If you're traveling between the Moroccan Coast and the Interior,
we suggest a detour to Taroudant. Called the "Grandmother of Marrakech"
it has the feel of a small market town on some caravan route. Taroudant
is noted for its local crafts and you can pick up some nice bargains here.
It felt good to leave Agadir after two weeks, and the
bus ride to Taroudant wasn’t bad. We soon found ourselves in an old
Royal Palace, converted into a luxury hotel. We enjoyed a nice lunch of
grilled chicken by the pools and fountains in the incredibly lush courtyards,
replete with scurrying wait staff in white coats, rushing around trying
to keep all the tourists happy.
The fountains were inhabited by turtles, the trees with
lots of birds and lizards and the lush foliage was fabulous. We had orange,
loquat, banana, date palm, hibiscus and bougainvillea outside our room
in the courtyard. The ceiling and woodwork of the rooms are painted with
some of the most colorful traditional Arabic graphics, bright colors on
a white background.
The Walls of Taroudant
Taroudant is called the "Grandmother
of Marrakech" because it is a scaled down, slowed down town that resembles
Marrakech with it's surrounding ramparts. Unlike Marrakech, Taroudant
contains almost the whole city within it's walls. A good place to
visit on your way to the desert or perhaps a day trip from Agadir.
Taroudant is known for it's jewelry and carpets. It's a much more
relaxed place to purchase these items.
Our room had two levels, with beds up and downstairs.
The stained glass windows of mostly red and green let in enough light to
see, while you relaxed on the sofas in the cool downstairs area. A large
brass and glass chandelier dominated the room providing a bit more light.
The huge bathroom had an enormous tub, really old style and opulent. The
place even had air-conditioning.
Passageway at the Salam Palais
This hotel is the cool place to
stay in Taroudant. Situated in the old Kasbah it is full of atmosphere.
Lush tropical plants abound and provide shade in the garden, by the swimming
pool and in the courtyards. You will feel like a prince or princess
We enjoyed getting lost in the maze of streets and alleyways
in town that afternoon. Shopping is centered around the three main squares
in town. Off one square were a bunch of jewelry vendors. The local
metal work is superior to the rest of Morocco’s. We should have bought
a few more pieces as the prices were great!
Restaurant, Salam Palais
The town itself is entirely within walls, painted a dusty
red and topped with crenellations where warriors once defended the place
from the barbarians. It was really nice to take a walk along the top of
the old walls and see the traffic and bustle of humanity below.
This fellow wearing sheepskins
is celebrating the Moroccan holiday which commemorates Abraham's willingness
to sacrifice his son Issac. Of course he killed a sheep instead,
and this important ritual is carried out by every family with sheep to
spare. The skins are then put in a place of honor. (Tip: take
your shoes off before walking on one of those sheepskins.)
Taroudant is situated east from
Agadir on the road to Ouarzazate. It can be easily visited as a day trip
from Agadir enroute to the Sahara Desert.
Things to Do:The
town is small enough to explore on foot. The city walls provide some
nice views, access is by the main gate. The Kasbah has been converted
to a hotel and it's a great place to explore and have a cool drink in the
are some interesting shops around town with a very good selection of jewelry
and local carpets. Prices are reasonable with little hassle.
town walls and the Kasbah
Hotel Palais Salam, the old kasbah, has three restaurants and the food
was good. Another possibility is La Gazelle d'Or, located 2
km out of town serves great Moroccan food. You'll need reservations!
Hotel Palais Salam, once the kasbah, is a great place and the prices are
reasonable. If you can afford it La Gazelle d'Or, located 2 km out
of town, is one of the finest (and most expensive) hotels in Morocco!
Our next stop is Ouarzazate!
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