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The best way to experience Morocco is through the small towns and villages that lie between the larger, well known cities. The town of Imouzzer du Kandar is one such town that anyone visiting Fes should definitely make the time to visit. Situated between Fes and Ifrane, the sleepy little town offers more than you might expect.
Built by the French during the protectorate era in the early 20th century, many of the buildings reflect French architecture more so than other parts of the country. Many of the buildings are stone with slanted roofs typical of what you would find in neighboring Ifrane.
The area is covered in cedar trees, and the locals enjoy one of the largest fresh water sources in the country. The star of the city, and the feature that gives this lovely town its name, is the beautiful waterfall at the edge of the town. People come from all over to see the natural beauty of the area, as well as to find relief from the heat of Fes and Sefrou. Its cooler climate makes it a popular destination for Moroccans to vacation in.
What to Do in Immouzer
Popular attractions in Imouzzer for foreign visitors include some of the old buildings, such as the old church, which was one of the first things build in the area, now a museum showcasing the history of the area and the people. There is also the old medina where visitors can find the hammam, the market and many local restaurants serving authentic Moroccan food.
The weekly market happens on Monday. There you will find many vendors coming from all over selling a wide range of things, from fruits and vegetables to clothes to electronics and housewares. The town is full of parks and pools where people like to picnic in the afternoons, and in the evening the streets come alive with people and families out enjoying the cool night air. Vendors come out selling small toys and snacks, and cafes fill up with people who have come to socialize over espressos and Moroccan mint tea.
Some of the best harcha and meloui (similar to m’semmen) in the country comes from this little city. If you do stop by and visit stop at any of the little storefronts with women at the griddle making these bread treats.
In the rural area just outside the city center there is a great cheese farm that makes for a lovely visit and tasting. Reservations should be made ahead. If you’re interested in visiting be sure to read this post on cheese tasting in Immouzer.
This area is well known for producing apples, so you will find the surrounding area dotted with many apple orchards, while on the road between Imouzzer and Ifrane you can stop at roadside stands selling everything from fruit and honey to geodes and pottery.
There is 26 km between Imouzzer and Ifrane and the drive is beautiful. Mountains and lakes make up the landscape between these two towns so it is well advised to bring a camera for the short trip. If you’re driving your own vehicle you can easily stop along the road and enjoy the natural beauty.
When to Go
The best time to visit Imouzzer is in the spring or early summer. Visit later in the season and you may find the waterfall dried up in the summer heat, however there are other attractions if you plan on being in the area in the later summer or autumn months. Imouzzer, like Ifrane gets cold in the winter and can even experience snow, so if you plan on visiting during this time, make sure to bring some warm clothes. As for traveling, there is no train passing through, but there are many options to get there including the bus and the infamous Grand Taxi. But if possible, it is always better to have your own vehicle.
The people of Imouzzer are friendly and love the opportunity to share their culture with foreign visitors. You are certain to have a wonderfully authentic Moroccan experience when traveling to or through this hidden gem of a town.
Where to Stay
There are many nice hotels located in Imouzzer for travelers to rest. Whether staying to enjoy the area for a couple of days or just passing through, the hotels are a clean and comfortable place to stay while visiting. Close to the city square are the Hotel Royal and Charhazad. Both mid-priced hotels which offer close proximity to the city centre, restaurants and nightclubs. While 5 km outside of the town visitors will find Dar Daifa, an auberge offering views of the surrounding natural beauty. Gita Karine is another option that includes a swimming pool and is a good option for families.
You also can spend the night in nearby Ifrane as there are limited options in Imouzzer. Michlifen is one of the nicest hotels in the area and is a true luxury experience. Residence Ifrane Palace is a more affordable option for anyone wanting to spend the night.