Ourika Valley, The High Atlas at the gates of Marrakesh
At about thirty kilometers south of Marrakesh, the verdant Ourika valley begins gradually at the first foothills of the High Atlas.
Beyond the Haouz plain, this pleasant climate begins in the village of Tnine-Ourika, without any particular charm but surrounded by pretty attractive orchards from February to April during the flowering of almond and cherry trees.
Do not miss the visits to the’ Safranière de l’ Ourika’ or to the’ Nectarôme’ organic aromatic garden of the Ourika located on the road to Aït Ourir at the exit of the village.
The route climbs in the Atlas Mountains for nearly 35 km, nature is abundant in spring on bright red soil, the air is cooler as you gain altitude through a succession of panoramic viewpoints. Below the river Ourika runs a path through orchards and fields.
The road finally arrives at Setti Fatma, the last douar accessible by the tarmac road at 1500 m of altitude. This small village is the starting point for many walks in the valley.
Walks in the Ourika Valley
The most frequented is the one that leads to the seven waterfalls. 30 minutes walk by a slippery path when a rainy day comes, and a riverbed that is difficult to access when crowded.
The arrival leads to the main waterfall which forms a small pond at its feet. There, when it’s hot, some people like to’ shower’ under the continuous flow of the waterfall.
Further up, a walk opens towards the woods in 2h30 of walk, offering a pleasant view on the douars of the valley.
Very frequented on weekends and public holidays, when the overwhelming heat of Marrakesh reaches its zenith, an incursion into the valley allows to enjoy a milder climate, while quenching the thirst of a cold drink on one of the many terraces of the cafés restaurants along the river.
During this period taxis are rare from 6pm, it is necessary to plan its return accordingly for those who will have come with this means of transport…