More a village than a town, TALIOUINE makes a good day-trip from Taroudant, or a stop en route to Ouarzazate. Its magnificent kasbah (east of the village) was built by the Glaoui after the French evicted the original landowners to make way for it, but they regained the land after independence, and although large parts of the kasbah are derelict, one member of the family, together with his French wife, has restored part of it and opened a maison d’hôte in it. There are more kasbahs in the hills round the village, if you have time to explore them.
Taliouine is a centre for saffron, harvested in September and October. This is the only area in Morocco in which it is grown. It can be bought in one-gram packets from the Cooperative Souktana de Safran (w souktana.com) at their office on the eastern edge of town, where their small museum (daily 9am–6pm; free) is under renovation until at least mid-2013. Saffron is also sold at shops in town, such as L’Or Rouge, opposite the bus stop, where you may be offered a cup of saffron tea if you call by at the right time. Note that saffron is damaged by light, so it’s best not to buy if it has been left out in glass jars for any length of time.
Taliouine has a Monday souk, held across the valley behind the kasbah.
South of Taliouine, Jebel Iguiguil is an isolated peak reaching 2323 metres in height and offering a good day’s excursion. The road from the N10 (signposted to Agadir Melloul), once it has hauled up the first pass from Taliouine, is surfaced right through to the N12 Tata–Foum Zguid road just west of Tissint, a spectacular drive. From just below Agadir Melloul, a piste heads west to pass the village of Aït Hamed, whose old agadir is worth a visit, before curling up to the lower slopes of the highest peak between Jebel Aklim (the highest peak in the Anti-Atlas, reaching 2531m) and the Saghro. Detailed information on this area can be obtained from AMIS in Scotland.