The Anti-Atlas region of Morocco holds within it some of the most barren, but also alluring landscapes. This is a place where boring can turn into captivating; the colors of the sky and atmosphere perfectly align with the contour of the mountains and before you know it some unassuming rolling hills turn into a glorious site.
A short drive from Agadir into the Anti-Atlas can lead you on a journey that will provide a view of many villages tucked away into the mountain-scape, dry arid desert, and plentiful green cactus scattered throughout the hills.
There are many small villages in the Anti-Atlas, each with it’s own flavor of culture and activities. One of these villages is called Tafraoute, a laid-back place in the center of the Anti-Atlas, and approximately 3 hours away from Agadir.
Tafraoute is in the Tiznit province and has a population of about 5,000 people. Just like most small towns in the Anti-Atlas the main feature, upon first view, is one central street with a view of the small hills in the background. Give Tafrouate some further inspection and you will find that it is more than just a one street village. Many smaller streets will branch off and lead you to various curiosities.
The streets of Tafraoute hold Berber culture, busy people bustling through on their motorbikes, souks, cats, bakeries, and goats, etc. etc.
Hop on a bike or take a walk and let the branching roads lead you around Tafraoute; soon you will uncover some intriguing findings.
A common noticeable feature of many villages in Morocco are the colorful doors of which Tafraoute holds a plethora. An entire half-day can be spent observing the creative and colorful doorways that come in a variety of designs.
You will also find shops that sell spices, Berber shoes, rugs, Argan oil, and restaurants that make savory tagines.
When you tire of the actual town feel free to expand your horizons and explore further.
The town itself is exquisite and unique, however some of the best features are not in the center, but on the outskirts. The following two destinations on the outskirts of Tafraoute offer great views as well as insight into the history and culture of this old and distinct Berber village.
The Painted Rocks of Tafraoute
These large painted granite rocks, created by Belgian artist Jean Verame, can be found off of a dirt road that branches from Agard-Oudad street in Tafraoute. A brief 20 minute bike ride can bring you to this valley where a panoramic view of large granite rocks, painted a myriad of colors, can be enjoyed (or detested depending on your taste in nature rights). Such a vast area of painted nature surely makes a peculiar site to see. This scene also provides some insight into the culture of people that frequent Tafraoute. The rocks depict a laid-back nature that welcomes the hippy types and their camper vans which have been touring the area for years.
La Gazelle of Tafraoute
A second curiosity of Tafraoute is a picture of a gazelle engraved on granite rocks at the base of a small hill. La Gazelle is a short walking distance from the Maison Traditionelle museum and a 2 minute walk from RR104.
This engraving is supposedly pre-historic. It represents the many years of history and life that have flourished in the area.