Explore Agadir, the Souss and Anti-Atlas
With its majestic, tawny-brown and honey-gold circuit of walls, TAROUDANT is one of the most elegant towns in Morocco. Its position at the heart of the fertile Souss valley has always given it a commercial and political importance, and the Saadians briefly made it their capital in the sixteenth century before moving on to Marrakesh. Taroudant is a friendly, laidback sort of place, with a population of around 70,000 and the good-natured bustle of a Berber market town. It’s a good base for trekking into the Western High Atlas or the Jebel Sirwa as well as for two superb road routes – north over the Tizi n’Test to Marrakesh, and south to Tata, Foum el Hassan and beyond.
Despite its extensive ramparts and large tracts of open space, the town is quite compact. Within the walled “inner city” there are just two main squares – Place Assarag (officially renamed Place Alaouyine) and Place Talmoklate (officially Place en Nasr)– and these mark the centre of town, with the main souk area between them to the north. The pedestrianized area of Place Assarag is the centre of activity, and comes alive in late afternoon as the sun’s heat eases off and people come out to promenade. Lately it has seen the return of performers such as storytellers, snake charmers and musicians – as in Marrakesh’s Jemaa el Fna, but on a smaller scale, of course.Read More
Trekking from Taroudant
Trekking from Taroudant
From Taroudant’s rooftop terraces, the fang-like peaks of Awlim (3482m) and Tinerghwet (3551m) look temptingly close on the rugged northern skyline. The area is easily reached from Taroudant, as is the Tichka Plateau. The Jebel Sirwa is also within practical reach of the town; you should really allow at least a week for a cursory visit, more if possible. One of the very best trekking routes in Morocco, nicknamed “The Wonder Walk”, is a two-week trip up to the plateau and on to Jebel Toubkal, Morocco’s highest peak.
If you are interested in a guided trek, contact El Aouad Ali (BP127, Taroudant 83000, Morocco t 0666 637972; or through the Hôtel Roudani or Hôtel Taroudant). He is a highly knowledgeable, English-speaking mountain expert, and can organize treks at short notice if need be. It is best to avoid other agencies as there have been some unpleasant rip-offs by cowboy operators.