Spending any time in Taroudant makes you truly feel like you’ve gone back in time. It is a small city nestled in the Sous Valley of Southern Morocco. Ramparts that were built in 1528 under the Saadi Dynasty specifically to attack the Portuguese fortify the area. The entire city is contained within these walls, which are 7 kilometers long. Taroudant is often referred to as “Little Marrakesh’ and was in fact once the Capital city of the country, albeit for a very short while.

Large orchids and palm trees add to the mythical feel of this quaint little town, with the Atlas Mountains towering in the background.

Taroudant is full of charming souks and squares bathed in the magical Berber culture.  The town is small enough and it is worth exploring it on foot, getting lost in the little alleyways. It takes roughly an hour to walk the length of the entire town. 

Unlike exceptionally busy Marrakesh, hawkers and touts are not a common feature here, although you can still try out your haggling skills in one of the markets. In fact, this is one of the major pastimes for tourists visiting the area. The town is known for its two markets, mainly catering to local people. A variety of items are on offer here, including beautiful jewellery, silver and carpets so visitors are unlikely to leave empty-handed.

The former home of Spanish Artist Claudio Brave has recently been turned into a stunning museum full of interesting artefacts and is fast becoming one of the area’s most popular attractions. There is even the option for being served tea in the gardens of the Pavilion overlooking the lake.

Taroudant is usually an overnight stop for travellers on their way to Agadir or Marrakech. However, it is also a great base for exploring the nearby Atlas Mountains and there are tour companies that arrange a variety of exciting treks and hikes. There are some virtually undiscovered areas and some of them only a 45-minute drive from the city.  Head for the Afensou/Mentaga Valley, for a magnificent hike through wild argan forests and river pools suitable for swimming.  

Venture even further for a breathtakingly scenic trek of the palm-filled gorges of the Anti-Atlas Mountains.  And for an even grander day trip, Tafraout is a tiny oasis in the central part of the Anti-Atlas Mountains certainly worth exploring.