We had a fantastic day out to Imlil with Hassan our guide. We were collected from Jemaa al Fna square at 9am and after a luxury minibus journey we were in the valley ready to hike for about 10:30am. Hassan will ask what you would like to see and where you would like to walk so you can choose and plan your trip with his maps.
Hassan and his family his immediate family are originally from Imlil village and so he took us on a familiar 3 hour hike up and around the mountains in the valley. Although it was winter so we could not appreciate it fully, it was still breathtaking to be 2000ft and looking up at the highest peak in the Atlas range covered in snow with bright blue skies and hot sun on our faces.
Hassan knows all about the physical geography of the area and will point out and explain about rock types, formation and it's relation to the plants, animals and locals way of life. Also as he comes from Berber ancestry he can talk for hours about the history of Morocco, the tribes and rulers and all about the Berber culture.
We met some Berber guides along the way who were generously handing out sweet mint tea to walkers, and in the cold mountain air it tastes like nectar!
We stopped for lunch at a guest house in the village and his family prepared a wonderful traditional feast for us to enjoy on the patio with views across the valley. As the Berbers will give everything they have to guests even if they have nothing for themselves, this was a very heartfelt gesture and very much appreciated.
Everyone in the village knows 'crazy Hassan' and you can tell from the locals you encounter that he is well loved by his family and friends.
I would thoroughly recommend an excursion with Atlas & Sahara Tours as they are very good value for money and if you are fortunate to have Hassan as your guide, you will be in for a very interesting trip in excellent company. Its a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech and would be a perfect trip in the spring or summer when the valley is green and full of flowers.
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