We’re going to pick you up from your accommodation (Hotel or Riad) then leave behind the hustle and bustle of Marrakech and escape to one of the most popular and most accessible valley amongst the High Atlas Mountains – Ourika Valley.
The trip to our target point 68km (42 miles) southeast of Marrakech, offers a pleasant tour of the lower foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Beyond the valley of Tnine-de-Ourika, the valley through which flows the Ourika, becomes verdant. The largest souk in the valley on Mondays.
After a short while, you will break at an authentic Berber house for a delicious and refreshing mint tea, and also to gain a better understanding of the local culture of the Berbers including their traditional family structure and their unique way of life. Afterwards we carry on through many Berber bourgades and cultivated terraces unto the bourgade Timziline.
All along the road that follows the course of the wadi, small houses, cafés, grocery shops and small hotels cling to the hillside. Gardens and plots of cultivated land shaded by many fruit trees are laid out along the valley bottom. The Ourika river is occasionally subject to sudden and devastating flooding, such as in august 1995, when many houses were swept away.
Beyond Arhbalou, at an altitude of 1500m (4923ft) the valley narrows and gently rises. The road comes to an end at Setti Fatma, a good starting point for hikes. Seven waterfalls flow down the rocky scree above the village. The 1st of these are is easy to reach walking up the course of the wadi. The walk up to the others is over more uneven ground, and some climbing is involved, so that you will need strong walking boots. From that vantage point there is a superb view over Setti Fatma.
The village may also be used as the starting point for longer hikes to Jbel Toubkal and Yagour Plateau, whose peak is well known for the hundreds of rock engravings that can be seen here.
The tombs of Setti Fatma is the focus of a Moussem that takes place in the village in mid-august. This religious pilgrimage is also an occasion when Berbers from a wide area can gather together. We have lunch there with a local family before driving back to your accommodation in Marrakech.
Socoma 1, N° 17 & 18, Flat 3, 1st Floor, Marrakech – Morocco