The road from Marrakech to Orika Valley’s Setti Fatma is long, straight and stunning. What starts as a long snowcapped penciled horizon above the steering wheel slowly begins to engulf the whole front and side windscreens as you approach the colossal High Atlas Mountains.
A small village that is not too far from your Marrakech riad and not too touristy Setti Fatma has beautiful cafes alongside bags of character, charm and relaxation plus is the door to 7 mesmerizing waterfalls. Aside from these joyous cascades, the routes up to the waterfalls are littered with small but wonderfully bohemian cafes, built intricately into the mountainous banks of the many streams coming down from the mountains. Intriguing looking artisans of varying craft are spaced randomly along the paths, many using very basic tools to make their trade.
During the summer, these cafes are a hive of local Marrakechi people escaping the medina for some pacifying tranquility whilst engulfed in these imposing yet very inviting mountains. Visiting these café’s is a blissful experience and a great way to spend a relaxing sunny afternoon alongside the wild monkeys and chilled ambient staff while the more energetic group members clamber the rocky paths up to the water source.
For an excursion from Riad Cinnamon, Riad Papillon, or Dar Habiba the Riad staff will be able to arrange a transport at very reasonable prices. (around 800 dirhams for two people to have exclusive use of an air-conditioned car with driver).
Hiring a guide for around 30 dirhams per hour to take you up to the waterfalls is a very good way to discover, in-depth, this fantasia. The shortest waterfall is reachable within an hour and a half, the longest is a whole day trip.
For a short day trip from marrakech, Sitti Fatima’s cafes make for a great visit from this grand historical city and a year round must see.