Morocco Earthquake Relief & Recovery

Amizmiz moroccoUnlike some well-trod villages on the backpacker circuit, Amizmiz (AMZ-meez) has retained its character thanks to its relative obscurity and resistance to modernization. This settlement of about 10,000 people in the foothills of the High Atlas does not boast world-famous landmarks. Instead, the focus is on its residents’ everyday life, the same as it has been for centuries. Travelers wanting to immerse themselves in the real life of a Moroccan town, unspoiled by mass tourism and nestled in beautiful surroundings, will find the charm in Amizmiz.

Getting There

Though it is not a well-known destination, Amizmiz is only about 59 km southwest of the city of Marrakech. As it lies in the foothills of the High Atlas, traveling to Amizmiz from this direction does not require traversing high mountain roads. In fact, taxis in Marrakech can make the journey in about an hour, as can private cars. Buses, leaving regularly, rarely take more than an hour and a half.


For generations, people from surrounding rural areas have been converging on Amizmiz for a weekly souk every Tuesday. The town lies at a crossroads between Marrakech and the various small Berber villages among the High Atlas range. At this souk, vendors from the big city provide goods otherwise unavailable to those living in remote areas. In return, Berber villagers ply fruits, vegetables and handcrafted goods. The rugs and pottery you can find here were likely created by the people selling them, so this bazaar is a good bet for avoiding mass-produced tourist trinkets.


Because of its location, Amizmiz serves as a major jumping-off point for many guided excursions into the mountains. The town has a majority Berber population, and smaller Berber villages, each keeping traditional ways of life, dot the area. Experienced trekkers can even reach some small Berber settlements on foot from town.

Outdoor Activities

Amizmiz is in a truly beautiful setting, with strawberry groves, lush pine forests and snowcapped mountains rising in the distance. Hiking and horseback riding are popular activities here. Novice and experienced travelers alike can find routes and day trips appropriate to their skill levels. Without the traffic and pollution of some other large settlements, Amizmiz features unbroken landscapes of plains, rolling hills and mountains perfect for photography fiends.

Written by Brinda Gupta.

Photo by dave massie.