#MMGYTravels: Finding Morocco's Quiet Side
Location: Morocco: Marrakech, Taghazout, Tafraoute and Sidi Ifni
Miles Traveled: 3,899 miles
Destination Highlight: Hiking through the Anti-Atlas Mountains in Tafraoute to a traditional Amazigh home for tea
With popular travel destinations increasingly facing overtourism, we (on behalf of Intrepid Travel) invited media to experience Morocco beyond the city of Marrakech, traveling to the country’s southern cities of Taghazout, Tafraoute and Sidi Ifni. Like all Intrepid Travel tours, our group was led by a local leader who, along this journey, shared his vast knowledge about the country’s people, culture and history, giving us a chance to see Morocco through the eyes of a local.
Our trip began in Marrakech, where we got a sense of the vibrant city and its labyrinth of markets, but we soon departed for the south. Our first stop: Taghazout, a sleepy village known among locals as having the best surf in the country, boasting more surf shops than hotels. High-profile hotels like Fairmont and Hilton are on their way to the city, but for now, international tourists found in Taghazout are few and far between.
After stopping at the 13th-century Tizourgane Kasbah for lunch, we arrived in Tafraoute, among the red Anti-Atlas Mountains. With hiking (and photo) opportunities galore, we found even fewer tourists in this town – in fact, we were approached by two members of the Peace Corps, astonished to hear English spoken in the streets after living there for two years. We ended our Tafraoute visit with a trek through the mountains to a classic Amazigh home. A member of the Amazigh community welcomed us, and he, along with our two local guides, began to sing traditional music to us as we drank mint tea looking onto the mountains. These local experiences are at the very heart of what Intrepid Travel offers travelers.
Our final stop in the south: Sidi Ifni. Once a Spanish port city, Sidi Ifni is now a quiet town known for its beaches. Nearby, we walked along the not-to-miss Legzira Beach, peppered with massive red rocks and sea cliffs along its shoreline.
From the quiet south, our journey ended back in bustling Marrakech. Even within the city, we were able to step off the typical tourist trail, finding the souks’ hidden corners and dining at local establishments, like street vendors and the women-led Al-Fassia restaurant.
In true Intrepid style, this itinerary was built for travelers to meet and interact with the local people. With guidance from our trusty leader, we had a great time exploring a side of Morocco few have been fortunate to uncover.