What To Do in Taroudant, Morocco
Taroudant is the only location on this Morocco itinerary that is inland, driving through the mountains, and into the Souss Valley you will find the ‘Grandmother of Marrakech’, named such because the city’s ramparts resemble the walls of Marrakech.
Taroudant is the gateway to the Anti Atlas mountains and if you arrive outside of the summer months you will see snow-topped mountains in the distance.
Taroudant is traditionally a market city but many of the huge merchant riads have been turned into wonderful hotels and guesthouses, making this a great destination to experience away from the beaches of the Souss region.
There are many small restaurants and cafes to find as you would expect from any city but be sure not to miss a meal at Riad Maryam, you will be served lots of mini-courses as a large tasting meal, giving you a rich array of Moroccan dishes to sample. Certainly worth a visit, but wear stretchy pants, Moroccan hospitality feeds you well!
Souks in Taroudant
No self-respecting city in Morocco is without a souk and Taroudant is no exception. While Essaouira offered artistic crafts and treats, Taroudant is more of a merchant town where the local Berber people come to trade their goods.
There are two main souks to visit in Taroudant, the Berber souk, Jnane al-Jaami is a great place to stock up on fragrant fresh spices and dried fruits, you will also be able to find traditional Moroccan clothing. If you haven’t already picked up a pair it is worth taking home a pair or two of Moroccan babouche slippers in rich, brightly embroidered colors.
The second souk is the Arab souk and is where traders offer crafts in metalwork and ceramic as well as beautiful handwoven carpets. If you are able to get a rug home with you I recommend the hassle. Moroccan rugs are beautifully made and last a lifetime, if you search online to buy them in Europe they will cost four times what you should expect to pay in Morocco.
Another item worth slipping into your suitcase is the locally produced argan oil. You will have seen thousands of argan trees while traveling on this Moroccan itinerary as the Souss region is known for its argan production.
The oil can be used for cooking or as a beauty product, depending on how the nut was treated prior to the oil being extracted.
The argan nut is still ground by hand by local women and each nut must be broken individually using 2 stones. Many local women supplement their household income this way and there are cooperatives throughout the region supporting the businesses of these women.
The oil is a purer standard than what you will find outside of Morocco and available at unbelievably cheap prices, grab a bottle to take home with you and feel the beautifying benefits for months, a little goes a long way!
Cooperative Argan Roudana Targanet
If you’d like to see how argan oil is made rather than just purchasing it you can visit the Cooperative Argan Roudana Targanet
Visiting an argan cooperative will teach you how the nuts are extracted and processed to make the precious oils, you will be amazed by the fiddly work.
Palais Musée Claudio Bravo
One of the most famous features of Taroudant is the home of the hyperrealist painter Claudio Bravo. The painter made Morocco his home with houses in Tangier and Marrakech, but it was his Palais in Taroudant that he spent his final days until his death in 2011.
After living in New York and Spain, Claudio Bravo went to Morocco searching for the colour and light he felt he was missing in his paintings, he found what he was looking for and made Morocco his home.
The property is now open to the public and is an exceptional place to visit in Taroudant. It is also a hotel should you wish to truly immerse yourself in this home.
The gardens of the Palais are exceptional with hidden paths and exotic planting, walking through the grounds you will find the stables still housing the painter’s beloved horses.
You will also find sculptures and paintings by friends of the artist including work by Pablo Picasso.
There is a wonderful collection of old Moroccan ceramics and fossils in the museum, which is dedicated to Bravo’s life and work. You can book tours for €20 per person.
Tanneries in Taroudant
You will surely have already seen the wonderful leather goods available in Moroccan souks, and no doubt heard of the huge tanneries in Fez, however, you can find a smaller version outside the city walls in Taroudant.
Take a tour and be shown the truly traditional way leather is prepared before being crafted into shoes or bags, it is not for the faint-hearted but incredibly informative, you will look at leather goods with whole new respect!
Be prepared for the smell, you will be offered a sprig of mint to smell as you walk around but taking a tour is definitely worth the discomfort.
Sunset Carriage Ride
It is also really lovely to take a carriage ride around the city around sunset. You will be able to see the city walls and snake around the streets from the comfort of your carriage, it is a great way to see the city. Ask your hotel to organise this for you to get the best selection, it can be tricky to negotiate for one yourself from the street!
Where to Stay
Taroudant has no shortage of luxury hotels and you will likely find a better selection of great hotels and riads to stay in over super budget hostels. But that doesn’t mean you will have to break out the credit card to enjoy a stay in a beautiful resort, hotels in Taroudant are very reasonable.
If you prefer to stay within the city and close to the medina, check into Palais Oumensour. This old riad has a swimming pool and traditionally decorated spacious rooms, you are welcomed and treated like royalty. Rooms start from $45 USD per night.
If you have arrived by car or don’t mind a little travel into the old parts of Taroudant then book into Domaine Villa Talaa Resort, just 6km from the medina centre. Each room has a private patio, incredible bathrooms, beautiful detailing, and huge comfortable beds. The resort has an on-site pool, sauna, and a luxury spa. Double rooms with breakfast start at $50 USD per night.
How Long to Spend
The detour to Taroudant is definitely worth a few nights stay. For this itinerary I recommend 2 nights to have enough time to explore this historical gem in the Souss Valley.
You will need at least half a day to visit the Palais and depending on your shopping habits, maybe a whole day to explore the souks and take time to rest at a cafe in between stalls.
The tanneries are also definitely worth a visit.
If you have a car just follow the signs back to Agadir, it is a direct and simple route so relatively easy to follow but use your Google Maps just in case. The journey will take around an hour and a half.
If you have arrived on the bus check the timetables and book your ticket online here.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Taroudant, Morocco? Let me know in the comments below.
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