Reveling in Taroudant

We came for Morocco’s best preserved city wall and wished we had stayed longer for the food. Yes, Taroudant regularly makes it into lists of the world’s top walled cities (and you know I love those.) It’s stunning pisé walls studded with crenelated towers and gates stretch for eight kilometers. We explored them in one of the local horse-drawn caleches and wound our way through the fortified kasbah district on foot thinking that the fabulous fortifications would be the highlight of our visit to the city. But that was before we found Riad Maryam. Continue…

Discovering Tafraoute and the Ameln Valley

At the heart of the Anti-Atlas lies Tafraoute, a town situated on a beautiful boulder-strewn plain which is perfect for hiking and long walks. Just a few kilometers down the road, the Ameln Valley beckons with towering granite mountains and crumbling villages. Locals are noticeably more conservative here. Women dress in long black veils trimmed with tribal embroidery, their colorfully flamboyant shoes embroidered to indicate marriage status. On several occasions, as we were driving around, older women actually stopped walking along the road and turned their backs to us as we drove by. Wow! Continue…

Entering the Anti-Atlas

From Mirleft, we wound our way up into the exotic Anti-Atlas Mountains, a southern extension of the better known Atlas range. The desert mountainscapes here are harsh and extraordinary with huge geological uplifts and vertical layers of earth that leave visitors gasping at every turn. Overloaded trucks, goat herds, and psycho Moroccan drivers barreling down the middle of the road also leave them gasping. (Thomas dodged and weaved like a pro!)

When I first visited this remote region in 1989, the slopes were dotted with beautiful peach-colored mud villages full of traditional families living the way they had lived for generations. The adobe architecture was carefully maintained and houses were decorated with white outlines and gorgeous tribal designs. We discovered that in the last 27 years a lot has changed. Many of the picturesque villages have Continue…

Witnessing Legzira

Working our way south from Essaouira, we stopped in Agadir overnight to pick up a rental car for our explorations of southern Morocco’s Souss region. From Agadir, we drove south via the walled city of Tiznit. (Tiznit was where we suddenly realized we literally had no idea where or how to park in Morocco! We improvised.) After exploring the walls and checking out the town’s crazy minaret, which seems to be sprouting branches, we wound down the barren yet beautiful coast to our real destination Legzira Beach near the town of Mirleft Continue…