Ifrane was conceived as a “hill station” or colonial type of settlement.
It is a resort town set high up in the mountains so that Europeans can find relief from the summer heat of tropical colonies.
The agricultural plots were held as private property (mulk) but the grazing land was under collective tribal jurisdiction (j’maa).
The tribally organized populations of the Ifrane- Azrou area submitted to colonial rule after a period of resistance (1913–1917).
The caves which now lie under these houses are still used as mangers for animals and for storage.
By the mid-17th century Sîdî ‘Abd al-Salâm’s zâwiyah was well enough established to receive an extensive iqtâ’, or land grant, from the ‘Alâwî sultan Mûlây Rashîd b. The iqtâ’ extended from upstream of present Ifrane down the Tizguit valley all the way to El Hajeb escarpment.
The plan called for chalet-type summer homes in the Alpine style, laid out among gardens and curving tree-lined streets.A royal palace was also built for Sultan Muhammad b. The town's first public buildings consisted of a post office and a church.Moreover, a penitentiary was built which served as a POW camp during World War II.In Tamazight, the regional Berber language, "ifran" means caves.The modern town of Ifrane was established by the French administration in 1928 during the protectorate era for their administration due to its Alpine climate.