As foreign tourists head to the medinas for a taste of the ‘real’ Morocco, Moroccan tourists find more favour with places such as Ifrane. Tidy, ordered and modern, it feels more like Switzerland relocated to the Middle Atlas than North Africa. Its clean air, scrubbed streets and leafy outlook make it popular with tour groups.The French built Ifrane in the 1930s, deliberately trying to re-create an alpine-style resort. It has neat red-roofed houses, blooming flower beds and lake-studded parks. It is a popular summer day trip for picnickers; in the winter, the affluent flock here to ski, and the hoi polloi come for the pure fun of throwing snowballs.The main road from Meknès is called Blvd Mohammed V and it runs through Ifrane from west to east. Most of the cafes and hotels are clustered in the centre along Rue de la Cascade and Ave de la Poste, close to the stone lion statue.Perched at over 5,413 feet, Ifrane shows off Morocco's heights, showcasing the Atlas Mountains and their glorious peaks. It often surprises visitors with the quality and quantity of Moroccan experiences on offer. Enjoy the still lakes and raging waterfalls that empty their chilly waters into the valleys, which are surrounded by the world's biggest cedar forest. These trees form solemn silhouettes against the slopes of the Middle Atlas Mountains they blanket with a green mantle.The pure air in Ifrane depends on a delicate balance. To preserve it, the city is enclosed in a natural park. You will love meandering through these superb settings. The many hiking trails are among the most beautiful in the country. A rich variety of wildlife will keep you company on your treks. Around the bend on a trail, a macaque may entertain you with his antics, while a proud, fearful Atlas deer watches you from a safer distance.Ifrane is also full of history. The city itself is a spectacle that you can tour in a small train. Hop aboard and move through some of the cleanest streets in the world to discover the region's traditional handiwork: carpet weavers at their looms, basket makers weaving rattan and pottery shops displaying terra cotta souvenirs.


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