Valley of Ourika
The Ourika Valley is a beautiful green valley located 30 km from Marrakech leading to the High Atlas Mountains. Although close to the city, this protected valley is still home to a very popular and traditional way of life.
Ascending the Wadi Ourika, you arrive at the colourful village of Tnine of Ourika, the heart of the region where each Monday the inhabitants of neighbouring villages gather at the souk. The atmosphere is vibrant and convivial. The sounds of negotiations for the crop sales mingle with the cries of barkers and discussions on the latest local news, while the carts pulled by donkeys cause minor traffic jams in the streets.
Leaving Tnine of Ourika, you will see breath-taking mountainsides of orange earth and green vegetation. Berber villages, Douars, are located in the valley and some houses are perched on the hillside, alongside the sloping terraces so necessary to mountain agriculture. The valley does not lack water, but land is at a premium and agricultural areas must be carefully tended and maintained.
You can visit the lovely Timalizene garden, a garden that features many native species of the region. Here you will see beautiful and fragrant saffron flowers especially colourful in early November, when the flowers are harvested. You can continue on to the aromatic organic garden-, and explore the fragrant and medicinal plants as you learn about their curative and cosmetic properties.
Further on, the village of Arhbalou offers refreshment and relaxation for families and visitors. Many restaurants have been built in charming settings over the water to accommodate the urban clientele. Continue a little further, to Setti Fatma. You cannot go further by car, but you can take a hike along the mountain streams to the seven glorious waterfalls. And on other hikes, you can explore the nearby majesty of the mountains.
The Ourika Valley is a perfect destination for wonderful sight seeing and excursions that you will treasure for a life time.