Moroccan cities: Beni Mellal

In the series of Moroccan cities today we focus the spotlight on Beni Mellal.

Beni Mellal is a town in the Interior of Morocco, it is the capital of the region of Beni Mellal-Khenifra and is located between the Middle Atlas mountains and Atlas mountains. Beni-Mellal is one of the fastest growing cities in Morocco, has rich agricultural land and kilometers of olive groves and pomegranate trees. Furthermore, the city is known for the walks out there and waterfalls in the area. The city counted 192,676 inhabitants in 2014.

The city of Beni Mellal was first called, since in 1688 Ismali Moulay Ismail, the second ruler of the Moroccan Alaouite dynasty, the forts of Tadla built. The ruler also built the famous Kasbah Ras el Ain in this area, which overlooks the entire city. The kasbah is made of stone and is close to the source, the source of Ain Ain Asserdoun Asserdoun means source of the mule or the eye of the Mule. The Kasbah was built to protect the area. It was the meeting between the two cities Tadla and Beni Mellal Soumaa, which formed the current name.

Kasbah Bel-Kush
This Kasbah, built in 1687 by the Sultan Moulay Ismail, is one of the oldest intact remains in Beni Mellal. The Kasbah is unfortunately not in a very good condition. The Kasbah is still inhabited mainly by low-income families. A Kasbah was historically not only used as a place of Defense (they were usually long, guards could use them over long distances to look), but also as a residence for a local chief. In addition, it could build a Kasbah in the past mean that the family was well and had enough resources to build one, so it was also a status symbol.

The nearby Kasbah Ras al Ain Ain Asserdoun and the source are in much better condition and well worth a visit if you like culture and history. The Kasbah is located within walking distance of the source of Ain Asserdoun where you also can take a look. Here you can enjoy panoramic views of Beni Mellal, as well as on the Orange and olive groves on the lower slopes of the Djebel Tassemit.

In contrast to the big markets in well-known tourist cities, the market of Beni Mellal still largely focused on the inhabitants of Morocco. The city is an agricultural area and this is well reflected in the offer on the souk. Inhabitants from the mountains and from the Plains meet here to sell their goods. Oranges, olives, figs and other foods are fresh and easily available. There is also textiles such as cotton and wool for sale in both raw form if woven into blankets, carpets and clothing. Walking about the market and learn the Moroccan customs and products better.

Kasbah Tadla is a town in the province of Beni Mellal, it is 33 km from Beni Mellal. Today, there are still some of the old defensive walls that once were built around the city. One of the main attractions of Kasbah Tadla Kasbah, or is the high fort, in the city. The Kasbah is reddish in color and dominates the landscape of the city Kasba Tadla. There is a market at the Kasbah Tadla with a variety of different stalls and products. Local residents do most of their shopping on Monday, so be prepared for larger crowds that day.

The Bine-el Ouidane River is a river that was dammed to create a reservoir and more that 28 km south of Beni Mellal. The Lake covers a large area, creating a beautiful blue spot between the mountains. The dam itself was a very technical project, it stands at 1,330 meters altitude and has a height of 85 metres long, the Lake has fish and is a good destination for sports fishermen. If you like fishing and want to enjoy the breathtaking view you have from the mountains on the Lake is well worth a visit. The ride to it does happen through high mountains, keep this in mind if you have fear of heights.

In the summer there are plenty of camping facilities in Beni Mellal or near the falls. Please keep in mind that it is in the summer is a busy time, but if you are there for July, you may have the whole camping area for yourself. There are possibilities to rent a camper or tent or take a tent. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings from the campsite.

The Ouzoud waterfalls are one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Morocco. They are found in Ouzoud, near Beni Mellal. The falls are approximately 110 meters high and flows from this spectacular height down the deep gorge of Oued el-Abid in. It is an experience in itself to be so close to this particular falls, don't forget your camera.

In Ouzoud are different dining options and campsites. The best time to visit the falls is in the spring as the water volume is still large by the meltwater from the mountains. The falls are also known with their French name Cascades d'Ouzoud.

The Tassemit or mountain Jbel Tassemit is located in the High Atlas, not far from Beni Mellal. The mountain has an altitude of 2,205 m, if you like mountain climbing holds then it is definitely worth a visit.

Beautiful walks in the area, beginning with Bou Guemez. You can find special walks and mountain climbing. There are guides to rent which the routes know well and be able to tell more about the area. Spend the night in the surrounding area is also possible, there are many small hotels spread across the region.

Because Beni Mellal far inland and shielded by the Atlas mountains, the city has a continental climate, it is very warm or even hot in summer and cold in winter. If you are looking for a holiday in the Sun than the summer months are ideal, you can't well against the heat and would you prefer an active vacation than the spring and autumn months here are best suited for.

Beni Mellal, Beni Mellal has an Airport. It also has a bus network and taxis. There are also plenty of opportunities to rent a car.

Morocco has so much beauty and features beautiful spots, more on this next week in the next city!

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