English / Photography / Travel

A day in Ourika valley

A daytrip to Ourika valley was on my list when travelling to Marrakech last January. The van of our group of 10 pax departed from Jmaa el Fnaa square at 9 am. After a short ride, this was the first stop at Tahanout. It was sunny but cold that morning.

Nearby there was this carpet shop. In the corner there was a cooperation of local women selling fresh argan oil.

We continued the trip with yet another 45 mins ride to a local wet market. It was bustling with locals and sadly I didn’t have time to shoot pics because it was a short visit.

10 minutes further from the market, we reached our starting point of the trekking. It was still cold. This was the first site en route, locals selling beautiful Berber carpets.

Then the path became more and more steep. Locals use donkeys to transport stuff and carry people up.

Around noon the group arrived at a house and took a rest there. This was the view from the terrace at 600 meter altitude, with behind me the Atlas Mountains. Stunning!

While drinking the Moroccan mint tea, the guide shares his stories about Berber culture, how life is in Ourika valley and the Atlas mountains. Did you know that the Berbers drink the overly sweet Moroccan mint tea as a way to deal with the cold and the altitude?

The trekking route is rather packed with tourists. I noticed that there were more a lot of accommodations and adventure bureaus for trekking and skiing. It was clear that tourisme is thriving there. Even in this beautiful waterfall, there were tourists everywhere. Well, I did not complain as I was one of them myself. I sincerely hope local government and inhabitants would be able to implement sustainable tourism here while profiting from it.

Descending the route seemed easy but it was deceiving. It took about 1 hour to the parking lot. Passing by blossoms and peach tree it was a peaceful journey. You see the snowy spots on the Atlas mountains? According to the guide, during the winter the temperature can drop to -12 degree in the evening.

Life could be hard there in Berber land. However, I bet the scenery is beautiful in the spring with creeks streaming along the lush green strips.

3 thoughts on “A day in Ourika valley

  1. Gorgeous! I love how the carpets stand out in the scenery, especially that yellow one! Now I’m curious how it will look in the Spring.

    • It will be dyllic with a lot of blossoms and green Aggy. Ourika is not that far from Marrakech, meaning in week end in high season it could be crowded too but everyone may enjoy it, right?

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