Tiznit, a town in southwestern Morocco, has a rich history dating back to the 17th century. In 1881, Sultan Moulay Al Hassan founded Tiznit as a base from which he could assert his authority over the rebel Berber tribes to the south. To do this, he built the city walls. The town’s strategic location facilitated trade routes and contributed to its growth.
Tiznit witnessed the emergence of a resistance movement led by Moulay Ahmed Al Hiba Maa Al Ainine (Blue Sultan) in 1912 when the protectorate treaty was signed. With the support of the tribes of the Souss and the Sahara, he led an army towards Marrakech but ended up defeated by the French. He eventually took refuge in the Anti-Atlas, where he continued the resistance until his death from an illness in 1919.
Tiznit is renowned for its unique architecture, characterized by red-earth ramparts built to protect the town. The medina, a maze of narrow streets and alleys, showcases traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, particularly in silver jewellery production, for which the town is famous. The city’s name, Tiznit, is derived from the Berber language, meaning “the lock,” which alludes to its fortified nature.
How to get there?
You can fly into Al Massira Airport (AGA) in Agadir or take a bus or grand taxi from there or any other city in Morocco. It’s about 100 km and 1.5 hours drive from Agadir. Check your connections at 12go.com.
For those who prefer to be independent, I recommend using the service of Click’n’Go Car Rental. Very friendly guys and easy to contact on WhatsApp. I ended up renting a Renault Clio for the whole month and got a nice price.
The best time to visit
The best time to visit Tiznit is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summer can be quite hot, while winter brings cooler but enjoyable temperatures. Choosing spring or fall ensures a comfortable climate for enjoying nearby beaches and exploring the city and its surroundings.
Where to stay?
My overnight stay in Tiznit was rather spontaneous and as soon as I arrived, I looked for a hotel with decent reviews. Hotel Restaurant Patisserie Amoudou offered nice, spacious, clean and well-furnished rooms for only 200 MAD. Very friendly staff and video-guarded parking space. They also have a restaurant and bakery which is very good.
How long to stay there?
Tiznit is a small town so you won’t need more than a few hours to walk around the town. It’s a convenient stopover place between Souss-Massa National Park and Lagzira Beach or Sidi Ifni.
What to see in town?
The legend has it that a woman of ill repute named Lalla Zninia stopped to rest here in what was then a plain desert. She spent the next three days repenting her wicked ways, and God was so impressed that he showed forgiveness by having a spring gush beneath her feet. Today the spring is like a shallow pool with some birds and local people chilling around.
The Great Mosque of Tiznit with its minaret bristling with wooden poles was built in line with the style of Sahelian mosques. The legend suggests this is where the souls of the dead congregate. This place of worship is closed to non-Muslims.
A massive 19th-century fortress. The door was open so I could go inside for free and see the restored internal courtyard, but there was nothing else to do.
Bab Lakhmis and Bab Tarwga
Historic city gates look particularly nice at sunset. Bab Tawga leads towards farm fields and the oasis.
What to see out of town?
Souss-Massa National Park
The Souss Massa National Park has been a natural reserve since 1991 and it covers an area of 33,800 hectares. It is located between Agadir to the north and Sidi Ifni to the south, including the landscape of the coastline, dunes, marshes and the steppes.
Over 300 plant species and over 30 fauna species can be found there, including the Oryx antelope and the Dorcas gazelle, as well as foxes and wild cats. Moreover, the Souss Massa Natural Park is home to the world’s largest colony of Bald Ibis and the wetlands act as a stopover for many other migratory birds.