Nestled away in the middle Atlas Mountains a 45 minute drive from Marrakech lies the enchanting Ourika Valley. When you think of skiing, Marrakech is not one of the countries that first comes to mind, however it does indeed take place in winter in the Atlas mountains, it is however during summer that the Ourika valley truly comes to life, this is due to a number of reasons. One of them being that the valley acts as a cool refuge from the heat of other parts of Marrakech during the hottest parts of the year. Another reason is that during the hotter parts of the year greater parts of the ice in the Atlas mountains begin to melt and the famed waterfalls of the Ourika valley spring to life and the great wonders of nature that they represent can be seen in all its glory. The seven waterfalls are one of the most famous places to visit in the whole of Morocco and certainly a very powerful reason to visit the Ourika valley and indeed Morocco in general. As the waterfalls originate from ice melt water high in the Atlas their waters are very cold, so any individual looking for a cooling dip on their ascent up the valley best be brave and ready for a serious temperature drop. It is however all part of the fun as the temperature outside of the water means that one dries very quickly and that the cold water serves to greatly refresh those who swim in it.
The first stop for the excursion was the village of Setti Fatma which is a picturesque little place along the banks of the River Ourika, there is even a restaurant where some of the tables are placed in the river at the more shallow points, this makes for a wonderfully atmospheric meal, even if it does leave your toes a little cold. It is advised to hire a guide to go up the route of the waterfalls as the route up the rocks can be slippery and difficult at times and it’s always helpful to have somehow to show you the way/ help you get there. The waterfalls themselves are amazing to behold and you can find a mixture of both Europeans and locals along the trails up to them and the patchwork of souvenir shops that are to be found on the ascent up to the waterfalls means that you get a real sense that the local community are really involved with the waterfalls and that your visit is most certainly helping them.
The view through the Ourika Valley itself is spectacular which is unsurprising considering the elevation of the valley, it does however allow for stunning views of the flatland surrounding the Atlas and an amazing view back down the valley itself. Overall the Ourika Valley is a great place to visit from Marrakech or any of the surrounding area. Our Riads offer this excursion to all customers at a reasonable price and with a professional guide so that you know you’ll get the most out of any visit to the wonderful Ourika Valley and its incredible waterfalls. So why not book a room to ensure that you too can enjoy the wonders of the Ourika Valley as well as the timeless city that is Marrakech itself.