By Mohammed Hikal
Rabat – Eighty kilometers inland from Agadir, Taroudant boasts a charming lifestyle and historical sites that every visitor to the city must experience.
Four-wheeled, horse-drawn coaches in Taroudant look similar to those in Marrakech, but there is only one horse. They have a suspended, enclosed body and no door frames, with a convertible roof, and two inside benches facing each other, for four to six passengers.
Ride in the horse-drawn green coach
Designed to offer a panoramic view, these coaches can take visitors anywhere around the town for a very reasonable price.
Visit spice shops
Neatly displayed and well-presented with tempting smells, spice stalls are pleasant both to the eye and the nose thanks to an aromatic combination of smells and colors.
These shops offer a variety of spices and herbs: basil, cumin, anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, garlic, mint, paprika, rosemary, saffron, and others.
Shop for leather crafts
Craftsmen can turn goat, sheep, or cow leather, as one of mankind’s oldest natural resources, into intricately designed practical objects, such as purses, handbags, sandals, shoes, rugs, bracelets, and hats.
The art of creating beautiful and useful leather pieces in Taroudant owes its popularity to the city’s tannery, which is also worth a visit. The tannery’s leather products come with great craftsmanship at excellent prices. First-time visitors may be overwhelmed by the strong smell. Putting fresh mint under the nose can ward off the smell.
Eat goat tagine
It’s true that most or all Moroccan regions boast the tagine specialty, but Taroudant’s unique offering is the goat tagine. In addition to its irresistible taste, goat contains less saturated fat than chicken (72 percent of chicken’s) and beef (16 percent of beef’s), according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Taroudant has an abundance of goat farms in its surrounding mountains, making goat meat easily accessible for people in the region.
Tour the wall and gates
The first thing a visitor will notice is the pentagon-shaped fortified wall that encircles Taroudant. The five large unbreachable gates, called “bab” in Arabic, were made of hard materials to withstand attack. The five entrances are known as Bab Zorgan, Bab Targhount, Bab Ouled Bounouna, Bab Lkhmis, and Bab Selsla.
Bab Selsla is the main entrance through which the sultans and any formal convoys used to come. Just beside the gate are stairs that tourists use today to climb up to the terrace to see panoramic views of the city.