Imlil, Morocco: Your First Guide to Visiting Imlil Village

by capetocasa

Have you ever heard about Imlil in Morocco? Maybe not! Morocco is one of the charming African countries to visit in 2022. It is well known for its metropolitan cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fez, but not particularly for this quaint village of Imlil.

Imlil is not only an impeccable escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy cities in Morocco but also an opportunity to unwind and discover the unique side of this exotic country. So, here is everything you need to know to plan a splendid holiday in this little Moroccan village, Imlil.

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Imlil Village In Morocco

Imlil is a very small village in Morocco that accommodates around about 15000 inhabitants.

Located in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Imlil is very close to the highest mountain in North Africa, Jebel Toubkal, (4160 meters high).

While 90% of hikers consider this small village to be the perfect base when attempting to summit Toubrak mountain, others favor it for a relaxing break from busy life in the cities.

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Imlil Village

Imlil is the beating heart of the Atlas mountains. It offers breathtaking valleys, amazing trekking trails, and hiking landscapes.

The village is also well known for walnuts, apples, and cherry production that support the local economy of the community living there.  

The village isn’t only a heaven place for hikers but also for anyone wishing to visit a magical mountain destination, enjoy the landscapes, and unwind.

What I’m sure of is that whoever visits Imlil will certainly fall in love as I did and wish to go back again.  

Is Imlil Village safe to visit?

Yes, Imlil village is a safe place for anyone who is interested to visit. After the unfortunate incident that happened in Imlil in 2018, the local government introduced many precautions to guarantee the safety of tourists and visitors. Some of these precautions are:

  • The local authorities have installed four security posts at the entrances of the Toubkal Mount. At the safety post, you have to show your passport or ID. This way, they recognize who climbed up the mountain and who hasn’t returned yet.
  • Hiring a qualified local guide to climb the mount is mandatory now. Before any ascent of Jbel Toubkal (or visit of Chamharouch), check with the office of mountain guides of Imlil. They will inform you of the availability of a professional mountaineer. And tell you about the current rates.
  • Access to the ascent of Jbel Toubkal from Armed is prohibited after 3 p.m.
  • Reserve your place in advance. If you plan to stay overnight in one of the mountain refuges (Toubkal refuge or Les Mouflons refuge).
  • Bivouac in unauthorized places is prohibited.

How to Get to Imlil village from Marrakech?

Imlil village is about 60-kilometer away from Marrakech therefore, Grand taxis (shared Mercedes taxis) run regularly between the 2 cities.

The ride to Imlil in a Grand taxi will cost you about 3$ to 5$. You can also hire the same taxi as a private ride and pay around $30.

The taxi station is just a few steps from Jemaa El Fna.

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Imlil Village

Another easy and comfortable way to get to Imlil is using the private transfer operated by Think Travel Morocco. You will pay approximately $60 for a private trip from Marrakech to Imlil using this service which is worth it.  

In addition to the shared taxi and the private transfer, there are other options that I consider more of a hassle to get to Imlil. Like taking a bus to Asni village and then from Asni you take minibusses or taxis to Imlil (another 18 kilometers).  

These options are considered if you want to go on your own to and spend a night or two in Imlil. But if you are not planning to stay, there are a lot of day trip tours from Marrakech to Imlil village that will make your life a lot more easier.

Here are some of our recommended day tours.

When is the Best Time to Visit Imlil Village?

snow-in-toubkal

While Winter in Imlil is very cold and almost unbearable for winter haters (like me), Summer in Imlil is the perfect travel holiday and an escape from the heat in Marrakech, especially between June and August when the temperature peaks.

Imlil is surrounded by mountains and green valleys that help lower its temperature, compared to Marrakech. 

According to trekking experts in the region, the best time to visit Imlil is between mid-May and mid-October. This time is when you can enjoy a warm trekking experience and avoid the snowy days in Imlil. 

Top Things to do in Imlil village 

Hike up Jebel Toubkal

trekking toubkal
toubkal morocco

When mountaineers are searching for trekking experiences in Morocco, the first thing that comes up is climbing to Jebel Toubkal summit (4160 m).

Imlil is the starting point of Toubkal mountain, and the hike to the summit is from 2 to 3 days from the village. Tourists and hikers tend to spend a few days before in the village enjoying what it has to offer while getting ready for the big adventure. 

The trek might seem very easy for some but it’s actually not. This is the reason why having a mountain guide became mandatory – which means, you cannot climb Jebel Toubkal alone without hiring a local guide.

The guide will take care of everything you need for a successful hike experience including food supplies, accommodation/refuge booking, mules, etc.

The trek to the top is really worth it to what it offers from landscapes, nature, and a sense of adventure. After a hard day’s hike, you can stay at one of Toubkal refuges, Refuge du Toubkal, or Les Mouflons for an overnight stay and continue your adventure the next day.   

Trek Across the Atlas Mountains

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One of the best experiences one can enjoy in Morocco is a trek across the High Atlas mountains. The mountains range along the Sahara Desert and accommodate Berber villages and endangered wildlife. If you are not interested in hiking to Jebel Toubkal, there are many easy and fun treks to enjoy. 

You can either go for long or short hikes across the Atlas Mountains but never go alone. A guide is ALWAYS recommended when hiking or trekking in Morocco as the conditions may change and only locals know about it.

This two days trekking experience operated by Morocco Tour Guide offers an interesting Berber experiences that you will certainly love. They depart from Marrakech and stop by Imlil village and many other Berber village before going back to Marrakech.

Spend an Afternoon in Imlil Waterfalls 

imlil morocco
Credit | Joe from Surfatlas 

Imlil Waterfalls is located just 30 minutes west of the village. The small cascade of waterfalls can be a lovely and refreshing afternoon trek. Walking to the waterfalls is also a great way to discover the culture and meet locals and villagers.

Sometimes arranged tours offer visits to locals’ houses to learn about the Berber Moroccan culture and taste the homemade traditional food. 

Try a Hammam Experience in Imlil’s local Hammam

You cannot leave Morocco without trying an authentic Moroccan Hammam experience. And the best place to have your first traditional Moroccan Hammam is in the High Atlas, Imlil.

You can either stay in a lodge that offers a Moroccan Hammam (request it before booking, not all lodges have Hammam facilities) or pay a small entrance fee to Imlil Village Association to use their Hammam.

I recommend going with Imlil Village Hammam if you want to experience a local hammam and not a touristy one. 

Where to Stay in Imlil village? Best Hotels in Imlil  

Kasbah Imlil

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Kasbah Imlil

Kasbah du Toubkal is Imlil’s landmark hotel and one of Morocco’s famous hotels. Kasbah du Toubkal is an award-winning hotel and ecolodge in Morocco.

Located at 1820 meters above sea level and set on a hilltop from their reception in Imlil it, offers amazing landscape views of the village and its surroundings.

The walk from the reception to the Kasbah is 15 minutes and the hotel staff take care of your luggage by carrying it with mules which is so much fun to see!

The hotel is open for non-residents for lunch and they also offer day excursions, trekking tours, creative workshops, and Yoga sessions.  

Toubkal Ecolodge

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Toubkal Ecolodge

Toubkal ecolodge is a Berber hotel in the High Atlas Mountains. Their accommodation offers six traditional rooms, all designed and furnished with local Moroccan products.

Toubkal Ecolodge is a family hotel business set to promote the heritage of the high atlas mountains and Moroccan Berber culture through its services.

Toubkal Ecolodge is also known to be a good choice for winter visitors interested in skiing in the Atlas mountains. 

Dar Imlil

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Dar Imlil

Dar Imlil is another great accommodation option in the village. It’s a small guest house that offers delicious food and spectacular views of Imlil and the Toubkal mountain from a rooftop terrace.

The wonderful little heaven Dar Imlil is very close to many trekking trails which makes it a great option for hikers coming to enjoy the Atlas Mountains.  

Riad Jnane Imlil

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Riad Jnane Imlil

Jnane Imlil is an authentic guest house in the Atlas Mountains. If you like to enjoy a swim now and then during your trips, Jnane Imlil is one of the few Riads that actually has a pool in Imlil valley. 

Where to Eat in Imlil?

imlil village Maroc
Credit: Joe from Surfatlas 

Your hotel or guesthouse will definitely offer a rich menu, including tasty Moroccan dishes. But I personally like to try out different places when it comes to food. That’s why I listed a few options in Imlil village, in case you want to discover what’s there for you.   

Kasbah Imlil

Kasbah Imlil is both a lodge and a restaurant. There is nothing better than enjoying a mouthwatering Moroccan dish on a roof terrace with mountain views. The restaurant is open for non-residents for lunch, so booking your stay somewhere else won’t prevent you from experiencing a delicious Moroccan meal with spectacular views.

Restaurant Talaoul

Talaoul guest house is located in a family-owned village called Talaoul. The guest house has a restaurant that serves Moroccan local food on the terrace with a full panoramic view over the valley and the mountains. 

Imlil Tours & Tour Guides

Imlil village in Morocco is not for everyone. It’s not the best place for shopping and you won’t find all the creature comforts there. It’s a place to retreat, relax, reflect and unwind. If you wanna run up some mountains, you can do that too. Imlil is different, as it should be. It’s a unique place that makes you feel like you have truly traveled, beyond borders, beyond time.

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4 comments

Michelle July 23, 2022 - 4:28 pm

The Atlas Mountains look like a great place to explore and hike. I love the idea of hiking the Atlas Mountains and then having a place to take a relaxing break

Reply
JJ July 23, 2022 - 9:34 pm

Greta post! The Atlas mountains are so beautiful. I visited years ago but would love to go back to do more hiking there

Reply
Daniela July 24, 2022 - 7:33 am

What a fantastic place to visit! I can’t wait to go to Morocco and explore destinations like this! 🙂

Reply
Bex July 24, 2022 - 4:00 pm

Hiking in the Atlas Mountains is firmly on my bucket list. I’m hoping to take on Mount Toubkal hopefully next year. Imlil looks like such a lovely place to spend some time!

Reply

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