"Tafraoute with its pink rocks and houses" Tafraoute by angiebabe

Tafraoute Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 195 photos

Enjoy a special visit to the Anti-Atlas
Traditions, colours and designs

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!

Beautiful Ammeln Valley and Ait Mansour

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 and Cons
  • 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
  • Last visit to Tafraoute: May 2013
  • Intro Updated Apr 23, 2014
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Reviews (37)

Comments (10)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    Hello, Angela!¬ Thanks for bringing Tafraoute closer to us... Your story is very interesting!

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Feb 18, 2013 at 5:24 AM

      youre very welcome Victor - thanks for visiting and rating my page...it is really one of the most loveliest places to spend some time in Morocco and its been lovely to able to come here and be looked after so well like family...maybe one day you have a wonderful trip to Morocco too!

  • nixca316's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Great tips! :) Very, very helpful. :)

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Oct 5, 2012 at 5:54 AM

      hi and thanks so much for visiting and for rating Nixca! let me know if you are planning a trip to Morocco! quite a bit of interesting info about the town and area in the other half of the tips in my page here too!

    • nixca316's Profile Photo
      Oct 5, 2012 at 6:31 AM

      Don't worry. I will let you know. :)

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    thanks for the great overview and mention of local customs......a nice 'VIRTUAL TOUR'!

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Sep 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      thanks for visiting Trish - hope you will come to Morocco before long and i can help make it a special trip for you!

  • karifo's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    welcom in tafraout!

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Wow! Loved this page Angie. Especially loved the videos of the music and rapper haha. We really enjoyed the Moroccan music... so much so that we bought a couple of albums in Essouria that Habib had been playing on our journey. I will upload some videos that I took one day :o) Hugs xx

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Sep 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      thanks for your positive comments Anne...glad you did make it to Morocco and had a great time. hope all is well with you x

  • tropicrd's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    I love this page,thanks for sharing--pics are just fabulous.

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Oct 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      all sounds lovely plans for your months ahead Dorrise! ive booked flights to get home for overdue catch ups too....to my mum, family and best friends in NZ for christmas after not seeing them for about 5 years - and then on to Sydney (to catch up with more best friends and sort my storage ive had there for the 12 years ive been away! and any loose ends since selling my flat there n the North Shore a few months ago) and maybe up to Brisbane for a month from mid or late Jan then onto Singapore to explore there a bit more and see Borneo and Malaysia. great having plans to look forward to!...and Im still in Tafraoute! 4 weeks here in MOrocco so far, 2 weeks of them in Tafraoute, 6 days left! :(

    • tropicrd's Profile Photo
      Oct 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      Sounds wonderful and very busy too!!

  • sossa1949's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2011 at 3:56 AM

    We stayed at this Auberge for 2 nights Angie and I agree with all you say about it!! It was a smashing little find. Susie

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    The festivals look wonderful, but I myself would enjoy exploring Napoleon's Hat! Nice page!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Thanks Dee, this area is one of the prettiest in Morocco so I have a lot more to do on my pg here - and discovered the lost tips....on a nonexistent VT Tafraout in Ouarzazate province page...so theyve been transferred but not yet edited...!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Angela, this area sounds really nice. The photo of the leather babouches shows just how pretty they are.

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