Almond Blossom Festival – Tafraoute
Held usually in the second week of February when the trees are at their blossoming peak, travelers to Morocco can expect traditional dance, Berber folklore, blossoming trees, and of course delicious food at this one-of-a-kind festival in Morocco.
Tafraoute is a small Berber town in the mountains of the Tiznit province. Travelers always remember Tafraoute for its friendly people and welcoming atmosphere.
When you are not enjoying the festival, stop by the market. It is the perfect place to find classic Moroccan goods at a much lower price than you would in the big centres like Agadir and Marrakesh.
Tafraoute is a favorite destination for the adventurous—go hiking in the nearby mountains, rock climbing, or even off-roading. Take a trip to see the famous Blue Rocks nearby, or stay in town and partake in a traditional Berber cooking class. Whatever you choose to do, Tafraoute will surround you with a sense of family and traditional Moroccan culture.
Eating in Tafraoute is a true pleasure for those that enjoy traditional foods. The restaurant hosts are genuinely welcoming, and the food matches the atmosphere with its taste.
For many travelers, it is the perfect small town to settle down in as you explore the surrounding region and the red mountains. For those that visit the festival, it provides a touch of small village Moroccan living combined with a prosperous community.
Visiting Tafraoute during the festival means that the usually quiet and peaceful village of about 4,000 gets turned on its head—filled with travelers and visitors from far and wide. This Moroccan festival is held in the middle of the old Roman ruins.
Tafraoute is the largest producer of almonds in Morocco. Traditionally, the festival was celebrated each year by the village during harvest time as a way to celebrate the prosperity and new harvest. The beauty of the town and the blossoming trees, however, attracted so many visitors that the festival as we now know it came to life. To start your day in Tafraoute, have amlou for breakfast—almonds, argan oil and olive oil mixed together and eaten with bread.
During the Almond Blossom Festival, you can enjoy traditional folklore, song and dance. There are also some Moroccan and international performers that come to the festival as well. Berber hospitality is in full swing—food vendors fill their stock and delight visitors with traditional foods, a glass of mint tea with each meal, and of course, almonds!
The entertainment and excitement all happens in the heart of the Roman ruins. The ruins are surrounded by almond trees, and at this time of the year the blossoms beautifully wrap the area. At night, the ruins are lit up, the performers begin their shows, and visitors are mesmerized by the lights, dance, colours, sound, and stories that are told. The atmosphere it creates is a spirited one blending with the natural surroundings. This entertainment is the highlight of the festival—being surrounded by the beauty of the new harvest and the joy and warmth of your hosts will be a truly memorable experience.
As Tafraoute is a secluded location nestled between the mountains, you will find getting here is a twisted, curving road through mountains and deserts. Bus services run from Tiznit, Agadir, and Casablanca that will take you right into the village along the winding road. You can likely pick up a grand taxi that would drive you into the village as well. Especially during festival time, it is common to find the taxi drivers roaming around the marketplaces in Tafraoute as well for the return journey home or to another Moroccan destination.
Always check online before you make the trip over to Tafraoute, as the festival dates are known to change last-minute! This is due to the changing of the seasons and the peak time of the trees to be blossoming.
As you would expect with any small area attracting visitors, hotels and accommodations fill quickly. Other options include traditional riads or apartment stays. If you are travelling to Morocco and concerned about changing festival dates, come in a day or two before and enjoy everything else this lovely area has to offer before the crowds settle in.
This Moroccan festival is a true hidden wonder. For those that know, the festival is the perfect place for a traveler to get a true sense of local Moroccan culture and hospitality.