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L'imposante kasbah du Glaoui

L'imposante kasbah du Glaoui

Magnifiée au printemps par les amandiers en fleurs, mais menacée par la ruine

Mur ouest de la kasbah

Mur ouest de la kasbah

Les murs en pisé sont finement décorés et abritent une maison d'hôtes

Maison d'hôtes de la kasbah

Maison d'hôtes de la kasbah

Ses propriétaires proposent un excellent tajine au safran et aussi des randonnées dans la région

La Maison du Safran à Taliouine

La Maison du Safran à Taliouine

Ce musée tout récent a été construit selon une architecture berbère très réussie

Autour de Taliouine

Autour de Taliouine

Ici l'Anti-Atlas prend fin



Un cirque très vallonné

Grenier Ifri

Grenier Ifri

Photo Marie Lefèvre

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Taliouine: kasbah of Glaoui, saffron and agadir

Located at the junction point of the Anti-Atlas and the Atlas chain, in the highest part of the Souss Valley, the locality of Taliouine is one of our favorites for two reasons. Firstly because of the high architectural and historical interest of the Kasbah of Glaoui, ex-Pacha deMarrakesh, unfortunately in ruins. Then because Taliouine is the Moroccan capital of saffron.

Cooperatives jealously cultivate this spice in a natural circus of great beauty, installed at just over 1,000 meters above sea level.


A very exotic excursion destination! Plan a day, coupling these visits with that ofthe argan oil cooperative near Ouled Berhil or a stop atTaroudant.


The Glaoui kasbah in Taliouine threatens ruin

The best way to get to Taliouine from your rental riad is to take the direction of Taroudant, then the road to Ouarzazate, by the road south of the Valley. You have to cross the town of Taliouine, which is quite elongated, then leave it, before reaching the Kasbah of Glaoui, which you can see far away, on the right, but which is not indicated by any direction sign!


Traitor or not?


The Glaoui? A Moroccan political figure of great importance in the 20th century. To put it simply, the Glaoui, chief of the Glaoua tribe in the south-east of the Atlas, rose to the rank of pasha of Marrakech. But, during the events that led to Morocco's independence, he lost the struggle for influence that pitted him against the Alawite royal family, with France at the center of the chessboard.


Rightly or wrongly, he passes for a traitor to his country, having made too many pacts with the French of the Protectorate. His property was confiscated for the benefit of the State or the royal family, it is not clear. Today still, Moroccans speak of it only with a certain caution, for the most informed...


Politically incorrect resurrection?


Be that as it may, the Glaoui left a palace in Taliouine which is today in a state of partial ruin, following the example of several other kasbahs, such as that ofTelouet. In the shape of a massive square, the architectural ensemble of Taliouine is sublime. It deserves urgent renovation, the east side being particularly dilapidated, but perhaps this prospect of resurrection is not politically correct? Damage. We do not visit the interior; the scree is too dangerous. It is nevertheless possible to go around it, up close. Beware, however, of some irascible or... alcoholic inhabitants.

A guest house to enjoy a saffron tagine

It is well worth knocking on the blue door of the guesthouse set within the spectacular western wall. It is a pleasure to stroll through the garden, to visit the elongated rooms which show that we are indeed in the presence of a real old riad, and to walk on the roof, equipped with a balustrade. It is from there that the view is best on the kasbah. Finally, you have to sit down for lunch, having previously ordered the saffron tagine, a must in Taliouine.


Be careful, however, not to be ripped off by an excessively greedy bill! Haggle the price beforehand. It can also happen that the boss is in a day "without"... and doesn't want to serve you ;-)


Hikes in the region


The owner of the riad has embarked on the organization of hikes for tourists. In the name ofStopover Rando, it offers discoveries of an afternoon, or even several days.  


Another recommended address:The Safran Inn, in Taliouine itself. 

The filaments of the crocus become the saffron                                         


Taliouine saffron is reputed to be one of the best in the world. The climate is indeed excellent for crocus sativus, whose Berber women collect the filaments of the pistil in the fields and which are finally dried. Many cooperatives have been created, with a storefront in the center of the locality, and which can be visited. The managers explain the great work necessary until the desired quality is obtained. Sale of the product also.


Taliouine saffron is a pure gastronomic marvel. The chef Alain Alexanian, for example, has developed some tempting recipes, such as the Paris-Taliouine goat ribs or the spinach cassolette with poached eggs with saffron. Saffron ice cream served with a pinot gris tart can also work wonders!


The House of Saffron


We will profitably visit the Maison du safran, brand new, initiated by the Minister of Agriculture and former President of the Region.Aziz Akhannouch, also a great Berber patron and initiator of demonstrations such as theConcert for tolerance in Agadir Andthe Tafraout Almond Tree Festival.

The most interesting, the most authentic, however, is to visit the crocus fields themselves. Harvesting is carried out in October-November. Learn more by watchingthe video below, shot in the fields of the Iguenaren cooperative. To visit the saffron fields:

Agadir d'Ifri                                       


From Taliouine, let's visit the agadir (fortified collective attic) of Ifri. This genuine curiosityis only 20 minutes away by car of the city of saffron.

Unlike the igoudar (plural of agadir in Berber language) ofImchguiguiln and Ikounka near the Jardin aux Etoiles, that of Ifri was not built according to a geometric plan based on two parallel rows. Given the mountainous configuration of the place, it was embedded under an impressive rock shelter. 

The road is easy to the village of Ifri. There, ask to see Aïcha, guardian of the keys, who will save you from finding yourself in front of an attic...  farm.

Most disused squares

Let's admire the hidden doors, ladders, sculpted palm trunks! Most of the boxes, which can be compared to the safes of modern banks, are now disused. Some have been dug into the cliff. Others hide at the bottom of underground corridors.


The rock made it possible to keep dates, figs, salt cakes dry. The Berbers also stored more precious objects there: sheepskins, weapons, ammunition, festive clothes or even property titles.

The site is magnificent. It exudes authenticity.

Anchor 5
Two and a half hours road from the Jardin aux Etoiles to Taliouine passingby the left bank of the Souss
Ancre 1
Count about twenty minutes road from Taliouine to the agadir of Ifri. 
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