Explore the Sous Valley City of Taroudannt
Surrounded by six kilometers of ancient protective walls, the city of Taroudannt is a prime destination for travelers exploring Morocco’s spectacular Sous Valley. Located to the east of Agadir en route to Ouarzazate and the Sahara, Taroudannt is known for its handmade carpets, jewelry, pottery, brass, copper, leather and other traditional crafts, offering the perfect opportunity for visitors to purchase some souvenirs to take home. Market stalls feature herbs, spices, dried fruits, dates and other tasty treats, while sidewalk cafés serve up a variety of Moroccan dishes and endless cups of mint tea amid a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The history of Taroudannt dates back to 1056 when it was occupied by the Almoravids. In the early-16th century, when the Saadi dynasty came into power in Morocco, the first sultan of the dynasty, Mohammed ash-Sheikh commissioned the construction of the city walls, as well as the mosque and its minaret, all of which remain standing to this day. Taroudannt was used as a base by the Saadians in conflicts with the Portuguese who had occupied Agadir. The city also served as a commercial center for marketing agricultural products cultivated in the Sous Valley, including cotton, sugar cane, rice and indigo, the deep blue dye extracted from the plant Indigofera tinctoria. The Alaouite dynasty succeeded the Saadi dynasty. The current Moroccan royal family is of Alaouite lineage.
A walk around the outside of the city walls will allow visitors to appreciate the true majesty of these ancient ramparts which can be accessed through any of its nine gates. Although the walls are over seven meters tall, with its bastions being even taller, visitors will note that many of the palm trees alongside the walls are even taller than that. In the city it is not unusual to see horse-drawn carts as delivery vehicles, and traveling by bicycle is the preferred mode of transport for many who live here. There is a fair selection of accommodation in Taroudannt, as well as plenty of food stalls, sidewalk cafés and a few restaurants where visitors will find typically Moroccan dishes, including tagines and couscous – enjoy!