Azilal: The hidden gem of the Atlas Mountains

Ouzoud waterfalls, Azilal, Morocco

Are you a fan of natural sites, adventure, mountaineering activities, and overall someone who enjoys discovering hidden gems? If the answer is yes, then Azilal should be your next travel destination, and here is why.

Where is Azilal?

Azilal is a provincial capital in the center of the Atlas Mountains and it’s a short drive of 2.5-hours from Marrakech. Little known to the tourists, Azilal is a city of charming sceneries and adventure. It offers many natural sites, trekking itineraries, traditional architecture, and precious heritage of handicrafts.

Must visit in Azilal:

Ouzoud falls

Ouzoud falls, Azilal, Morocco

Being the second tallest waterfall in Africa, the Ouzoud Waterfalls are a popular attraction. This natural site is located near the Middle Atlas village of Tanaghmeilt in the province of Azilal, a 2.5-hour drive from Marrakech. The “Cascades d'Ouzoud” plunge into the picturesque gorge of El Abid river and are surrounded by scenic green valleys. While walking through the shaded path of olive trees, you will come across orchards and a dozen of old mills that are still in use.

The cascades are rarely seen without a rainbow halo, and you can probably hear the sound of its roaring water before you get your first glimpse of the charming falls.

Imi-n-Ifri Natural Bridge

Imi-n-Ifri Natural Bridge

Located 75km away from the city of Azilal, the Imi-n-Ifri Natural Bridge is an arch-shaped stone structure that is a remnant of a huge cave that has mostly collapsed. It was created by the waters of the Imi n’Ifri falls that flow underneath it.

Contemplate the slow and persistent force of nature in the formation of this fully functional bridge and enjoy the scenery of the African sky through the African-shaped outlines of the remnant cave.

African-shaped outlines of the cave of the Imi-n-Ifri natural bridge

Aït Bouguemez Valley

Aït Bouguemez Valley in the central high Atlas Mountains

Aït Bouguemez valley, nicknamed the valley of happiness, is located in the central High Atlas Mountains, around a 1.5-hour drive east of Azilal.

The scenery of this valley is breathtaking all year round with its lush orchards, especially during the coldest months between December and March when the mountains are covered with a fluffy white blanket of snow, creating a picturesque panorama. This charming scenery is enhanced by the ochre color of mud-brick houses of the villages in the area.

Aït Bouguemez Valley is the perfect destination for adventurers. It offers mountain lovers the best trekking itineraries for those who want to hike the Mgoun mount summit, the second highest peak in Morocco, and for those who prefer to walk towards the Zaouit Ahnsal gorge.

Mgoun mount and Zaouit Ahnsal gorge

If you are interested in archeology, you might want to check dinosaur footprints in Aït Bouguemez which are estimated to be 185million years old.

Bin El Ouidane

Bin El Ouidane

Bin El Ouidane is a small town in the Azilal Province, about 30 km north of Azilal, and 50 km from Ouzoud Waterfalls. This arch dam and lake is located where the two rivers Ahnsal and the El Abid River meet, the name “Bin El Ouidane” literally translates to “between the rivers”.

If you are craving a relaxing day during your visit to the Azilal province, this town is definitely worth a quick stop. The clear water of this picturesque lake is postcard worthy. It’s a calm area where you can simply chill and get some fresh air, as you can do many activities like swimming in the lake, fishing in the river, or riding a bicycle or a boat.

What to buy in Azilal?

Azilal is famous for its bright rugs, shimmering with vibrantly colorful and intricate Amazigh motifs, on a white or cream-colored base. These one-of-a-kind Azilal rugs are single-knotted and handwoven from virgin sheep wool and cotton.


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