Taroudannt

Taroudannt defensive wall

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

Understand

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

By bus

CTM runs a bus each day from Agadir to Taroudant leaving Agadir at 9.00 and arriving about 10.30. The bus goes on to Ouazazate so the return bus is at 19.30(Note: buses from Marrakech advertised to be going to El Jadida goto Agadir really, 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 taxi

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

Taroudant is a medium sized town. Petite taxis are available (they run on a flat rate of 7Dh, so 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

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 Fes 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

Buy

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

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.

Drink

Orange juice from street vendors in Place Tamoklate.

Ait Iazza Market

Sleep

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).

Go next

If you're headed to Marrakech after visiting Taroudannt and 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 41/2 - 5 hours; by motorway 3 hours. For a day out visit Tiote ot Taliouine

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