There are a number of Eco lodges (Atlas Mountain Hotels) in Morocco which offer travelers the opportunity to escape the urban environment and enjoy the beauty of its countryside and the rural communities. Many are also award winning and some have received the green key of Morocco.
The Kasbah Toubkal at Imilil 60 km from Marrakech is one of the most famous. A converted Kasbah, it sits on a hill and is a ten minute walk from the village. Kasbah Toubkal surrounded by the mountains and a blissful Mountain Hotel worth more then a one night stay. It serves as a lodge for those planning to climb Mount Toubkal but it is also a brilliant getaway. Sitting on the terrace looking out at the surrounding countryside while at Kasbah Toubkal is a stunning experience.
There is also a mountain lodge, gitabpe, run by Kasbah Toubkal for those who want to stay further up in the mountains. The Kasbah or gitape is run by locals from the village and a proportion of the money earned goes to the village to support education and health services. The Kasbah is very much part of the local life and provides much needed employment. The Kasbah is run on sustainable lines and isa centre for many many activities such as biking as well as mountainerring and trekking. It recently sponsored a rubbish collection day clearing the approaches of Mount Toubkal from accumulated rubbish that had built up over the years.
The Atlas Kasbah near Agadir in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas mountains is an Eco lodge that also offers a taste of Berber life and is surrounded by varied and beautiful Moroccan landscapes .It is high on a hill with a panoramic view of the countryside. The 11-bedroom lodge uses solar power for 80% of its energy, has solar-heated showers, a chlorine-free pool and a herb and vegetable garden. As well as views of the Atlas mountains there is the opportunity to meet the local Berber communities in the surrounding countryside. Members of the local community work at the lodge and cook traditional tagines and other dishes.
The village of Tanefeest and the Atlas Kasbah lie in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region in the Unesco argan tree biosphere reserve and it is possible to visit an Argan oil factory and watch the production process. Further afield there are a number of day trips to the ancient town of Taroudant and the beaches along the coast from Agadir.
In Morocco ‘s South there is Bab el Oued. Located in the region of Tamnougalt, deep in the heart of Draa Valley, this guest house is an oasis of calm. Bab el Oued is part of the Draa Palm Groove where many species of flowers and fruit perfume the air day & night. The back drop is the Mountains of Jebel Kissan. There are a mix of bungalows, suites and rooms, all made using with traditional Berber decor. Bab el Oued has an organic orchard and a garden of aromatic and medicinal plants. Activites such as hiking, mule treks and mountain biking are on offer. The lodge is also part of a reserve of a biosphere that has been classified by UNESCO.
The Eco Lodge dar Itrane at Douar Imelghas two hours drive from Azilal and four hours from Marrakech in the heart of the of the beautiful Ait Bougmez valley in the High Atlas mountains. Dar Itrane is a 17-room-cultural ecolodge dedicated to the promotion and protection of the Berber Culture in the High Atlas of Morocco at an altitude of 1850m/6000 ft, close to the MGoun Mountains Range.The lodge is traditionally built and blends with the local houses of the Bougmez valleyand has a library dedicated to Berber culture. It is an environment friendly building with waste management and water consumption management. At an altitude of 1,800m (6,000 feet), Dar Itrane and the Bougmez Valley enjoy a fine climate, allowing journeys almost all year round. There is a traditional Hammam and comfortable living rooms, patios, and roof terraces offering a excellent views over the valley.
Further north, in the region of Skoura, travelers will find a host of charming socially responsbile guest houses and eco lodges.
In the heart of the palmeraie of Skoura, is one of Morocco’s most respected eco lodges called Sawadi. The Sawadi eco lodge is located on a farm with an organic garden in full use for meals. The Kasbah house is the perfect place to stay in Skoura for a respite. Sawadi works with Albisher association and is committed to saving the yellow bee of the Sahara, as well as other initiatives to promote the environmentally friendly development and survival of the palmeraie. Sawadi has a library with a large choice of books which can lead to interesting discussions with your hosts on a variety of subjects : plants, alternative medicine, sustainable development, ecological farming and a wealth of novels from around the world. Sawadi is the also the only establishment in Skoura to receive the “green key” a sign of our commitment to tourism and sustainable development.
Both Les Jardins Des Skoura and L’MaLodge offer settings in the stunning palm grove. One is an unassuming converted farmhouse nestled in the Skoura palmeraie, not far from the High Atlas Mountains. The other is a more modern lodge, styltically merging African and Berber design. Both are blissfully off the beaten track and offer stylish accommodation. Set in huge gardens crammed with sunflowers, vines, and apricot, olive, and pomegranate trees – they offer a taste of the real Morocco!
Close by is Kasbah Timidarte. This is a pilot project for rural tourism located 15km from Agdz in the Draa Valley. The Kasbah has been restored with respect to local tradition to be transformed into a guesthouse.
The Ksar El Khorbat, Tinejad is near the Todra Gorges and is guest house with a museum, and a workshop for craft women. it is a model of ecotourism in Morocco and is a fully restored adobe kasbah.
Below is a list of Moroccan Eco Lodges that Participate in Socially Responsible tourism efforts. They have their own organic garden or obtain food from a local souk, have private Moroccan chefs on the premises, recycle and are eco-friendly.
We hope you patronize Moroco’s Mountain Hotels, Guest Houses and Eco Lodges:
Kabah Toubkal, Toubkal National Park
Bab el Oued, Agdz
Dar Qumar, Agdz
Les Jardins Des Skoura, Skoura
Kasbah Timidarte, Skoura
For More Information on Morocco’s Mountain Hotels and Ecolodges