Imouzzer Ida Ou Tanane is a small village 60km northeast of Agadir. It is a favourite daytrip for locals who come to visit the cascades.
Imouzzer is a small berber town, that was totally isolated until the 1930's. It is known for the spectacular Cascades or waterfalls.
Whilst only 60kms north of Agadir, the terrain and landscape is not for the fainthearted as you travel long steep mountainous roads to reach the town, but the journey is worth it for the tranquility and breath taking views as far as the eye can see.
Travelling through Paradise Valley, an oasis at the foot of the mountains, you will notice the lush vegetation of palm groves and argan trees, famous for its oil and only grown in this region of Morocco.
The town centre is some 3kms from the Cascades, let your taxi driver know in advance that you want to go to the Cascades, otherwise you will get dropped off in the town.
Imouzzer is a charming peaceful haven and a great escape from the city.
The location is great for those who enjoy hiking, there are some wonderful routes along the Atlas mountains and guides will help you and can even arrange for you to go by donkey!
Honey, almonds, traditional Berber jewellery and of course argan oil are all produced in this region and are excellent buys.
Aourir is about 20 minutes north of Agadir. From here get a grand taxi to Imouzzer the fare is 30 dhs. The taxi is shared with six other passengers, you can buy extra seats if you don't want to hang around, in fact other passengers will encourage you to buy more seats, as the driver won't leave until he has six and the journey can be cramped.
The journey time is just over an hour. There is usually at least one taxi each hour during the morning, but bear in mind they don't go unless there is demand.
It is possible to get to Imouzzer from the centre of Agadir. Head to Batoir, this is where all the grand taxi's start their journeys. A shared grand taxi is 50 Dhs, one way. In theory it should cost you 300 Dhs for a private taxi one way, but some tourists pay as much as 600 Dhs.
If you are coming from Taghazout or Tamraght there is a direct shuttle for 50 dirham run by Souk to Surf. This will collect you from the centre of either town and drop you right at the start of the hike - the total travel time is about 50 mins.
On arrival at the Cascades, guides will offer their services to show you to the waterfalls. It can be a good idea to have one as no-one else will hassle you as you wonder around the falls. Agree a price before hand.
There are numerous stalls selling handicrafts and traditional berber jewellery and you can get some unique items at very good prices, but you must be prepared to haggle. As a guideline think how much you are prepared to pay for the item and go lower, until to get your price.
Wooden boxes, chess sets are handcrafted locally and make great souvenirs.
The region is famous for argan oil, there are two types one for cosmetic use and the other for cooking. The latter being darker and nuttier as the kernels are roasted. The process to extract the oil is labour intense, this is an important industry which is totally dominated by women. Women cooperatives control much of its production.
Walking down the road for about half an hour the river turns into a second set of cascades and pools where you can swim, so do bring your swimwear and a towel. Young as well as old locals come here to jump from the top of the rocks, into the pool and impress tourists. If you take photos be prepared to give tips.
At the beginning of May the honey festival takes place. The lavender and thyme creates a delightful and unique flavour.
Argan oil is produced in this region and some of the best quality can be purchased here. The darker coloured, it is for dressing salads or adding at the end of cooking a tagine. Good oil will usually be sold in glass bottles and will have a slightly nutty, popcorn type smell. This is the genuine stuff and not some fake. It is expensive due to the nature of extraction and the fact that the argan tree is unique to this region of Morocco.
The region is famous for its almond-trees and as such almond products such as Amalou a local sweet dish often served at breakfast with bread. It is a thick dark paste of almonds, argan oil and honey.
Honey is excellent and very unique to the region due to lavender and thyme.
Handcrafts such as boxes, carvings as well as traditional Berber jewellery.
The are two cafes at the Cascades. One at the car-parking area, where you will get dropped off and the other at the base of the Cascades. This place has a great terrace, with fantastic views. Chicken tagine for two costs 100 Dhs.
The hotel (see below) also runs a restaurant.
There are more eateries at the crossroads up in the town centre, but bear in mind this is up the mountain, about 3kms away. Mini-buses and grand taxi's take visitors back to the town centre, before returning to Aurior / Agadir.
There are a selection of cheap auberges in Paradise Valley and also in Aourir.
Home stays can be arranged by speaking to the guide below.
An English speaking guide who can arrange overnight home-stays with a berber family in clean simple accommodation for 200 Dhs per person including dinner. Tel: 067424137
Grand Taxi's and old converted vans, used as mini-buses will take you back to the coast, but don't leave it too late, as they don't run in the evening and you could get stuck in Imouzzer overnight. Get back to Aourir which is handy to go to Taghazout, Tamri or Agadir.