarily known for being an educational hub rather than a prominent tourist destination like some other Moroccan cities.
- Education: The city is home to several prestigious educational institutions, including Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the African School of Engineering Sciences (Ecole Africaine des Sciences de l’Ingénieur – EASI). These institutions attract students from all over Africa and contribute to the development of education in the region.
- Aerospace: Ben Guerir hosts an aerospace industrial park called Midparc Aerospace Hub, which aims to develop a world-class aerospace ecosystem in Morocco. This hub attracts international companies involved in aircraft manufacturing, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), as well as research and development activities related to aerospace.
- Renewable Energy: The city is strategically located near the Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex, one of the largest concentrated solar power plants in the world. This has led to a growing renewable energy sector with various companies involved in solar energy production, research, and development.
- Automotive Industry: Ben Guerir also houses an automotive industry cluster that focuses on manufacturing components for vehicles such as wiring harnesses, seats, interior trim parts etc. Several international automotive companies have established operations or partnerships within this cluster.
- Agriculture: Although not an industrial sector per se but worth mentioning due to its significance for the region’s economy; agriculture plays a vital role in Ben Guerir’s economy with olive oil production being one of its major agricultural activities.
Additionally, other sectors such as logistics and distribution are also gaining prominence due to Ben Guerir’s strategic location between Marrakech and Casablanca – two major economic hubs in Morocco.
It is important to note that while these industries are significant contributors to Ben Guerir’s economy at present, it is a dynamic landscape where new opportunities may arise in the future.
- Royal Air Force Base: One of the most significant historical events associated with Ben Guerir is the establishment of a Royal Air Force (RAF) base during World War II. The British RAF built the airbase in 1942 to support their operations in North Africa.
- Strategic importance: During World War II, Ben Guerir’s RAF base played a crucial role in supporting Allied forces, including providing air cover for Operation Torch—the Allied invasion of French North Africa.
- Mohamed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P): Located near Ben Guerir, UM6P is one of Morocco’s prestigious higher education institutions and research centers. It was established by King Mohammed VI and focuses on science, technology, innovation, and sustainable development.
- Solar power plant: In recent years, Ben Guerir has become known for hosting Noor Ouarzazate Solar Power Station—one of the largest concentrated solar power plants globally. This project aims to reduce Morocco’s reliance on fossil fuels while promoting renewable energy sources.
- Notable people:
- King Mohammed VI: Although he was born in Rabat, the current king of Morocco has been involved in various projects around Ben Guerir—such as establishing UM6P.
- Abderrahmane Youssoufi: A prominent Moroccan politician and former Prime Minister (1998-2002), Youssoufi was born near Ben Guerir.
Please note that while these events/people are notable within the context of Ben Guerir or its vicinity, they may not have gained international recognition compared to other historical figures or events from different regions within Morocco or worldwide.
- Mohammed VI Polytechnic University: This prestigious university is a must-visit in Ben Guerir. It offers stunning architecture and beautiful landscaped grounds.
- Museum of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden (MACAAL): Located near Ben Guerir, MACAAL showcases contemporary African art with rotating exhibitions that highlight the diversity and talent of African artists.
- Jardin d’Essais Botaniques: Situated in the nearby city of Marrakech, this botanical garden is worth a visit for nature lovers. It features a vast collection of plants from around the world in a serene setting.
- Atlas Film Studios: Located about 40 kilometers from Ben Guerir, these studios are known as Morocco’s Hollywood. Many famous movies and TV shows have been filmed here, and visitors can explore the sets and learn about Moroccan cinema history.
- Koutoubia Mosque: While not directly in Ben Guerir, this iconic mosque is located in Marrakech (around an hour’s drive away). Its stunning minaret dominates the city skyline and offers beautiful architectural details.
- Bahia Palace: Another attraction in Marrakech worth visiting is Bahia Palace—a 19th-century palace showcasing traditional Moroccan architecture, intricate tilework, lush gardens, and tranquil courtyards.
- Majorelle Garden: Also situated within Marrakech, Majorelle Garden is renowned for its vibrant blue buildings surrounded by exotic plants from around the world—a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts or anyone seeking tranquility amidst nature.
- Menara Gardens: These gardens offer breathtaking views of both the Atlas Mountains and Marrakech’s skyline while featuring olive groves, pavilions, reflecting pools with stunning sunsets—you can even take peaceful walks around their large artificial lake!
- The Museum of Islamic Art at Bab Rouah Gate (Marrakech): Within walking distance of the famous Djemaa El Fna square, this museum houses an extensive collection of Islamic art, including ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and calligraphy.
- Medina of Marrakech: Exploring the bustling streets and vibrant markets (souks) within the historic medina is a must-do experience. From spices to traditional crafts, you’ll find an array of goods while immersing yourself in Moroccan culture.
Remember to check opening hours and any COVID-19 related restrictions before visiting these attractions.
- Ben Guerir is a small city in Morocco and does not have any major professional sports teams with significant histories.
- However, like many other cities in Morocco, Ben Guerir has local sports clubs and teams that participate in regional or amateur competitions.
- These clubs often focus on popular sports such as football (soccer), basketball, handball, and volleyball.
- While specific information about the histories of these local teams may be limited, they play an essential role in promoting sports and providing opportunities for athletes within the community.
- Moussem of Sidi Ahmed Ben Mansour: This religious festival takes place annually in Ben Guerir to honor the local patron saint, Sidi Ahmed Ben Mansour. It includes traditional music performances, horseback riding shows, and various cultural activities.
- National Festival of Popular Arts: This festival is held every year in Marrakech but attracts visitors from nearby cities like Ben Guerir. It showcases traditional Moroccan arts and culture through music concerts, dance performances, storytelling sessions, crafts exhibitions, and more.
- Eid al-Fitr: As a predominantly Muslim country, Morocco celebrates Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan to mark the end of fasting month. During this festival, families gather for feasts and exchange gifts while wearing traditional clothing.
- Independence Day: Celebrated on November 18th each year to commemorate Morocco’s independence from French colonial rule in 1956. The day is marked with parades showcasing national pride along with cultural events such as music concerts and folk dances.
- Amazigh New Year (Yennayer): The Amazigh (Berber) New Year is celebrated on January 12th by the indigenous Berber population across Morocco including Ben Guerir. Festivities include traditional food preparations like couscous and tagine dishes along with live music performances featuring Amazigh instruments.
It’s worth noting that these events might vary from year to year or have specific dates depending on lunar calendars or local customs; therefore it’s always recommended to check for updated information before planning your visit to attend any specific event.
- Tagine: Tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish cooked in a clay pot with various ingredients such as meat (chicken, lamb, or beef), vegetables, and aromatic spices. You can find delicious tagines at local restaurants and cafes in Ben Guerir.
- Couscous: Couscous is another staple dish of Moroccan cuisine made from semolina grains steamed over a stew of vegetables and meat. It is often served on Fridays, the holy day for Muslims.
- Harira: Harira is a hearty soup typically consumed during Ramadan to break the fast at sunset. It consists of tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, onions, herbs, spices like saffron and ginger, and sometimes meat.
- Grilled meats: As with most Moroccan cities/towns/villages—grilled meats are quite popular in Ben Guerir too! You can find street food stalls or small restaurants offering grilled chicken skewers (brochettes) or lamb chops (merguez).
- Local bakeries: Explore the local bakeries to try freshly baked bread like khobz (round flatbread) or msemen (a square-shaped pancake-like bread). These breads are perfect for breakfast when paired with honey or olive oil.
While specific restaurant recommendations might be limited due to the size of the city; however here are two well-known options:
- Restaurant La Kasbah: Located near Al Akhawayn University campus in Ben Guerir; this restaurant offers traditional Moroccan dishes including tagines and couscous.
- Restaurant Al Bahja: Situated in the city center, this restaurant serves a variety of Moroccan and international dishes, providing an extensive menu to cater to different tastes.
- Park Hassan II: This park is a popular spot for locals to relax and enjoy outdoor activities. It has green spaces, walking paths, benches, and a playground.
- Jardin de l’Institut Français: Located near the Institut Français de Ben Guerir, this garden offers a peaceful environment with beautiful landscapes and seating areas.
- Parc Lalla Amina: Situated near the city center, this park features lush gardens, fountains, and a lake where visitors can rent paddle boats.
- Espace Jeunesse et Loisirs: This recreational space offers various activities such as basketball courts, football fields, tennis courts, and jogging tracks.
- Sidi Bou Othmane Lake: A short drive from Ben Guerir lies this picturesque lake where visitors can enjoy fishing or simply relax by its shores.
- Atlas Karting Circuit: For those seeking an adrenaline rush, this go-karting circuit provides an exciting experience for both children and adults.
- Golf Royal El Jadida – Mazagan Beach Resort (approx 20 km from Ben Guerir): Golf enthusiasts can visit this nearby resort to play golf on its well-maintained course while enjoying stunning coastal views.
These are just a few examples of public parks and recreational activities available in Ben Guerir; there may be other options depending on personal preferences or seasonal events happening in the area.