Magical Ourika Valley, Morocco (day trip)
We leave Marrakech at 9.00am and travel by private vehicle or minivan for a short distance to the beautiful Magical Ourika Valley, in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains.The valley spans around 30km.Flowing through it is the Ourikariver,whose levels vary with the seasons, but which never runs dry, and is a popular destination forwhitewater rafting in summertime.Our route runs alongside the river, passing fields and shady orchards and picturesque Berber villages, whose pisé houses made from the local red soil, blend in so perfectly with their surroundings that one could almost believe they were a natural feature of the landscape.
Our first stop is at OurikaTnine (“Monday” in Berber) Souk to visit the weekly market, which is the largest in the valley.
We then continue to the very end of the road to the charming village of Setti Fatma, set at an altitude of about 1500 metres, where we have a traditional Berber lunch in a restaurant by the river.
After lunch, for the serious hikers amongst us, there is the opportunity of a walkto the famous seven waterfalls. This shouldn’t be embarked upon lightly, or without decent walking shoes, as it is a long trek of about two hours, over difficult and slippery terrain. However, for those brave enough, the reward is great when you finally arrive in a truly magical place where the water tumbles down the mountainside in seven cascades, some ending in beautiful clear pools where you can swim.
Alternatively, you may prefer to stay in Setti Fatma to relax with a mint tea, or to shop for souvenirs amongst the many tempting local handicrafts and beautiful hand-woven rugson sale, all made in villages in the Ourika valley.
We then drive back to Marrakech, arriving late afternoon.