Visiting local places

Visiting the mountains

For those of you who like visiting places in the true sense of the word, what have we got to offer?

-     A former agadir: Here in the mountains, we can take you on foot or in a 4 by 4 to visit the crumbling but still recognisable ruins of the former main agadir, which ruled the lives of those in our high valley for several centuries. An agadir is a fort-like construction in an enclosure, which housed the individual granaries for each family, and when necessary, also sheltered the people, animals and provisions if there was an invasion or attack.

-    The weekly souk: The indisputably most typical weekly Sunday souk is in the neighbouring village of Imoulas, 7km away. This isn’t at all touristy. You won’t find any souvenirs, only basic necessities. There are at least four car parks on the outskirts, all of which charge for parking, but there are no cars, just … donkeys! There have been few changes here, other than the ever-present mobile phone. Men go to the souk to buy the week’s provisions, meet their friends, sort out their affairs, have a tooth out, go to the barber’s, look after their papers, get their donkeys shoed etc. The women take a back seat and only come in if there is an administrative or plumbing problem … Small local restaurants are worth a visit, but definitely not for their cooking. Go and say hello to Hafida’s uncle, who drives the ovens at the only bakery in the immediate locality. Enjoy a cup of tea at the tables outside a café, sitting next to the hardy locals who have come down from the high valleys for the occasion.

-    The old mosque: this old mosque above the village has striking views over the valley and is home to a witch-doctor who is still much revered.

-    Where the local countryside is concerned, the wonderful bucolic gorges of Tamdousnous half an hour’s walk from our house shouldn’t be missed. An idyllic place where you can also swim.

-    Harder to do is visiting an oil press in season, but so colourful and aromatic …

-    Again you need to do this in the right season, but you mustn’t miss the threshing areas, where the barley grains are separated by donkeys turning a central pole, just as they did decades and even centuries ago!

-    The best places to visit are those where you are not expecting much!

Visiting Taroudant

Unfortunately, there’s little to see in Taroudant. On the other hand, this small Berber town is worth a stroll through if you take time to look at things and soak up the atmosphere …

-     Do a tour of the ramparts by horse-drawn carriage (and no, it isn’t a tourists’ means of transport here!)

-    The argan cooperative is quite informative and run by women.

-    The souks, called “Arabian” and “Berber”, which were once the main thoroughfare to be passed through or avoided, are full of hidden surprises: images of other times, traditional scenes of everyday life, sharing everyday life with the Roudanis (inhabitants of Taroudant) …

-    A clear explanation at the tannery will be just as worthwhile as visiting the tanners’ quarter in Marrakesh

-    A visit to the organic farm and their animals will go down well with children. It can be combined with a very good meal too!

Visiting the area around Taroudant

These are the main places to visit around Taroudant:
-     The oasis at Tioute, with a guided visit by donkey to the palm grove.

-     The Gorge des Citronniers (lemon groves), with an underground spring for bathing, fragrant with panoramic views

-    The agadir of Innoumar, little known, yet of interest because of its preservation, between Agadir and Taroudant.

-    The road and pass of Tizi n’Test, a legendary route that should be done in a loop by returning along the mountain trails through remote Berber villages

-    Agadir, with its extensive beaches, port and central souk
-    The bird park at Massa

-    The Oasis des Tortues, with the imposing architecture of its old souk plus swimming in the waters of a reservoir near a spring popular with tortoises!

Visiting places further afield

Well beyond Taroudant, it’s not difficult to visit the many famous and varied regions of Morocco within 2,3 or 4 days …

-     Marrakesh: the souk, main square and its architecture

-    Essaouira: the port, medina and beaches

-    The Anti-Atlas Mountains: the gorges, rocks, agadirs, palm groves and gueltas …

-    The Atlantic coast: the beaches, natural arches, sandy shores, old forts

-    La Plage Blanche (white beach): the dunes, immense beach, fishermen, gorges …

-    Erg Chegaga: the Mer de Dunes (sand dunes as far as the eye can see), the Dakar race circuit, Iriqui Lake, the M’Douar Oasis

-    The Drâa Valley: the kasbahs, palm groves …

-    Jebel Siroua: the lunar-type landscape, sheep folds, tracks leading to the end of the world …

-    The coast to the north of Agadir: the beaches, the Falls at Immouzer, Paradise Valley

-    The Marrakesh – Ouarzazarte – Taroudant triangle, via the two high passes of Tichka and the ‘N Test: the mountain panoramic views, the Berber villages, the Ksar of Aït Benhaddou, the Glaoui Palace, the palaces and souks of Marrakesh, the kasbahs and the old town of Ouarzazarte, the ramparts and souks of Taroudant