The Three Valleys
We leave Marrakech at 9.00am and travel by private vehicle or minivan for a short distance to the beautiful Ourika Valley, in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.
The valley spans around 30km.Flowing through it is the Ourika River,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 adobe 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.
We then continue to the very end of the road to the charming village of SettiFatma, set at an altitude of about 1500 meters.
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 rugs on sale, all made in villages in the Ourika valley.
Stop for traditional Berber lunch in a restaurant by the river.
After lunch, we leave Ourika Valley to Moulay Brahim, or TayrLejbel (“Bird of the Mountain” in Berber), named after a well-known Moroccan Soufi saint and healer. Situated in the foothills, the town is a holy place anda destination for pilgrims, dominated by itshigh minaret, and offering stunning views across theKik Plateau to the very heart of the Atlas Mountains.
We then continue through the Asni Valley and across the Kik Plateau, admiring the views along the way.
On our return journey we stop for a break besidethe beautiful, seven mile long, Lake Lalla Takerkoust and the imposing dam that holds it.
We will stop several times for photos opportunities of the glorious scenery before arriving back at Marrakech and your hotel in the late afternoon.