The Imlil Valley reigns in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, just over 35 miles south of Marrakech. Visitors on hiking trips often use the village of Imlil as a launching point for their trekking adventures, including an ascension of Mt. Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. For this reason, the area has grown into a hub of shops, restaurants, and "pensions"--small, very affordable hotels (typically less than $25/person/night). The community also enjoys a progressive and industrious spirit. Income from the tourism industry largely funnels into projects the Imlil Village Association organizes, such as litter collection and disposal, a community bath house, and a community Land Rover Ambulance.
Access to Imlil is via a road leading through the High Atlas foothills. Taxis regularly shuttle visitors to and from Marrakech, and the drive takes a little over 2 hours.
Go to the Imlil Valley If You're Looking for...
A spectacle of old-world scenery whose breathtaking beauty must be earned through breath-taking physical exertion. Imlil is a base for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travelers seeking memories forged from effort and sweat.
Imlil Valley Highlights
- The High Atlas Mountains. As if that much weren't already clear. The High Atlases are the most easily reached section of the mountain range, and, capped off by the peak of Toubkal, arguably the most visually brilliant.
- Trekking. Gazing at the High Atlas Mountains from afar--or even from eye level with Imlil as a base--cannot do your experience with the beautiful and exotic Moroccan landscapes justice. With countless guides, both private and group, available for expeditions, it is nearly not worth the trip to Imlil without the trek. And the pinnacle--both figuratively and literally--of High Andes hiking is the 13,670-foot peak of Mt. Toubkal.
- The Kasbah du Toubkal Mountain Retreat. A Berber-European fusion at the foot of Mt. Toubkel, this extensive resort will add a flourish of luxury to what may otherwise be no-frills travel.
- Eating. While in Imlil, make it a pastime to sit on the Kasbah roof for lunch, watching the mountains morph colors as the sun moves.
- Buying Local. A group of shops that cater to tourists towards the south of Imlil Villages sells jewellery, headscarves, and the Moroccan djellaba, a full body garment with a pointed hood worn by men. They also stock trekking resources, which cannot be found higher up.
- The Imlil Village Hammam. Opened in 2004, the community bath house welcomes tourists for a small entrance fee.
Best Time to Go to the Imlil Valley
Year-round, the High Atlas climate is typically warm, dry, and sunny, though snow and freezing temperatures can hit the highest altitudes in winter. The months of April and May, and September and October tend to be optimal both for weather conditions, and the bounty of spring growth and fall colors.
- Things to Do in the Imlil Valley: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Morocco/Wilaya_de_Marrakech/Imlil-2112653/Things_...
- Imlil Valley Excursions: http://www.trekkingmoroccomountains.com/imlil-valley.html
- Kasbah du Toubkal Hotel: http://www.kasbahdutoubkal.com/treks/lodge.html
- Imlil Pensions Directory: http://www.imlil.org/imlil_accommodation.htm
- Toubkal Lodge: http://www.audleytravel.com/Destinations/North-Africa-and-The-Middle-East/Morocco/Accommodation/Toubkal-Lodge.as...
- Imlil Valley Restaurants: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Africa/Morocco/Wilaya_de_Marrakech/Imlil-2112653/Restaurants-Iml...
- The Atlas Mountains: http://www.tourdust.com/blog/posts/atlas-mountains