Amizmiz (أمزميز AMZ-meez) is a small town in Morocco approximately 55 kilometers south of Marrakech. It lies at the foot of the High Atlas mountain range. Its population of approximately 13,000 consists mainly of Berbers of Chleuh origin who speak the Tashelhiyt dialect. Its weekly souk every Tuesday is well-known in the area.
Geographically and economically, Amizmiz acts as a juncture point between the many small Berber villages in the surrounding area. The weekly souk is an important part of this economic role, as individual Berber farmers from the hills surrounding Amizmiz bring their produce and livestock to sell and, in return, purchase packaged food items like tea and sugar items brought in from Marrakech by local merchants.
Nearly everyone who goes to Amizmiz gets there via Marrakech by taxi. You may use local transports or a grand taxi (an old Mercedes Benz). From Menara Airport to Amizmiz, it will cost you between 200/250 dh (20 euros). Once you arrive at Amizmiz, you’ll be able to get everywhere by foot.
Without a doubt, if you can manage to get to Amizmiz on a Tuesday, you’ll have the chance to see the weekly market (aka Souk). Here you’ll see a wide variety of people selling their goods : Berbers from the mountain villages and local vendors as well. Nothing has a set price (except fresh food and produce), so be prepared to haggle over prices.
There are numerous small Berber villages that are worth visiting up in the Amizmiz hills. Ask Guide Latifa Asselouf for a tour. It’s magical. Most of these villages now have running water and electricity but you may still see small children and old men hauling huge plastic containers of water to their homes on donkeys. The people are incredibly hospitable and generous. Guide Latifa Asselouf offers day trips or more extended hikes into the mountains. You’ll be able to stay in Berber homes and experience Berber village life. You may also have a look at the work of the many local potters, stay with a Moroccan family, take cooking lessons, and explore the surrounding natural area.
The best time and place to do some shopping is at the weekly market (see above). There are a wide variety of handmade items for sale, many made by local Berbers in the villages surrounding Amizmiz. Food wise, ask Guide Latifa Asselouf to take you to the Souk underground Restaurant where you will have a fantastic meat or vegetable tajine. If you are more demanding (or if you are afraid for your health), another place in Amizmiz to have a lunch or a dinner is the guest house Maroc Lodge where you will have local recipes in a very nice environment.
For the thirsty traveler, the best thing is to stop by one of the many hanoots (small general stores) spread all around Amizmiz. They will sell bottled water and cold sodas for a few dirhams. You can also find quite a few cafes in the centre of the town near the taxis. You’ll be able to buy hot tea, water, or soda.
The best place to sleep in Amizmiz is the guest house called Maroc Lodge, an exceptional Atlas Mountain accommodation, an oasis in the heart of a sublime nature surrounded by ochre coloured mountains, strewn with a carpet of flowers and rare fragrant and essences, crossed by some white-waters. It is a little haven of peace and serenity that invites you to relax and rest.