The Marrakesh Medina can be a dizzying place, so taking a day to visit the Ourika Valley in the High Atlas Mountains was a no-brainer for us. Our hotel made the arrangements, and we had a private car pick us up right at our Riad the morning we went. I think it was about $50 or $60 for the entire day, not including what we paid our Berber guide to help us up and down the mountain. (Which you can’t get up there by yourself, so definitely hire one of the locals!)
Tourism is their biggest industry, and you will stop at an Argan oil maker/shop. But don’t worry, the oil is amazing and really expensive back home, so just enjoy your 20 or 30 minutes in a traditional Berber village, eat the samples, and enjoy the mint tea they’ll make for you. This sweet girl let me try my hand at cracking open the Argan nuts, which I was hilariously inept at doing.
As touristic as it is, there are no big commercial kitchens making your tea here.
Dozens of restaurants dot the banks of the river en route. Work with your driver to make sure you eat a safe place; there are few refrigerators here 🙂 A small glimpse into traditional Berber life.
The hike up to the waterfalls is beautiful and rewarding, but not easy! I wish I had packed some better shoes, but with the help of your local guide, they’ll literally carry you if you’re worried about making a misstep and twisting your ankle! It takes about 30 or 40 minutes to go up the mountain and see the largest of the Ouzoud Falls, but you’ll be rewarded with mint tea, beautiful scenery, and break from the heat! Me and our local Berber guide. This guy was awesome, I wish we were Facebook friends! He was also our personal photographer all day, and had a knack for pointing and clicking at random times along the trail.
We enjoyed a traditional lunch on the riverbank, and it was a delicious and this picture is terrible.
Final Morocco post coming up soon: my favorite place, the Jardin Majorelle!