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Africa > North Africa > Morocco > Anti Atlas > Taroudannt

Taroudannt

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Taroudannt defensive wall

Taroudannt (also spelled "Taroudant") is a market town in Southern Morocco about 70 km (45 miles) inland from Agadir.

Understand[edit]

Taroudant, sometimes called little Marrakech, is a rather conservative town and as such attracts quite a lot of even more conservative tourists from Saudi Arabia. When visiting this town, one should dress more conservatively than in nearby Agadir.

The city is pretty unspoiled by tourism without the many touts that define Marrakech.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

CTM runs a bus each day from Agadir to Taroudant leaving Agadir at 09:00 and arriving about 10:30. The bus goes on to Ouarzazate so the return bus is at 19:30 (buses from Marrakech advertised to be going to El Jadida actually go to Agadir, you will need to change there). The bus may drop you off quite a way from the town centre, so be prepared to walk or use a petite taxi.

By car[edit]

From Agadir, go towards the airport and just keep on going on that road.

By taxi[edit]

Grand taxis frequently go in and out of Taroudant from Agadir and Inezgane. It takes about an hour and 55 minutes one way from Agadir to Taroudant. There are also grand taxis that go between Marrakech and Taroudant, however, you may have to wait a while for the taxi to fill as not that many people travel directly between the two cities via grand taxi.

Get around[edit]

Taroudant is a medium sized town. Petite taxis are available (they run on a flat rate of 7 dirhams - there us no meter), as usual, to get you around. Petite taxis line up at the bus/grand taxi station, city centre, and can also be flagged down pretty easily. It takes about an hour to walk across the whole of the town centre.

See[edit]

Goats on argantree
  • A colony of white storks lives in a group of trees near the eastern gate of the town.
  • There are also many pigeons, some of which nest in the square holes in the town walls. These holes were made deliberately in order to encourage nesting and thereby provide the town with a source of food in times of siege. Shooting pigeons is a popular sport, with the shooting season ending in mid-August.
  • Visit Hotel Salam, once a royal palace, and its exquisite garden.
  • For local crafts ask for Aladin Treasures shop and museum. It is well worth a visit
  • The tannery is just outside the walls from Bab Taghout. Unlike Fez you can get up close and personal but it is less colourful and lacks the dye vats. High quality leather goods are sold through the cooperative there.
  • There are two main souks. The Arab Souk between Place Assaeg and Place Tamoklate which has the butchers and fishmongers but also the jewelers, Tailors and leather goods together with stalls selling musical instruments and Antiques; and the Berber Souk selling vegetables, fruits, household wares and ready-made clothing and some excellent basketware and Handicraft stalls to the rear.

Do[edit]

  • Take a caleche ride round the walls and through town. This is particularly good after dusk when the driver may light candles to see and the fountains are lit and working.
  • Visit the new sculpture park.
  • Stroll through the center early evening to the main square.
  • Hang out at the fountains outside the city wall after sunset.

Buy[edit]

Souk Shoe Shop

Handicrafts are cheaper here than Marrakesh or Essaouira. Buy jewellery, babouches, leather goods and pottery. Although there is no pottery in the town,a wide variety of pots are made in a nearby village in the foothills of the High Atlas. Chillied olives and preserved lemons are a good buy. Speciality of the town include stone carvers who use local limestone and marble, sandal makers, silver jewellers and bamboo craftsmen.

Eat[edit]

Restaurant Riad Maryam- not the cheapest, but fantastic quality (it apparerntly appears in French food magazines). Hotel Roudani on Place Assareg does 3 course lunches for 55Dh whilst you watch the square life of musicians, snakecharmers and storytellers from your seat.

  • Chez Nada, Rue Ferk Lahbab. Typical Moroccan cuisine, very good Harira, and a pigeon tagine, which is hard to get in restaurants. If weather permits, take a table on the roof. 50-70 dirhams for a main.

Drink[edit]

Orange juice from street vendors in Place Tamoklate.

Ait Iazza Market

Sleep[edit]

Contrary to what you may expect, you can find the best and cheapest hotels at the very main square - Place al-Alaouyine (Place Assarag in berber).

  • Hotel Roudani (Place al-Alaouyine). The rooms are tiny, but most of them overlook the main square and the terrace is a lovely place to observe locals gathered at the square in the evening. Beware, that most rooms don't have wall sockets. Rate is as low as 50 dirhams for room with shared shower/toilet during low season.
  • Palais Salaam. The old palace has 100-year-old gardens and 2 swimming pools. The rooms off the banana court have a stunning setting. This grand old lady got a little run down but is now gradually being done up by the new owners.
  • 1 La Maison Anglaise (The English House), 422 Derb Aferdou,Taroudant, . The guest house is staffed by experienced and knowledgeable English-speaking staff who offer guests traditional hospitality and authentic food and a wide range of activities that offer an insight into culture and environment in a clean 9 bedroom guest house, located for visits on foot to places of interest in the town and the wider region of scenic mountains (the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas, the parched range which borders the Sahara), valleys and the Atlantic coastline. Holidays are tailored to visitors interests; special interest group holidays in a subjects as diverse as dancing, art, wildlife, bird watching and yoga amongst others. Special diets catered for. £25.
  • Dar Randigaba, Bab Agafay av chef Aziz 140, +212-671838008, . A nice B&B just outside the city walls; fast WiFi and a very good breakfast are included. The owner speaks English very well and will arrange tours for you and cook for/with you upon request. from €15.

Go next[edit]

  • Marrakech - If you don't have carsickness even on a winding road, consider passing the Tizi n'Test pass in the High Atlas (2100m above sea). All the busses leaving to Marrakech from here are going towards Agadir and around the mountains. You have to catch a grand taxi to Oulad Berhil and from there another one to Marrakech, but state, that you want to go through Tizi n'Test. The journey can take quite some time, depending how long will you have to wait for the taxi to fill in Oulad Berhil and you may stop in a village on the way waiting for more passengers, but the views are magnificent and well worth it. Be sure to start in the morning (there is a bus from Oulad Berhil to Marrakech leaving at 6PM, but since you wouldn't see much of the way, it doesn't pay). Self drive the journey over Tizin'Testto Marrakesh takes 4½-5 hours; by motorway 3 hours.
  • Agadir - There are regular buses that serve Agadir, though only a few per day; a shared taxi is what most people use to go to Agadir.
  • Ouarzazate - The CTM bus from Agadir that stops in Taroudannt goes on to Quarzazate.
  • Tafraoute - A smaller but well maintained road connects Taroudannt with Tafraoute and makes for a beautiful drive if you have your own car or bike.

Day trips[edit]

For a day out visit Tiote or Taliouine.

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