Daytrips around Atlas Kasbah
The perfect tourist in the Agadir countryside will always have certain items in the backpack: good hiking shoes, a camera, sun block lotion, a hat and an unwavering smile.
Once you’ve set off, you’ll discover the magic and unchanging ambiance of the region, having as background the Atlas Mountains, as if permeated by the little Berber villages, the wild canyons, the agricultural plains, and the multicolored souks.
- Chtouka Ait Baha
- Imouzzer Ida Ou Tanane (1/2 day or entire day)
- Taghazout (1/2 day or entire day)
Oasis and collective granaries of Ait Baha
Right in the middle of rich and wild nature, you’ll find many igoudars (collective Berber granaries) carved into the mountains. There, they are, bearing witness to the native communities who have managed to preserve their values and traditions over the centuries. The palm grove of Targua n’Touchka is another mandatory stop. In this magnificent mountain oasis, the Berbers have been cultivating their plots of land in organic fashion since long before we knew what organic is. Fruit bearing trees, vegetables and cereal crops as far as the eye can see.
Essaouira, the white Mogador
An old Phoenician trading post, later Portuguese, Essaouira has been called “Mogador”, the well drawn. Marquetry of thuja, lemon tree and cedar keep throughout the years their precious wooden scent and bewitching charm. Polished and painted wood, marble sculptures, ceramic marquetries, paintings… Essaouira is home of master craftsmen.
Forever guarded against pirates, the city has always been safe behind its long tall walls and its artillery, the “skala de la Kasbah”. The canons upon the walls form a unique architecture against which the waves crash day after day.
Everywhere you look there are souvenirs, in this city which has kept its secrets and treasures well hidden.
Imouzzer, capital of the Ida Ou Tanane tribes
No painter could ever do justice to the beauty and grandeur of this scenery, home of the Ida Ou Tanane tribes at 1200m of altitude in the foothills of the Occidental High Atlas.
A multitude of water sources irrigate the valleys; valleys with names as poetic as “Vallée du Paradis”, Paradise Valley.
Marrakesh, the pearl of the South
Marrakesh, the pearl of the South, is a mythical city at the foot of the High Atlas. Founded in 1070 by the Almoravide Youssef Ben Tachfine, the city has witnessed a succession of wealthy civilizations and dynasties, all of which have left behind sumptuous palaces, mosques, and gardens…
From the Jemâa Al Fna square to the souk alleys, Marrakech is the perfect expression of a never-ending cultural amalgam.
The Souss Massa National Park
The coast line runs alongside the dunes, the estuaries and lagoons, leading into the untouched beaches of the Souss-Massa National Park. The Massa beach stretches for over 15km and it is a prime spot for bird watching.
The National park is in fact, world renowned as a bird sanctuary where there are over 230 species of birds, 90 of which nest there.
Stopping point for migratory birds as well as winter refuge for more than 2 000 birds, the park is also home to some 400 bald ibis, an endangered endemic specie. There are also gazelles and antelopes around.
The freshness of this mountain oasis contrasts with the vertiginous canyons which surround it. And right in the middle of it, a river runs, and offers the eyes a feast of palm trees and oleanders, nature’s victory over the dry land.
Immouzzer is more than a Berber village, it is a living space which exists in spite of all its surrounding conditions. The entire village is bound together by the weekly souk of which the main star is local honey.
Tafraoute, capital of the Anti-Atlas
Once you’ve crossed the Tizi Mlil Pass (1662m), Tafraoute will open its doors through the luxurious Ameln Valley in contrast with an elevation of 2360m Jbel Lkest which dominates and watches over the scenery. Open the curtains and peek into the magnificent villages in ochre, on the hillside of the Anti Atlas Mountains. Further away, the little village of Aguerd Oudad lies amongst pink granite rocks and offers a treat for the eyes.
The fishing village of Taghazout
17km north of Agadir along the coast you’ll find a 7km stretch of a dream like beach and its little Berber fishing village: you’re in Taghazout. The breaking waves surround the little fishing boats with foam while early rising surfers already dot the ocean in the distance.
The imperial city of Taroudant
Taroudant seems to have been made for the eyes. The city was built before the arrival of Islam but had its golden period in the XVI century, when the Saadians made it their capital and called it Mohamédia.
From this time, there are still 8 km of earth made walls, a proud remainder of the battles of the past. Walking through one of the monumental five city doors into the medina is almost like walking through time.
The entangled city streets and alleys may at first seem a disastrous mess, but they are in fact part of a rigorous hierarchic plan. The mosque is the centre, immediately surrounded by the souk where the skilled artisans work their crafts. The souk is divided in sectors according to different crafts, and this division follows a precise order, from the least to the most valued skills.
The city blocks all have a certain autonomy, with their own fountains, ovens and hammam. The houses are built around a central patio and keep the private city life form foreign eyes. Altogether Taroudant has an extremely peaceful vibe.
The silver capital, Tiznit
Behind its great city walls, Tiznit has kept its authenticity and in many ways continues to perpetrate it. In the silver capital, the jewellery illustrates the echo of the wealth of the past and of a time of extremely refined craftwork. The artisans will take you in a discovery of a world of exceptional talent.