Visit the Ourika Valley

Visit the Ourika Valley

Visit the Ourika Valley: tickets, prices, opening hours

Are you planning a trip to Morocco? Here’s our mini-guide to the Ourika Valley near Marrakech: tickets, prices and timetables!


History of the Ourika Valley

What attractions are there in the Ourika Valley?

The villages

The Ourika waterfalls


How do I get to the Ourika Valley?

From Marrakech

Ourika Valley timetables and fares




Located 30 kilometers south of Marrakech, the Ourika Valley is one of Morocco‘s most popular High Atlas sites. The Ourika Valley is the most accessible from Marrakech, and as such boasts a number of hotel complexes. Tourists flock here precisely for its unspoilt nature and mountain lifestyle, as well as for the many small Berber and Chleuh villages scattered throughout the valley.

Would you like to visit the Ourika valley for a one or two-day excursion in a desert landscape? We’ll tell you all about it in this article: history, things to see and do, timetables, access and prices!

Also read on the Marrakech guide:

The 11 must-do things to do in Marrakech

The 7 best eco-friendly hotels in Marrakech

The 8 best luxury hotels in Marrakech History of the Ourika Valley

A lire également sur le guide de Marrakech :

Les 11 choses à faire absolument à Marrakech

Les 7 meilleurs hôtels écologiques de Marrakech

Les 8 meilleurs hôtels de luxe à Marrakech

Histoire de la vallée de l’Ourika

The origin of Ourika’s name comes from Urika, which is the name of one of the Masmoudas tribes, belonging to an Amazigh group, itself a descendant of the Almohad dynasty. The valley is therefore historically inhabited by Berbers, and the local population speaks a dialect called Chleuh.

In the vicinity of Marrakech, a natural rock barrier rises up, known as “the roof of Morocco” or “the roof of North Africa”: the Western High Atlas. The highest massif in the country, the High Atlas stretches 750 kilometers from southwest to northeast. It separates Saharan Morocco from Atlantic and Mediterranean Morocco, reaching an altitude of 4,167 metres. In the foothills of this imposing massif lies a major tourist attraction for the Marrakech area: the Ourika Valley. Running along the foothills of the High Atlas, the valley stretches 68 kilometers from Marrakech to the village of Setti Fatma, at an altitude of 1,500 meters. The Ourika is the name given to the river that flows from the slopes of the High Atlas, and is a tributary of the Oued Tensift.

With its milder climate than Marrakech, the Ourika valley is a vast area of agricultural cultivation, surrounded by lush vegetation of agricultural fields and olive groves, orchards, almond and cherry trees and other verdant plants. Nature is especially abundant when the rainy season gives way to summer: bright red earth illuminates the landscape and villages, while the air becomes more breathable as you gain altitude (15° C to 20° C cooler than in Marrakech).

What to see and do in the Ourika valley?

What can you do when you visit the Ourika Valley? Well, walking, hiking and more walking! But that’s not all.

The Ourika valley is full of attractions to visit:

The Berber Ecomuseum

Ourika saffron plantation

Timalizene garden

The Ourika bio-aromatic garden

Setti Fatmam village

The 7 waterfalls

The villages

You may experience the genuineness of rural life by taking a car journey down the Ourika valley’s twisting roads, which take you into nearly uninhabited villages up to 2,100 meters height (at Tizi-n-Test).

 Berber life.

Alas, this is less a mirror of traditional social life than a tourist representation of this picturesque Berber lifestyle. In any case, you’re sure to enjoy a cup of mint tea with the locals!


In Tafza, the Berber Ecomuseum offers an insight into the Berber way of life and culture, with a vast collection of photographs and objects used in the past (carpets, clothes, jewelry, pottery). It’s really the world of the Amazigh woman that’s represented. It’s also a starting point for numerous hikes, visits to salt pans, waterfalls and wadis. Funds raised go towards the construction of a boarding school to enable children to attend college.

Tnine and Timalizene

In the village of Tnine, don’t miss the farm producing saffron, Morocco‘s red gold (open from late October to mid-November). 4 kilometers away, the village of Timalizene is a must-see, not least for its namesake gardens. The latter features several terraces paying homage to typical Moroccan trees. Continue your visit to the Ourika valley with the Jardin bio-aromatique at Douar El Haddad, which can be visited from March to June to enjoy the exquisite scents of medicinal plants.

Setti Fatma

In the village of Setti Fatma, perched at an altitude of 1,500 metres, you can choose to spend the night – cool and quiet, and without air conditioning or fans – before heading off in the early morning to the waterfalls or hiking in the mountains to enjoy superb views of the Berber houses.

The Ourika waterfalls

Starting from Setti Fatma, you reach the first waterfall after a half-hour walk through the rocks. There’s a first pool to cool off in, while further up, a short path leads to the other 6 waterfalls.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a Berber macaque! The trail starts after a small bridge over the wadi. The further you walk, the less crowded it becomes, and the waterfalls are less and less frequented. But beware of the heat if you’re visiting the Ourika Valley! Even at altitude, it can get very hot in summer.


At the end of the day, there are restaurants on the banks of the Ourika where you can eat couscous with your feet almost in the water. And yes, it’s a tourist spot!

Last but not least, a visit to the Ourika valley is also an opportunity to see the argan oil cooperatives, produced in the area by local women.

How do I get to the Ourika Valley?

From Marrakech

To visit the Ourika Valley, it’s a 2-hour drive from Marrakech to Setti Fatma, the last stop on an excursion to the area. Logically, travel time varies according to traffic levels. Access is easy from the south of Marrakech: take the P2017 south, a road that stretches all the way to Setti Fatma.

By car

You can rent a private car with driver.

By cab

Private cabs make the journey, but be sure to negotiate the fare before boarding.

By public transport

You can also take public transport to Tnine/Ourika, then take a cab to Setti Fatma.

Please note: it’s rather difficult to find public transport to get there.

Also read on the Marrakech guide :

Visit Marrakech’s Palmeraie: tickets, prices, opening hours

8 emblematic places to discover Marrakech’s cultural wealth

The 6 best villa rentals in Marrakech

The Ourika Valley: a Marrakech must-see in just one day, as the valley is only 1 hour from Marrakech. A visit we love, as the landscape offers a complete change of scenery from Marrakech: greenery, rivers, freshness!


-Payment is made on site.

Please bring closed-toe shoes.

-Minimum of 2 people.

-Meals are not included in the price of the tour.

Program for the day:

-Departure from your accommodation at 09:30 for a 1h30 drive.

Make a few wonderful stops along the way and take a deep breath, as Ourika is known for its natural climate and wonderful scenery.

You’ll also visit an argan oil cooperative if you wish, and wander through the mountains to discover Berber village life and their traditional, natural products.

-Arrive at Ourika for a 1h/1h30 hike to see the Ourika waterfalls, but don’t worry, the path is accessible and the guide will advance at your pace.

Then a 1-hour descent back to the village by the river.

Enjoy lunch in one of the river-side restaurants. The restaurants have terraces right on the water!

– Return to Marrakech at 4.30pm, arriving around 5.30pm.

It’s a visit we love, because the landscape offers a complete change of scenery from Marrakech: greenery, rivers, freshness!

What to see in Ourika

As you travel through the area, you can visit the main tourist attractions:

Setti-Fatma: Excursions to see the Ourika waterfalls are organized from this small village. When you arrive, you’ll have no trouble finding a tour guide to conduct the visit in French.

Cascades de l’Ourika: If you’re a nature lover, the waterfalls will undoubtedly be the highlight of your excursion. Many people take the opportunity to swim in the river, but as you can imagine, the water is icy cold. The first of the waterfalls is easily accessible, while you’ll have to venture further to reach the next ones. You’ll have to climb and scramble to reach some of the waterfalls, so we advise you to wear suitable footwear.

Traditional Berber houses: In theory, this is a visit to the heart of traditional Berber life in mountain villages. Once there, you’ll realize that what you’re being sold as an experience of typical life is really just a theatrical performance for tourists. As a rule, the father of the family will show you around his house and prepare a mint tea for you. As you leave the house, the locals will try to sell you handicrafts.

Traditional markets: The most popular in the area are Ourika (Monday) and Aghbalou (Thursday). If you arrive in the valley from the mountains, you’ll find other interesting markets in Tahanaout (Tuesday) and Asni (Saturday).

How to get to the Ourika Valley

Book an organized excursion: on Visitons Marrakech, you’ll find organized excursions that pick you up directly from your hotel and take you to the Ourika Valley with an English-speaking tour guide for just €25. Private excursions are also very affordable. You can book your excursion to the Ourika Valley from Marrakech here.

Rent a car: Driving in Morocco isn’t as easy as it looks, and the roads leave a lot to be desired, especially if you’re planning to take the mountain roads. If you still want to venture out, you’ll need a GPS!

Book a cab for a whole day: This can be the most economical option if you can negotiate a good price (€80-€100 per day). Cab drivers speak French, but their driving style is rather giddy and the vehicles are not new.

A great day out in the Ourika Valley Marrakech

One of Morocco‘s most popular tourist destinations, the Vallée de l’Ourika Marrakech lies to the south of the city, some thirty kilometers from the capital. It’s a place where the Berber inhabitants still live the mountain lifestyle. Tourists can spend a day discovering this magical place, or choose to stay overnight to explore the surrounding area.

What to see in the Ourika Valley Marrakech?

Many surprises await you before you arrive in the Ourika Valley. On the narrow roads that wind through the Atlas Mountains, you’ll pass Berber villages and typical hillside houses. Above all, it’s the authenticity of the landscapes and the expanse of green meadows that give this place its magic. Thanks to their pharaonic efforts, the villagers have succeeded in creating terraces in this rather hostile environment. Fruit trees and vegetable plants can be seen here to delight the eye.

The valley’s 7 waterfalls can be found in the small village of Setti-Fatma. Easy to reach, just follow the path along the mountain stream to get there. Apart from the breathtaking views, it’s a refreshing place to be, especially in summer. If your trip to the Vallée de l’Ourika Marrakech falls on a Monday, don’t forget to pay a visit to the small douar of Tnine-de-l’Orika, where a traditional souk is held on this day. Otherwise, there’s also the traditional Tahanaout market, held every Tuesday, the Aghbalou market on Thursdays and the Asni market on Saturdays. Lovers of botanical plants will be delighted by the Jardin de Timalizene, a well laid-out green space in the mountains. There’s also the Jardin bio-aromatique de l’Ourika, home to several aromatic plants typical of the region and medicinal plants known for their virtues. The final must-see is Tazfa, a pottery village with an eco-museum. Visitors can immerse themselves in Berber culture through their pottery, tapestries, photographs and jewelry.

Activities in the Ourika Valley Marrakech

On arrival at Setti-Fatma, a local guide will take you on an hour-long tour of the Ourika Valley. This is the best place for mountain hiking. In the valley, you can enjoy authentic and delicious culinary delights in the restaurants along the Ourika river. At weekends, the area is very busy, as the inhabitants of Marrakech flock here to spend a relaxing moment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Open chat
Hi! do you need any help?
We are travel experts, let's plan your Morocco tour together