Most visitors to Morocco are unaware that Bhalil even exists and yet it is a very special place to visit. No one knows this better than Kamal Chaoui and his wife Beatrice who own and operate Dar Kamal Chaoui, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK-Ejlb87lk&feature=related). Kamal and Beatrice have made themselves quite at home in Bhalil, where they are close to the local people and situated amidst the breathtaking surrounding nature.
Bhalil is the beginning of the Middle Atlas mountains and many of the locals are Berber. Donkeys are the preferred mode of transportation in this tranquil town where many natural wonders await you. With a rich history and extraordinary natural features, Bhalil is located at the foot of the Jebel Kandar, and this magnificent peak offers visitors spectacular views of the town and the landscapes that embrace it. Lush, green valleys, a sparkling river and fertile land create awe inspiring views from this hilltop, while the streets of Bhalil are lined with artisans who produce traditional and exquisite crafts to admire and purchase. The entire town has an extremely laid-back atmosphere to it. Residents are easily recognized by their clothing. The younger women of Bhalil wear a Djebella, while older women wear ihafs or tarfs on their heads that cover their entire bodies. The men also display head wear referred to as Razzas.
One feature of Bhalil that stands out from other cities is the fact that there are still a few cave-houses that are in use. Guides will be able to take visitors on tours of these homes, which only differ from normal houses by their location. Cave homes are also divided into rooms, with the bedrooms generally being located on the second floor; but unlike conventional homes, cave houses are able to keep the scorching summer heat out, as well as the icy winter chill. Home owners take much pride in their cave homes by comfortably furnishing the interior. However, visitors will have to look closely to not to pass a cave home by, as they can be hidden from the outside. Visiting Bhalil can be a very rewarding experience, and travelers who enjoy exploring destinations that are off-the-beaten-path should not miss out on Bhalil.
Olives are one of Morocco’s many riches and in Bhali the ritual of the olive harvest has remained pretty much unchanged for centuries. Villagers, armed with long sticks to tap the olives out of the trees and donkeys to carry the load, set off before sunrise and work until sunset. For a delightful look at the process of producing olive oil in Bhalil, check out the following video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8LsfG4mnxI&feature=related