Crossroads to the heights of the Atlas

Crossroads to the heights of the Atlas

 

El Hajeb is located 30km south of Meknes and 60 km south west of Fes. These are the biggest agglomerations closest to the city which has about 35,000 inhabitants according to the census of 2014. A crossroads to reach the High Atlas or to dive down into the desert .

El Hajeb is a junction of passage, because its tourism is little developed in spite of sites of a rare beauty like the cliffs, the kasbah and the sources, which are very numerous in the region. The city is divided into two distinct parts, El Hajeb “high” where we find Al cantina neighbourhood, and El Hajeb “low”. Boulevard Hassan II, the big market on Mondays, the walls are to discover in the center of the city.

Main Must – see

The Cliffs

The Cliffs

The cliffs of El Hajeb divide the city to two disctinct parts. The districts situated to the southeast on the plateau (to the south-east) and those situated on the lower part (towards Fes or Meknes) constitute the big part of the city, and from these cliffs the landscape on the plain of Saiss is just astonishing . The particularity of these cliffs lies in the caves, one of which is having a shape similat to the mouth of a lion, and are clearly visible from the road,  and the ancient caves built at the foot of the cliffs.

Springs

Many springs of drinking water abound in El Hajeb. It is what makes its reputation because of their attractiveness, and deserve to be visited during an excursion. Springs are even available in the city center, namely the source of Ain Khadem, in the middle of a large  garden, or the sources of Ain Boteghzaz,  and Ain El-Madani.

Not far from the heart of the city,  there are other sources such as the Boudouba spring, which come out amid rocks and lush vegetation, the Ain Dhiba, Ain Aghbal, Ain Lhad, Ain Salama springs Beauty with a leisure park and gardens,  attract many visitors. The source Ait Ikkou, located in the municipality of holding the same name, is a therapeutic mineral source, while the source Ain Bittit is natural.

The Kasbah

The Kasbah

Surrounded by ramparts, the Kasbah of El Hajeb is located between the Cantina and Chiba districts. Reserved during the protectorate time to the soldiers, the old houses are always occupied, but are poorly maintained and under equipped, in spite of a  the relative calm and  charm of the district. The kasbah remains one of the most frequented areas because of the numerous shops and stalls operating there . There is also the Kasbah of Agourai and the Ismaelian ramparts, built by King Moulay Ismail, as well as the mausoleum Souk El Gour.

The lake under the source Ain Dhiba

The lake under the source Ain Dhiba

A  very beautiful artificial lake located at the exit of the city, and was restored in 2007. One can discover it from the Cantina district. This lake is fed by  Ain Dhiba spring,  and is equipped with a water jet, flower bed, a garden with benches. The locals and visitors often come to relax in this place where peace and serenity are available permanently.

La fauna

La fauna

• Fauna in equilibrium: Jackal, Hedgehog.

• Protected fauna: spiced, Mongoose, wild cat.

• Reptiles: snake, chameleon, turtle and lizard.

• Large game: Boar in balance.

• Small mammals: Hare, rabbit.

• Birds: Perdreau, Snipe, Quail, Dove, Thrush, Duck.

• Raptors: Peregrine Falcon and Kestrel Grand Duke, Milan.

• Other birds: Chattering magpie, Crow, Owl, Skylark

Population

The Amazigh constitute the majority of the population of El Hajeb. It is not easy to quantify exactly the proportion of Berbers on the whole population,  since not all Berbers are necessarily Berber-speaking – some of them are exclusively Arabic-speakers but we can proceed , to give a full comprehensive idea, that more than one inhabitant out of two is of Berber origin and culture.

 Climate

Three micro-climates characterize the province of El Hajeb. It is semi-arid in the circle of Ain Taoujdate, Mediterranean semi-arid in cold winter and hot in the area of Agourai, and dry subhumid in the district of El Hajeb. This changing climate is of particular importance,  as a major factor in  local agricultural development.

Crafts

Following are the varieties of traditional weaving carried out at the provincial level:

• The valley carpet. • Al hanbal. • Al handira. • The tent. • Tarhalite. • Boucharwite. • Al hasira.

Main local product

Olive oil with distinctions and discernment at the international level.
Honey with different essences.
Cereal drift.
Pastoral species including ANIS.

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