If you really want to go off beaten path in Morocco, then you should go the authentic town of Taroudant. It will surprise you the minute you arrive.
Expect yourself a warm welcome from the locals here whilst enjoying one of the best riads the region of Taroudant has to offer, Dar al Hossoun.
Where to Stay
Along the dirt track roads that leads to Taroudant you find your way to this great hidden little gem called Dar la Hossoun. It takes 3.5 hours to get there from Essaouria. The moment you enter this amazing riad you feel an oasis of peace. With more than 900 different species of plants collected from all over the world you can say that these gardens are unique and breathtaking. The owner tells with pride about the beautiful creations that are done by the famous French architects Arnaud Maurières and Eric Ossart.
The narrow swimming pool draws attention together with the amazing rooftop.
Sustainability at Dar la Hossoun
Not only the gardens are stunning, but also the rooms. Each suite or room is individually designed and decorated with local authentic rugs, cushions, tapestries and terracotta earthenware. The breakfast room with natural stone flooring is one of my favorites. Sustainability is key today and they are well aware here. In addition, they produce hot water with solar panels, the water from the sinks and showers is recycled to water all of their gardens. After a spa moment, enjoying the pool and reading a book in their amazing rooms, you will leave feeling refreshed and uplifted! Book your stay here.
Grab a bicycle at the hotel and find yourself in Taroudant within 15 minutes. A small authentic town which you should definitely visit if you want to experience the real Morocco. Taroudant is one of the oldest and most important cities in Morocco, with a great architectural, cultural and historical heritage. Without hordes of Western visiting tourists the souks here are a great place to explore. Much less hassle here and negotiations on some pricing! On Sundays, there’s also a weekend market just outside the city walls.
There’s no way to get a glass of wine or beer somewhere on a terrace, locals here drink traditional Moroccan mint tea only. They drink it sweeter than us, but I must say it’s delicious.
Claudio Bravo Palace
There’s one place you can’t miss when you visit Taroudant, Claudio Bravo Palace. This unique place is a park/museum in the middle of fields and plantations, located 10 km north of Taroudant. Book your tickets for the museum online or call them prior, and take a walk in the endless orange groves. I hadn’t heard of Claudio Bravo before, but after seeing this immense palace filled with arts from all over the world which this artist collected throughout the years I have to say I was impressed. He was a celebrated Chilean painter, noted for his hyperrealist still life and figurative paintings. As a world traveler Claudio collected all kinds of art objects which are exposed in this humongous museum. We recommend you to take a personal tour to learn all about this famous painter.
How to get to Taroudant
Subsequently, it’s easy to get from Agadir, while it’s further down south from Marrakech. You can take a bus or a private transfer. If you combine Taroudant with a visit in Essaouira, it’s cheaper to get a rental car so you can explore the region. All distances take between 2 to 3 hours.
To sum up Taroudant is pretty straight forward. It’s much less crowded, we didn’t see any other western tourists, and you’ll really experience the local culture. This was a completely different vibe as in Marrakech, where you can sometimes feel the gap between the tourist and a local. Places like Taroudant, will broaden your horizon.