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Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

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Wellington, New...
posts: 79
reviews: 54
Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

We will be in Marrakech for 2 nights/3 days in March. Is a daytrip out to the Atlas Mountains - possibly Ourika Valley - worth it or are we best to stick around Marrakech?

We're not after trekking, but definitely appreciate beautiful views.

I wouldn't want to miss out on it if it's a 'must see' but do know we're not there for very long so equally wouldn't want to miss seeing Marrakech!

Cheers for your help.

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 6,786
reviews: 60
1. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

Hi,

I think you could manage a day trip into the mountains and still see quite a lot of Marrakech in your 3 days. I'd suggest Ouirgane though instead of Ourika. Just my opinion but I feel it's more spectacular and less touristy.

Edinburgh
posts: 4
reviews: 7
2. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

Our day trip turned out to be a whole day sales pitch - we were taken to an apothecary and learned about various lotions and medicines - over an hour and a half and all with a view of making money by selling us things. Later we were left in various shops to buy the same goods you see in the markets. We saw virtually nothing of the Atlas mountains all day !! We were not told that to get to the waterfalls you have to abandon the minibus and gully scramble up steep, wet slopes for half an hour - and it's even worse coming down. Some ladies were in heels and ordinary shoes. We crossed over rivers on makeshift wooden bridges made out of odd bits of wood with no hand rails !!! This part of the day was really very dangerous and I am in the gym three days a week so I'm reasonably fit. We were then charged an extra 50 dirham per head for the guide. We met some lovely people from all over the world on the bus - conditions really brought us together that day. We all felt ripped off and relieved to be back safe. Don't go.

Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 409
reviews: 17
3. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

Sounds like you were on a bus trip with a lot of other people, which is not the way to go. You can ask your riad to recommend a driver for the day who will take you on your own, for a reasonable price, and will go where you want, stop (or not) when you want, and you should then have an enjoyable trip. Its not far from Marrakech and lets you see something a bit different. You should wear sensible footwear though!

Edinburgh
posts: 4
reviews: 7
4. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

Yes you are right - we went on a mini bus tour organised through our hotel. Perhaps that is where we went wrong. We did attempt to take taxis to places in the city only to be told on several occasions that the places we wanted to visit were shut as "everyone is in the mosque today". Lies. The drivers were trying to take us to other destinations and encourage us to buy from their friends/associates. We had a great time but quickly learned to double check everything we were told !!

Cardiff, United...
posts: 899
reviews: 30
5. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

A daytrip into the Ourika valley is a great day out. Hire your own driver and he will not take you on any silly sales stops. Yes if you want to see the waterfalls then you have to trek up some steep paths and across quite a few large rocks but it is not that hard (not like mountain climbing or anything like that).

The drive to Setti Fatima (where the waterfalls are is quite stunning at places). It only takes around 1½ hours to get there, so you could be back in Marrakech late afternoon if you wanted a short trip.

It is nice to take a break from the hussle and bussle of Marrakech and to see the "other side" that Morocco has to offer.

Wellington, New...
posts: 79
reviews: 54
6. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

Thanks all for the advice.

Ballpark how much might it cost to get a driver to take the 2 of us to either ourika valley or setti fatima?

Cardiff, United...
posts: 899
reviews: 30
7. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

Ballpark total cost will be between 600-800 DH for the day (£45-£60) depending on the driver/vehicle etc,

If you need a driver recommendation, then send me a message and I will email you the details.

p.s. you have to go through the Ourika Valley to get to Setti Fatima (where the Ourika valley road ends).

Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 180
8. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

A daytrip to the Atlas is a must specially now that the weather is nice and that the spring is on the way .

Beautiful sceneries and views over the Ouirgane valley and for 50 euros per person you get a a private Taxi, lunch and a guide .

Marrakech
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,192
9. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

If you don't want to commit a full day out in the Atlas you could go to Ourika Valley for half a day and have lunch. I like the riverside places where the tajines are being cooked at the side of the river, but there are 'proper' restaurants to visit too.

Southampton, England
posts: 3,022
reviews: 8
10. Re: Is a daytrip to the Atlas Mountains a must?

I had the same experience as, not worth Kenny22, it, but we made the most out of it.

Edited: 3:58 pm, February 25, 2011