"Tafraoute with its pink rocks and houses" Tafraoute by angiebabe
Tafraoute Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 195 photos
Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas, is surrounded by rocks - beautiful pink granite that changes colour with the changes in light, in the rain, in various seasons....the beautiful granite here enticed the builders of the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca to use granite from here to create their building representing the special places around Morocco known for beautiful materials.
Rocks in many unusual shapes large and small - are a pink hue, especially if the sun shines on them - a tradition that has developed around the district is to paint houses and buildings pink - apparently though the latest decision by the Tafraoute council is that everyone is to paint their houses in the town a mushroom colour. Occasionally you will also see a house that has been painted red.
Add the spring colours when the almond trees are in blossom in pink or white and flowers of many colours pop out all over the place.... the landscape becomes even more colourful...beautiful! - along with many green argane trees and date palms in their oasis like palmeraies.
The traditional garb for women in the area is a black minhaf - ie much like the saharian women further south which though are typically brightly multicoloured - a black scarf wrapped like a skirt and then a top piece as a shawl to cover their upper body and head and to whatever degree their face. You will notice that the minhafs are decorated with an embroidery or lace edging and generally an embroidered motif on the corners - these are in a range of colours and designs...which could be an interesting souvenir to take home - can be bought in the town centre's souk/shopping area.
Also a speciality of the area are the bright leather babouches - red for the women, yellow for the men - and also there is a variety in which the red babouche for women is elaborately embroidered such as in this picture and generally worn for special times such as festivals or when dressing up. Ive driven past women out in the fields or collecting Argan nuts and they are there in their typical minhafs and bright red leather shoes - and still wearing their silver bangles and rings - all part and parcel of the colours of Morocco!
4km out of town from Tafraoute under the long ridge that is Jebel Kest is the Ammeln Valley - in the direction of Agadir and direction southwest of Tiznit. Famed too in this range is the rock formation that resembles a lions face - known by locals as the Lion or Lion Rock.
Here there is much that could be done to enjoy one to many days - with many berber villages, many old and only half inhabited along the length of Jebel Kest renting a bicycle or donning hiking boots is a great way to enjoy seeing this area. There are a number of hotels throughout the Ammeln valley and many have cycles for hire.
Climbing is also a very popular persuit here with groups coming regularly in season each year. See my tip about the Oxford Climbing club that sell an excellent book of climbing route maps around Jebel Kest.
One village in the Ammeln valley of particular interest is Omnesat where a blind man set up his 3 storey 400 year old house as museum for visitors to see the typical lifestyle. His family also have a small gite with accommodations - a nice location to relax for a while. This is a particularly picturesque village in which two visits Ive taken many photographs!
There is also a waterfall in the Ammeln valley that can be hiked to.
In the opposite direction about 25 kilometres away is the beautiful oasis like gorge of Ait Mansour - tall date palms and berber villages either side of a river through high orange cliff walls - is a very popular area to come visit - great for day trips by car, cycling and hiking and also many overnight here in their campervans.
Of course particularly beautiful in late January through February when the prolific number of almond trees throughout the area are in blossom, then continuing on with springflowers through the spring months into early summer.....then summer can be very, very hot! and the winters very very cold...but as more of the hotels make air conditioning available the lanscape, colours and atmosphere make wonderful visiting any time of year!
- Pros:stunning rock formations around the whole town, contemporary looking and coloured houses built into and around rocks, sunsets over picturesque nearby blue painted rocks, prolific almond blossoms in feb and march, colourful tafroute babouches,music
- Cons:sweltering hot in summer - but music festival time then! can be bitterly cold in winter...but beautiful!...look for air conditioning for sure during the extreme periods during the year
- In a nutshell:scores high up as one of the best areas in Morocco to visit
Houcine can be found in his Coin des Nomades shop where he has his collection of he reckons every guide book printed on... more travel advice
I find seeing goats and sheep and their shepherds or shepherdesses around the area quite photogenic and cultural... more travel advice
- See All A good place to eat in the town centre
- See All another good shop for Argane products
- See All Excellent place for coffee in the Ammeln...
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