On a Monday the first stop is in the town of Ourika, where people from around the valley come for the weekly souk. This market is like none in Marrakech, and gives a glimpse of how life is lived outside the big city. The drive expands this view of the Berber life in the mountains as you continue along and view the towns built up the valley walls. Stop along the way to visit a Berber home. Explore a herbalists garden and learn about the many plants grown in Morocco and their medicinal benefits. Cross over the river on one of the many foot bridges and explore some of the paths used by shepherds and others living in these hills. Further along there is even the opportunity for a short camel ride.
For the perfect day trip from Marrakech that offers a bit of everything, you can't beat the Ourika Valley. A short distance from Marrakech in the High Atlas mountains, take your time getting there, as this trip is as much about the journey as it is the destination.
Soon after it is time to stop for lunch where you can enjoy some traditional Moroccan food. After lunch your hike begins as you are guided off the road and begin to wind your way first across the valley floor, then along-side the rapids, perhaps seeing a barbary ape as it skips across the tree branches. Then it is up the cliffs to enjoy the natural beauty of one of the many cascades that bring the waters flowing down from the mountain tops. After some time to enjoy this splendour it is time to hike back down to the valley floor and return to the van, climb aboard, and return to Marrakech, having gotten to have a taste of what life is like in this beautiful mountain valley.
- Hikers make their way across the rapids as they make the trek up from the valley floor.
- Restaurants set up seating along side the river rapids coursing through the valley.
- Tagine cooking near the wood burning oven in the outdoor kitchen of a traditional Berber home in the Ourika Valley.