Zaouiate Oued Ifrane
Zaouiate Oued Ifrane
is a city in the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco.
Better known as Zaouia d'Ifrane, or even Ifrane if you are within the village limits, this Berber village is often confused for another town in the mid-Atlas with the name Zaouia d'Ifrane, and many times it is even confused for the larger city of Ifrane proper itself. Let it be known, Zaouiate Oued Ifrane or Zaouia d'Ifrane or Ifrane or Zaouia is neither of those places, it is much, much more beautiful. The village of between 500-1000 residents (depending on the time of year) sits under a dramatic and extremely unique geological feature, a 200 foot travertine plateau provides a backdrop of caves, hanging plants and waterfalls. Zaouiate Oued Ifrane translates to 'holy place of caves' and the village and its' surrounding landscape creates an air even more awe inspiring than the title suggests.
Zaouiate Oued Ifrane is located about 100K south of Fez. The road which dead ends at Zaouiate Oued Ifrane turns off from the main roadway after the town of Souk L'Hdd and before the city of Mrirt. Transportation to and from Zaouiate Oued Ifrane is the only deterrent to visiting, if there is one. By personal car/vehicle it is no problem, just head south from Fez toward Azrou, at Azrou, continue on as if going to Marrakesh and then take the left directly after Souk L'Hdd. Coming from Marrakesh, just head up towards Fez and make the right turn directly after you pass through Mrirt. Without ones own vehicle things become exceedingly more complicated and overwhelming. It's a matter of getting to either Souk L'Hdd or Mrirt and then wheeling and dealing with the grand taxi divers from one of those cities over a price into Zaouiate Oued Ifrane. The correct price is 60 MAD to get in (that's buying the entire taxi out, every seat), but don't be surprised when the drivers start at 300.
Once in Zaouiate Oued Ifrane you can walk anywhere you want to go. The village is small and travel by foot is really the only way around.
Once in Zaouiate Oued Ifrane, getting out is easy, you just wait at the entrance to the village for someone who is going out and you can catch a ride out that way.