There are quite a few hiking possibilities around Taliwine that I've enjoyed recently. Here are a couple of them:
1. The agadir of Ifri and the marabout of Sidi Abdul Aziz
To arrive at the village of Ifri, about 12km south-east of Taliwine as the crow flies, take a seat in a minibus (10dh) heading eastwards for Agadir Melloul from the centre of town; ask to be set down at the road junction for Ifri, reached in 20 minutes, and then walk the last three kilometres to the south to reach the village. Make sure you take a torch: Ifri boasts a wonderful, highly unusual seventeenth century agadir built directly in to and all along a vertical rock face which overlooks the village. To enter the agadir compound, you will need to ask in the village for the key from Bahserie Aït Balmsaoud at house number 54, paying him a few dirhams for his trouble; with good fortune, you will in return be invited in to take tea and biscuits with his family.
Follow the path up the cliff face to reach the higher chambers of the agadir, pausing to look down on to Ifri’s small orchards and saffron fields before climbing further to find the older village of Aït Rahhou, unseen from below, upon the plateau above. Here is a mosque, a cemetery and the brightly decorated marabout of Sidi Abdul Aziz whose moussem takes place every 17th August. It was he who built the adjacent koranic school to which 14 devout local families continue to bring meals each Friday in support of the students.
2. Ighil n’Ou Ghou and the villages of the Zagmouzen Valley
Seven kilometres north-east of Taliwine, nestling on the northern banks of Zagmouzen Valley, lies the former Jewish village of Ighil n’Ou Ghou. To reach it, take a seat in a taxi bound for Askaoun from the centre of town (10dh). Although the last Jewish occupants left in 1963, much of their heritage, including two decaying former synagogues, and a gated cemetery, remains. Whilst you can walk straight in to the first of the synagogues, a very grand, colonnaded structure out of all keeping with the rest of this rather humble village, you will need to seek out Brahim Aït Moulide for the keys to the smaller of the two. There is also an interesting kasbah which is in the process of being renovated with a view to opening it as a maison d’hôtes; ask around for permission to climb up to the roof terrace to gain fine views across the valley.
Ighil n’Ou Ghou still receives regular visits from descendants of the original Jewish occupants, particularly during the annual festival held each September. If visiting at other times of the year, try to coincide your visit with its weekly Monday souk.
To form an interesting return to Taliwine, pay a visit to some of the valley’s traditional villages. First leave the road and head down towards the river to the neighbouring village of Tabia n’Ighil, pausing to witness local cobblers at work, then carry on to reach the pink and cream mosque at the centre of Taltenzoukht. From here, duck down to follow the river’s north bank for a few minutes before finally crossing over to the rose-coloured mosque of Tirassat on the far south bank. Just beyond this mosque, seek out the village blacksmith operating a small forge, then follow the piste through Tirassat, taking care to look back across to the north bank for good views of the impressive kasbah of Taourirt n’ Aït Lahsene. Shortly afterwards, cross the river back to the north bank, cutting up through Ed Douzrou, passing below the small kasbah on the right, to rejoin the road which leads right (west) gently back to Taliwine.
Cool, both of those sound great! Thanks very much!
HI Geraldine, I too am planning a short trip to Morocco - maybe Easter next year - or Sep this year - and I was thinking of staying in just one place as I may only have a week or 10 days. I wanted to combine the bustle of souls and cafes with day walks for scenery and villages and I thought Taroudannt might be ideal.
How was your stay? Would you recommend it or somewhere else as a base for a week? Did you find good day walks?
Thanks in advance if you can take time to reply!
HI Alan, I read with interest your detailed descriptions of day walks from Taroudannt. I am planning a short trip to Morocco in September or next Easter - either a week or 10 days first time visit. With such a short time I'm considering staying in one place but trying to combine souks and cafes with day walks for scenery and village life. I thought Taroudannt might be ideal as a taste of Morroco - perhaps more manageable than Marrakesh. If I have 10 days I might try to combine two places ,- Taroudannt is just my first idea - I might end up going somewhere completely different. Any thoughts? Any reply much appreciated
Taroudannt is often referred to as the little Marrakech and it has the same sort of feel about it, but is really quite small in size.
I often stop in Taroudannt but my favourite in this area is Tafraoute which is in the Anti Atlas region with the walking area of the Ameln Valley very close by. I get a tingle down my spine whenever I visit.
Yes from Traroudant the best spot for walks, hikes and trekking is Taffraout.
I agree with the posters above that Tafraoute makes an excellent base for treks of a day or longer. Taroudant, although a great place to visit, is not an ideal base for walking unless you are prepared to go rather further afield. It makes a great starting point, for example, for treks in the Western High Atlas.
I did earlier recommend a couple of short walks around Taliouine (not Taroudant) in direct response to a request for recommended short walks in that area. However, the best walk around Taliouine is the five or six day circuit to the summit of Jbel Sirwa. You probably won't have enough time for that, but here's a link to some of my photos which you might want to browse anyway:
Agree with Alan, Taliouine and surrounding is very nice piece to walk. Even self town was quite nice, nothing special but anyway, I liked it. Nice old kasbah is there also now rebuilt to the hotel.
Hi Geraldine, having just read your other post, it is clear that Taliouine is not for you. Much as I rather like the place and its surroundings, the town itself has very little to offer in terms of souks and cafes. As other posters have suggested, you would be better to stick with either Taroudant or Tafraoute.