Monday, 1 September 2014

Guest blog 8: Howard Chambers on Imlil in Morocco

To coincide with our Featured Country of the Month focus on Morocco, the latest guest blog post is a short piece about Imlil in Atlas Mountains, thanks to Howard Chambers of The Right Altitude.  I've not visited, but if the pictures are anything to go by, it looks like a beautiful option, particularly for trail runners.

Set at 1,820 metres, the village of Imlil sits below the towering Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in Morocco and in fact North Africa. Imlil, and its surrounding valleys, is a world apart from the bustle of the city, and a place of peace and seclusion.

The high Berber villages in this region are connected by centuries-old donkey tracks and are still the only way of accessing many of the most remote mountain villages. These paths and tracks offer an unparalleled running experience for the trail runner wanting to train at altitude.

The area offers all year round opportunities, though snow often lies low into the valleys in mid-winter, but summers are much cooler than temperatures than low lying Marrakech with an alleged 300 days of sunshine.

The area also offers a yearly Etape cycle ride and is regarded as one of the toughest in the calendar, with some 40k of ascent to the ski slopes close by.

Thanks to Howard for the information and beautiful photos.  Imlil is located approximately 60 km south Marrakesch, and can be reached by grand taxi through the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.  Budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet operate flights to Marrakesch from the UK.  Luxury accommodation is available in the Kasbah (pictured above).