Tafraoute, in the heart of the Anti-Atlas
Journey from Agadir: 3 hours / 166 km
After a few days spent in Agadir, we hired a car for a tour in the Souss Massa: Destination: Tafraout (e). Tafraoute was the biggest surprise of our tour in the Souss Massa. We fell madly in love with these Anti-Atlas mountains .
From Agadir, We headed in the direction of Biougra-Ait Baha via the R105. Once we passed the small village Aït Baha, after the Ait M’zal dam, we followed the road that goes to the right (30.052684, -9.102559) and we crossed a valley offering a splendid view of small villages clinging to the slope in ochre and pink colors.
This journey in the valley ended by taking the R105 at point (29.912007, -9.018821) while always heading south. We arrived at the foot of the Kasbah of Tizourgane , perched on a hill. This fortified village offers a spectacle that leaves us speechless. We went to visit the restored Kasbah which turned out to be a perfect spot for a game of hide and seek for the children. We regret not spending the night there. We will do so the next time.
As we approach the town of Tafraoute, the relief becomes more and more important and the mountain is tinged with pink. An amlou (a mixture of honey, almonds, peanuts and argan oil) snack before embarking on an improvised jaunt around the hostel because everything here is conducive to a walk.
The colors of the houses, matched with the pink granite, are built in the middle of almond and argan trees. Children play and climb the boulders. During our walk, we find ourselves overlooking Tafraoute.
The next day, we decide to take the car to discover the gorges of Aït Mansour (29.547849, -8.876524). 30 kilometers south of Tafraoute, in the middle of a rocky canyon landscape there suddenly appears a surprising oasis. These are the gorges of Aït Mansour. We cross the gorges for several kilometers and stop there for the lunch break. We find a high path where the view of the oasis is incredible.
For the return, we decide to make a loop through Afella Ighir, turning left at point (29.497921, -8.822048), then left again at point (29.572710, -8.771842). It’s pure adventure, as the vegetation becomes increasingly rare and the canyons are vertiginous.
To our surprise, this jaunt / climbing break in the middle of these rocks painted by a Belgian artist in the 80s, is rather nice. Several dozen large painted boulders in the middle of a deserted area, offer a setting that leaves no one indifferent. Coming back to Tafraoute, we see “Napoleon’s hat” which overlooks the village of Aguerd-Oudad (29.698193, -8.965053) and paragliders who take advantage of the end of the day to fly above this surrealist setting.
These beautiful smooth rocks would be worth a morning walk to enjoy the sunrise before our departure tomorrow. When leaving Tafraoute and the Ameln valley, we realize that the kindness of the inhabitants is not a legend. The pink granite, the hilltop villages, our first oasis, a super cute market, beautiful walks… everything is relaxing, for sure, we will come back!