Situated 250m from the city walls in a bustling market area Dar Barbara is a modern building with traditional features and western style bathrooms and kitchen. The downstairs comprises two linked living areas one featuring native tiling, the other tajlic walls (the marble plaster found south of the Atlas). Both feature traditional tables but comfortable western style seating. There is satellite TV, DVD player and Ipod dock. The plasterwork cornices and ceilings add height and make the rooms cool. These lead into a shaded tiled courtyard with garden, fountain and outside eating area. There is also an integral garage, laundry with automatic washing machine, bathroom with over bath shower and separate toilet.
To the first floor is tiled dining area with other rooms off. Again the plaster cornices and ceilings are a feature. 3 of the 4 bedrooms feature tajlic finish. There is a further bathroom & toilet again with over bath shower. The kitchen is fully equipped with large fridge/freezer, 4 burner gas hob, mini-oven, microwave electric juicer & coffee maker.
The main bedroom, linked by double doors to the dining area is a particular feature with a kingsize bed and ample wardrobe and storage. This and the second (double) bedroom with storage and seating area both have built-in air-conditioning. The third (double) and fourth (twin) bedrooms feature wardrobes and beds made by local craftsmen and there is mobile air-conditioning and a fan for use as required.
The roof terrace is a suntrap and has a further table and chairs, sun-beds mattresses for the laziest and parasols.
Throughout the property is furnished with a mixture of traditional crafted furniture, tables, mirrors and bowls to give the authentic Moroccan feel and western style mattresses, dining tables and bathroom and kitchen fittings for maximum comfort. In the unlikely event it is cold, plug-in fires are available.
Pre and post cleaning and laundering service is included but additional cleaning can be arranged (payable in cash to our manager). Moha Ouisse our Moroccan manager has considerable experience in the tourism industry and is fluent in English, French and German. He can arrange any of the following if you require them:
Cooked meals on arrival or in the evenings
Car hire (with or without driver)
Trekking/biking in the High Atlas
A Moroccan cookery course
Trips to the Hamman
Guided tours of Taroudant
Trips to local places of interest.
Moha is a mine of information and can advise on restaurants & days out. If you want any if these extras booked ahead we will put you in touch with him to agree a price.
One of our greatest pleasures is the nightly trip out to buy food to cook for the evening meal. Next door is a vegetable shop, the alimentation is across the road, the chicken & egg shop 20m away. The road to the town gates passes the best bakers in Taroudant, various butchers, grocers, and greengrocers, shops selling Morrocan sweetmeets, a fish shop and the fruit & vegetable market. There is a chemist & a “pressing” as well as various shoe & clothes shops, internet cafes with pool tables and furniture makers.
Continue up the road a similar distance from the Town gate past the “fridge & scooter” shops and mosque and you come to the town square. Dar Barbaba itself is a calm oasis from this shopping activity.
Taroudant is a walled city of 50,000 souls nestled in the crook of the Sous river between the Atlas and Antiatlas mountains. It is a Berber town and the townsfolk mainly speak not Arabic but one of the Berber dialects. However there has been much intermarriage and you will see Berbers, the women in their bright coloured robes and open faces, Arabs and the Toureg “Blue men of the Desert” from over the Antiatlas. The Berbers are wonderful linguists and at school the children speak Berber/Toureg between themselves but learn Arab, French & English.
Taroudant was never an administrive centre under the French Protectorate so escaped a 1920 ‘new town’. However it is beginning to expand beyond its walls into pleasant middle class suburbs. It is still a regional centre for the Souss Valley and has a major Sunday market outside the walls, mainly for fruit and veg. There are two permanent souks. The first off Place Assarag, the main square, is the Arab souk: a maze of alleys hung with brightly coloured exotic goods; jewellery, gold & silver Arabic jewellery,enamelled bangles from Tiznet and heavy Berber silver; spices; babouches - arab slippers; sandals; bags; kaftans; scarves; thoya boxes from Essaouira; and Berber carpets and rugs of all colours and sizes. You will get lost but that is all part of the pleasure. As the town and souk are much smaller than Marrakesh you will find yourself again without a guide and then sit out on the square and have a drink or eat tajine and couscous watch the world, & listen to the gnaou musicians.
A wander past the coffee & dried goods shops brings you to the smaller square of Place Tamagracht with the orange juice stalls. Sit in the shade or have your shoes shined while the oranges are squeezed just for you; the stalls festooned with long coils of skin drying for sale to the candid peel makers.
From here is the entrance to the Berber souk, initially seeming a more pedestrian affair selling articles of everyday need. It is here that you would come for your pot scourers, clothes pegs or bleach; but as you go further back towards the entrance on the road with the cinema you will find the really quality stalls of the town. Purveyers of sweetmeats and dates done up in gorgeous displays for your wedding or feast; local basket ware - better quality than that sold by the old women in Marrakesh; antiques and mirrors; tajlick lamps; pots from Fez and Safi.
A popular pastime is to take a caleche ride- either round the walls in the day when the driver will stop where you can ascend and walk the ramparts till you meet him again or in the evening. In the evening Place Assarag is transformed with vendors selling watches and belts from blankets on the pavement or fruit, cake and popcorn from handcarts. A caleche ride then takes you round the various craft streets,furniture,metal work & throne makers. The driver may stop to buy candles to light his carrage lights - and remember caleches are taxis they will take you right back to Dar Barbara in Sidi BouKas. Expect to pay 50 DH for half an hour.
Petit taxis are ubiquitous about town. They take a maximum number of 3 people anywhere in the town limits for 7DH
. You can slope off for alcohol in a tourist hotel bar (Taroudant is inflexibly Islamic) or go to the Jnane Soussia for lunch and a swim.
If you have your own transport you may wish to venture further. The coast is 1hr away either at Agadir (City resort, traffic lights, beach sports, Italian and fish restaurants and Marjane supermarket source of alcohol and pork charcuterie) or Tifnit (small idyllic fishing village in nature reserve. Vehicle access ends at the beach and you must walk along it to the village where you can buy chilled water and, at the right time of day, freshly landed fish. Take a picnic and watch them take the catch away by panniered donkey) or to the surfing villages north of Agadir.
It is rather less of a trip to the Atlas and Antiatlas but your particular destination may vary. Tin Mal mosque of the 12th.c is the only mosque open to non Muslims in Morocco (except for Fridays when it is used for worship). It is a day trip over the Tize n’Test a masterpiece of French 1930’s engineering; a 1.5 vehicle wide metalled road (play chicken with oncoming traffic) with as the sign says “bends for 57 km”.
Tioute palmery is my favourite trip about 1/2 hr away. Be guided round the palmery and have the plants explained. Sunday is best when there are donkey rides for the children. Then go to the Kasbah, the sight for the 1956 film of Ali Baba and dine on brouchettes, couscous and tajine in the feast room with the wonderful views and bouganvilla decked walls.
Taroundant is a base for treks in the Atlas and Antiatlas. Also for cycling. Either flat rides exploring the pistes of the neighboring villages or hair-raising downhills in the Atlas. Bike hire available in town.
The mountains are a birdwatchers paradise and eagles can be seen swooping over the road but the Souss-Massa national park at the coast also has egrets, flamingos and the rare bald ibis. (Entrance south of Agadir - walk in only).
Horseriding is available locally and donkey & camel rides can be arranged.
The really adventurous can cross the Antiatlas to the Draa Valley and the Sahara desert to spend a night under the stars.
Morocco has much to offer and Dar Barbara is the perfect base.