Ourika valley is the most accessible valley in the High Atlas from Marrakech, at only 45 minutes’ drive from the city. It is famous for the 7 waterfalls at Setti Fatma village and the ski station of Oukaimeden at its head, and is a lush valley with green terraced fields beside the river that contrast strongly with the rocky valley sides of the foothills of the mountains.
Situated at around 1,200-1,500 metres it offers a pretty escape from the summer heat of Marrakech and it’s the most suitable area for gentle hiking and trekking.
Tnine Ourika, named after the local souk (market) in the valley held every Monday, in the middle of the valley we visit a saffron farm and an organic herb farm (Le Jardin Bio-aromatic de l’Ourika), called the Nectarome. The lush valley and local village houses, built from bricks made from the local rich red soil, add the beauty to the area.
We leave Marrakech around 09:00 a.m. we drive toward the Atlas Mountains enjoying the beautiful landscapes and Berber authentic (16th and 17th century) villages. Our First stop is in a traditional Moroccan house, to see how people live and how (great) they cook. From the roof of the house you have a beautiful view on a 17th century village and on the valley. The lady (owner of the house) will make a tea ceremony to show us how to make mint tea and then they will serve us a kind of country breakfast (bread, butter, honey, olive oil and tea). After this we continue deeper in the valley, we stop for a 20 minutes kamel ride (not included in the price). After the camel ride we drive until the end of the road, we leave our vehicle and go trekking for around two hours to see some waterfalls (cascades). Then we come back to the van and drive half a way when we stop for lunch in a nice restaurant having beautiful view on the valley. Lunch is composed of a variety of Moroccan specialities. After lunch we drive back to Marrakech.