Meknes – Middle Atlas towns (Imouzer, Ifrane, Azrou) – MeknesFrench settlers and architects designed the Middle Atlas towns of Imouzer, Ifrane, and Azrou as an escape from the overwhelming Medinas of Meknes and Fez. Now, they are a refuge for Moroccan and international residents from the stress of big cities. Their calm atmosphere makes a relaxing weekend possible to attain. Our professional driver will pick you up early in the morning from your accommodations in Fez at an already appointed time. Then, we will start our drive towards the Middle Atlas region. Our journey will take us through the Sais plateau towards the Middle Atlas. This plateau is a bountiful agricultural field full of olive grove, wheat fields, and fruit trees feeding Fez with high quality organic food. As we continue on, we will start to see the foothills of the Middle Atlas Mountains. Our first stop will be in the provincial town of Imouzer. This town is famous for its Apple Festival in September. Many of the inhabitants of Imouzer are of Amazigh descent and speak a language different from Arabic as their mother tongue. The area around Imouzer is dotted with lakes. They are formed during a period of intense volcanic activity in the distant past. Stopping at one of these lakes, Dayet Aoua, we will have the opportunity to go for a quick horse or donkey ride on the lakeshore. Climbing higher up and passing through oak forests, the next stop on our drive will be in the famed ‘Switzerland of Morocco’: Ifrane. Thanks to its alpine climate, at 1,665m above sea level, Ifrane cannot escape getting large quantities of snow every winter. As such, the roofs of its buildings are sloped so not to be crushed under the weight of snow. They bring Ifrane the cute nickname of the ‘Switzerland of Morocco’. French architects designed it in the 1930s as an escape for the French settlers in Morocco from the overpowering Medinas. During the summer, though, the temperature rises and Moroccan’s flock to Ifrane for its tidy parks, clean air, and beautiful scenery. Ifrane is also famous for the world-renowned Al-Akhawayn University. It attracts the best and brightest students in Morocco and North Africa. We will also make a stop at the Ifrane National Park to appreciate the ancient cedar trees and try to find a colony of Barbary apes. Lunch will be in Ifrane in one of its good quality restaurants downtown offering a stuffed menu of local and Western dishes.
Driving just a little further, our last stop of the day will be in the town of Azrou. It is the ancient capital of the Amazigh people in the Middle Atlas region. Situated at 1,250m above sea level, Azrou finds itself nestled cosily in the surrounding hills of the Middle Atlas Mountains. It is famous for its cedar forests, butterflies, and Barbary apes. The rural vibe of this village makes a perfect opportunity to connect with nature. In Azrou, we will visit the old town with the possibility of taking a walk in the abundant nature. At the end of our drive, we will take the highway back to Meknes. Our professional driver will drop you off at your hotel in the late afternoon/evening.