Overview of Tata

Tata Market

A pretty little town drawn up in pink stone, Tata is the centre of a network of three river beds that feed the surrounding palm groves and gardens through a system of irrigation channels. The land is worked by communities from the nearby ksour villages, made up of local Berbers and descendents of slaves brought here by the famous Saharan caravan traders.

Today, they live and trade together in the lively souk of Tata, once one of the main slave markets of the entire region. Although it gradually declined and was forcibly opposed by the colonial powers, this slave trade continued well into the 20th century. The last slave caravan was spotted in the Sahara in 1956, and in neighbouring Mauritania slavery was only officially abolished in 1981. Today, it is no more than a distant memory, but in places like Tata it stills adds to the exotic atmosphere.

Geological formations

The 7111 is an excellent road that runs between Tata and Taroudannt, crossing a landscape of great geological interest, where incredible rock formations and exposed strata succeed one another in rapid succession in an environment almost devoid of human settlement.

Issafèn Valley

After the ruggedness of the almost lunar landscape that one crosses to reach it, the olive, almond and walnut trees of the Issafèn Valley are all the more welcoming. Here, in these mountainous surroundings, stone houses replace the sand and lime dwellings of the valleys, and the women wear the characteristic blue and purple smocks of the mountain Berber tribes. The men used to be infamous raiders, but now they work the land and trade in the lively souk.


This white-washed village in a mountainous plateau is situated at an altitude of 1700 metres. Embattled fruit orchards point to the hardiness of the people in this windswept terrain, but Igherm is an important market town in this highland area.