Taroudant Tourism: Sights and Attractions
The chief attractions in Taroudant are the ramparts – best toured in a horse-drawn carriage or bike – and the souks. The latter are rather small by Moroccan standards, but they are varied and much of the things you will find there are authentic and good-quality.
The Ramparts and the Kasbah
The various ramparts and bastions surrounding Taroudant are some of the best preserved pisé walls in Morocco. Built by the Saadians during their rule in the 16th and 17th century, the towers are the main entrance gates to the city.
They extend to some 5 kilometres and are best explored at the height of the summer, when the golden-brown colour changes to deep red. The ramparts can be explored on foot for a good two hours, preferably late afternoon. It’s easier, though, to take a caléche (horse-drawn carriage) from just inside Bab el Kasba or rent a bicycle and cycle around the walls.
On your way, pop inside Bab el Kasbah and the triple-arched Saadian Gates which lead to the old Kasbah quarters. This was originally a winter palace for the Saadians and contains the ruins of a fortress built by Moulay Ismail. Beyond the walls are a couple of palm-shaded parks, perfect for a pleasant evening stroll.
Bab Taghount is the easiest way into the Medina and its two major souks: The Arab Souk, east of Place Assarag and the Marché Berbére, south of Place Talmoklate.
The Arab souk is good for leather good, carpets and other antique and traditional crafts. A good place to shop for good-quality wares is the Antique Haut Atlas, which sells a fabulous collection of carpets, jewellery and antique pottery.
The Arab souk is most especially the place to look for good-quality jewellery. This comes mainly from the Berber tribes of the Anti-Atlas, though until the 1960s there was also a strong Jewish influence with a dedicated quarter of active craftsmen.
The Marché Berbére is rather an everyday market, brimming with fresh vegetables and spices as well as pottery, carpets, baskets and jewellery.
There is also a large regional souk taking place on Sundays just outside Bab el Khemis. It brings in people from around the region to sell fresh produce as well as the odd pieces of craftwork.