Place

The new Marrakesh

Taroudant is a gem of southern Morocco with ramparts that envelop one of the country's most beautiful cities. The crenellated walls extend for nearly four miles, flanked by 130 towers with ornate doors whose overall effect gives Taroudant its unique ambiance. When the sun is at its zenith, find respite by strolling in the soothing shade of these walls.

The city center is equally appealing, as this former Saadian capital holds many treasures. Start with the medina, where the narrow streets and tall facades of the old quarter make for an intriguing walk. Wandering through its alleys is an introduction to traditional Morocco, as you soak up the sounds and smells of everyday life.

Then explore the souks because, although Taroudant is a city of art and history, it is no less a buzzing hive of merchants who carefully arrange their stalls and ply their goods. The Berber (Amazigh) souk is particularly famous. Each day, dishes, carpets, lamps and foods are spread out for sale, so the locals can do their routine shopping and tourists can pick up charming souvenirs.

Finally, along the perimeter of the ramparts, tanners treat their hides to make the leather that is a Taroudant hallmark. They do their work the old-fashioned way, using their hands for tools to craft bags, poufs and sandals that delight visitors.

As you can see, this "Little Marrakesh" has no reason to be jealous of its big sister and deserves a special trip!