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A-Z guidebook for the caves!

Rédigé le Mercredi 22 Août 2018 à 22:59 | Lu 566 fois | 0 commentaire(s)

We are happy to issue the English translation of the A-Z information of our caves.

                                EVERYTHING ABOUT THE FISHERMEN CAVES, FROM TO Z
                             ATLANTIC TROGLO, BATO TROGLO, TROGLODUNE
                                                   AGLOU, TIZNIT, MAROC
Aglou is a charming sea resort, located 100 km south of Agadir, 15km west of Tiznit old medina.
This is a surf spot and lifeguards insure the safety of the beach for the swimmers. In Summer time, it is full of Moroccan vacationers. You have a small day and night market for food shopping and casual restaurants next to the post office on the seaside, a grocery store at the camping, where you can also buy bread and a butcher’s shop nearby.  At the grocery store, ask for the friendly Jamel.  There is also a laundry store with very good prices, very useful for not using too much water from the water tank at the caves.  During Summer time, you have a selection of restaurants and terraces on the Promenade along the shore. Just avoid the restaurant of the camping which is expensive and without any interest. Aglou Beach Hotel has good lunch menus and you can enjoy the view from the terrace drinking a nousnous cappucino.  This is also the place where you can get a wifi connection and ask for charging your phones and computers batteries (ask our friend Mariam at the front desk or Abdou, the handsome middle age waiter with a moustache).  On the beach, you will find the surf club, tours on camels and quad rental.  Buses and taxis for Tiznit are located at the entrance of the village. Nice carpet sales in Summer, down the main street.
The population of the Souss region, where the caves are located, is mainly Berber. They are different from the Arab people, even if they were converted to Islam a long time ago.
The most famous Berber kingdom was Numidia. They expanded South through the Sahara, including the Touareg population.
Today, the Berber languages areas are more limited, mainly spread in Morocco and Algeria, then partly in Lybia, Tunisia and Egypt. Berber idiom comes from the Afro Asian languages group. They used to write the tifinagh alphabet, still used by the Touaregs today.
From Morocco to Egypt, the Berbers are linked by cultural, ethnic and language communities among which the chaoui, the chleuh (in the Souss area), the rifain, the chenoui, the mazbi and the tamasheq idioms.
You will need to learn 2 different words for each object, in Arab and in Berber. But, French is also used by most of the Moroccans, especially in the cities.
CLEAR WATER  and toilets
The water at the caves comes from a water tank which you can use for washing dishes, shower and toilets ( 1000l at Atlantic Troglo and Bato Troglo, 3000l at Troglo Dune). Please use mineral water for cooking and drinking (we provide a  5l bottle upon your arrival). Do not waste water and use it carefully. Reuse grey waters from shower or dishes washing for flushing the toilets. If you get out of stock, call Brahim. The water supply truck will come within the day; use the reserve tanks instead. Water  refill is paid by the owner.
Please do not throw away anything in the toilets, including toilet paper (use the bin). Use green cleaning products in order to save the planet.
The environment around the cave is almost the desert, but real desert starts more South, at Guelmin and Tantan, where you have great camel souks and caravan serails. Pay a tribute to the desert if you have time to travel South. You will love it.
Sahara desert covers an area of 8.6 million m². This is the warmest desert in the world. Since it is situated South of the Atlas Mountains ranges, the clouds and rains are stopped by the high summits and the air becomes hot and dry on the other side: the sky is always clear, the zone is arid and develops vast desert areas.
If you want to experience the desert, we recommend to drive to Tighmert oasis near Guelmin at Chambres d’hôtes b&b (  ask for Brahim) and to visit the eco museum of the village.
For an experience of several days bivouac in the desert, contact our friend Lahsen at
Fruit such as oranges and vegetable are the main production of the Souss area and the Atlantic coast.
The production of argan trees and pickly pears (with thorns like urchins!) has been increasing in the area. Many local cooperatives, especially the ones run by women, sale products made with these plants, including cosmetics.  Dates and sugar canes production is decreasing. Organic and sustainable agriculture is developing but is handicapped by the uncertainty of the weather and long period droughts.
Fishing is the other main activity in the area. However, large scale ports such as Sidi Ifni or Agadir draw most of the activities. Local fisheries such as Tifnit or Laftès which are not well equipped cannot use the boats when the weather is bad (the boats cannot cross the dangerous waves. They are still brought back to the shore with ropes and tractors).
Tourism is also flat due to the economic crisis. Huge real estates construction sites are stopped along the coast, such as the one at La Plage Blanche, but we won’t complain about that! It seems that in the past, the cliffs in Aglou were full of camping cars.  But the hippies of the 70’s have gone…
Laftès fish market is half way between the caves and the main road. You cannot miss the large red walls building but try to get there around noon for the sale out. Fish is available only if the weather allows the boats to go out. Individual fishermen come also sale their catches. You will find so many kind of fish : seabass,  mulet, bream, corbine, ray but also cabs, lobsters and octopus. During your stay, the fishermen might come directly to the cave to sale their catches such as musles or various fish. We recommend the octopus. It makes a excellent tajine.
If the fish market is closed, you can get fish in Tiznit at the food market behind the new mosk.
If you like fishing, you can bring your own material or buy a fishing cane at the camping store. Be careful of the waves if you stand on the rocks.
More than a thousand of caves are registered along the coast. There might be actually  more than 3000 from Aglou to Agadir, since people keep digging even if forbidden nowadays. Numbers start from North to South. TROGLO DUNE is #477,  BATO TROGLO is #475 and ATLANTIC TROGLO is#465.
The number of the cave can change upon a revised inventory of the grottoes. They are mostly used by the fishermen for keeping their material. Some are at the sea level, others are on the cliff at different heights. Standard depth is 6m. The quality of the rock varies according to the locations. Some are harder and better quality stones.  In the 1970’s, Aglou and its caves was a famous place for the hippies coming from worldwide. Today, it is much quieter.  Most of the caves are inhabited by fishermen or local tourists coming from the North for vacation.  Most of the caves have no facilities. Some upgraded grottoes have a water tank, a drain system for the toilets and solar electricity (like at TROGLO DUNE). Some caves have lost their authenticity and were transformed into a house with a second floor.
Like traditional dwelling houses, humidity level is higher in Summer than in Winter due to a higher contrast in temperatures. It is comfortable all the year long, especially during the hot season. However, being on the seaside, it is never too hot even on the sunny terrace. Temperature is mild in Winter and you never need a heater. Strong sand winds can occur, though.
You can enjoy the public hammam in Tiznit. When arriving from Aglou, turn left towards Bab El Aglou market at the first green light. The hammam is in a modern building on the left side. Entrance ticket is 12 dirhams.  For men, please wear a bathing suit. Ladies are naked or wear their underwears. You can buy local soap at the entrance. Bring your own towels.  You can use the reversed buckets as a bench (cover it with a towel) or bring your own hammam bench. Mix hot and cold waters in the bucket. You can ask for a bodyrub.
At TROGLO DUNE you can enjoy the private hammam.  We will provide the logs and the demonstration for the first time. Watch Brahim’s technics if you want to do it yourself (otherwise he can prepare it every day as an optional service). Do not forget to put water inside the tank before putting fire! Wait at least 1 hour after putting fire before using the hammam. The room keeps warm several hours. Sometimes, it is still warm in the morning.
Be careful of not burning yourself with the boiling water. Use the large spoon to transfer the hot water into a bucket and mix with cold water before using it. Do not burn your feet on the hot stones over the fire.
We only use fallen wood for the hammam in order not to provoke any deforestation. Wood is very rare in the area. Please refrain to use the hammam too often.
Staying in the caves is the perfect occasion to make a break from the civilization.
The telephone network does not work inside the caves, but you can get it on the dunes. Of course, there is no internet connection.
However, if you are addicted to Internet, or if needed, you can seat at the terrace of the Aglou Beach Hotel and drink a fresh orange juice or a nousnous local cappucino. You can also enjoy the food for a good price.  You can also charge your batteries there. The old owner of the place is often seating on a chair on the terrace. If you have some books which you have finished to read, you can leave them for their library.
You can also go to Al Amal hotel restaurant in Tiznit for wifi. Turn right at the main crossing towards Guelmin. The restaurant is near the Total gas station. Ask for Majid.
We suggest you bring a USB port socket for your car to charge your phones.
There are many public holidays in addition to religious festivals: January 11th, May 1st, May 23rd, July 30th, August 14th and 20th, November 6th and 18th. However, only the administrations are closed. Most of the stores are open every day.
Many festival occur during Summer time: you can attend the fantasia or the Moussem in Tiznit.
The moussem are large gatherings around the tomb of a holly man, called a marabout. It can be a 3 days long party. It is both a religious celebration and a popular festival. Near Tiznit, you can attend the moussem of Idi Ahmed or Moussa. In Guelmin, experience the camel grand fair in the oasis of Asrir in July. The dates change though, according to the muslim calendar and the Ramadan which dates change each year (it starts 10 days earlier each year).
KHEMOUN and other spices :
In the old market of Tiznit, you can find many spices stores. Ask Brahim to show you the best ones.
Khemoun powder is used in many dishes, including traditional salads ; pepper, cinammon, ginger, hot pepper… Try also the grinded coffee mixed with those spices. Due to the humidity level in the caves, keep them within bags or sealed boxes. Next door, you can buy olives and fresh dates.
Within the medina, along the old walls, you can find the merchant of olive oil. He also sells Amlou, a mix of almonds, argan or olive oil and honey. Quite rich but so delicious at breakfast time. Olive oil can be bough also at the mill in Zaouit village. Ask brahim to show you the way.
Tahar Ben Jelloun, Mohamed Choukri or Driss Chraibi are probably the most well known contemporary authors here. Between tradition and modernity, witnesses of a young country facing its contradictions and fighting for its dream, between anger and nostalgy, they represent the new generation of talented writers.
You can also read authors who describe the atmosphere of the Maghreb and the Middle East such as  Jean Marie Le CLézio, Gilbert Sinoué, or Amin Malalouf. We leave some books in the tanks inside the caves.
MEDINA of Tiznit :
The city of Tiznit was built by Moulay Hassan, called the blue sultan during the 19th century for reinforcing his power in the region. The old city walls are 6 km long and pink coloured, so beautiful at the sunset. You can still find some traditional workshops for crafts such as goldsmiths who sell Berber jewelry. Be careful of Made in China copies. You can visit the craft center near the food market in front of the post office.
You can find tajine plates and other ceramics in the medina (especially along the oued market where they are the cheapeast) or at the large ceramics store  when you leave Tiznit on the main road to Agadir, on the right side ( about 2 km from downtown main crossing).
Brahim will also show you where yo can buy a nice djelabba or Berber style babouches.
Park your car at Place du Mechouar in the heart of the medina and walk aroud.
For the best ambiance, we recommend candle lights in the caves. We also have solar lamps available. Little Sun lamps come from an association for helping the children. You can also buy them on internet : as a memory of your trip. We provide also fronthead lamps. Only TrogloDune has a solar panel providing 12v electricity (no 220v socket).
When you go out at night, don’t forget to take a torch with you for coming back safely to the cave. Check carefully your way when driving to the cave. TrogloDune and Bato troglo entrance way is marked with a stone with a blue painted arrow sign. It is 3km from the crossing to Aglou Beach road. Atlantic Trglo is 100m further, before the « bridge » with stone mills. In Winter, it gets dark at 6 pm. We highly recommend to arrive before the night in order to check the way and enjoy the wonderful sunset.
Enjoy the night sky with all the shining stars. On the beach, on the rocks and even on the sea, the dancing lights are the ones from the fishermen lamps. The boat come from the nearby Laftes harbor or far away Agadir.
If you wake up early, you might see the moon falling down into the ocean. An unforgettable show.
OBSERVATORY for birds :
You will mainly see seagulls on the beach or passing over your heads. You have also black cormorants and tiny birds, sometime pelicans or ibis. If you are lucky, you will meet the black ibis which are protected and endemic to the Souss Massa National Park. They  can be seen only here  (and in a zoo in Germany), nowhere else on the planet ! You recognize them with their red beaks and tousled black feathers. Don’t approach them since the coast guard might be looking at you.
If you like bird watching, go visit the Souss Massa Park. During the migration seasons, it is full of pink flamingos in Spring or Autumn. You can hire a guide at the entrance of the park. The access is via Massa and Sidi Rbat, half way to Agadir. Brahim can also take you there.
Follow the delicious smell of the pancakes cooking stores in the medina. Ask for a honey topping.
You will eat a lot of bread since you are supposed to use folded bread for replacing your fork or spoon. Use only your right hand to eat in the shared plate. Don’t forget to wash your hands before the meal.
During Summer season, a traditional flat Berber bread oven is running on the main street next to Aglou Beach hotel. Be careful not to swallow the small stones if any left under the bread after cooking! Otherwise, you can find round bread at the camping store or at the market. Good bread is available on the façade of the main market in Tiznit. You have also a bakery on the road to Guelmin ( turn right at café Karam. The bakery is just there). No fresh Berber bread available on Friday.
You can also ask Brahim to bring homemade bread cooked by his wife Samia or buy bread in his village at Zaouit (very good fresh baguette available only early in the morning).
The caves are nice in each season, even in Winter. There is less humidity in Winter since the variations of temperature are lower. During Summer, there is some mist over Aglou beach and along the coast. The place can be windy which is very nice in Summer. It is never too hot. During Summer, if the temperature can reach 35° or 40° in Tiznit, 15km away, it never goes over 25 or 30° in Aglou. In Winter, the temperature can drop to 12° at night and reaches 25° during day time but it is never cold inside the caves. There is very few rain but be careful if it happens. Avoid to stay inside the oued (dry river). Water flood scan be devastating. The nearby Zaouit villaged was partly destroyed in 2014 after a heavy rain.
During Winter, the sun light arrives later in the caves (except at Altantic troglo). Don’t forget to bring warm cloth and sweaters for wind and nights outside the caves. The best cloth is the jelabbah which everyone wears here. Ideal ones are the polar cloth ones which you can buy in Tiznit. Ask Brahim for the best place for shopping (about 800 dirhams).
RIDING and other sports activities  (paragliding, surf,quad, hiking, horse riding, fishing)
You might see strange birds flying over the caves. Those are paragliders. You have two clubs just next door. You can contact Philippe at or Maroc Parapente in Aglou : 06 77 80 68 07.
Aglou surf club is located on the beach in Aglou. Contact is  Abdallah at +212 6 19 01 51 29 ( ). Facebook : Association Tiznit Surf. If you surf by yourself, stay where the other surfers are on the right side of Aglou beach.  Dangerous tides can take away the best swimmers. Do not surf or swim far on the beach facing the caves. Famous spots are Mirleft and Legzira 40km South from Aglou.
You can rent quads in Aglou, along the main road or ask Michel in Zaouit village ( Brahim will guide you there) or on the main street in Aglou : ( Tel : +212 667 024 525.
For horse riding, there is a wonderful ranch with great Arab horses on the way to Mirleft at Sidi Boufdail  (17km from Aglou). You can book a  daily or longer circuits : .
For the hikers, you are 3km away from Aglou village which you can reach by the sand trail or by the beach. On the other direction, Timzlit village is also 3km away. If you are tired on your way back, hitch hiking works pretty well here. Make a stop at the Aglou Beach terrace for a fresh orange juice.
You can daily shop at one of the two markets (we recommend the one behind the grand mosk in Tiznit). Aglou has a grocery store at the camping too. However, if you want to enjoy a great ambiance, visit the grand souk on Wednesdays or Thursdays mornings  (Tuesday is more dedicated to the cattle business). It is near the new bus station on the road from Tiznit to Tafraout. You can get a porter and buy big bags at the entrance of the souk.
Vegetable is especially various and tasty in Morocco.
If you want to attend the camel market, drive to Guelmin. It is on early Saturdays ( 100km South from Aglou).
You can stay at the nearby oasis of Tighmert at Chambres d’hôte Nomades. Brahim, your host,  will welcome you nicely.
Tajine is the most current dish which you will find everywhere. Berber tajine plate has a round slid instead of the traditional chimney shape one. It is full of vegetable and you can choose the meat: beef, lamb, kefta balls, chicken. Fish or octopus tajine is great. Try also the camel tajiine in Guelmin.
If you cook your tajine at the caves, put some olive oil, then oignons and tomatoes first, then cut the vegetable into thin slices ( carots, pupkin, eggplants, potatoes but also green peas) and pile them up in a pyramid shape. Add some small pieces of meet or fish. Don’t forget the olives and  cook very slowly on the brasero. Add spices such as khemoun and fresh coriander. It can take an hour to cook.
There is no phone network inside the caves. You can call from the top of the cliff above the caves. Call Brahim in case of emergency. There is a doctor in Aglou, a pharmacy in Zaouit and a hospital in Tiznit.
Doctor in Aglou : Mobarik Azzam at  +212 -  6 61 38 34 10
Police: 19
Ambulance, firemen: 15
Car accident: 177
SOS  doctor: 05 22 98 98 98
Finding alcool is quite a challenge in South Morocco, quite impossible if you do not know the right the places to go.
We recommend that you get some bottles at the dutyfree store before flying.
In Agadir, you can find alcool in some tourist hotels and in one supermarket only : Atakadao on national road N°1 (near the road to Marrakech). Enter the small door the right side of the building when you face the supermarket ( no outside sign). In Tiznit, you can drink and buy alcool ( wine and beer) at Tiznit Hotel located at  the main crossing of the city. Use the small door on the left side of the parking. Kind of an ambiance inside there !
You cannot find any alcool during the Ramadan period. Drink tea instead !
Muslim people are not supposed to drink alcool but some friends might be happy to share a glass with you. Never offer alcool in front of kids and wives. Put the bottle within a paper bag for being discret.
South West wind is called sirocco or cherqui and blows warmly. Tagout blows from the sea. Some times, wind storms happen but never last long.
The sea is dangerous but when the tide is low, you can play or bath inside the rocks pools.
Swim instead in the quiet Laftès port, 1.5km from the caves, near the fishery buidling.
You can find some octopus,urchins ( watch your feet) and musles there too !
(TA)X (I)S :
In the cities, you can take a red colour local petit taxi ( 205 Peugeot cars). Extra costs are due between 8 pm and 8 am during the night. Group taxis are green old Mercedes cars and new ones are Fiat white and green cabs. They can take you to Tiznit from Aglou central car park, or to the airport if needed. If you prefer a private car, Brahim can pick you up (check out the price list for services).
Y-Z : ZINA and other words :
Yallah : let’s go !
Zina means « pretty ! »
Here are some daily usefull words :
Slama (ou salamalekoum) : hello, goodby
Shoukran : thank you
Mahaaba : Welcome
Labess ? Debher : How are you? Fine, and you ?
Walou ! there isn’t. it is not available.
Waha : OK, agreed !
Makain mouchkin : no problem!
Et surtout Inch’ Allah : See you again, if God agrees!

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