Morocco

Ifrane

Swiss-inspired chalets and trout tagine in Morocco’s mountains

Writer

Mandy Sinclair

Photographer

Omar Chennafi & Al Akhawayn University

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It’s evocative of an idyllic snow globe scene, with its Swiss-inspired architecture, snowy limestone plateaus, pristine lakes and lush cedar forests. A remote ski resort in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco, Ifrane, named after the Tamazight word for ‘caves’, is seemingly detached from the rest of Morocco, let alone the world. Largely untouched by the modern-day woes of civilisation, the once favoured holiday destination of King Hassan II was even voted the second cleanest city in the world by MBC Times.

Formerly known as Zaouiat Sidi Abdesalam, Ifrane was originally a religious settlement, developed by the sharif of Sîdî ‘Abd al-Salâm in the 16th century who relocated his community in the Tizguit Valley about seven kilometres from the current town centre. Though the founder was of Arab  descent, the early community attracted Berber populations, which led to Tamazight becoming the most frequently spoken language in Ifrane.

 

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Swiss-inspired chalets and trout tagine in Morocco’s mountains
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