Day Trip To Ourika Valley From Marrakech: Marrakech is a captivating city that offers innumerable opportunities to explore Morocco’s countryside, beach resorts, mountain ranges and desert areas. From Marrakech, an extraordinarily well connected city, it is easy to travel to some of the most marvellous places in the country, including the “Land of the Thousand Kasbahs” in the Ouarzazate region, a trekking or rafting expedition in the Ourika Valley or a visit to the stunning Ouzoud Cascades.
1. Ouarzazate – Tizi n’Tichka – Ait Benhaddou
The route to Ouarzazate through the Tizi n’Tichka Pass on the High Atlas and to the stunning Ait Benhaddou Kasbah is an astounding itinerary that offers a first glimpse of the desert on the gateway to the Sahara Desert, as well as an incomparable chance to visit the great Kasbahs built by the Berber tribes who once ruled the High Atlas region.
One of the top places on this path is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Benhaddou, an impressive ksar or fortified village consisting of a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, in the manner of a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers.
In Ouarzazate, you can’t miss a visit to the Atlas Film Studios, where numerous films where shot, including “Lawrence of Arabia”, “the Mummy”, “Gladiator”, “Cleopatra”, and “the Jewel of the Nile” among many others.
2. One-day trip (or Rafting Expeditions) to the Ourika Valley
Heading south from Marrakech, you enter a colourful landscape full of valleys and waterfalls and advance through the green orchards of the Haouz plain with the grandiose Atlas Mountains permanently in the background. At last, you will reach Tnine-de-l’Ourika, from which you penetrate into the lovely Ourika Valley.
Along the way and on the route to Setti Fatma, you will get a chance to admire the strange beauty of the Berber villages built in clay in the 16th and 17th centuries, and hanging to the hills. There, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit a traditional Moroccan house, to experience first hand the Berber traditional way of life.
For those seeking action and adventure Morocco Private Tours, it is possible to enjoy a one-day rafting expedition in the Ourika Valley. The rapids on the Ourika Assiff stretch for over 6 miles in several class 3 and 4+ rapids and are surrounded by stunning red, emerald and ochre landscapes and crowned by the impressive outline of the Atlas Mountains.
3. Ouzoud Cascades
The Ouzoud waterfalls are one of the most stunning sights in Southern Morocco and are surrounded by exuberant, luxuriant vegetation. The cascades are over 330 feet high and drop vertiginously onto several platforms, thus projecting in the air an infinity of tiny water drops that create an almost permanent rainbow.
In order to get to the cascades, you will drive through roads surrounded by beautiful kasbahs on both sides and across the olive groves of Damnate. The deep green valleys and the stunning views of the Jbel Azoukri and the Jbel Ghat mountains will be topped with the sight of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.