Welcome to Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, here is a village where you can park up for a few days and discover the area by foot, mule back or just spend lazy days on a terrace drinking tea.
If you are coming from Marrakech: This village can be reached by turning left off the S501 just out side Asni and following the piste to the end. The distance from Marrakech is 64 km. The local lorry is the most original way to arrive but taxi and mini bus can also be used, but watch the price of the private taxi from Marrakech.
An 8.5 ton lorry has been converted to carry people from Asni. You can stand in the back section open to the elements as the lorry climbs the hill holding onto the metal bar.
The views will stop you thinking about the drop off on the left-hand side as you pass the new hotel, hard working mules and numerous villages, before arriving at your destination; the car park of Imlil. When the lorry carrying potential customers arrives in the village you have a top seat to watch the action as the sellers of silver jewellery move into action.
Morning activity starts early in this Berber mountain village, with the sun arriving over the sharp mountain peaks of Toubkal. The distant smoke trails rise up in the valley, as the freshly baked bread from the house hold ovens arouses the family communities too gather around their breakfast tables.
The men of the family, many who work as mountain guides in the National Park will gather their energy before setting out into their back garden, where for generations they have been guiding, people and products through some of the most hostile mountain passes found in Northern Africa.
Hotel Etoile du Toubkal: The Hotel Etoile du Toubkal is an ideal place to base yourself for a few easy days before setting off trekking into the High Atlas. The hotel is situated above the carpark when you arrive in the village, if you need a lift back to Marrakech at the end of your stay, just ask.
The hotel is part of Adrar Aventures, the Berber Holiday company, so you are able to book trekking and any other adventure sport from the hotels reception. If all you need is a rope and ice axe, you can rent these from the reception.
Hotel Cafe Soleil: The Hotel Cafe Soleil found at the parking by the guides ofice run by Aziam Mohammed (like his father who started the Cafe Soleil in 1971). The land slide in 1995, which left the cafe clinging to the side of the mountain. (The hotel's bazaar was found down the valley, in the torrent of water and rocks). Each room now gives breath taking views of the valley AIT-MIZANE..
The large terrace with commanding views of the East side of the valley, is given plenty of shade by the walnut trees which are found in abundance throughout the valley. Here you can spend the time watching the days drift by while drinking a cup of mint tea from the never ending pot.
Trekking: The Mountain Toubkal is the dominating factor of this High Atlas village, with the guides and their customers filtering through the alleyways and stream beds on their way to the summit at 4167m. (Many of the Berber Mountain Guides have been trained in France).
The Guardian of the parking says that trekking in the High Atlas is not to be passed up. The experience will reward visitors with some of the most spectacular scenery and views in Northern Africa.
The Guides office for Imlil is situated in the village car park. This office is designed to help the local guides find work with the customers coming into the village, be ready to sort out your own food and mule for your trek. Easy, just ask and they will point you in the right direction too find all of the necessary objects for your trek or contact Adrar Adventure at the Hotel Toubkal.
Mountain bike and Motorbike: The trails and piste's in this area are well worth a visit if you are looking for freedom. A mountain bike or light trials motorbike is ideal for this type of arid mountain enviroment.
The mule tracks of the High Atlas will open up new areas in Morocco to your eyes. This delicate environment must be protected while sport must be able to grow naturally, so go easy.