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As foreign tourists head to the medinas for a taste of the "real" Morocco, Moroccan tourists find more favor 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 Meknes is called Blvd Mohammed V and it runs through Ifrane from west to east. Most of the cafes and hotels are clustered in the center along Rue de la Cascade and Ave de la Poste, close to the stone lion statue.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ifrane.