Backpacker Magic in the African Mountains – Imlil, Morocco

Top Backpacking Destinations Ranking: 7.5/10

Morocco is a wonderful country often renowned for its busy cities and proximity to the Sahara but it also offers fantastic mountain scenery and these factors all combine to make it a fantastic place to go backpacking. Of all the mountain destinations Imlil is a great spot to use as a base to explore those peaks.

Imlil is about an hour’s drive south of Marrakech and can be easily reached by bus or in a grand taxi for less than 50 dirham (depending on your bargaining abilities that is!). It is nestled in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains and provides a great starting point for various treks around the area. It is a cosy little village with beautiful surrounding scenery but there’s little in the village itself to keep the backpacker entertained for more than a day. The real beauty is in its location from where you can hike up to the peak of Toubkal (given you visit at the right time of year) or take in a more leisurely walk around the twists and turns of the moutains and enjoy the scenery.

The hike to the peak of Toubkal is a two day job, the first to get to the refuge where you stay the night and the second for the real hard slog up to the top. It is by no means an easy hike but the rewards from the top are worth the pain. If you fancy something slightly less demanding then you can do treks of varying lengths around the foothills. These are a great way of enjoying the area and give you the opportunity of meeting the local Berber people who live in villages dotted around the mountains. Treks range from a day to 9 days depending on how active you’re feeling and you’ll certainly break a sweat!

Whichever you choose you’ll get the opportunity to sample some of the best scenery Morocco has to offer and undoubtedly have a fantastic time doing it. Inshallah!

Please share your own Moroccan experiences in the comments and discover other places to go backpacking in Africa here.