Earth : Africa : North Africa : Morocco : Middle Atlas : Ifrane
Ifrane is one of the most beautiful places in Morocco, residing on the Atlas mountain with a population of rougly 13,000 people. The current Moroccan king and his projects - like the university and huge new hotel - have had a large impact on the town. However, it can not be considered a large town. The majority of the population are farmers, sheepherders, etc, and therefore live outside of the town borders.
The main language in Ifrane is Berber, but you can also hear a great deal of Arabic and French. It is home to Al-Akhawayn University, an American-style university taught in English, French, and Arabic. Nearly all university students will be able to converse fluently in English, but most of the native residents can not.
The climate is mostly cold with a beautiful clement summer, with a great deal of rain in the first few months of the year. The people are overall very friendly.
Overall, there is very little reason to specifically visit Ifrane if you're limited on time in Morocco. Unless you're a student here or a member of the king's entourage when he visits, there's not a huge amount to visit here- a carved lion, some parks, funky roofs, lots of storks, outdoorsy things, and a Sunday souq pretty much summarize the town.
By grand taxi
The easiest way to get into Ifrane is by grand taxi from Fez or Meknes. Both cities are an hour away. Grand taxis in Fez leave near the Fez CTM station.
A ride to either town costs Dh 25, but can be more expensive (Dh 30) on weekends, when half of Fez and Meknes come there. If you find yourself to take a whole taxi yourself, multiply the price by six places (i.e. Dh 150). At some times (very late/early, during strikes), you may have to pay a good bit more. Grand taxis to Ifrane also leave from the Fez airport, and are more expensive than those leaving from the Fez grand taxi station (Dh 300.)
CTM. has an office at the east end of the marché and busses are likely to stop / depart from there. CTM buses are known to being cleaner and slightly quicker, but the sometimes sketchy buses from other companies are equally safe. They most likely depart from the new Gare Routière. which is somewhere south-west from the marché. These busses can be alot dirtier and a little cheaper. Some might have more stops (longer trip), but they also leaving more often and are thus easier to catch.
By train =
There is no train station in Ifrane.
Most places are within walking distance, but petit taxis are also readily available. The minimum fare is Dh 5 for small distances (e.g. marché → centre ville), longer distances will be Dh 10. Grand taxi drivers are a little more unscrupulous, so try to be aware of how much you should be paying for any given trip.
Places to visit:
There are three centers of nightlife in Ifrane: Tilleuls, the Grand Hotel, and Aguelmam.
Be aware that the clubs or hotels may bring prostitutes to the clubs.
However, Ifrane's main attraction is its natural beauty. It is highly encouraged to hike in the area. You can easily rent a horse and guide for a few hours. It is also only a short distance from Ifrane to a place where you can find and feed wild monkeys.
There is no budget accommodation in Ifrane. The best is probably to stay in Azrou (15 minutes by grand taxi, ~6 Dh).
Appartments can be rented from Dh 100-150 per day, although finding one with clean sheets seems to be impossible.
Several midrange/splurge hotels are found in the city center: