Jammed between the High and Anti-Atlas Mountains is the city of Tinerhir. Located in the Draa-Tafilalet, this capital of Tinerhir Province is home to some of the most attractive oases in southern Morocco.
Unlike the Imperial cities or the exotic towns of Morocco, Tinerhir is a busy mining town transit hub, defined more by dust and hustle of the workers that by charm. The town however has a verdant oasis at the eastern edge. The oasis shades the dusty city and offers a tranquil place to lay down and spend the afternoon in leisure.
The lush canopy has kasbahs settled along its muddy paths. These crumbling antique buildings offer an insightful sight into the past of the country. The most famous kasbahs among them is the 19th century Madrasa Ikelane. Identified by its whitewashed mudbrick canopy, the building now stands abandoned. To the north of the town is Ksar Asfalou, the school where children of the Jews and Muslims once studied together.
The not-quite-popular town runs at its own wonted pace. Weekly souks are held on Monday and Saturday; there you can watch the city bustling.
Food in Tinerhir
You haven’t known a place well unless you have eaten the food it serves and Tinerhir has a lot to put on the table. From its local food centers to dozens of restaurants that serve delicious Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine.
Le Petite Gorge
The Petite Gorge is located 2 km before the Todgha Gorge. Famous for its friendly host, this restaurant serves some of the tastiest authentic dishes from Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine. Tourists can choose special diets that are available at the restaurant, including vegetarian-only, vegan, and halal options. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after-hour meals are served here, which are convenient for the hikers and climbers who are visiting Todgha Gorges.
Restaurant Oasis Rose
Located at the center of the city Tinerhir, this restaurant is a cozy spot to sit and eat tasty meals while enjoying the magnificent Atlas Mountains. The free parking in the front ensures hassle-free arrival for those coming in cars or bikes. The relaxing atmosphere of the place makes dining inside a worthwhile experience.
For the gourmets, Oasis Rose offers dishes from four cuisines – Moroccan, French, Mediterranean, and Arabic. Inexpensive prices add a cherry on the cake.
Restaurant La Table Marocaine
This restaurant is in Avenue Mohamed V. The extensive menu here includes multiple dishes from Moroccan, African, European, and Mediterranean cuisines. Visitors have access to free parking, television, and Wi-Fi of the restaurant. It serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and after-hours meals. You can also explore their beverage menu to get yourself chilled drinks and get a break from the hot and dry weather of Morocco.
You will find the best food stalls of the city in its very center, near the bus station. There are local food stalls selling authentic local dishes and lip-smacking snacks. One of the famous food lane is located in the street located to the right of Hotel Todgha. This lane is lined up with several small restaurants, walk until you smell delicious sandwiches, for which the street is famous for.
If you do not shy away from tasting the street food, then walk left into a covered alley. You will see vendors selling all sorts of stuff. Keep walking until you see a petit restaurant with tiled walls. It is popular for sumptuous sandwiches and fish that will leave you licking your fingers. The dishes are available at a very decent price, which means you can try a wide variety of food without burning a hole in your pocket.
If it is tajins or couscous (typical Moroccan food) that you have come looking for, then head to the Auberge la vallée, which is located 5 minutes from the Togdha Gorges.
Trip to the Village of El Hart n’Iaamine
The Er-Rachidia road will take you to the village of El Hart n’Iaamine, which is situated at mere 15 km from the town of Tinerhir. On your way you will pass through a series of hamlet and ksours that will bring you closer to the life of Morocco. Settled on the left bank of the Oued Todgha, this large village is known for its pottery artisans.
There are many stories associated with the village and its occupation of artisanry. If you talk to the locals, they will narrate the story of the first inhabitant of the village, Imizi, who had arrived from Draa Valley in the middle 18th century. The story is engaging and unravels several mysteries of the place.
The Moussem of El Hart n’Igourramen
The moussem of El Hart n’Igourramen is organized next to the marabout of Sidi El Haj Amar, the saint who lives in 20th century. He was the brother of Sidi Said Ou Amar el Hansali, who said to have founded the village of El Hart n’Igourramen.
The moussem is a big market where you will all sorts of objects on sale, including livestock, camel meat, pottery from neighboring village El Hart n’Iaamine, and decorative objects imported from big cities around the world, including China.
Other Activities to Add to the Tinerhir Check-list
- Go paving the classical circuit, 4WD track between the Todgha Gorges and Dadés Gorges
- Savor the panoramic views of Jebel Saghro on the 4WD track from Tinghir to Nkob by the Tizi n’Tazazert
- Make a visit to the Ikelane mosque and madrasa, located 2 km from Tinghir
- Sightsee the 300 homes of Ksar Tinghir or “Jewish Quarter“, which for centuries, was the most important Ksar of Todgha Valley
- Take a leisurely stroll in verdant paths of palm groves in Todgha Gorges and observe the nomadic lifestyle of the native Berbers
- Go climbing or trekking in the canyons of Todgha Gorges
- Go exploring the centuries-old architecture in the Todgha Valley, including the kasbahs, shrines, and isolated watchtowers
While Tinerhir is nothing like the usual vacation spot, it takes you closer to the life of Morocco. From pottery by the natives, mudbrick houses, to the verdant palm groves amid the desert, the town offers experiences that are hard to find elsewhere in the country.