A short excursion from Marrakech takes you south to join the valley of the Ourika River. You then follow the road into the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains until the village of Setti-Fatma (just before the road runs out). This is the country of the Berbers.
It’s a popular weekend trip for Marrakshis (inhabitants of Marrakech) to escape the heat and dust of the city – as well as for tourists. We signed up for a guided tour in a 10-seater mini-coach.
Quite a few of the waiters and shopkeepers we spoke to in Marrakech were Berbers from the town of Ourika or one of the villages higher in the valley. Many parts of the Marrakech souk are run by Berbers and sell produce from Berber areas. A well-known product of the Berber region is Argan Oil, which, in the area, is largely produced by women’s cooperatives.
Our tour bus stopped for a “camel photo-opportunity” and then at a herbal product showroom before continuing close to Setti-Fatma. We then switched to a different guide who led us up a "gentle climb" to the first of five waterfalls in the nearby hills. After a rest by the waterfall pool and a glass of fresh orange juice, we returned back down an easier path and hopped back in the bus for a short ride to one of the many riverside restaurants for a traditional (salad, tagine) local meal. It was a delightful and refreshing interlude in our stay in the Marrakech Medina.
Our destination: the village of Setti-Fatma
Our camel photo-opportunity
The herbal product showroom and exhibition garden.