Gite Atlas Mazik is a truly family run business, managed by Hussein a young man who is very talented, genuine and intent on ensuring that your experience at his place is one that will stay with you for the rest of your days. Set on the high cliffs overlooking Imlil, in Mazik or Mzik, Gite Atlas Mazik graces its guests with spectacular views of the High Atlas mountains of Morocco. Our experience from the moment we arrived was one of warmth and trust. Hussein and his father were the first to greet us and assisted us in getting all our luggage up the road to their place at their expense by taxi and then their beautiful mule, Monika.
On arrival we were welcomed formally by Hussein, who speaks fluent and excellent, English, French, Spanish, Arabic and I am sure other languages too. We were given a choice of the rooms and everything was clean, and humble in its decoration. This only added to the true village experience. The bathrooms were common and this was one of the small downsides of the accommodation, as the plumbing is village style and sometimes the odour could be a little overwhelming. Also, our toilet was broken so we had to flush with a bucket and the shower was a little crude, but the water was most definitely hot, which was great after a day of hiking.
Hussein can offer you trekking into the mountains of which nearby is Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. If you are considering doing this, it is definitely worth consulting with Hussein as I am certain that he could provide the best solution for you. They will also offer you other guided treks or as we are the do it yourself types, they were happy to freely provide us with information and a small map to show us how to hike around the surrounding mountains.
A traditional dinner should not be missed here. This is additional to the cost, but they can accommodate any style of meal, including vegetarian meals. Be forewarned however, the portions are more than generous and they will expect you to eat it all, so that nothing is wasted. We had a Tagine and Cous Cous one night while we were there, which was also served with a hearty vegetable soup to start with and honey sweet local melon to finish with. It was however way too much for the six of us. The price was more than reasonable and Houssein was willing to negotiate on price. It was more than reasonable compared to any of the prices in the village.
Breakfasts in the morning were hearty and served with the own home made family bread. This was one of the best breads that we tasted in Morocco and it was served with Jam, and fresh Mint Tea. They also offered our children traditional Moroccan omelettes, which they loved.
Overall our experience was really positive and we enjoyed staying at Gite Atlas Mazik. It was wonderful to connect with and meet Hussein and his family, who are real human beings and not just robots out to make money from the location of their house.
If you are considering a traditional Berber experience in the mountains outside of Imlil, Gite Atlas Mazik is the place to stay. Bear in mind that it is a village and you are in a developing world country. Things like the internet while available, are very very slow. But with that said, in my mind there was no better place to stay if you really want to experience the Berber family culture of Morocco and the beautiful surrounding mountain locations.
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