Amizmiz is a Moroccan village 60 km from Marrakech, in the middle of olive groves in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains, a setting of mountains and Mediterranean vegetation. Do not miss it! You get there by a car on the Amizmiz road. It's actually comprises several villages where the vast majority of people are involved in pottery. It's really interesting to go to the workshops and see how the pots are dried outdoors (in front of the workshops). From the center of town it's a bit difficult to walk to the workshops, as they are in the ancient Kasbah across the river (which has no bridge). You can go by car which is much faster and more convenient, especially if you want to buy pottery. On Tuesday a bazaar is held selling products and local crafts. I recommend eating at Maroc Lodge, a hotel run by some French people on the outskirts of town (no need to drive). The views and treatment really deserve my recommendation.
Tameslut is a Moroccan village that is located fifteen kilometers from the city of Marrakech in the High Atlas, a very impressive area. It lies on the road to Amizmiz only twenty minutes away. The road is fairly well maintained and no problems when the weather is fairly mild. The main business is the pottery trade - it has several workshops. Most of the products are sold in big cities, but also can buy here at much better price. There are also workshops of tapestries. The town is not a big deal, I recommend it only if you plan to buy crafts. Do not visit during when raining. It was founded by Sharif el-Abdallah ben Hossein Hassani, known as "the man of the 366 sciences". Two shrines founded this Sherif in town, but like all religious buildings its barred to tourists who are "infidels." There is a souk on Friday.
Ait Irghite is a small and idyllic mountain hamlet with several hundred inhabitants high up in the Atlas foothills near the city of Amizmiz. The village is wonderful and, although I visited in autumn, I can only imagine how lovely it must be in springtime. The village is made entirely of stone and mud-brick topped off with an inexplicably hot pink mosque. The hillsides have been terraced and are covered in apple groves, walnut trees, and gardens of tomatoes, squash, okra, oranges, potatoes, and more. They've even carved a kilometer's long irrigation stream along the mountain side which ends in the village in a series of small waterfalls and pools. Despite it's poverty, the place is simply beautiful.
To get there, really, you need to go with a guide. There are no hotels, so you'll be needing to sleep in someone's living room...so, again, best to go with a guide. I went with Berber Travel Adventures (http://berberadventures.com/) who I couldn't recommend more. They were helpful, friendly, obviously good friends with the locals, and spoke great English. You can hire a guide online, and then get to Ait Irghit via Amizmiz, which you can catch on a local bus from Marrakech for around 1 dollar. The trip takes an hour and you get off at the very last stop.
As we found out, these mountain Berber villages are the real face of Morocco, no necessarily the resorts of Casablanca or the souks of Marrakech. These people have lived here for thousands of years and preserved their way of life, cuisine, language, and artworks. It was really a pleasure to visit the people of Ait Irghite, taste their home-cooked tagines (work an article on their own!), experience their hospitality, and make their acquaintance.
If you're planning a trip to Morocco and are looking for an authentic experience, Ait Irghite and Berber Travel Adventures should be at the top of your list!
Amzi, like Ait Irghite, is a small mountain village in the Atlas foothills north of Amizmiz. Amzi, though, is much smaller (only 60 or so inhabitants) and much closer to Amizmiz than Ait Irghite, making it perfect for a daytrip. The walk up is pretty spectacular, with the fields of barely and wheat swaying in the wind and the clouds descending down among the mountain peaks.
You have to go with a guide who knows the locals, and I'd recommend Berber Travel Adventures (http://berberadventures.com/). They arranged a visit to a local family who cooked some absolutely delicious traditional clay-oven bread and fixed us a "Berber Omelet," a clay pot filled with spices, tomatoes, onions, and, of course, eggs from their own chickens. It was one of the best things I tried in all of Morocco! The guides that take you there are very friendly, funny, and speak great English. They also show you a side of Morocco you normally wouldn't see, and make sure that the small Berber mountain families receive their fair share of the money for the trip.
All in all, Amzi is a perfect place for a day-trip from Amizmiz (or even Marrakech really, the bus ride is only an hour long) and a great chance to learn about the Berber people, their culture, cuisine, and way of life. You won't regret it!