Telouet is a small town located in the High Atlas Mountains of central Morocco. With its impressive Kasbah and stunning scenery, Telouet makes for an exciting day trip from the popular tourist city of Marrakech.
In this blog post, we will explore the top tourist attractions and activities in Telouet Morocco in 2023. Whether you are looking for historical sights, outdoor adventures, or want to experience authentic Moroccan culture, Telouet has something for every type of traveler.
Keep reading to learn more about the best things to do during your Telouet trip!
Why Visit Telouet Morocco?
Telouet may be a lesser-known destination, but it is certainly worth a visit on your Moroccan vacation. Here are some of the main reasons you should add Telouet to your itinerary:
- Home to the ruins of the imposing Kasbah of Telouet, once home to the powerful Glaoui family
- Offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the Berbers who have inhabited the High Atlas Mountains for centuries
- A chance to get off the beaten path and explore rural Morocco
- Breathtaking High Atlas Mountain scenery along the drive from Marrakech
- A perfect day trip destination from Marrakech, located just 65 miles (105 km) away
How to Get to Telouet?
The best way to reach Telouet is by joining a guided tour or hiring a private driver for the day.
Tour companies in Marrakech offer day trips to Telouet, usually combined with a visit to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Benhaddou.
Driving from Marrakech to Telouet takes around 2 hours each way. The roads wind through the High Atlas Mountains, offering spectacular valley views.
A 4×4 vehicle is recommended, especially in winter when there may be snow on the mountain passes.
For travelers on a budget, grand taxis from Marrakech to Ouarzazate can also stop in Telouet along the way. Keep in mind this will be a shared ride and may involve waiting for the taxi to fill up with passengers.
Top Attractions and Things To Do in Telouet
Marvel at the Ruins of the Telouet Kasbah
The main highlight of any visit to Telouet is exploring the ruins of the kasbah (fortified palace) that once belonged to the powerful Glaoui family.
Thami El Glaoui was known as the “Lord of the Atlas” and ruled over southern Morocco during the French colonial era.
While the Kasbah of Telouet is in a state of dilapidation today, its size and grandeur are still impressive.
Visitors can climb to the top of the kasbah’s crumbling stone towers for panoramic views over the surrounding valley and Atlas Mountains.
Inside the kasbah’s courtyard, intricate zellige tilework hints at the luxurious interior decor during the Glaoui family’s heyday.
Wandering through the decaying rooms and halls of the kasbah, it’s easy to imagine what life was once like for the Glaoui chieftains. The Kasbahh is an iconic example of Moroccan architecture and design.
Snap Photos at the Pitoresque Village of Ait Benhaddou
Located just 10 miles (17 km) from Telouet is the fortified ksouar of Ait Benhaddou. This scenic village is a favorite stop for travelers in the Ouarzazate region.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ait Benhaddou showcases classic southern Moroccan earthen architecture.
Meandering through the narrow alleys of Ait Benhaddou while admiring its multi-story sun-baked mudbrick buildings is like stepping back in time.
The village has been the backdrop for many famous movies over the years including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones.
Visitors can pay a small fee to walk across the wooden bridges and explore several kasbahs along with the old granary. Hiring a local guide in Ait Benhaddou brings the history and culture of the village to life.
Photographers will delight in capturing this iconic setting at sunrise or sunset when the light is magical.
Take a Scenic Drive through the Atlas Mountains
The remote drive from Marrakech to Telouet takes you through the heart of the High Atlas Mountains. It’s a landscape of endless rocky peaks towering above lush green valleys.
From an elevation of over 6,500 feet (2,000 meters), you’ll enjoy panoramic vistas over the valleys and scenic Berber villages below.
Stop along the way to admire the views, snap photos, or stretch your legs. The Tizi-n-Tichka mountain pass at an altitude of 7,415 feet (2,260 meters) offers exceptional scenery.
In warmer months, various Berber vendors sell local handicrafts, fossils, and minerals near the scenic overlooks.
Visit Local Villages and Meet the Berber People
Most of the local people living in the Telouet region belong to the indigenous Ait Atta Berber tribe. Visiting a traditional Berber village lets you gain insight into the rural lifestyle and ancient customs still practiced today.
Witnessing the daily activities of making bread, herding livestock, or irrigation farming is a highlight.
One authentic experience is staying overnight in a guest house or homestay in Tidili Mesfioua. This allows you to interact more closely with a Berber family and learn about their culture.
Day trekking through Berber villages near Telouet like Tamatert and Anammer is another memorable cultural immersion.
To learn more about Berber culture and traditions, read this Amazigh New Year blog post.
Go Trekking or Rock Climbing in the High Atlas Mountains
Outdoor enthusiasts will find endless adventures around Telouet. The dramatic High Atlas landscape beckons hikers, trekkers, and serious mountaineers.
Local guides can arrange multi-day trekking routes while staying overnight in Berber guesthouses. Or go rock climbing on the limestone cliffs and rock formations surrounding Telouet.
More moderate day hikes from Telouet lead to panoramic viewpoints or scenic spots like the Ouzoud Waterfalls. Serious mountain bikers can also tackle routes in the Telouet region for an adrenaline rush.
Always hire an experienced local guide for any High Atlas Mountain adventures to ensure safety and the best Sahara desert tour experience.
Visit the Telouet Market and Kasbah Mosque
Every Monday, Telouet hosts a popular Souk (open-air market) that attracts Berber traders and shoppers from all around the region.
Wandering through the market is a feast for the senses. You’ll find vendors selling handmade wool carpets, traditional kilim rugs, pottery, baskets, and other crafts.
The market is also where local farmers bring their produce, spices, and other goods to sell.
Don’t miss sampling the fresh-squeezed orange juice sold alongside dried fruit and nuts. Practice your bargaining skills for deals on quality souvenirs.
After exploring the souk, visit the historic Kasbah Mosque located just next to the ruins of Telouet Kasbah. This mosque was built in the 17th century and displays ornate painted wood ceilings along with brightly tiled walls.
It’s still used for daily prayers by residents of modern-day Telouet village.
Dine on Traditional Moroccan Food
One of the joys of visiting Morocco is savoring the delicious local cuisine.
In Telouet, try dishes like tagine cooked in an earthenware pot, fluffy couscous topped with meat and vegetables, or harira – a flavorful soup made from chickpeas and lentils.
For a unique experience, enjoy a traditional meal inside one of the kasbah towers hosted by a local family.
This is your chance to try authentic Berber home cooking using fresh seasonal ingredients and handmade flatbreads baked over a wood fire.
Complete the feast by sipping a piping hot glass of Moroccan mint tea poured ceremoniously from a silver teapot. Meals in Telouet offer great insight into Moroccan food culture and hospitality.
Where to Stay in Telouet?
Telouet village has a handful of small hotels, riads, and guest houses catering to tourists.
But most visitors choose to stay in the city of Ouarzazate about 30 miles (50km) away which offers more accommodation options.
Riad Dar Ahlam is a charming Ouarzazate riad renovated in the traditional Moroccan style. It has beautiful rooms, two courtyards, and friendly service.
For a truly memorable experience, stay overnight in the village of Tidili Mesfioua at a family-run auberge.
You’ll gain insight into real Berber culture and village life. Arrange transportation from Ouarzazate for day trips to Telouet and Ait Benhaddou.
Best Time To Visit Telouet
The best time to visit Telouet is during the cooler months from September to May.
Summers can be very hot, especially in lower-lying Ouarzazate. For trekking in the High Atlas Mountains, spring and fall offer ideal moderate temperatures.
Aim to avoid the intense heat of July and August as well as potential snowfall in the mountains during winter. The weekly souk market takes place on Mondays year-round.
Check dates if you want your trip to coincide with a local festival or event.
Telouet Morocco Travel Tips
Keep these tips in mind to prepare for an enjoyable trip to Telouet and the surrounding region:
- Hire a guide or join a tour for ease of transportation to Telouet and site access
- Bring some dirham cash for entrance fees, market purchases, and tipping
- Wear sturdy walking shoes for exploring the Kasbah ruins and mountain villages
- Pack layers to adjust to changing daytime/nighttime temperatures
- Book accommodation in Ouarzazate which offers more facilities than Telouet village
- Respect local customs and dress conservatively when visiting mosques or villages
- Check road conditions in winter – snow may occasionally close mountain routes
- Refuel the tank in Ouarzazate – no gas stations after Telouet on the road to Marrakech
Experience the Beauty of Rural Morocco in Telouet
A visit to the town of Telouet offers adventure travelers a unique perspective into Morocco’s history, stunning landscapes, and Berber heritage.
Beyond the fascinating Kasbah ruins, you can interact with local villagers, feast on delicious Moroccan food, and revel in the majestic High Atlas Mountain scenery.
Make the easy day trip from Marrakech to discover these top attractions and activities in Telouet Morocco. Or extend your exploration of the region with an overnight stay in a traditional Berber village for a more immersive experience.
As you wander through this remote hillside outpost untouched by mass tourism, you’ll gain insight into genuine local culture.
Telouet gives you the chance to venture beyond Morocco’s famous cities and admire the rugged rural beauty of the Atlas Mountains.
Key Takeaways When Visiting Telouet, Morocco
- Telouet’s top attraction is the ruins of the Kasbah belonging to the powerful El Glaoui family
- Nearby Ait Benhaddou village is a scenic fortified ksar that shouldn’t be missed
- The High Atlas Mountain scenery along the drive from Marrakech is stunning
- Staying overnight in a Berber village provides cultural insight
- Outdoor lovers can enjoy trekking, hiking, and rock-climbing adventures
- Telouet’s weekly souk market on Mondays offers shopping for handmade souvenirs
- Visiting between September and May provides the best weather conditions
- Hiring a guide and booking hotels in Ouarzazate make trip planning easier
So don’t miss out on the chance to explore Telouet’s top attractions and activities on your next Moroccan vacation! This Berber village high in the Atlas Mountains will give you memories to last a lifetime.
And for history lovers, don’t miss visiting the Ancient Roman Ruins of Volubilis.