Taroudant is framed by ramparts that showcase the city – oneof the most beautiful in Morocco – likea precious stone. Stroll in the shade of the ramparts, whose walls are steeped in history and whose towers have stood tall for five centuries to protect the former capital of the Saadian sultans. Throughout the day, the sun strikes these stone columns and bathes the city in light, pitting golden rays against ocher walls. Taroudant has a great legacy and a rich history, but it is not a "museum-city" stuck in time to memorialize its bygone glory. Here the bustle of modern life blends seamlessly with heritage and tradition. The souks buzz with activity: meander through the alleys, bargain with the shopkeepers and, most importantly, pore over the stalls to appreciate the variety and quality of local foods and handicrafts. The leather here is particularly well known, as are terra cotta mementos and Berber, or Amazigh, jewelry.Taroudant has also become a specialist in argan oil production. Venture outside the walls a bit further from the city to find the cooperatives and individuals that crack the nuts, press them, extract their essence and concoct oils developedfor one purpose: your well-being. Taroudant has all the appeal of an urban destination and is also a great starting point for many hikes. Nestled between the two Atlas Mountain chains, its location is prized by hikers and backpackers. In Taroudant, where nature rivals culture and modernity flirts with tradition, there is definitely no lack of attractions! Lose yourself in the streets, roam the outlying areas and paint memories in all the colors of Morocco.
Sights in Taroudant
The 7.5km of ramparts surrounding Taroudant are among the best preserved pise walls (reinforced mud) in Morocco. Their colour changes from golden brown to the deepest red depending on the position of the sun. They can easily be seen on foot (approx. 2 hours) and the best time to see them is in the late afternoon. Alternatively you can take a bike or a caleche and see the walls by moonlight.
Built in the 16th and 17th century, a string of mighty defensive towers create the gates of the city. One of the most commonly used of these gates is the impressive, triple-arched Bab el-Kasbah, approached via an avenue of orange trees. Through here, on the right past an olive press is another gate, Bab Sedra (cyclists and pedestrians only) leading to the old Kasbah quarter – a fortress built by Moulay Ismail in the 17th century but is now the poorest part of town.
The Souks are an absolute must while in Taroudant. You don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to, but a walk in the souks is great fun and the perfect way to see the local way of life. There is little harassment and prices are very reasonable and low compared to other places like Agadir or Marrakech.