Morocco // Agadir, the Souss and Anti-Atlas //


Surrounded by some impressively bleak scenery, GOULIMINE (also spelt Guelmim or Gulimime) is an administrative town with a distinctly frontier feel and a couple of small, fairly animated souks. The nearest thing it has to a tourist sight is the remains of Caid Dahman Takni’s palace, in the backstreets behind the Hôtel la Jeunesse, ruined now but barely a hundred years old. One or two local hustlers indulge in theatrical cons, usually involving invitations to see “genuine hommes bleus” (supposedly desert nomads, clad in blue) in tents outside town, inevitably just an excuse to relieve tourists of some money.

Goulimine’s Saturday souk, known as the camel market, is rather a sham. It has the usual Moroccan goods (grain, vegetables, meat, clothes, silver, jewellery, sheep and goats), but what it doesn’t have many of is camels, which have fallen from favour over the years in the wake of lorries and transit vehicles, and the caravan routes are more or less extinct. The few you do see have been brought in for show or to be sold for meat. The market is held a kilometre out of town on the road to Tan Tan; it starts around 6am, and a couple of hours later the first tour buses arrive. There are a couple of quite animated evening markets, one off the Route d’Agadir (now officially renamed Boulevard Mohammed VI), mainly selling food, and one off Avenue des FAR, mainly selling clothes.

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